Paul Merton

Observations: The sound of silents

Alfred Hitchcock's close collaborations with soundtrack composers are the stuff of movie legend, but the accompaniment to one of his early works is shrouded in mystery.

My Secret Life: Lynne Truss, writer, 55

The house I grew up in ... was a council house near Richmond in Surrey, on an estate built in the early 1950s. I shared a bedroom with my older sister. For some reason I used to think it was a good idea to pile books at the bottom of my bed, and they would fall on the floor in the night, which annoyed everyone.

Revved up: Richard Coles, a very modern vicar

Heavens! Drugs, speedboats, documentaries promoting homosexuality – the Reverend Richard Coles' journey to the seminary is enough to make a bishop blush. Now he's safely in the bosom of the Church, shouldn't this former pop star be appearing on 'Thought for the Day' rather than 'Have I Got New For You'? Not a chance...

Merton earns 11th Bafta nomination by going to China

Paul Merton is best known for the dry humour he brings to Have I Got News For You, but his talent as a tour guide to a hidden side of China has now caught the eye and earned him a nomination for a prestigious television award for the 11th time in his career.