Simon Armitage: My Week in Media

Interview by Sophie Morris


Last week I watched...

I've been in Cornwall and Paris this week, which has slightly skewed what I normally do. I have watched both episodes of the new series of The Apprentice [featuring Alan Sugar] and they've been fantastic. I think it's a genius idea to take 16 egomaniacs all talking business babble and then try and get them to sell fish as a team. It's a really appealing, winning formula, for all its staginess. Some people can't help exhibiting their inner demons. I watched BBC World in Paris. It's a really peculiar station. It's not expat telly exactly, but it does demonstrate an odd view of what Britain thinks it is: slow-moving, repetitive, and cheap.

Last week I read...

At home I never buy a paper, but when we're away I get a paper religiously, sometimes two or three. The Independent, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph – any of those that used to be big and floppy. The story I've been following more than anything is the one about Sophie Lancaster and Robert Maltby, the two goths attacked in the park in Bacup [Lancaster later died].

I'm slightly fixated on it, for all sorts of reasons. They seemed to be love's young dream: perfectly happy and independent and thoughtful people, and the violence came out of nowhere, because they were different. I always look at cartoons. Steve Bell's in The Guardian the other day was Robert Mugabe as a small man in a very big suit, which he had disappeared through the neck of. I think Bell's brilliant, especially when he uses language.

Last week I listened to...

I usually get all my news from the radio. Radio 4 and Five Live are pretty much on and off throughout the day, but the reception's a bit erratic down here, so I haven't been able to hear whether Evan Davis has been any good on Today. I read in the paper yesterday that he's got pierced nipples and that his nickname within the BBC is Tinsel Tits, which I've not been able to get out of my mind. I'll listen out for jingling noises when he's reading the news.

Last week I surfed...

I have quite an odd relationship with the internet as when the computer is on I'm working, and I'm wary of sliding into some big black holes of surfing. I do buy a lot of music online from iTunes. I've got the new Elbow album, which has been on pretty much constant rotation for a week or so.

'Gig: The Life and Times of a Rock-star Fantasist' by Simon Armitage is published by Viking

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