So UFOs Were Real – In A Sense


A bit of publicity for my friend Mark Pilkington, the publisher of the wonderful ‘Strange Attractor’ magazine (and also the first ‘Invisible Ink’ book) who has been involved in making a feature documentary. Here are the details of its first screening at the very odd and excellent Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury: MIRAGE MEN (2014) 90M HOW […]

Five New H-H-Half Hours

Tony Hancock

BBC Radio 4 is to recreate lost episodes of 1950s radio sitcom Hancock’s Half Hour, with a new cast including Pirates of the Caribbean actor Kevin McNally in the title role originally taken by the late Tony Hancock. The Missing Hancocks will consist of five of the 20 episodes missing from the BBC archives. They are […]

My Heroes No.1: Stewart Lee


How do you explain the evolutionary phenomenon of the stand-up comic? From the primitive music-hall smut of Max Mille, via the beautiful non-existenct jokes of Frankie Howerd, to the surreal Pythons and fanciful Eddie Izzard, and finally, to sardonic Stewart Lee. Of course, after that it drops back down again to Leslie Crowther lookalike Michael […]

Freak Out!


  The cover is soft and silky, the innards have a new extra libel-cleared chapter – and the paperback is out now! In fact, I’m reading extracts from it all over town at the moment. What started out as a labour of love turned into something oddly different, and I’m thrilled that it’s doing so […]

Are Jeremy Clarkson and Nigel Farrage the Same Person?

You never see them together, do you, even though they believe in the same stupid things. I’m just saying.

Music While You Work?

  Does reading or writing require total silence, or is it helped by music? There are albums you’re meant to play to unborn children or when you’re studying that are supposed to help you relax or increase concentration, but there’s no scientific basis for that. It’s mainly a question of preference. I always play music […]

Memories on The Wireless Reader

  I’m a fan of podcasts and sites about writing, so I’d like to draw your attention to a site by the broadcaster and novelist N Quentin Woolf (his powerful novel ‘Death of A Poet’ is out now from Serpent’s Tail) which has the participation of myself and others on subjects as diverse as Samuel […]

The Grand & Secret Pleasures Of Being Deeply Unfashionable

  Never be fashionable – it has no future. It’s true that I once wrote zeitgeist novels. They were out of date within hours of publication. After I’d got over this absurd idea of reflecting fashion (remembering that books take a year to appear, at least, two if they’re in hardback first) I discovered my […]

Other Londons

In the opening of Bryant & May 12: ‘The Burning Man’, I’ve homaged my favourite quote from Charles Dickens about London, which comes right at the start of ‘Bleak House’. You’ll probably recall (erudite readers all) that he points out that there is so much mud in the streets that it would not be surprising […]

Hard Times For Writers In British Film

It’s official; the British film industry is in the toilet again. In my career I’ve heard this maybe two dozen times, but something has really gone wrong in this decade. It turns out that only 7% of British films have made any kind of a profit in the past ten years and the number in […]