The Weird World Of Video Nasties


  There were two separate editions of ‘Film Freak’. The paperback version corrected a couple of minor errors and added another chapter that had needed to be cleared for publication, leading to slightly different versions of the same book. I had wanted to explain more about the rising fear of home video influencing young minds […]

I Knew I’d Seen Him Somewhere Before

Donald Trump Speaks To GOP Women's Groups

The gloves are finally off and people are making fun of Donald Trump’s bizarre looks after he made disparaging comments on Carly Fiornia’s appearance. I think ‘Trump Face’ may become a new world insult. Open Season!  

How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love ‘Game Of Thrones’

‘Did IQs just suddenly drop while I was away?’ I asked the same question Ripley asks at the start of ‘Aliens’ when I saw the public reaction to ‘Game of Thrones’. I don’t ‘do’ fantasy, a cheesy mash-up of the only things kids can remember from medieval history lessons plus the drawings they made on […]

English Peculiar: Mr Pastry


While I was staying in a very English cottage Kent last weekend, I noticed that the guest book pointed out other former residents, including Mr Pastry. This one is as peculiar as it gets, so stay with me. Britain was once awash in novelty acts, from the man who sang ‘Mule Train’ while bashing himself […]

Political Correctness Gone Mad


I once watched a sweating comic struggle through a stand-up set in Edinburgh as a woman in the front row called out a label after each joke he told; ‘Sexist’, ‘racist’, ‘ageist’ and so on. With the Edinburgh Festival in full swing how can you be funny in a diverse culture now? In America, a […]

Crime: When The Truth Can’t Be Told


Vincent Bugliosi is the prosecution layer whose most famous case involved Charles Manson. He turned writer for that account with ‘Helter Skelter’, and continued to write up other trials from time to time in his forensic if somewhat bombastic style. With ‘Outrage: The Five Reasons Why OJ Simpson Got Away With Murder’, he lambasts the […]

Sell Books? Ah Yes, I Meant To Do That.


There’s only so much time I can spend at my computer so I’m not a great trawler-around of other writers’ websites. Yesterday, with an hour to kill at an airport (I’m notorious for arriving too early and there are only so many times you can wander past Dixons) I decided to take a look at […]

Online Trawl: ‘A Little Harmless Fun At Someone Else’s Expense’


This week’s trawl turned up a ‘Did I Dream That?’ memory. In 1992 a very peculiar – and pretty short-lived – TV game show appeared, featuring an audience of women and on its day-glo stage, one hyperactive man. ‘Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch’ was a simple idea that traded on the massive UK popularity of Aussie […]

From Eyesore To Five Star


The British Library, which separated from the British Museum to become a modern building on London’s noxious Euston Road, was hated at the time of its unveiling by the Queen in June 1998 – over 20 years after it was first approved and at £350m over budget. But now it has been awarded Grade 1 Listed […]

The Unstoppable Rise Of The Archetype


Think of a consulting detective. Sherlock Holmes? A footballer. David Beckham? A playwright. William Shakespeare? A Greek philosopher. Aristotle? A schoolboy wizard. Harry Potter? They’re the most obvious archetypes in their fields, but choosing a single figurehead to represent an entire field of endeavour goes way deeper. Almost every group or sub-group you can think of has an archetype […]