Category Archives: Germany

How should broadcast news journalists interview and talk about extremists?

Over the weekend I spoke to veteran ex BBC journalist Robin Lustig, Berlin correspondent Damien McGuinness for an insight into Germany’s media and Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s 2012 senior strategist for 2 articles I wrote for The Guardian and The … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, journalism, Media, Politics, Radio, Religion, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ladybird books: Constructing the future past of modern Britain

I used to visit a beloved university English professor  and his wife. He had won the Military Cross for hand to hand combat in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 but never talked about the terrible things he’d seen. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children, Culture, Design, Environment, Germany, History, Media, Uncategorized, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Bryan Singer on: Chariots of the Gods, Valkyrie, Star Trek & the mythology of X-Men Apocalypse

Here’s my full interview with the very well-read Bryan Singer on X-Men Apocalypse. We talked the Bible, classic Star Trek, the 60s vogue for theories on space seeding aliens, and why the Holocaust is a presence in so many of … Continue reading

Posted in Comics/graphic novels, Film, Germany, History, Media, Science Fiction/Fantasy, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Teen Within…

This week’s Something Understood gives voice to people who I reckon are rarely heard on radio. Teenagers. The readings are all done by young actors and much of the music and poetry you’ll hear was written by them, or about … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children, Culture, France, Germany, History, Media, Music, Radio, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Where are all the women refugees?

A version of this column first appeared in The Big Issue magazine in September 2015 One of the strange realizations of being on the Channel 4 series It Was Alright In the 1970s was, when they showed me clips, how … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, Politics, TV | Tagged , , , , , , | 47 Comments

The Iran hostage crisis, the Stasi and why the past cannot be left behind

I ate my first Passover Seder meal recently, as a guest of Rabbi Jonathan Romain at his synagogue. I had had the ingredients and their symbolic meaning on the seder table memorized since that sheet Miss Thick gave me to … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and Justice, Germany, History, Religion, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Transience: Clocks, Voyager & Potsdamer Platz

My programme for this week’s Something Understood on BBC Radio 4 is about transience: the fact that all things must pass. It begins in the clock room of the British Museum, where time is made physical by its embodiment in … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Germany, History, Radio, Religion, Science | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Drag Queen Tombola and other tales of cross dressing glory

This column first appeared in The Big Issue magazine. I was once asked what was the best night out I ever had in London. My husband, thought I’d say it was that romantic night we went to the National Theatre … Continue reading

Posted in Comedy, Culture, Film, Germany, Theatre, TV, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An embroidered insult to Hitler: A story about hand made things

My Something Understood for BBC Radio 4 this weekend is all about hand made things. You can listen to a clip of here. And the whole programme here. As well meeting a carpenter  who makes fossil-inspired objects about of ancient … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Design, Germany, History, Radio, Religion, Uncategorized, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Summertime and how to reclaim your inner teen

The heat of a real summer does funny things to your memory. I find myself instinctively wanting to wear pastels, frosted eyeshadow, roll the sleeves up above my elbow and go to the cinema for the nth time, to see … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Film, Germany, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged | 7 Comments