Tag Archives: books

No Mr Bond, I expect you to cry.

This column (updated since it appeared in The Big Issue last week) explores whether old James Bond films can still be enjoyed in a more feminist, more racially equal society. And then Danny Boyle put him at the heart of … Continue reading

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Call Me Sir: Ben Kingsley, Fifty Shades of Gray and Victorian erotica

A tech journalist once told me that if watching tv on your mobile phone was such a great idea, loads of people would have been walking around with a primitive giant tv on their brick sized phones long ago. By … Continue reading

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Aliens, abortion and baby machines: HG Wells & John Wyndham

Woman’s Hour ran a fascinating interview today with novelist Kishwar Desai, about India’s burgeoning  surrogate baby industry. Her exploration of this massive business (an estimated 20,000 babies produced  each year) seems to differ from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale only … Continue reading

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Don’t Go There, Lady

I wrote to journalist and future doctor Lucy Mathen as a child when she presented Newsround. More than 30 years later we met. I wrote a feature about it for The Guardian. And as a result of learning about how … Continue reading

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Half Blood Blues: Jazz, race and Nazis.

When I worked in Berlin in 1998 the trendy record store in the city’s gay-friendly Schoneberg district had a category called “schwarz”(black) music. It took up a lot of the shop and seemed a bizarrely useless generalisation, given the huge … Continue reading

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New York Fever: Strutting with Travolta

This is a talk I gave at the British Film Institute last night at the launch of a new book series on World Film Locations in major cities. The books pick 1 key scene and its locations from each film … Continue reading

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From Roots to Amina: A history of the well-meant liberal hoax

The liberal hoax for a “good cause” has a long tradition. Most bizarre in Tom MacMaster’s defence of his long and increasingly reported fake identity as Amina Arraf, an imprisoned lesbian Syrian blogger, was his claim that he was challenging … Continue reading

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The Truth About The Jam Generation (80s remix)

Since David Cameron claimed class war anthem “Eton Rifles” as one his Desert Island Discs, many political journalists seem to have bought the argument that they are “The Jam Generation”; the subject of a recent Radio 4 series. It seemed … Continue reading

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Whose Bible is it anyway? A discussion on the King James version

After all the celebrations for the poetry and power of the King James Version, I chaired a rather more revisionist public panel discussion for the Royal Shakespeare Company on March 9th. In the atmospheric setting of the Stationers’ Hall, off Ludgate … Continue reading

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When I Lived In Groovy Times – an interview with the Novelist Linda Grant

I spent a fascinating afternoon with award winning British writer, Linda Grant, this week, discussing her timely new novel, We Had It So Good, (published January 20th 2010) about the babyboomer generation and going through photos she’d dug out for my news cameras, to help analyse … Continue reading

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