Matthew Ponsford

Matthew Ponsford

Freelance features, news, and sport journalist who has written for Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, and others. Currently associate producer at CNN International.

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Movie review spirited away article
The Independent

The death of Studio Ghibli was inevitable — but this might not be the end

Hayao Miyazaki saw it coming: “The future is clear. It’s going to fall apart.”

“It’s inevitable.”

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The Guardian

Could 'co-design' help Peckham where community consultation failed?

With locals slamming a multimillion pound station redevelopment plan many said ‘bleached’ them out of the site, the council is now looking to ‘co-design’ workshops to harness their knowledge.

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Meet the ballet doctor fighting to save the 'foot soldiers' of dance

Ballet dancers fight through pain to perfect their art, and are often seriously injured. Discover how ex-karate champion Patrick Rump is bringing revolutionary new techniques to the ballet stage.

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America's black cowboys fight for their place in history

Jason Griffin straps his right arm in bandages, preparing himself to grip the reins of a wildly bucking bronco. Tall, broad-shouldered, with a rough beard, he steps into his cowboy boots, fits a Stetson hat and heads out to meet his mount in the rodeo arena.

Griffin is a four-time world champion bareback bucking horse rider -- competing in a sport that began in the 19th century heyday of the Wild West.

Bencic article

Belinda Bencic ready to embrace greatness -

It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis"..

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Accent Magazine

it's very fragile | Julius Francis | Accent Magazine

Julius Francis -- 49-years-old, six-foot two-inches, weighing in at perhaps-slightly-more-than the 17stone 6½lbs he weighed at the peak of his fighting career -- sits down on a bar stool in south-east London, a mile or so from where he was born (Peckham), to share a few chapters on how he learnt that it’s vital to have heart

because life -- y’know -- it’s very...

2 lucy li article

11-year-old Lucy Li becomes the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history

She's got nerves of steel, golf talent beyond her tender years, and a precocious flair for eye-catching fashion: 11-year-old Lucy Li, the youngest qualifier in U.S. Women's Open history, looked entirely at home as she teed-off at Pinehurst No. 2.

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Bored by chart-topping DJs? Here are the real stars of electronic music

Discover the 15 young DJs and producers who deserve to be huge.

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The Dreamy Awards

Performance artist Ed Fornieles on his Zac Efron-honouring Serpentine Gallery event

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Lost $150m da Vinci masterpiece, or fake?

It could be the find of the century, or something much more suspicious. Scientists are turning to techniques pioneered by homicide detectives to piece together the final evidence.

Hestoncouple article
The Financial Times

Rising cost of lunch in time of austerity

After yet another difficult economic week, it is at last possible to report one small sign that the austerity years may be ending: spending on lunch is going back up to pre-crisis levels. Admittedly, the evidence is slender and specialised. It is

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Doubts dog Susie Wolff: Will F1 ever have a female champ? - CNN ...

For any team boss deciding whether to give a shot to a female driver, the evidence is clear. In the 50 years since a woman first stepped behind the wheel of an F1 car, the sum total of their achievements is half a championship point.
Surely, say F1's top men, there's a reason why a woman can't race with the boys.

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Fabio Cannavaro: The street urchin who became a World Cup 'legend'

"When you win the World Cup, you start to become a legend -- for the people around the world, you are different."
For Fabio Cannavaro, this legendary status was hard earned.

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World Cup winner Patrick Vieira rediscovers his roots -

National heroes don't always belong to one country. Just ask France's World Cup-winning star Patrick Vieira.
"I don't make any difference between France and Senegal -- I feel I am both countries," the football star tells CNN's Human to Hero series.

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Nigeria's school of self-belief: Makeup is the key to confidence at House of Tara

Class is in session at schools across Nigeria, where students are learning to shape eyebrows, smooth foundation, apply eye-shadow, and -- perhaps -- defy economic gloom to grasp a glamorous future.