Arts and Entertainment

It’s odd how many collaborative teams wrote sparkling comedy together but not drama; John Wells teamed with John Bird for a series of inspired political duologues called “The Long Johns”, which managed to predict the seriousness of the banking crisis, while John Fortune and John Wells found common ground to produce a now-forgotten surreal comic masterpiece.

Fortunately, I have always been famously feisty

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold

Would Madam like to be grilled or soft-soaped? In the wake of Frost vs Thatcher, Paul Vallely marks the interviewers

It was, his critics would undoubtedly observe, a classic David Frost opening. "We were once, you and I," he told Lady Thatcher, "together at a performance of Sunset Boulevard." It was a piece of archetypal Frostiana - cosy, fawning, name-dropping with its implied sense of "We're equals, you and I and Andrew Lloyd Webber."

Thatcher: The Frost Interview

TV Review

The Lady could have returned

A former minister reads between the lines of Baroness Thatcher's memoirs

HOWWE MET: MURRAY SMITH AND FREDERICK FORSYTH

Murray Smith, 54, was born in Glasgow. He left the Camer- onian Scottish Rifles to join Grampian Television, later becoming a reserve officer in the Special Forces. Apart from writing extensively for television, he has written two novels. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and their children. Frederick Forsyth was born in 1938. He did National Service in the RAF for two years, then went into journalism. In 1970, he published the bestselling Day of the Jackal; in 1994 he published his ninth novel. He lives in Hertfordshire with his second wife and two sons from his previous marriage.

The VE day gag that never made it

REVIEW

IT'S TOO LATE TO STOP NOW

Drugs, sex, pop and the dream of world peace. Will there ever again be a decade as innocent - or as silly - as the Sixties? RICHARD NEVILLE, editor of Oz, was among its greatest orchestrators and chroniclers. In this extract from his new book, Hippie Hipp

GINGRICHISM OF THE WEEK

The Speaker of the House of Representatives to David Frost on formative childhood influences:

NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL : Vase tie rouses Raunds

Raunds Town step out of the shadow of their wealthy Northamptonshire neighbours, the upwardly mobile Beazer Homes League club Rushden and Diamonds, when they make their first appearance in the last four of the FA Vase tomorrow. They entertain Arlesey Town, from Bedfordshire, in the first leg of their semi-final tie.

Norman suffers

Southern Africa powered to a 61/2-11/2 lead over Australasia yesterday on the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Challenge in Johannesburg.

THE GOOD, THE GREAT & THE UGLY No 96. Ned Sherrin

I see Ned Sherrin is presenting the "Nibbies" this year. What on earth are they? They're awards for people in the book trade: booksellers, publishers and so on. They're spiffing little objects in the shape of a nib, hence the name.

Can Dimbleby kebab John Major?

Question Time is a BBC TV current affairs discussion programme with a studio audience, presented by a man called Dimbleby, in which the audience initially poses questions to politicians and he follows up.

Who's the toughest of them all?

Brian Walden asks nearly twice as many tough questions as David Frost. That, anyway, is the view of Dr Peter Bull, a psychology lecturer at York University who has closely studied the political interview. He has identified 35 separate verbal tech niques used by politicians to evade questions. Now in his latest unpublished research he has measured the comparative toughness of different interviewers. The table gives the proportion of each interviewer's questions that are "tough". Dr Bull classifies a question as tough if all possible response options would put the politician in a negative light in some way in the eyes of others.
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