Tag Archives: London

When Cathy met Ken: Revisiting Cathy Come Home in Brexit Britain

The other night I watched Ken Loach meet Cathy – or rather the young actress Elle Payne, playing Cathy in a Cardboard Citizens’ staging of his 1966 landmark TV play Cathy Come Home. The production featured many actors with experience of homelessness. … Continue reading

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Up the Wellington Arch with Beatrice the Angel of Peace

English Heritage are doing a cleanup on the largest bronze sculpture in Europe – the quadriga of the Angel of Peace by Adrian Jones. Note the war booty in that chariot and the mixed message of the olive branch in … Continue reading

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I Dressed Ziggy Stardust – revisited

I Dressed Ziggy Stardust is getting a re-broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturday afternoon. Here’s a bit about why: When I pitched I Dressed Ziggy Stardust to Radio 4 back in 2012 there was nothing more to it than a … Continue reading

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Leaving home: The 60s and getting out

The roots of this Sunday’s Something Understood for Radio 4 are in one song – The Beatles’ She’s Leaving Home and one time: the 1960s. Over the course of the decade young people found greater opportunity through a huge growth … Continue reading

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The curious idea of museums

This article originally appeared in The Big Issue magazine. Journalism worth paying for. What are museums for these days? Are collections passé? Northampton City Council’s decision to sell off an ancient Egyptian statue to fund a museum extension, after striking … Continue reading

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Arnold Bennett: Edwardian Superstar

All photos (except film still) copyright Samira Ahmed. No re-use without permission These are photos taken on location for Arnold of the Five Towns, my Radio 4 documentary about why this hugely popular and successful writer has fallen from fashion … Continue reading

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God, & grubby hacks: The view from Fleet Street’s Church

All photographs copyright Samira Ahmed. No reuse without permission Step off Fleet Street, opposite the silver and chrome glory of the old Express building and the leaning wooden frame of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub and you’re back several hunderd … Continue reading

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Mr Selfridge & the book bound in human skin

Selfridge’s window display 1920s (www.shopdisplays.net) Writer Arnold Bennett was a well known celebrity in London by the 1920s and often recorded his encounters with the rich and powerful in his journals. This one has stuck in my mind. Not sure … 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

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Making a splash with the Modfather

This article first appeared in The Big Issue: journalism worth paying for. Subscriptions here if you can’t buy from street vendors. Did I ever tell you about the time I found myself in the pool with Paul Weller? This is … Continue reading

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