Monthly Archives: March 2018

Passing Through The Neighbourhood

The above shot of the old King’s Cross station in London is so neat and tidy that it looks like a model. Recently I found another photograph of King’s Cross, where I live. In the forecourt of the station there was once a big dipper – a full, permanent funfair. But the area was not […]

The Friday Song

Victoria Wood and I were the same age. The ‘female Alan Bennett’ sadly died two years ago. She became a friend very early on in both our careers. I went to the first play she had staged and remained a pen-pal for a long time (I kept her hilarious letters). Some performers are naturally nervous; […]

Development Hell

Looking back over some of my short stories (I’m not nostalgic, I was waiting for my laptop to update) I recalled a funny story about the lead-up to writing the tale ‘Phoenix’, which appears in the collection called ‘Personal Demons’. At the time I had a script under option with Paramount, and as I was […]

Will Hollywood Be Annihilated?

Trigger warning; this is an unapologetically film industry-oriented column, but for me it’s an interesting subject. The Netflix movie ‘Annihilation’ is making waves for all the wrong reasons, but may ultimately turn out to favour the mega-channel and give Hollywood a spanking. Here’s why. The formerly unassailable studio system had dreams of global domination, but […]

‘Wild Chamber’ Is Out In Paperback Now

It got pleasing reviews in hardback* so here it is now in handy portable form. ‘Wild Chamber’ (hiding behind the new hardback out in three weeks) is the 15th Bryant & May mystery in a series I hope to get up to twenty (I’m currently working on the seventeenth). Here’s how I came to write […]

Hello To Berlin

Despite having been there at least half a dozen times I still needed to do some prep for this trip to Berlin because it was a leisure trip. The city is so vast and sprawling that it shows many sides and you never see the same one twice, especially if you end up crossing Alexanderplatz […]

Coming This Year: The Writers’ Service

I did an interview the other day in which I was asked if I had any phrases or watchwords by which to live, and I suggested two; Nobody loves a good all-rounder. and, No tombstone ever read, ‘This writer always delivered on time.’ By which I mean; it takes whatever it takes, however long it […]

Told To Be Old

Clearly there comes a day when a team from the government comes to your home or office and holds a meeting with you via a Powerpoint presentation, wherein they explain that you’ve been reclassified as an Old. They then reveal their plan for your future, which will involve becoming invisible, being ignored, sidelined and patronised. […]

A Wednesday Song Because…

It’s raining. I have a lot of work to get through before I head for Berlin tomorrow. I can’t find the piece I was going to post. So. What do you get if you cross the Argentinian Hollywood composer Lalo ‘Bullitt’ Schifrin with James Bond at his peak, hire Shirley Bassey to belt out the […]

Why We Need Hidden Heroes

  By winning the Oscar for Best Picture, Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape Of Water shifted the status of outsiders to the inside. Its liberal credentials are revealed in a variety of ways, from the fully fleshed out key roles taken by a voiceless woman, a middle-aged gay man and a black cleaning woman to the […]