Monday, 21 January 2013

Death and a Toe-rag

The death of a celebrity is seldom the occasion of any personal reminiscences on my part, since I don't know any celebrities. At least, not as the term is commonly understood. The fact that in 1998 I conducted what I believe was the last ever interview given by Johnny Moore of the Drifters means a great deal to me, though I suspect his name rarely troubles the lips of the 3 A.M. Girls.

I did, however, encounter Michael Winner, whose death has just been announced.

A few years ago, one of the murder dinner parties that I write for Paul Lamond Games called for the inclusion of a DVD, and Winner was booked as the guest star.

He behaved like an arse, making a loud, complaining entrance, even though it was apparent that we in the middle of a take with the main actor in the piece. He also proved to be a completely dreadful actor. He did, though, deliver the lines as written. And it gave me some pleasure to hear him doing several takes of a very brief script which included him dismissing one of the characters with the epithet: 'Toe-rag.'

Happily, we don't have DVDs in these games anymore. So your chances of buying one and inadvertently encountering the ghost of Mr Winner over dinner are greatly diminished.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Parish Notices

Things were supposed to get easier once I'd submitted the manuscript of my book on the 1990s, but as it turns out, everything's still a bit hectic.

Apart from my proper work (the stuff that pays a living wage), I've been engaged this week on various things that will emerge over the next couple of months. In chronological order, then, here's some notes for my diary:

On Saturday lunchtime, I'll be in Islington for Crunch the News, along with people who are younger, funnier and cleverer than I am: Helen Lewis, Nadia Kamil, Josie Long and John Luke Roberts.

On Friday 15 March I'll be doing a talk at Glamourama!, an event being staged in connection with the Glam exhibition at the Tate Liverpool.

And at some as yet undetermined point, I'll be on the fine television show Flog It with Paul Martin, talking about the work of Harry Hammond. Incidentally, the exhibition of Harry's work is still on at the V&A, where I gave a lunchtime lecture last week. My thanks to Bryony Smith, who invited me to speak there.