Top of the Form? At grammar school in Guildford, I was in the shooting eight and won the Queen's Hundred, that is, was in the 100 best shots at Bisley that year. I became company sergeant-major in the corps for a short time.
Glittering prize? I won the Powell Essay Prize with an essay on Wilfred Owen. This was slightly marred by the fact that I was the only person who went in for it.
O-Levels? My highest marks were in English (Language and Literature). I also passed History, Spanish, French and Art, and I scraped through Maths. Like almost the entire class, I failed Latin; we had to take it again in the autumn (in autumno), when I scraped through.
A-Levels? I failed French and passed History. I just scraped through English, although it was my best subject; the teacher had given us the classic talk about reading the rubric, but in the Shakespeare paper I did four questions in a section requiring only two - and two questions in a section needing four.
University? I read English at St Edmund's Hall, Oxford. To what degree? A second. Not a good second or a bad second but a middle second. Technically, I don't have a degree as I never collected it because at the time I didn't have the 12 quid it cost. I discovered later the council would have paid for this.
Further qualifications? No, although I've had some awards for programmes. In my first driving test I went over a zebra crossing with an old lady on it; I passed second time.
And now for something completely different? I'd like to read some more history. Also, I've learnt Italian off BBC tapes listened to in the car; I came out at the end with a terrific Italian accent because, unlike French which I was taught by English people, I've only ever heard Italians speaking. I have no comprehension of the vocabulary, though, and wouldn't want to sit an exam in itReuse content