Tag Archives: elitism

Filth, fury and the funny way Britain feels about Joe Orton

You never forget your first time. I was 19 years old. I descended into a dark, cramped basement where student actors brought to life a weird, twisted sexual triangle. Going to student drama productions in odd spaces around the University … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Crime and Justice, Culture, Film, Media, Radio, Theatre, TV, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Smashing Time: Murray Melvin on busting taboos in the 60s

 This is one of the most read pieces on my website but the link had stopped working so I’ve re-posted it here. The interview is still available to listen on the iplayer One to One link just below. For the … Continue reading

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What If…? HG Wells, Arnold Bennett and your alternative future

It is early January in a new century and a group of  technicolored-Victorian gentlemen are awaiting the return of their friend from the future. I’ve always loved the 1960 film of HG Wells’ The Time Machine. Drawing inspiration from the … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Film, History, Politics, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

LBJ and JFK: Assassination & the struggle for power

“The King – the President – is dead. The King has a brother. The brother hates the Vice-President. You have a really Shakespearean struggle for power here.”  Robert Caro, Lyndon B Johnson’s biographer talking to me about the assassination. It … Continue reading

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Oh What A Lovely War Commemoration!

Recently the Prime Minister  spoke of his hopes that events  to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War would be a “commemoration that, like the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, says something about who we are as … Continue reading

Posted in Comedy, History, Media, Music, Politics, Radio, Theatre, Uncategorized, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Murder, Mirth and Care Bears: The uses of an Oxford English degree

Photo copyright and courtesy of: Ian Fraser at Virtual Archive Writing for news bulletins, writing for standup comedy, writing murders for tv drama, writing for comics and fantasy gaming novels. These were some of the uses to which a group … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Comedy, Comics/graphic novels, Culture, Education, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Poor Cows and Angry Young Men: 50 years of Kitchen Sink Drama

The director Ken Loach and the theatre critic Michael Billington remember the dawn of the 60s well. “The 50s weren’t bleak and depressing,” spluttered Loach, listening to art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston explain the grim postwar era that spawned the new … Continue reading

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The Politics of Spin: Beware the bland bomb

Image copyright & courtesy of www.barrydbulsara.com “I’m not sure it says government is crap,” said Armando Iannucci recently, of his political satire The Thick of It. “I think it says the people in government are crap.” Nowadays politicians and their … Continue reading

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Triumph of the Eastern Will: How the Olympics came clean about winning

A version of this article originally appeared in The Big Issue Magazine By the time you read this a couple of weeks will have passed since the end of the London 2012 Games. The Paralympics are about to start. Politicians … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, Sport, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Taste Of Honey: 50 years on

I’m an extraordinary person! There’s only one of me, like there’s only one of you. We’re unique! Young! Unrivalled! Smashing! Bloody marvellous!” (Jo and Geoff in A Taste of Honey)  “Now? We’d probably have to make it via reality TV.” … Continue reading

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