Light Up London

We’re finally getting some decent light installations in London (see the one near London Bridge, below) but how much more could we do? Berlin’s Festival of Lights shows how an ordinary street terrace could look, just for an evening. Sure, we live with light pollution but this is a big city and winter’s low lighting […]

Those Pubs In Full

I’ve been asked to provide a list of the London pubs that appeared in ‘The Victoria Vanishes’, which seems like a good idea to me. I can’t guarantee they’re all still there, though. British boozers often occupy prime locations on street corners and have two front doors, which makes them ideal for redevelopment into flats […]

Bryant & May US-Style

The latest cover art for ‘Bryant & May On The Loose’ made me laugh – the US style wouldn’t work here because it would signal everything from St Trinian’s to Nigel Molesworth, but it’s perfect for the US. Equally, the UK covers wouldn’t work in America because they’re suggestive of English railway carriage art and […]

The London of ‘Paperboy’

Next month, my memoir ‘Paperboy’ comes out – it’s about a 10 year-old would-be writer growing up in a house without books in South London, and is set in the early sixties. To remind ourselves that the past is not always as rosy as we’d like to remember it, check out footage of these Lambeth […]

New Readers Start Here…

As it’s a new year, I thought I’d give anyone visiting these pages for the first time a little help. I’ve written many different kinds of novels and short stories (my next book is a memoir), but the Bryant & May books are a series of mystery novels set in London, charting the lives of […]

Discovering More London

So you’ve been down to the South Bank and walked through Regent’s Park, but when was the last time you truly went exploring in London, from Petticoat Lane to Portobello Road, from Cecil Court to Lincoln’s Inn Fields? It’s too easy to stay within familiar postcodes, and there’s so much fun to be had from […]

Let’s End The Year With A (Very) Old Song!

As a musical antidote to a year of retro-pop and talent show tat let’s go back about ooh, 121 years and hear something really silly. (Although it’s harder than it looks – try hitting the Karaoke lyrics on cue) Happy New Year!

Things I Don’t Need In The Year Ahead (But Will Probably End Up Seeing Anyway)

In no particular order; White middle-class authors complaining that they feel as if they are in a minority and are being discriminated against. Try this; grow up and write better. Private members’ clubs filled with demented screaming media folk with ironically flattened hair. (They usually have faux-fifties wallpaper and offer comfort food at prices that […]

The End Of The Cafe Royal

From Whistler to Wilde, from Augustus John to Aubrey Beardsley, through sips of absinthe and clouds of cigar smoke, the Cafe Royal in Regent Street played host to London’s artistic elite. But after years of slow decline it’s going, to be turned into yet another upmarket hotel. Its furniture goes under the hammer on January […]

Happy Christmas!

Back in the 1980s (and again in the 90s) I did some marketing work on Richard Williams’ unfinished masterpiece ‘The Thief And The Cobbler’, probably the greatest animated film never to see the light of day in its intended form. The problem was that the film – based on Persian miniatures and the writings of […]