Good And Bad Sculpture

London has so many statues no-one notices half of them, but putting up a public figure always courts controversy now, which is why we ended up with the Princess Diana Drain. I like this because it makes a great noise, but would it have killed the artist to add a few plants around it? The […]

A London Peculiarity

I was always taught to say ‘the anniversary of my birthday’ rather than ‘my birthday’, so last night I celebrated this anniversary in the Club at The Ivy, where, one is reminded that the ‘Chatham House Rule’ is in force. Checking the phrase’s origin, I found the full definition of this very London rule; “When […]

Time To Dance

Watching Stewart Lee recently reminded me that he was involved with ‘Jerry Springer – The Opera’, which was picketed on tours by a rabid minority possessing a minimal grasp of Judeo-Christian theology (who had usually not seen the production). They give a series of rather disturbing dead-eyed interviews online which you may find more harmful […]

London: What We Missed Earlier

The designer of this lovely site, the very excellent Simon Moore, sends me a trove of London photographs taken in 1955. This is the largest collection of theatre and cinema hoardings I’ve seen from the period. Once you get used to the empty streets, ladies in hats and super-clean cars, you start to notice how […]

London; Good, Bad & Seriously Ugly

So I’m walking from Regent’s Park to Camden and thinking, ‘Nice spring day, who needs to go to Japan to see blossom?’ And I come over the bridge, reminding myself that on a weekday, when Camden’s not full of mooching Norwegian Goths being sold fake magic mushrooms, the area’s not so bad… And I see […]

What Writers Do

Every now and again people complain about having to wait for a new book to come out. I think I’m a fairly typical writer, with the usual kind of workload. Here’s what I’m up to this week. (Activities with asterisk denote paid work, usually small amounts) Column for Independent on Sunday* Book review* Columns for […]

Stewart Lee’s Back…

…in a new comedy vehicle called Comedy Vehicle. Just to remind you of his laconic, dry attitude to stand-up, here’s a brief moment from an earlier set.

Fun With Sheep

Yes, I know it’s been on the web a lot this week but the ending is adorable, and it gives the Welsh something to do other than hanging around fishing villages posing for jigsaw lids or rejecting Zaha Hadid’s brilliant designs for the Cardiff Opera House.

London’s A Beach

As the warm weather continues, London residents thoughtfully place mattresses on street corners for sunbathers. Meanwhile, the photo below depicts a sand-sculptor making some kind of vegetarian statement involving a chained pig and a barbecue. The interesting thing about this is that it’s not at the coast but on the beach of the Thames yesterday, […]

Egg-Shaped Happiness!

Writing ‘Paperboy’ was a bit of a memory feat for me, requiring me to trawl through everything that influenced my childhood. Some stuff I’d liked to have included didn’t make the cut – if ‘Paperboy’ had been an eBook maybe I could have embedded illustrative videos into the chapters – in which case I’d certainly […]