Latest articles:

Madonna: Justifying My Love Radio Times August 12th 2023

The Empress Waitrose Weekend 656 July 13th 2023

Theatre Trust column Waitrose Weekend 655 July 6th 2023

It was 60 years ago today… schoolboy’s tape of the Beatles transports us to an era of optimism Observer April 9th 2023

Hamnet Waitrose Weekend 642 March 23rd 2023

Why are we still obsessed with witches? New Humanist Spring 2023

The Mousetrap Waitrose Weekend 640 March 9th 2023

The BBC is not always easy to love: Ten years of presenting Newswatch (Radio Times Dec 2022) (click to read below)

What can Britain learn from South Korea’s soft power? New Humanist Winter 2022

I covered Princess Diana’s death – here’s what it was like: NBC Today Show online interview (August 31st 2022)

Nichelle Nichols tribute: Radio Times (August 2022) – below

My Pop Life – Classic Pop magazine (June 2022)

Live From Mars – Prof Brian Cox interview Radio Times (Jun 11th 2022) below:

Deep Deception: spycops and policing without consent – New Humanist (May 2022)

Generation Change – Radio Times (May 14th 2022) below:

GDST Magazine Alumna of the Year interview (April 2022)

Was moral campaigner Mary Whitehouse ahead of her time on porn? – BBC News Online (March 5th 2022)

Was Mary Whitehouse right? (Radio Times March 5th 2022) – below

Guardian Q&A (January 22nd 2022) – I gave the V-sign to a rude driver – it turned out to be a police car

Mary’s War (New Humanist Winter 2021/22) – Feature on Mary Whitehouse’s campaign to stop humanists getting on Thought for the Day

A Moment That Changed Me: how a ‘death knock’ taught me about grief, respect and truth (Guardian November 2021)

Hugh Quarshie interview Radio Times August 28th 2021

Good times with… Samira Ahmed Good Housekeeping Magazine July 2021

Our national need for grief: On pandemic funerals New Humanist Summer 2021

Working with the enemy: Political alliances in the age of the culture war New Humanist Spring 2021

It’s a funny old world column Woman’s Weekly March 9th 2021

Creativity in a time of crisis: (New Humanist Autumn 2020 issue)

Encore! The battle to raise the curtain again (Good Housekeeping October 2020 issue)

Woman and Home (September 2020 issue) – Article on children and critical thinking via old tv

New Statesman diary Aug 28th 2020 issue

The Art of Being Persian: Financial Times (Jun 13th 2020)

Run for Director General of the BBC? Maybe next time: Observer interview (Jun 7th 2020)

The Class of 2020 – Covid 19 and school leavers: New Humanist Summer 2020 (May 26th 2020)

 The struggle for equal pay, no-platforming Selina Todd  and sympathy for Priti Patel: New Statesman diary (Mar 11th 2020)

The trailblazing elder stateswomen of rock: New Humanist (Dec 2019)

Iran showed me what we have lost: New Humanist (Aug 27th 2019)

Rediscovering Doris Day: National Science and Media Museum blogpost (Aug 7th 2019)

Vintage designs and Abram Games’ Dream of a Better Future: New Humanist (May 22nd 2019)

Carry on Blogging: interview (Mar 19th 2019)

The show that shaped me: Newsround – (Broadcast Now Mar 11th 2019)

Real pain lies behind the fiction of true crime dramas (The Guardian Feb 25th 2019)

Learning from the good old days: Can nostalgia have positive uses? (New Humanist Spring 2019)

The women who love mummies (BBC News Online Feb 2nd 2019)

The lure of ancient Egypt is a way to revitalise faded industrial towns (The Guardian Jan 21 2019)

Book review: Another Planet (Mail on Sunday Jan 20th 2019)

Take the power back: theatre, film and art in the age of anger (New Humanist Nov 2018)

Book review: Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy (Mail on Sunday Sep 30th 2018)

Book review: Germaine Greer’s On Rape (Mail on Sunday Sep 9 2018)

Who has the right to remember? (New Humanist autumn 2018)

Emotional Ties (You magazine, Mail On Sunday Jun 3 2018)

How elite networks shape our society (New Humanist Summer 2018)

Songlines magazine (April 2018) interview and CD track picks

Why the science fiction of my youth is disturbing me again (New Humanist Spring 2018)

Men Only (Radio Times Feb 2018)

Are we a nation of right royal racists? (Mail on Sunday January 2018)

Little House on the Prairie: Still a haven for young fans (BBC News website Dec 10th 2017)

Little House On The Prairie and its contested legacy (New Statesman Dec 1st)

Horror behind the Prairie tales  (Mail on Sunday Nov 26th 2017)

Who’s afraid of diversity in education? New Humanist (Winter 2017)

Justin Trudeau’s Star Wars socks: A brief history of Dude politicians  (The New European October 10th 2017)

In the 1970s culture wars it was Hugh Hefner versus feminism (Guardian Oct 2 2017)

