Media

The Super-Smile Stays

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced since my prognosis has been dealing with the loss of my super powers, like walking in a straight line, standing on one leg for more than three seconds and not tripping over a toothpick. My father, a short Norman Wisdom-like man, fell over his own feet all the […]

The Saturday Song!

Remember the Friday Song? I ran it for years in an attempt to break tradition with writers’ blogs and make them a little more fun. Well, I think we need it now. So here are the delightful Reta Shaw and Eddie Foy Jr proving they can still cut a rug and put the young ‘uns […]

Pages & Pictures: What I’ve Been Reading & Watching This Week

Slow Horses – Mick Herron A confession; I struggled with the first of Herron’s Slough House books, thrown by its jocular tone, and decided to wait for the televised version instead. I’m glad I did, because the series seems different to what I read. Herron’s natural joviality and quirkily dark sense of humour shone from […]

Lend Us A Squid Till Friday

  No Spoilers I’ve been a fan of Korean cinema for many years but didn’t make the jump to K-TV until ‘Squid Game’. By now the figures speak for the series itself. Supposedly the No.1 show in over 90 countries (although Netflix refuse to release any figures so we’ll never know), viewed over 110 million […]

The Privileged Few

There Are Too Many ‘Privileged Few’ There’s a simple way to work out how rich you are; count the number of choices you have. Could you choose a new house, a new car, a new career? Most in the poverty trap have no choices. I chose my job out of instinct rather than careful consideration. […]

Maggie’s Twilight Zone Messages

As a former model, my only simultaneously fictional and non-fictional friend Maggie Armitage has always known how to pose for a photo. I have no bad shots of her. Hair-raising, terrifying, yes; bad, no. This was taken just before chemo turned my hair white and made most of it fall out. Maggie is wearing a […]

Common Nonsense: The Arrival Of GB News

‘Sensible Thinking’ Friends working in media spent a decade keeping Fox News out of the UK. They did it not because they were politically opposed to the channel’s views but because it stoked fear in the vulnerable for ratings. The arrival of Andrew Neil’s GB News, a US-style news opinion channel partly funded out of […]

Information, Please: We Are Bellingcat

A career in IT was once seen as cool; not anymore, apparently. Latest surveys indicate that there’s been a fall in interest among the young just when job opportunities in the sector are climbing again. That’s bad news for Eliot Higgins, but thankfully he has people with the passion, time and patience to uncover injustices […]

Got A Brain? Keep It To Yourself.

When did having a brain become a liability? It seems everyone made the same friend during the lockdowns; Netflix could do no wrong. The streaming service rendered DVDs obsolete as it kept refreshing its catalogue. It put out a more diverse range of product than any other service. It produced originals, part-funded co-productions and bought […]

The Year In Documentaries

  Just as the literary world yielded some of its best surprises in non-fiction books this year, the top factual films have bested their fictional counterparts in terms of courage and originality. Fiction films have suffered from the black hole created by studio absence, but our attention has been shifted onto far more interesting material. […]