Where Will An Anti-Trump Film Come From?


Rebuilding Satire Who will be the first to satirise this almost-unsatirisable change in America before Trump – who has already started banning reporters from briefings, so far CNN, the Guardian and the New York Times – starts the kind of censorship that always accompanies rising warmongers? So far Hollywood appears toothless, although they require a […]

Old Wine, Not Very New Bottles


Everything old is new again; I can’t read another novel set in the Blitz unless somebody brings something new to the party, and I’m getting tired of books set in the mid-19th century. And yet there are still many stories to be told. I saw Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Viceroy’s House’ yesterday, about how India’s partition came […]

Unfilmable Tales?


  When I started writing short stories I had no parameters I was aware of, and piled up tales on all sorts of subjects into collections willy-nilly. These are out as e-books now, and I’ve just noticed that many of the editions still have the original illustrations in. I used to commission them from artists […]

The Illustrated London News


It certainly wasn’t ‘Hello’ magazine. ‘Probably no paragraph of the Queen’s speech gave such unalloyed satisfaction to the vast majority of her subjects as that which touched upon her relations with the United States of America.’ This was the news that an agreement to arbitrate in the matter of the Alabama claims had been reached. […]

Arctic Rollercoaster


  That’s right, this column was simply an excuse to hide the name of a seventies dessert in the heading. You know the drill, a TV show model developed in the US; half a dozen characters meet in a single location (or ‘precinct’) and find out what connects them, but it takes seven seasons to unravel […]

Reading Between The Lines Part 2


I like Victoria Beckham. She knows how to play the journos’ game and seems pretty good at weathering its random cruelties, especially when the press periodically decides to gang up on her for no other reason than her being a successful career woman and mother. Ms Beckham grew up with social media and knows what […]

Reading Between The Lines Part 1


This comes in answer to a request from Elisabeth Rose, to give tips on spotting fake journalism. In the UK we downgraded the quality of journalism in the late ’80s by allowing Rupert Murdoch to trample over reporters’ rights. Traditionally stories are fully sourced within the first two paragraphs. That is, at least two names are […]

The Truth About Q&As


It’s always surprised me that the first question I get asked when someone mets me is; ‘Do you write under your own name?’ It seems a peculiar choice over ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ or ‘What do you most like writing about?’ (which I never get asked). I attend a lot of media events […]

Just My Type


Oh you poor Snowflakes, forever complaining about your download speeds – do you have ideas what we Base Dates* had to go through? It began with the desire to write something, anything. I started with a black biro, never blue because blue was for private letters, and I wanted to draw too. Soon I was […]

That Trump Hair Explanation In Full


From universal laughing stock to ‘short-fingered vulgarian’ (cf Spy magazine) to golf course bully to Tweet-narcissist, you couldn’t make up Donald Trump because nobody would believe you. With Toad (Boris Johnson) and Ratty (Nigel Farage) now creeping around him looking for crumbs from the table the story’s twists become increasingly surreal. But you know all […]