Monthly Archives: September 2015

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

In 1996, when I still had my film company, we worked on a disastrous new version of ‘The Island of Dr Moreau’. HG Wells never makes for easy adaptation, partly because, like John Wyndham, we remember his books wrongly. In Wyndham’s ‘The Kraken Wakes’ and also in ‘The War of the Worlds’ events unfold in […]

Summer Never Arrived So Let’s Do Winter

It always rains at London’s Notting Hill Carnival, and it did again this week. Why we think August would be anything but wet and horrible is a mystery. Enough of pretending we’re not freezing in shorts and T-shirts – after yet another miserable, cold, wet, non-existent ‘summer’ here I am now revising my options. This […]

Witty Songs: A Brief Guide (Part 2)

We came a long way from the Victorian music hall songs and monologues of stars like Stanley Holloway and Joyce Grenfell. After, we had Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour On The Bedpost Overnight?’, Max Bygraves singing ‘You’re A Pink Toothbrush, I’m A Blue Toothbrush’, comedy songs like ‘When Father Papered The […]

Witty Songs: A Brief Guide (Part 1)

Like the Fado is to Portugal and the tango to Argentina, the witty song is to Britain. We were always better at words, especially if they weren’t about love, which simply embarrassed us. We have Gilbert & Sullivan to blame for this, with their gymnastic lyrics. Here the Major-General lists his abilities, being a military […]