Category: “Arts

Two nice surprises, sad end to day

Posted on 26 June 2009 | 9:06am

Two nice surprises yesterday, three if you include the speed with which The Spectator backed down and apologised, as per yesterday’s blog. First, speaking at a conference I fully expected to be a bit of a drag, but really enjoying it. Second, bumping into someone on the train back – most of you will know (of) […]

Glad to find Eric Cantona in a quiet cinema …

Posted on 24 June 2009 | 12:06am

Finally got to see ‘Looking for Eric’, the Ken Loach film starring football legend Eric Cantona as a fantasy life coach helping a struggling Manchester postman.  My son and I saw it in a near empty cinema, which was sad for the film’s takings but great for me, as noisy neighbours in cinemas is one […]

Budgets, Balls, billionaires and Susan Boyle

Posted on 19 April 2009 | 12:04pm

It is the normal fate of Chancellors, on the Sunday before a Budget, to see the newspapers plastered with predictions of its contents. Today, you have to work well into the inside pages before finding out what Alistair Darling may or, more likely given how tightly the Budget is held, may not, be thinking. Instead […]

On the pipes and what makes a Scot

Posted on 10 April 2009 | 11:04am

Ok, ok, I give in (to my Twitter followers and Facebook friends) and will explain recent bagpipe tweets. Along the way I will muse (blog and vlog) on identity.  I’ve been up in Scotland making a film for Scottish Television about bagpipes. It is part of a series STV are doing later in the year […]

The Damned United

Posted on 28 March 2009 | 10:03am

I liked it, though not as much as I was hoping to. My sons said much the same. My partner and daughter weren’t that keen to come, which suggests in the build up the message has been football, football, football, rather than incredible story of extraordinary period in the life of remarkable human being. First things […]

Farewell favourite restaurant, hello hometown

Posted on 22 March 2009 | 8:03am

Nice but sad evening out last night. Nice because we saw old friends – my first Mirror editor Mike Molloy, his wife Sandie and daughter Kate. Sad because it was the last time we will go to our favourite restaurant. We have been going to La Casalinga in St John’s Wood High Street for thirty […]

Private advice to Peggy Mitchell – the leaked note in full

Posted on 7 March 2009 | 8:03am

I knew politics was sometimes dirty, but I cannot believe what has happened. Some dastardly sort has leaked to The Sun a private note I wrote to Peggy Mitchell as she continues her campaign for election to Walford Borough Council. An edited version appears on Page 8 of the paper today.  There has to be […]

Notes on the environment, a role in EastEnders

Posted on 4 March 2009 | 10:03am

As an obsessive speller, I was horrified to see that in twittering on a speech I did on the environment yesterday, I mangled the word environment into ‘environmenent.’ I blamed this rare mis-spell on the fact that my tweet was about John Prescott, and I was therefore suffering from Subconcious Wordmangling Syndrome. Then someone pointed […]

Inside the chocolate factory

Posted on 28 February 2009 | 10:02am

I thought I knew North London fairly well. So whenever I’ve seen ‘The Chocolate Factory’, I’ve always assumed I knew what it was. Indeed, as we parked the car before last night’s fundraiser for Hornsey and Wood Green Labour Party, saw it was taking place next to the Chocolate Factory, and Fiona asked ‘what’s The […]

Me, Dermot and ten top songs

Posted on 23 February 2009 | 10:02am

Good response on Facebook last night when I slipped in that D:Ream‘s ‘Things can only get better’ was one of my ten songs when I go on Dermot O’Leary‘s Time Capsule programme on Radio 2 tomorrow night. It is the first of a new series, and I really enjoyed deciding which records to choose. I […]