As Mohamed al-Fayed's spokesman, Michael Cole is used to smoothing over controversy. But the former PR man has kicked up a hornets' nest of his own by attacking fellow Suffolk resident Benjamin Britten. The bouffant-haired 69-year-old says "too much fuss" is being made over the late composer's centenary, and complains that "there aren't many tunes in Britten. In fact, there aren't any". Pouring kerosene on the fire, he adds that Britten and his partner Peter Pears were cowards for fleeing to America at the start of the war, "because they thought we would lose". The letters desk of the East Anglian Daily Times has never been so busy. While many readers have leaped to Britten's defence, a few agree with Cole. One describes Britten "cowering under his piano on the other side of the Atlantic", and sniffs that his music, "for want of a better word", would not have been appreciated by the troops. One professional musician writes in to say: "Spare a thought for me. I have to play it whether I like it or not."
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Saturday 16 August 2008
Arriving at the Casanova felt like walking on to a film set. This wasn't without grounds, because we were (if only for the day). A TV crew filming a beer advert had set up in the hotel's bar, which meant that cameras, bright lights, swarthy men and beer bottles were strewn all over the place – not that any of this fazed the immaculately groomed staff, who carried on as if it were just another working day.
Sunday 10 August 2008
Monday 14 April 2008
Sunday 16 March 2008
Ranging from the words of St Augustine describing his childhood ("I cast about limbs and voice, making the few and feeble signs I could") to the thoughts of the British archaeologist and writer Margaret Murray, who waited until she was 100 to write about herself ("At my age I stand, as it were, on a high peak alone. I have no contemporaries with whom I can exchange memories or views"), this compendium of autobiographical writing is compelling.
Friday 07 March 2008
I'm now 21, but I definitely read more books when I was a teenager. These days, I'm reading more film scripts than books – but I can't say what for because it's secret! I enjoy reading books on criminology about hard guys and drug dealers. I read the autobiographies of Curtis Warren, