I heard it through the grapevine

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Gladys Knight doesn’t have pancreatic cancer and isn’t on the verge of dying, whatever the hysterical press coverage of Aretha Franklin’s funeral might say. This is wonderful news, as I’m going out of my way to see the Empress of Soul perform in Hyde Park next week. I wasn’t always a fan, but after stumbling upon […]

All mouth and no fingers

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This blog post is quite a departure for me, because I’m dictating it. It’s the first day of the UK financial year, so I splashed out on something I’ve been eyeing up for a while: Dragon NaturallySpeaking dictation software. The seed was planted in January, when I listened to a podcast by the highly successful […]

Judging my book by its cover

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I Googled myself last night. It had been a while since I’d heard from my publishers, and my English diffidence prevents me from sending them a ‘hey, what’s happening?’ email. Part of me suspects that an email of theirs has vanished into the ether. Anyway, I was keen to learn whether my forthcoming book, George […]

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time

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World premieres don’t often happen in my hometown, and yet tonight, the BBC showed the Doctor Who Christmas special Twice Upon a Time at Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre. Wait, did I just call it a premiere? I did that on Twitter earlier and a Who fan objected, pointing out that it was “a public screening […]

The night I heard Tony Blair swear

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It’s 25 years to the day since I heard Tony Blair say “fuck”. I’d never heard a politician swear before, let alone a future prime minister, and it’s stayed with me ever since. I was a would-be local hack at the time. A student on Darlington College of Technology’s 10-month journalism course, employed by the […]