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Author Archives: Paul

It’s never going to happen.

British society has been wonderfully enriched by the culture of India and South Asia. So much so that Chicken Tikka Masala is considered Britain’s favourite dish. Yet, no matter how many times we’re told that Bollywood is “the next big thing”, we’re not that interested. Bollywood is already a big thing – an phenomenally big […]

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The not so Royal Family.

Prince Andrew, Fergie and their two daughters. Andrew’s choices always seemed unwise. His ex-wife, to put it mildly, never had the dignity of a Duchess. Her former boyfriend’s chalet in Verbier was known as Cocaine Castle and her nickname back then was “Lollipop”. Years later, I was at a dinner for a charity of which […]

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Yesterday was National Album Day.

So of course, due respect was given to the best-selling examples. On a countdown on Radio 2, we heard (yet again) Sgt. Pepper, Thriller, Dark Side of the Moon and Rumours. Like millions of others, I’ve bought all these albums twice. Once on vinyl and again on CD. They’re all great but I was always […]

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I had to turn the radio off.

I couldn’t bear the sound of John Wilson on Radio 4 fawning over Elvis Costello. Not because “Elvis” is boring, pompous and overrated but because he called Ray Charles a “blind, ignorant n*gger”. Google it. I’m not making this up. Can you imagine if Donald Trump had said that? Or Jim Davidson? The hypocrites who […]

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Whatever happened to fast food?

For the first time in about fifteen years, I went to McDonald’s. I hadn’t eaten all day and was starting to get “hangry” so a Big Mac and fries seemed a quick and perfect cure. McDonald’s had changed dramatically. It’s now more like Argos. You place your order at a touchscreen digital kiosk, you’re assigned […]

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I’ve been driving a Prius.

I loathe the Toyota Prius. But more than that, I loathe anyone who drives one. It was the first popular electric hybrid and is driven as a virtue-signalling emblem of eco-piety. Even worse, the Prius is also the Uber driver’s vehicle of choice. They seldom know where they’re going and dawdle aimlessly around, gazing in […]

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National Poetry Day….

….was on Thursday but on Wednesday, I found myself working with Lemn Sissay, one of our the finest contemporary poets. Read his books, listen to his recitations, find his Desert Island Discs on iPlayer – however you discover and absorb his work, you’ll find it a truly enriching experience. I’m afraid I’m a bit of […]

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Always know where the door is.

Advice for life which someone was kind enough to impart to me many years ago. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, a boring party or awful pub – always work out how you can escape. I thought of this when I went to Wigmore Hall to see Joshua Redman – virtuoso saxophonist whose version of […]

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The only other person I heard say “Gertcha”.

Was my Grandad. I remember him saying it whenever his displeasure was incurred. Which was quite often. My sister remembers him uttering some other words, mostly beginning with F when she was with him on the No.52 bus and he forgot to ring the bell. His vocabulary could be quite mysterious. At bedtime I remember […]

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Chris Evans to leave Radio 2.

Why on earth would he do that? He has the biggest radio show in Europe with nearly ten million listeners. Why would he go to Virgin Radio, a tiny digital-only station with about 5% of that listenership? There is, of course, this mischievous and completely baseless conspiracy theory. Virgin Radio is owned by News International […]

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