The next Poet Laureate Simon Armitage went on a walk, leaning on the hospitality of strangers and saying poems out loud for his keep. I went with him. The wandering poet is exhausted. “It’s hot out there,” says Simon Armitage, his famously boyish fringe plastered to his forehead by sweat. His cheeks are red withContinue reading “Walking with Simon Armitage”
Watching the movie 1917 reminded me of meeting Henry Allingham. He saw WG Grace bat. He saw the battle of the Somme from the air in an aircraft made of wood, cloth and wire. He was the oldest man in the country when I met him in 2007 and he lived to be the oldest man in the world, dying just over a year later at 113.
Softly, with a voice that is still clear after all these years, Dame Vera Lynn begins to sing. “For a little bit of heaven fell, from out the sky one day …” She is 97 now and rather frail, the light from the window making a halo of her finespun white hair. But some ofContinue reading ““When they talk about the war, will they remember me?” A last interview with the remarkable Dame Vera Lynn”
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”
“Go to see the body of Nelson Mandela lying in state,” the editor of the Sunday Telegraph said. “Tell us what it all means.” What was it like? Overwhelming.