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Me & Will Gompertz riffing on Hull




If you click on the above link you will hear BBC arts editor Will Gompertz on his new Five Live arts show Heat Map, during which he invited people to discuss the City of Culture….it gets quite heated and the notion of Gompertz drawing attention to a crisp packet outside St Paul’s is mentioned.

Lively though, which is what arts chat should ALWAYS be, it was a pleasure to be asked on. And no, I’m not going to be taking my clothes off for Spencer Tunick, as the subsequent coverage in the Hull Daily Mail explains….

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Don’t worry, be happy

Last week I interviewed Michael Mosley, who is a self confessed grump, for the Radio Times, about a new series in which he tries to stop being a pessimist and start being a bit more positive. The interview is in the Radio Times this week (cover story actually, she says modestly!) but in case you have inexplicably lost your copy, here are the top tips he gives for all round optimism….
  Dos and Don’ts for a happier mindset, by Dr Michael Mosley Read More…

Solitary bliss in Naples


I’ve just had one of the most extraordinary and memorable visits to a museum. Ever.This week, we were on holiday in Naples…we had a free morning, and I slipped away to go up to the Museum Capodimonte in the former royal hunting park on a hill above Naples. I had heard it would be good…I had no idea quite how good. Read More…

A day in Newcastle (pet)


So, here I am in Newcastle and this is the view from my hotel room window. Twenty years after living here, I’ve been sent to report for the Telegraph on how it’s changed. The transformation is astonishing. All the tumbledown areas by the Quayside have been transformed into flats, or new business quarters, or restaurants. Or the Law Courts. There is no Disco Boat bobbing on the Tyne. Instead, on the opposite bank is the giant Baltic and the beautiful shiny Sage concert hall, which looks like some sort of oceanic shell-like creature. Read More…

The joys of high fat low carb

Yes, I have just finished the first tranche of the Educogym diet. I’ll be writing it up for the Lady next week, but just to say that after losing nearly 6lbs and 3% body fat I feel amazing. Read More…

The requirements of the Mail

This is really a response to Anna Blundy’s  truthful and brilliant  piece

About how women journalists are encouraged to dig within their souls for the Daily Mail and find a guilty heart of darkness which probably wasn’t there in the first place. Read More…

A Collapsing Industry

This is what everyone calls it. As in “I’m working in a collapsing industry”. Or simply “It’s over.” Is it? And if so, what on earth are all we hacks going to do, save what we are doing now, namely spinning round working harder and harder for less and less. Everyone’s talking about it. With quite good humour however. Read More…

Iguana Tonight


Alright, so it goes like this. “Do come over for dinner tonight, Rosie. We are cooking a Guyanese delicacy.” Pregnant iguana, no less. A speciality for July and August, apparently, because the female iguana is full of eggs, slow and easy to nobble with a gun. Isn’t that a bit unfair,I suggest? Cue general laughter. Read More…

Welcome to Wild Guyane


This trip is getting stranger and stranger – a bit like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole. Take the familiar French DIY chain Mr Bricolage. Totally ordinary, everyday, suburban. The Gallic version of Homebase. It has transformed itself in my view. First, it was on the front of a giant shed selling barbeques and paintbrushes. Then, it was festooned on the sail of a Martiniquais ‘yole’, or crazy sail boat with no steering other than six or so logs onto which the sailors have to perch, dangling several feet above the water. The boat is sponsored by Mr Bricolage, you see. Now we are in Guyane, South America, what do you know but our friend Mr. Bricolage pops up again – this time within the context of a deep Amazonian forest, with giant butterflies, vultures and mosquitos the size of helicopters. Read More…

Growing my hair

Alright, flattery has done it. To those nice people who stay up late and watch This Week. I’m growing my hair.

Does it make any difference to what I say? Probably not, but you know people apparently only take in 20% of what you say on TV. The other 80% is taken up with noting hair, fashion, etc etc.