DJ Taylor

David John Taylor is a British critic, novelist and biographer.

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DJ Taylor: There are a few Soho watering places where veteran bohemian Liza Radley and her cronies are still welcome

The world was a great deal younger when Liza Radley first came to lodge in Shepherd Market, London W1. Soho – just a few hundred tantalising yards away to the east – was Soho then, Carnaby Street had yet to be discovered by the Sunday supplements, and living legends were visible on every corner: Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon drinking in the Coach and Horses, and Paul Raymond's chauffeur-driven Roller cruising down Shaftesbury Avenue. Nowadays the place is full of Japanese tourists and there are expensive restaurants where the Italian delicatessens used to stand.

Boris Johnson didn’t get where he is today by being abstemious

Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised

DJ Taylor: It is a year since Georgie was taken out of her expensive west London girls' school

'Good day at college, darling?" Mrs Craddock enquires as her 17-year-old daughter slopes nonchalantly into their substantial house somewhere off Clapham Common. "Not so bad, mum," Georgie replies with one of her trademark beatific smiles.

Literary culture: From Super Thursday to the book dump bin is not that far

But away from the hype, serious readers seem to be surviving remarkably well
Glaswegians were none too impressed with the talents of Morecambe and Wise

Here's a funny thing. Localism is alive and well in British comedy

A report has found sharp regional differences in what amuses us – long may that continue
Life as we know it

DJ Taylor: Glamour, as Mrs Quiggin often reminds herself, is rarely delivered on a plate

Life as we know it: No 24, Sammi Quiggin, Glamour girl

DJ Taylor: Roger's fixation with his alma mater may be found in nearly every department of his not especially eventful life

There are several oddities about fat, gone-to-seed, forty-something Roger Strivens. One of them is the fact that he looks at least 10 years older than his actual age. Another is his habit of turning up to work in a distinctively patterned salmon- and-azure tie. A third is his tendency to draw further attention to this adornment by taking off his jacket, the better to reveal the colour scheme in all its outlandish glory. But it is a very rare visitor to the insurance office in which he labours who recognises the garment for what it is – the old boys' tie of Selhurst.

Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was a scion of old-school aristocracy which is still bound by the concept of ‘noblesse oblige’

How has the British aristocracy survived so well?

The Duchess of Devonshire's death reminds us that the nobility, against the odds, is still going strong
Good old days? Social justice had real meaning for those who lived through the war

Social justice is political pie in the sky

Everyone talks about it, but no one seems to know what they mean by it, let alone how to achieve it

DJ Taylor: Café bore Mr Stallybrass likes to take his time, and there is always plenty of time to take

The Marmalade Café, Richmond, opens for business at 9am. Mr Stallybrass is not usually the first customer to sail through its art nouveau-styled doorway, neither is he generally the second or the third, but it would be an exceptional moment in the establishment's history were he not to be there by 9.15am, pork-pie hat jammed on the back of his head, stout walking boots leaving a little trail of dirt over the well-brushed carpet and a copy of the Telegraph tucked under his windcheatered arm.

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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past