The thing with two heads

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The Hexham heads. It’s a phrase I’d never heard until last night, when I attended a show called Scarred for Life. Actually, I may have heard it before, in February 1976 when I was seven. But if I had, I’d repressed it, such was the trauma of hearing werewolves discussed as a real-life phenomenon on […]

Bonding with Mr Moneypenny

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A quick shout-out to my latest client, Elite Business magazine, which has got me back into the feature-writing game after years of wall-to-wall editing. The mag recently commissioned me to interview one of the UK’s most successful businessmen: Ed Reeves, one of the co-founders of Moneypenny. This award-winning company is, to quote my article, “the […]

10 ways to play Winston Smith

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In the beginning was the book: George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, published 8 June 1949. Eleven-and-a-half weeks later, on 27 August, American radio broadcast the first adaptation, starring David Niven as its much put-upon hero, Winston Smith… although, given the rape-and-murder fantasies he admits to, maybe we should call him an antihero. Winston’s a complicated guy, […]

The PJ O’Rourke principle

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the American satirist PJ O’Rourke recently – in particular his funny, acerbic travel books, which I became fond of in the nineties. I tend not to bother with travel articles, because (a) they’re usually aimed at well-off families and (b) you can almost guarantee that stories about the developing […]

Paperback writer

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Well, that’s it. I’m no longer just a journalist, I’m an internationally published author. My book George Orwell on Screen is out and people are reading it. I can only speculate on what, if anything, this means for the rest my life. I’m writing this on Sunday, 23 September, nine days after an editor at my […]