Norman Wisdom

Horrible People, Surreal Potential

There’s something wrong when post-apocalypse drama is more appealing than a sit-com. Here’s what to do when you’re sick. Box-set binge. It was all my dehydrated brain could handle while my body was rejecting the planet, so I watched something called ‘Russian Doll’ on Netflix. My reason for choosing this programme was carefully considered, viz. […]

Those English Films: Your Comments

Some excellent choices came out of the ‘Most English Films’ list, and prompted me to further thoughts. ‘Seance on a Wet Afternoon’ and ‘The Whisperers’ would make a great (if dismal) double bill, and make me suspect we could include any English film with a John Barry score. ‘Little Malcolm’ is a trudge, although I […]

When Characters Annoy

As I embark upon the 17th Bryant & May adventure, I have to ask myself; am I still making the characters interesting? I ask because on the US Amazon website, a reader described Arthur Bryant as annoying. He is of course, but in the UK we treasure annoying characters, from Harry Worth, Charlie Drake and […]

Neglected Films 15: The Night They Raided Minsky’s

A few readers have asked me to revive this column, which I discontinued a couple of years ago. (You’ll find the old columns all stored here if you’re looking for unusual films). In the late 1960s audiences tired of old-fashioned pictures and made ‘Easy Rider’ a hit. The studios were caught out. What were they […]

Bryant & May: The Hidden Homages

Mystery authors can be tricksters; some of us like to hide puzzles, jokes and references inside our books – we can’t resist it. Musicians do it all the time, and I’ve been doing it for years in the Bryant & May books. The most obvious joke is the names of the detectives, which were taken […]

Sing Another Funny Song

After posting about the peculiar world of comedy songs recently, a few other examples came to mind, including ‘Come Outside’ by Mike Sarne (who went on to direct the Hollywood disaster ‘Myra Breckinridge’) and Wendy Richards. Similarly, Hylda Baker and Arthur Mullard produced their own gruesome take on ‘You’re The One That I Want’ from […]

The Weird & Wonderful World Of Wisdom

I feel like wearing a black armband today. Sir Norman Wisdom has died, aged 95. To many Britons this unsophisticated comic represents something inexplicably special. We grew up with him always on TV and in movies, low budget slapstick comedies that defined an era. At the age of 13, after a bad childhood, Wisdom was […]