Monthly Archives: January 2013

Winner Calms Down

I’m going to break the last taboo here. I’m going to speak ill of the dead – well, not ill, exactly, but anyone who met Michael Winner has to admit; He was a very strange man, which in itself makes him rather likeable. The press has this to say; ‘Michael Winner, bon viveur, restaurant critic […]

Curtain Up! Great Theatre Books

 It’s hard to live in London and avoid theatre in all its myriad forms. I started going to Samuel French’s Theatre Bookshop when I was a kid and the store was in Covent Garden. It’s been going since 1830 and is now in Warren Street. It published its own play scripts, which was a good […]

London Trivia No.3: The Duke’s Step

After his victory at the battle of Waterloo the Duke of Wellington returned to London covered in glory. The city was ready to erect statues to him, but what he really wanted was some steps to help him get back onto his horse after a massive carb-heavy lunch at his club. Here on the kerbside in […]

Quiet Truths

In the latest issue of Black Static, writer Steven Volk argues that the most talented creative people in history have been introverts, the problem being that now, success is measured in extroversion and bombast. Films, TV shows and books survive on sensation and revelation instead of containing the small, quiet moments that hold universal truths. […]

Google This

Simon Allford, of the architectural practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, says that the new £1 billion Google building to be constructed in King’s Cross, will “articulate a conversation between the world within and the city beyond”. Google, famous for not articulating a conversation between its accountants and the UK tax laws, is constructing the building […]

It’s A Snowday!

So Admin has gone to play. First I’ll make a ‘King’s Cross Death Angel’ (you do this simply by attempting to cross the road), then it’s a commuter snowball fight – only no using broken glass or knives this time! Finally I’ll make a ‘snow corpse’, and hopefully it will turn out better than these… […]

Unlisted London

Over the years, London listings magazines have sent me to abandoned factories in Docklands to watch opera, empty office buildings for secret cinema, Brixton gigs with superstar headliners trying out new material, stand-ups in pubs before they were famous, readings, events, happenings, one-night-only fringe charity benefit shows, pop-up art installations, markets, clubs, restaurants (remember the […]

Nipper Dies

Someone was so upset in Bristol that they left a floral tribute at Nipper’s foot. In London, the film crews arrived as the vultures descended on the last sale. HMV – His Master’s Voice – the British high street chain that had survived for nearly a hundred years had gone into liquidation. I went to […]

And As If To Prove My Point…

…That a handful of characters have become overused TV brands, like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, and every year delivers another crate of old wine in new bottles (See ‘How Crime Novels Took To The Straight And Narrow’, below) Sam Mendes has announced that he’ll direct a “psychosexual” horror TV series featuring Dracula and Dr Frankenstein, set in […]

Bad Films Can Be Good But Really Bad Films Are Awful

Having just ploughed through all of the BAFTA-nominated films this year (and a great many that weren’t) I’m surprised that so many of them were merely good rather than excellent. ‘Argo’ and ‘Dark Zero Thirty’ both played havoc with the facts to produce decent enough entertainment; the former is leavened by its Hollywood old boys […]