Browsed by
Month: February 2008

The stories of cruelty and abuse emerging from investigations at the former Haut de la Garenne children’s home in Jersey are terrible and harrowing, so I feel dreadful pangs of guilt when I have to stifle a laugh every time a report is broadcast. What’s so funny? Well, the police chief in charge of the excavations is called Lenny Harper. Every time his name is mentioned, I expect a pipe-cleaner thin Scottish woman with spiky hair to pop up and…

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Thursday was a bit crap, one way and another. I had a job interview in the morning, at which the panel spent far too long asking me about something I had pronounced myself largely ignorant of on the application form. When the expected ‘No thanks’ phone call came in the afternoon, explaining that my deficiencies in this particular area were what had cost me the plum role, I was momentarily too flabbergasted to do anything but say “Thanks for letting…

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Just when I was about to post about the social menace of the MP3 phone, the Urban Woo beats me to it. They are truly horrible things. I fear I’m part of the last generation to place a premium on high-fidelity audio. Moving from vinyl (yes, I know the arguments about audiophile vinyl, but how many teenagers can afford a Bang and Olufsen rig?) and cassette to CD was a moment of glorious liberation, but the yoof of today seem…

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I’ve paid farewell to the London Library. My membership lapses at the end of the month and I’ve returned all of the books I had on loan. The parting is not without sadness. I’ve spent a fair bit of time there over the last 5 years, working first on my history of the record industry, then on my soon-come history of light entertainment. Their collection is unrivalled, except by the British Library, but the London Library lets you take the…

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Like many television enthusiasts (all male, obviously), I have a tendency to record programmes that I never get around to watching. In my case, it’s simple forgetfulness and lack of time. One close relative, however, uses 3 VCRs to record a vast amount of material, almost all of which is then labelled and filed, unviewed. Only when others ask him ‘did you see…?’ or a laudatory review appears does he dig the tape out and watch the programme. If the…

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