One Minute With: Michael Wood, historian
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm in our office in that little warren of streets around Smithfield market. I can see across the rooftops to St Bartholmew's church.
What are you currently reading?
When I go home in the evening I tend to read things in completely different areas. I've been enjoying [translator and scholar] David Shulman's wonderful diary of South India ['Spring, Heat, Rains']. And I have re-read two books by the Arab poet Adonis. He wrote an amazing book about Sufism and Surrealism. And Laurie Maguire's 'Helen of Troy: from Homer to Hollywood'.
Choose a favourite author and say why you like her/ him
I really love the modern Greeks, such as CP Cavafy. I love the conjuring of the ancient world in the modern... His articulation of the sensibility of the pre-monotheistic world is just fantastic.
Describe the room where you usually write
At the kitchen table, in a large Victorian room looking out over a garden with huge chestnut trees. When they're in blossom with the candles, it's like a white waterfall.
What distracts you from writing?
Radio 4; and the news, if it's exciting, either on the computer or TV.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
In Shakespeare's plays, I tend to identify with slightly marginal and peripheral characters, like Enobarbus in 'Antony and Cleopatra' - people caught up in great events.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
I've been making these documentaries for 30 years and have clocked up 100 so far. There's still as great a thirst to know. I call them the "dear audience" – the dear, intelligent general public who watch these kind of shows and read these kind of books.
Who is your hero or heroine?
Shakespeare – in terms of who I'd like to have an evening with in the pub. Not that he'd tell anything about himself!
Michael Wood's book of 'The Story of England' is published by Viking; the series continues on BBC4 and BBC2
Arts & Ents blogs
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
The opening titles squeal ‘Never Can Say Goodbye…’. Oh Lord how I wish I could heave this series off...
Coronation Street triumphs over EastEnders at British Soap Awards 2013
The Hangover III star Heather Graham: I'll miss playing a sexy stripper because my real life is pretty boring
Hollywood practices random acts of red-carpet kindness
Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
Cannes Film Festival 2013: And why exactly are vous here?
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.