Following David Bowie Home

A journey through South London a few days after the death of David Bowie in January 2016, following a pilgrimage he had made himself, in secret, back to the places where he grew up. I wrote about this for The Independent on Sunday but here’s an updated version, now that we are a year on.  IfContinue reading “Following David Bowie Home”

“When they talk about the war, will they remember me?” A last interview with the remarkable Dame Vera Lynn

Six years ago I went to the home of Dame Vera Lynn and listened to her sing along to recordings of her younger self. As far as I know, this was the last in-depth interview about her life that she ever gave. Softly, with a voice that is still clear after all these years, DameContinue reading ““When they talk about the war, will they remember me?” A last interview with the remarkable Dame Vera Lynn”

The cooks, the thief taker, the Olympians & the survivor

‘Tis the season to look back, apparently, so I’ve been looking back on some of the interviews I’ve done this year for the Sunday Telegraph. They include the cooks Clarissa Dickson-Wright and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall neither of whom cooked me anything, unfortunately. A nice piece of cake was offered by Cormac Murphy O’Connor, former ArchbishopContinue reading “The cooks, the thief taker, the Olympians & the survivor”

‘The Beatles were lucky to get me’ Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr looks at a photograph of his young self and laughs. ‘We didn’t know what was ahead of us. You never do. We didn’t think it would last.’ The black-and-white image shows the Beatles in suits in the early Sixties, waiting to appear on a television show. He’s not sure which one. Paul is whistling, GeorgeContinue reading “‘The Beatles were lucky to get me’ Ringo Starr”

‘I apologise to Britain’ Jools Holland

Jools Holland broke one of the great taboos in 1986, by telling the viewers – live at tea-time – to tune in or be ‘ungroovy fuckers’. There was uproar and he was suspended. Times change. A few years ago a poll of broadcasters named it among the 50 Most Gripping Moments In British Television History. YouContinue reading “‘I apologise to Britain’ Jools Holland”