The Living Wage

Alexis plays football for a living. He has come a long way from the dust bowl in rural Chile where he grew up to the spectacular Emirates Stadium in London, where he plays for one of the world’s richest teams. He lives in a plush home, drives an expensive car and earns £180,000 a week.Continue reading “The Living Wage”

Tony Blair ignored six wise men who warned the invasion of Iraq would bring disaster. As we wait for Chilcot, they speak out again

Tony Blair had a cough. He looked sick, pale and exhausted. “Don’t tell me it is going to be bad,” he said to the six men he had summoned to see him in Downing Street as war loomed. “Tell me how bad it will be.” Read on

Hold me close: Omar Puente & the late Debbie Purdy, the greatest love story it has ever been my privilege to tell

There is one woman whose story has touched me the most in all the years I have been interviewing people; one couple whose immense love has been the greatest privilege to witness. The death of Debbie Purdy has just been announced, and the headlines are calling her a campaigner for the right to die. So sheContinue reading “Hold me close: Omar Puente & the late Debbie Purdy, the greatest love story it has ever been my privilege to tell”

June Brown, all alone in Dot Cotton’s kitchen

Strike a light, this is strange. Dot Cotton is in her kitchen, sucking on a fag and talking into a tape machine, recording a message for her husband, Jim, who is paralysed and unable to speak after a stroke. The hardest thing, she says in a trembling voice, “is the thought of you being there…Continue reading “June Brown, all alone in Dot Cotton’s kitchen”

Saying goodbye to Bartley Gorman, bareknuckle boxing champion of the world

The new heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is said to be related to a legendary figure called Bartley Gorman who was for decades the bare-knuckle champion of the world. I was at Gorman’s funeral in 2002, a day that lives long in the memory. This is what I wrote at the time.