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Author Archives: Paul

“We’re” now in the Premier League.

I support QPR. It’s like being born with a congenital defect that I put there myself. I could have opted, like most of my classmates, for Arsenal, Tottenham or Chelsea – all relatively local – and enjoyed moments of joy amidst the pain but no. I picked the nearest team to where I was born […]

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Oh Happy Day.

Still thinking about the triumphant joy of last Saturday’s Royal Wedding. Harry and Meghan were fantastically fortunate with the weather, as the pomp and splendour of Windsor in brilliant sunshine were captured forever on a million smartphones. Best of all, the myth of “racist Britain” was elegantly exposed. I’d guarantee that there was barely a […]

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I’ve tried and I’ve tried but….

….I know I’ll never get into The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Yes, I can appreciate that Douglas Adams was a genius. And John Lloyd, his collaborator on The Meaning of Liff (which really is genius), is a great friend of mine but this stratospherically successful series has always left me cold. To celebrate its […]

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Making Arrangements.

I’ve always loved this underrated gem, but it was only when I heard it the other night for the first time in decades, that I realised why. It’s the arrangement. No guitar, no bass, no drums, no keyboards, in fact none of the usual components of a Top Twenty hit. Just a string quartet and […]

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The Jazz Singer.

To Cadogan Hall to see Kurt Elling on Saturday night. He and his band were superb. Last time I heard a jazz vocalist this good was probably Curtis Stigers at Ronnie Scott’s. Though whenever I think of Curtis Stigers, I always think of Frank Skinner complaining that the great singer hasn’t yet been asked to […]

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Ray, Ray, Super Ray…..

…..Super Ray Wilkins. Any footballer whose chant is so straightforward and complimentary is clearly adored by the fans. And Ray Wilkins, who died yesterday aged just 61, was adored everywhere. Best remembered for his years at Chelsea, Manchester United and England, he captained all three sides. But, in the autumn of his career, he captained […]

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Apparently, I’m Jewish.

Family get-together over Easter at which my eldest sister – always good for a story – disclosed this startling bit of news. Our grandmother – my mum’s mum, was adopted as a child in the early 1900s. Her real family were, according to my sister, Ukrainian Jews who’d fled the pogroms. And since Judaism is […]

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Oh, Christ. He’s done it again.

Not the great Professor Stephen Hawking, who died this morning but his “biggest fan”, Peter Stringfellow. Today, the self-styled lord of the lapdance paid an emotional tribute on Twitter to “Professor Stephen Harking”, which brought to mind an interview with Stringfellow in which he claimed his favourite book was A Brief History of Time by […]

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A suspiciously short marriage.

Sir Ken Dodd died this morning 48 hours after marrying Anne Jones, his partner of more than 40 years. Doddy must have known the end was nigh and, at 90, he must also have known that he and Anne were unlikely to celebrate many, if any, wedding anniversaries. So why the deathbed wedding? It could […]

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Who are these people?

Yesterday, I happened to catch Simon Mayo’s drivetime show. It was All Request Friday which always provides a fascinating glimpse of the Great British Public. They phone in for their requests from the M6 en route to the Lake District or to Bill and Shirley’s ruby wedding party for whom they want a big “shout […]

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