The 90s were a brilliant decade to be a young woman (The Pool Sep 2017)

Chain of Command: How the office lanyard took over corporate culture (New Statesman July 21st 2017)

Big Issue column

Total Recall: Richard Hatch SFX magazine (Jul 2017)

My week: from rediscovering John Ruskin and imagining HG Wells to chasing down a hero New Statesman (Mar 2017)

Forget Smartphones – the Nokia 3310 is still the mobile of the future (Guardian Feb 2017)

How to interview extremists – Guardian (Nov 2016)

Hollywood’s reputation on the line over diversity – BBC News analysis of Oscar boycott (Jan 20th 2016)

To suburban British-Asian kids like me David Bowie was an unexpected hero – (Guardian Jan 12th 2016)

David Bowie: From kitchen sink to Starman (Little Atoms Jan 11th 2016) – on Bowie’s favourite books

Is Zoolander 2 like “blacking up”? (BBC News Nov 25th 2015)

The young ex-Muslim Britons persecuted for being atheists (BBC News Magazine Sep 28th 2015)

Did Dickens invent time travel? (BBC Culture Jul 28th 2015)

Celebrity Masterchef blogpost (BBC blog Jul 7th 2015)

The Bomb Foreseen: Was HG Wells the first to think of the atom bomb? (BBC News Magazine Jul 4th 2015)

How the Bomb changed everything: The Atomic Bomb and the imagination (BBC Culture Jul 2nd 2015)

The girlification of Lady Penelope (The Apr 14 2015)

Branagh: From Shakespeare to Cinderella (BBC News Online Mar 31 2015)

Are the rich winning a cultural class war? (BBC News Online Feb 2015)

Who was Oliver Cromwell’s Fundamentalist Queen? (BBC News Magazine website feature Dec 2014)

Widespread sexual abuse in Rotherham has caused outrage but little action  (Guardian Oct 2014)

Rotherham: We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to race over the Rotherham abuse scandal (Guardian Aug 2014)

This article was also quoted in The New Yorker  (Sep 4 2014)

In celebration of the “unknown” Arnold Bennett (BBC News feature Jun 2014)

Spitting Image: Still biting after all these years (BFI feature Feb 2014)

GameCity prize fight: How do non-gamers decide the best game of the year (interviewed in The Guardian) (Jan 2014)

Defending the right to be offended: article for Index On Censorship magazine on free speech, comedy and religion (Jan 2014)

From Frog Pistols to Freud: the making of the Mind Maps exhibition (Science Museum blogpost) (Dec 2013)

John Waters exclusive interview (BBC News Online) on the joy of filth, the horror of censorship & why some porn is obscene (Nov 6th 2013)


Doctor Who: The Legacy Collection – contributor to DVD extra documentary on Being a Girl – the women of Doctor Who

Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos special edition -narrator on DVD extra documentary The Idiot’s Lantern about  Doctor Who and television


World Film Location: San Francisco – contributor (published by Intellect July 2013) on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

World Film Location: Chicago – contributor (published by Intellect Feb 2013) on Adventures in Babysitting, Straight Talk

World Film Locations: New Orleans – contributor (published by Intellect April 2012) on Walk on the Wild Side

World Film Locations: New York – contributor (published by Intellect Sept 2011) on Saturday Night Fever, The Best of Everything, Pillow Talk

No Woman’s Land: On The Frontlines With Female Reporters  – contributor (published by INSI) March 2012

Recent articles

How I did in my A-levels, by people who made it in life, anyway Guardian Aug 15th 2013

I don’t want to be a submissive wife: Single Muslim woman on dating Guardian feature July 15/16th 2013

A life spent telling children stories – Daily Telegraph interview with Joy Whitby Feb 1st 2013

Children’s TV veteran reflects on career – BBC News website features on Joy Whitby Jan 31st 2013

The child-sized gap in our TV schedules Guardian comment Jan 29th 2013

The super elite clubs of ex-Marys Guardian feature on Nativity play casting December 18th 2012

Guardian Comment piece on the decline in German A-levels August 17th 2012

The enduring appeal of Warhammer 40K and fantasy tabletop gaming (BBC Website) March 13th 2012

The Guardian on QWERTY keyboards and typing (January 24th)

The Spectator Coffee House blogpost on the FilmClub charity in schools (December 8th)

The Observer first interview with outgoing Cabinet Secretary Gus O’ Donnell (December 4th)

The Guardian on the ageing audience of Radio 1 (November 9th 2011)

The Guardian on NATO’s 10 year feminist experiment in Afghanistan (October 7th 2011)

The Guardian on racism in the 70s, Newsround and me (September 29th 2011)

The Guardian on Uderzo’s retirement from Asterix (September 29th 2011)

The Independent on mourning the end of the Space Shuttle. (July 18th 2011)

Comment piece in The Independent on Glencore flotation, sexism and shareprices. (April 26th 2011)

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