Browsed by
Month: January 2009

Doing the authorial self-absorption thing on Amazon, I noticed that one bookseller had a ‘collectible’ copy of my first book for sale. Curious to see what made it so, I clicked on the link and found the following: “Signed by the author with a dedication; ‘To Elkan with thanks for his help on the follow-up. Regards, Louis Barfe.’ (written in attractive hand-writing). Excellent book in very clean solid order. Dispatched immediately.” The Elkan in question is Elkan Allan, former head…

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The BBC is by no means perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got in terms of broadcasting. Radios 2-4 and BBC4 justify the licence fee, IMHO, and anyone who argues otherwise obviously wants to spend the rest of their lives eating dinner with a vast number of plastic coffee stirrers. This Gaza appeal business highlights the problem the BBC currently faces, which is, to put it bluntly, damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. In the past, the BBC…

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In the course of researching my two books, I’ve recorded a large number of interviews. Each recording is an irreplaceable document of a fascinating and illuminating conversation. Mercifully, the overwhelming majority of those interviewed are still with us and still readily contactable, but the passings of Angela Morley and Stewart Morris, as well as those of Hugh Mendl and Sir Bill Cotton last year, have prompted me to listen to a few of the recordings again, and to make sure…

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Reasons to mourn Sir John Mortimer, number 984: “For Rumpole, I thought of Alastair Sim, but he was dead and couldn’t take it on.”Reasons to mourn Sir John Mortimer, number 985: “Sport brings me out in a rash.” Also, a nice line (paraphrased) from Neil Kinnock: some criticised him for not knowing right from wrong, but he knew justice from injustice. A light’s gone out.

Right, let’s be proactive and halt the trend of excellent people popping their clogs. Between us, I’m guessing that myself and the readers of this blog must have the home numbers and email addresses of quite a few elderly celebrities. So, let’s all make the effort and get in contact to make sure they’ve all got their heating on and a tartan blanket over their legs.

Tony Hart’s gone. God’s turban and tutu, how many more? In tribute, here’s Lucas and Walliams’ finest moment, with sterling support from Paul Putner:

At last, a birth to document. A dear friend, who’s interviewed more authors than I’ve had hot dinners as well as writing a couple of books himself, has started a blog about the life of a man of letters in cash-strapped London town. Visit my fellow flaneur at Libradoodle.

All things considered, it’s been a bastard of a week: we’ve lost Stewart Morris, Angela Morley, Patrick McGoohan, Ricardo Montalban and now Sir John Mortimer. Has anyone unpleasant and/or useless died during the same period to help redress the balance?