The day I met Barry Norman

When I was growing up I used to tell people that my career ambition was to be Barry Norman. At the time, I was a teenage pupil at a north London school for girls; Barry Norman, who died yesterday aged… Continue Reading →

Italian in London and American in Paris

Last week, an Italian waitress in a London branch of Wagamama gave me some advice about learning her native language. “The grammar is hard,” she admitted, “but the vocabulary is easier than English”. As if to prove her point she… Continue Reading →

Billy Joel: boxing clever

Since I got a portable record player for Christmas 2016 I’ve been transported back to the music of my teenage years, when Billy Joel was my doe-eyed, bouffant-haired pop idol. I bought Billy Joel’s fifth album, The Stranger, soon after… Continue Reading →

Great British Menu or great British ego trip?

Great British Menu is rapidly becoming my favourite comedy show on the Great British TV Channel otherwise known as BBC2. Last night, finals week of Great British Menu turned into Great British Blacksmith, as one of the contestants found a… Continue Reading →

Divorce is no laughing matter

Sky claims its new HBO comedy Divorce is “following the slow unwinding of a marriage”. But the pilot episode seemed to be heading in the direction of a shotgun divorce for Frances (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Robert (Thomas Haden Church),… Continue Reading →

Our Brand is Crisis

In the cinematic equivalent of a busman’s holiday, I took a break from tedium of the EU referendum to watch Our Brand is Crisis – a movie about cynical electioneering. While we’re talking buses, I should probably warn you that… Continue Reading →

The Brexit debate is a tissue of lies

It’s taken me a few weeks, but I’ve finally found the perfect use for the Government’s much criticised EU referendum leaflet. As you can see, I’ve upcycled it into this very attractive Brexit loo roll. Of course the Brexit roll… Continue Reading →

Victoria – reckless youth and a roving camera

A night out clubbing in Berlin takes a detour into armed robbery in Victoria, a heist thriller that’s been attracting rave reviews for its innovative, single-take camerawork. But despite a great central performance and a few heart-stopping action sequences, I’m… Continue Reading →

High-Rise delivers Brutalism and bloodshed

Fans of Brutalist architecture and man-of-the-moment Tom Hiddlestone will find plenty of visual stimulation in director Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise. The star of The Night Manager sheds his clothes, daubs himself in blue paint and caresses the gorgeous concrete surfaces of… Continue Reading →

The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

After four episodes, The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story seems to be distinctly lacking in gravitas. I love TV legal dramas, but I would have expected a real-life story about a horrific double murder to be a bit… Continue Reading →

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