Monthly Archives: March 2015

Right Material, Wrong Venue

When the Royal Opera House opened an original new work about Anna Nicole Smith, some audiences expressed horror at the choice of subject matter for such an august venue. Personally, I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than sit through another dusty production of ‘La Traviata’. It’s not because I haven’t enjoyed it before – […]

Something Strange Is Happening To What You Watch

In the century since the major film studios first settled in Hollywood, audiences have never demanded more video than they do today. In 2014, we watched an average of 163 hours of video content per month (17 hours more than in 2007). But despite the proliferation of content, consumption and access, the value of the home […]

Working For Your Lunch

The ever-prescient Londonist recently pointed out the average cost of a working Londoner’s lunch; a conservatively-estimated £830 p.a. And if you factor in visits to Pret A Manger you can add a few more hundred quid to that bill. Then you’ve got the choice of dining ‘al desko’ or trying to find a free square of […]

Best Photographic Books On London

There are now so many volumes of photographs of London it’s hard to know where to start. I tend to avoid books of the staple shots that crop up again and again, and go for something with more of an individual point of view. A number of picture libraries have released their photographs, and these […]

Two Oxfords

I did not go to university. My grades were good enough to secure an excellent placement, but ultimately it was my decision not to go. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the many writers who had started by honing language in advertising, then move into journalism. During that journey, I fell out of […]

What’s The Long-Term Plan For London?

  Above, behold; London’s air pollution. If you’re visiting take a tip for the Japanese and bring a mask. Last month, the Chancellor and the Mayor announced a long-term plan for London. In essence, this consisted of the following wishlist: Secure London’s strong economic future by outpacing the growth of New York, adding £6.4bn to the […]

Bryant & May Today – And For Christmas

Alma rose and tidied away the tea things. ‘Why don’t you get your mind off all this morbidity? Come to church with me this evening.’             ‘You never give up, do you? I’m not that desperate for something to do,’ Arthur Bryant replied, dusting crumbs from his stained waistcoat. ‘Besides, I remember what happened the […]

How Much Should Writers Expose about Themselves?

I’m currently doing a blog tour and finding it refreshing after years of doing regular press interviews. Instead of some poor exhausted journo trying to file ten stories in one day and not having had the time to even read your book jacket, let alone the book, I’m being asked intelligent and interesting questions by […]

Well, Here’s A Surprise!

So you thought I’d got rid of them… This Thursday sees the publication of ‘Bryant & May: The Burning Man’, my twelfth novel in this series – but it won’t be the last. This coming Christmas there’s actually going to be a brand-new SECOND Bryant & May book in a single year, and it caught […]

His Name Became An Adjective – Now His Work Has Been Saved.

In America it’s a Rube Goldberg contraption, but here, predating Goldberg, it’s always been – and remains – a Heath Robinson contraption. I seem to have a great many books by the magical Mr Robinson and loved them as a child. Now hundreds of pictures by the illustrator who became a byword for eccentric, ingenious […]