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Author Archives: Paul

The reason we’ve never forgotten this.

Every pop fan of a certain age can remember Bowie doing Starman on Top of the Pops. His androgynous alien persona was like nothing we’d ever seen before and when he put his arm round Mick Ronson to sing the chorus, our parents went into meltdown. David Bowie wasn’t just talented, he was also shrewd, […]

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Lulu turns 70.

Unbelievable. If you’ve ever seen her in real life, you’ll know that she looks about twenty years younger. Though I also think “Only 70?” She had her first hit in 1964 with Shout but she was only 15. By the time she was 20, she had her own prime time show on BBC1 but by […]

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Two things I’ve never done.

Lit a firework or owned a pet. The first because I’m terminally clumsy and would never have made it to adulthood with a full complement of fingers. The second because I just don’t understand why anyone would want to own a dog or a cat. I know – millions of people do, and they all […]

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RIP PY.

Peter Young, one of my all-time favourite broadcasters, died yesterday after a long illness. The DJ’s DJ with a dry sense of humour and a phenomenal knowledge of music, PY presented the Capital Countdown on Saturday mornings, counting down London’s best-selling singles. It was usually quite different from the UK Top 40. Reflecting London’s musical […]

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The wisdom of Everett.

I saw Bohemian Rhapsody last night, the Freddie Mercury biopic. Pretty dismal – apart from Rami Malek’s electrifying portrayal of Freddie – but it reminded me of something I’d forgotten. When Bohemian Rhapsody was released, the BBC said it was too long, too complex to be a single and refused to play it. The British […]

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The original Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton won the World F1 title for the fifth time yesterday but the first Briton to do so was Mike Hawthorn in 1958. Having retired from motor racing, he was killed in a road accident the following year. In the 1980s, there was a programme called The Rock’n’Roll Years. Brilliantly simple format: News footage […]

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One of the most remarkable ads I’ve ever seen.

Not for its idea but for what it was advertising. Double Page spread in the Evening Standard for Billy Joel at Wembley Stadium in June 2019. Run that past me again. Double page spread. Billy Joel. Wembley Stadium. In eight months’ time? I love Billy Joel. I saw him at the Hammersmith Odeon around 1990 […]

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Hoover and Radio 2.

In the 1980s, Hoover were in trouble. They had two UK factories – one in Perivale, West London and one in South Wales. The Perivale factory was successful and profitable but the one in South Wales was a nightmare. The workforce were always on strike and the whole plant was haemorrhaging cash. Hoover couldn’t afford […]

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Thursday.

Always my favourite day of the week because as a children because it meant both Top of the Pops and Blue Peter. Britain’s all-time favourite kids’ TV programme celebrated its sixtieth birthday last week. I was lucky enough to catch it in the 1970s when it was presented by the Holy Trinity of Valerie Singleton, […]

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I’ve quit my job.

Until yesterday, I was working on the tills at Sainsbury’s in Muswell Hill. Along with practically every other customer of the store. For years, we’ve been manning the self-service checkouts and we weren’t even getting paid. Not any more. I’ve handed in my notice. If we all quit our zero-hours, zero-salary jobs, greedy supermarkets will […]

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