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Author Archives: Paul

The people of Watford.

My school was in Wealdstone. But because it was one of London’s last Catholic grammar schools, its catchment area was huge – stretching all the way from Kilburn to Watford. Lots of pupils journeyed in from Watford, and they were slightly different from the rest of us. It was as though they came from a […]

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What is it about the name ‘Jeremy’?

I thought this when watching Hugh Grant’s wonderful portrayal of Jeremy Thorpe – lying, scheming but charming former leader of the Liberal Party. There are a disproportionate number of people called Jeremy whom huge swathes of other people seem to loathe. Jeremy Clarkson, Jeremy Corbyn and now Jeremy Kyle. The name carries that whiff of […]

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Danny Baker.

I’ve known Danny for years; my wife used to be his agent. He’s not without his faults but he’s one of the funniest, kindest, most generous people you could wish to meet. He’s been all over the papers this week because he’s been sacked (again) by the BBC. This time for posting a “racist” tweet […]

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“Unbelievable!” Part 2.

Just when we all thought nothing could top Liverpool’s unbelievable victory over Barcelona in the Champions’ League semi-final, Tottenham repeated the feat 24 hours later. If anything, their triumph was even more astonishing. With nothing like Liverpool’s European pedigree, they too trailed 3-0 on aggregate but an injury-time leveller against Ajax in Amsterdam made it […]

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“Unbelievable!”

Along with “absolutely incredible”, they were the words employed to describe Liverpool’s magnificent 4-0 victory over Barcelona last night, overturning a 3-0 deficit from the 1st leg to shoot through to the Champions’ League final. It was an unforgettable night and this anthem was obviously the soundtrack to some of the most joyous and triumphant […]

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Who supports Bury?

Someone must, but it’s hard to imagine who. If you grow up in or around Manchester, surely you’d pledge your allegiance to either United or City. At a push, maybe Oldham who have at least played in the Premier League. Or perhaps Bolton whose stint in the top flight was much longer, more recent and […]

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Soper’s survives.

Last week Debenhams announced plans to close 22 more stores, though I’m surprised they’re still going at all. Debenhams has somehow survived the advent of shopping malls, retail parks and the Internet but who still goes there? The stores have neither the prestige of Selfridge’s nor the solid reputation of John Lewis but 116 branches […]

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The thing about Sir Mo Farah….

….is that, despite being one of the world’s greatest and most celebrated athletes, he’s never broken a world record. Not once. Ever. In my head, I’d confused winning Olympic golds in 2012 and 2016 at 5,000 and 10,000 metres with smashing the world records of both. But no, he’s never held the world record in […]

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Mustn’t grumble.

No, really. Mustn’t grumble. We’re enjoying the fourth day of the sunniest, warmest Easter holiday on record. So it’s good to pause and reflect on that. It’s all too easy to remember the countless cold, wet, miserable Bank Holidays we’ve all had to endure. So in the interests of balance we need to remember this […]

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The only traditional “Sunday” of the year.

Is today, Easter Sunday. On the other 51 Sundays, the shops are open. Today, On Muswell Hill Broadway – it was just like 1976. Unusually hot, unusually quiet and every retail outlet closed except for the Asian corner shop. Nothing demonstrates how the UK has changed since my childhood than Sunday. Did it make me […]

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