Comedy Not Funny: Official

An interesting piece in the London Times this morning. Shane Allen, Head of BBC comedy, has declared old comedy dead and says that shows like Monty Python which feature ‘six white Oxbridge males’ wouldn’t be commissioned now, and that in future there will be more diversity, with the all-black show ‘Famalam’ proving popular. Now, there […]

‘The Staircase’ Isn’t A Whodunnit

No Spoilers Netflix’s new documentary series isn’t new or theirs; it was made by a man with the Frenchest name in the world, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, over many years and has been screened in parts before on the BBC and in France. It has also been the subject of numerous true-crime TV shows, books and podcasts. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Wedding Song Of The Week

Happy Royal Wedding Day…the sun is glorious, the pubs are covered in flags and the Windsor wedding has a gospel choir – what’s not to enjoy? To add to it, here’s Madeline Kahn, Stephen Sondheim, a live show, an impeccable performance, great lyrics (especially that list) and the final bouquet catch!

Entertainment I Love That Other People Don’t Get

Of course some pleasures are universal. I’m a Shakespeare obsessive because you know, words, and after you trim away all the fat (who needs the second appearance of the ghost in Hamlet?) you have stories filled with emotions that everyone has felt and can therefore understand. I love Game of Thrones because it’s basically the […]

Entertainment I Don’t Get That Other People Seem To Love

The best piece of advice I was ever given was; ‘If 5 million people all love the same thing, you at least need to know about it and understand why’. The writer who stops caring what the mass of the public likes makes himself irrelevant.’ But these are the things I struggle with. All books […]

What Nobody Tells You About Book Tours

My latest blog tour is about to kick off. What are blog tours? A regular tour is where the publisher sends you around the country by train and pays for your hotel so that you can do events and meet your readers. A blog tour allows you to answer questions from popular book bloggers wherever […]

A Song Puzzle & News Update

In the new Bryant & May novel ‘Hall of Mirrors’, the chapter headings feature song titles (this graphic courtesy of Twitter’s delightful @maliceafore) which are evocative of the nineteen sixties – the book is set at the end of that tumultuous decade as it overdoses on itself and declines. To amuse myself I sometimes hide […]

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 […]