"I must go to bed now as we have an early start in the morning," wrote 12-year-old Joyce Henderson in her diary on 31 Aug 1939. "Tomorrow, I become an evacuee and it's all because of something called war."
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Sunday 22 November 2009
You do see some sights in Hammersmith, where I live. Just yards from my front door this morning was someone dressed as Pudsey Bear, holding a big bucket.
Saturday 07 November 2009
Didn't you know? ... the nation's favourite bedtime story was yesterday revealed to be The Gruffalo. Although the black tongue, orange eyes and poisonous wart on the end of its nose might be enough to induce nightmares, Radio 2 listeners declared it was the best story for children heading to the Land of Nod.
Thursday 05 November 2009
There are times when the whole of BBC radio seems in the grip of one vast, unstoppable wave of reminiscence, like some garrulous granny of the airwaves whom no one likes to interrupt. Nostalgia is the order of the day. Here's just a small list of things people have been nostalgic about this week. The Berlin Wall. The M1 motorway. The BBC's Maida Vale studios. Victorian photography. Izal lavatory paper. Yes, lavatory paper! The nasty, hard, shiny kind. Incredibly there was an entire programme about this on Radio 4, Now Wash Your Hands, which examined how Izal was made, how it was good for writing on and playing with a comb. What it actually felt like on the skin. What feelings were aroused by its coal tar aroma. You can keep your madeleines, Marcel Proust. Here in Britain, we get misty-eyed over medicated loo roll.
Thursday 22 October 2009
Sunday 13 September 2009
Much grousing around BBC water-coolers about the appointment of Will Gompertz as arts editor.
Saturday 01 August 2009
An elderly acquaintance of mine went to the trouble of arranging to see his local MP the other day, something he'd never done before. He's not ill – he's in fine fettle, in fact – but still he fears the legalisation of assisted suicide.
Fiona Sturges: Does gender explain my immunity to Bruce Springsteen's songs of cars, bars and women called Mary?
Friday 26 June 2009
He is the working-class hero, the champion of the underdog, the everyman in search of the American Dream. His place in the pop canon is irrefutable, his name mentioned in the same breath as Tom Waits, Neil Young, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. He's a born showman, a consummate storyteller, a principled poet. So why is it that Bruce Springsteen leaves me cold?
Saturday 06 June 2009
By Tuesday morning, media intrusion of grieving relatives at Paris's main airport had become so intensive that Air France felt obliged to send a message to editors: please keep reporters and camera crews away from the hotels around Charles de Gaulle.
Wednesday 18 February 2009
Monday 05 January 2009
A "shocking new trend" in bullying was revealed today as figures showed more than 3,000 children were suspended from school for sexual misconduct.
Monday 15 December 2008
Saturday 15 November 2008
Say what you like about Radio 2: it remains consistently the best listen of the BBC's national radio networks, not least the excellent Jeremy Vine programme on weekday lunchtimes. On Thursday, his 1pm debate was on the concept of child-free flights. It soon morphed into a tirade against inconsiderate flyers who recline their seats without regard to the passenger behind, nor their meal/drink/laptop. But the central question posed by Vine – "Could child-free flights be a popular and profitable venture?" – set me thinking about whether, and how, it would work.
Friday 31 October 2008
Lesley Douglas, who resigned last night from the BBC, was not only the most powerful woman in British radio, she was also, in the view of some, the most influential person in this country's music industry.
Saturday 18 October 2008
Monday 01 September 2008
Mr Justice Eady, whose verdict in the Max Mosley privacy case has cast the whole of our red-top press into limbo, guards his own privacy pretty well. His Who's Who entry doesn't mention any recreations (presumably not S&M) or even his address. Yet, the Mosley decision could have a devastating effect on papers like News of the World, which rely on sexual disclosures as a large part of their raison d'être. Isn't there a public interest in knowing more about the man who has cast such a gigantic shadow over the commercial fortunes of our popular press?
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