Monthly Archives: June 2018

True Bits That Didn’t Make My Memoir No.1

Morecambe & Wise got me fit. I know Joe Wicks is the current go-to fitness instructor (apart from the man carved from orange plastic on ‘Love Island’) but I had Britain’s beloved comedy duo help me on the road to fitness. I was working with Morecambe & Wise on a shoot and Eric, who could […]

Neglected Films No.16: ‘It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World’

1963’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was not well received in England. It was just too…American for repressed UK critics who were okay with Elia Kazan movies but not Technicolor fare. Had they bothered to look beneath the surface they’d have found something a whole lot darker. The film was unashamedly populist. It […]

Coming Attractions

‘Sunday For Seven Days’ – that’s what it used to say on cinema trailers. I’m aiming to spread the work over a rather lengthier time frame. First up this year will be the paperback version of ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’ in October, and I believe it’s going to contain some extra material that wasn’t […]

Is London Safe?

Last Sunday saw the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack at Borough Market, and Londoners turned out in force to celebrate life. We don’t do candles and prayers, we raise glasses instead and have a party. We’re used to dealing with disasters, and handle them with grace and even humour (who can forget the shot […]

A Walk Through…West London

Making sense of London’s boroughs and working out how they all fit together can sometimes be a challenge. The western part of central London always gets overlooked, partly because there’s no special reason to visit a mainly residential area, partly because of the bewildering roads and bridges that mark out the territories from Paddington to […]

Why Isn’t The Crime Novel Catching Up?

This piece stems from a compliment the author Katherine Stansfield paid to me last week. She said; ‘You manage to write crime novels without meanness.’ We grew up with unthinking sexism as the norm, often benign, sometimes pernicious. From the James Bond novels to the Carry On films we laughed as ugly men were surrounded […]

A Walk Through…Cardiff

I was all prepared for my event in Wales, courtesy of Cardiff Central Libraries and WF Howes. I’d packed everything I needed including notes, a sweater, laptop, iPad and assorted tech-junk, only to spend the journey reading ‘Selling Hitler’ by Robert Harris (the story of the fake Hitler diaries). I arrived to find Cardiff sweltering […]