Interviewing Michael Crawford, getting a bit weepy together for the love of our Nans

A long time ago – well, 1982, to be precise – I got on a number 38 bus from the Bakers Arms in Leyton with Gladys, my Nan. One of those women of a particular generation who had grown up in the East End listening to the cut-glass accents of the announcers on the BBC.Continue reading “Interviewing Michael Crawford, getting a bit weepy together for the love of our Nans”

Stop reading Shakespeare right now! Sir Ian McKellen says so!

Nobody knows William Shakespeare better than Sir Ian McKellen. The veteran actor has played all the leading roles, from Romeo and Hamlet to Macbeth and King Lear – so it is a shock to hear him declare that the way the plays are taught in many schools is wrong – and most of us shouldContinue reading “Stop reading Shakespeare right now! Sir Ian McKellen says so!”

Okay Dave, now where’s the rest? Asking David Cameron about his money

When I interviewed David Cameron just before the election in 2010, there was one question that nobody else had asked him, because it was a bit unorthodox. It also seemed to me to be self evident. He was clearly a very rich man who stood to inherit a great deal more, but he was alsoContinue reading “Okay Dave, now where’s the rest? Asking David Cameron about his money”

Zaha Hadid: Farewell to the Starchitect

Sad to hear of the sudden death of Dame Zaha Hadid, superstar of architecture, design genius and hugely formidable character. We met in her London office just before the 2012 Olympics, for which she designed the magnificent Aquatic Centre. Here is that encounter, as it appeared in The Sunday Telegraph, in tribute to a womanContinue reading “Zaha Hadid: Farewell to the Starchitect”

“Killing Steven Hawking would not be good!” Richard Branson on dyslexia, fidelity & taking his mates to space 

Tough guy to interview, Sir Richard Branson. He’s polite, smiles a lot, gets down to it quickly without any small talk and comes up with snappy answers most of the time, with an ear for a good quote, but you often get the sense it’s just another brief encounter for a man whose life isContinue reading ““Killing Steven Hawking would not be good!” Richard Branson on dyslexia, fidelity & taking his mates to space “