Monthly Archives: August 2010

Re:View – ‘Consenting Adults’

This standalone BBC4 drama (we used to cal them plays) continues the Beeb’s fascination with recent bits of social history – but how do you make the story of a government report interesting? Lord Wolfenden’s report into prostitution and homosexuality, commissioned in 1953 and published four years later, is not the stuff of high drama […]

Keeping It Real

As opposed to fake, that is – for it seems, on holiday at least, virtually everything is fake. Piracy is now so endemic in certain parts of the world that separating real from fake requires a clever eye. In Cambodia, I noticed that all of the bookshops sold pirated books. You could tell these from […]

How The World Sees The British

I only have the vaguest notion of who Benny Hill is – he’s the professor who likes big women in The Italian Job. I certainly never saw his show – I’ve never watched TV that much, and virtually stopped altogether about 20 years ago – but apparently to many Americans he still represents Britain, although […]

When Words Go Bad

Bristol Palin has refudiated her fiance again, after just 20 days. Remember ‘Quadrilogy’, the word Hollywood came up with for the ‘Alien’ boxset when they couldn’t think of ‘quartet’? I think Sarah Palin’s ‘refudiate’ deserves to be enshrined in our lexicon too, especially as her family has a reason to use it since ‘Bristol’ (not […]

One Of The Year’s More Surreal Headlines

‘Supermodel Naomi Campbell To Give Testimony At War Crimes Trial’ If you remember such things, the Streatham-born supermodel is alleged to have received a “blood diamond” from the former Liberian president Charles Taylor while staying at Nelson Mandela’s home in September 1997. Taylor, the first former African leader to be tried in an international war […]

Off The Rails On The Radar

In a rare moment of self-promotion (you know I’m a bit rubbish at this) I can be heard with the excellent Karin Slaughter and others on BBC’s Front Row (might have helped if I’d told you when it was actually broadcast) here. And ‘Bryant & May Off The Rails’ got a starred review in Publishers […]

Did The UK Benefit From A Film Council?

It takes a comedian, Stewart Lee, to point up one flaw in the Cameron idea of businesses replacing state partnerships (not avery original idea, either, Dave). As he puts it, ‘Businesses’ bankrolling comes with caveats. It’s easier to lure company money to fund a monkey sanctuary than to secure it for a study of intestinal […]

‘It’s A Nice Drink, Gin, Isn’t It?’

God bless Ange, the epitome of bland awfulness in ‘Abigail’s Party’ (the way she speaks the ‘gin’ line is a masterclass in estuarine English) who comes into her own when required to administer the kiss of life to the dying Laurence on the living room floor…everyone remembers her but what’s her name? The Guardian has […]

Get Lost

While I’m away you can get lost – in Trafalgar Square, to be precise, where a maze has been constructed and filled with bits of arcane lore about London. Probably a good place to mug someone.

Writers Who Look Like Their Books

In these days of celebrity tell-all, it seems that writers are expected to resemble their creations. This has always escaped me, for the simple reason that I don’t. When I write dark fiction, people come up to me and say ‘You don’t look anything like I imagined. I thought you’d be really sinister.’ While writing […]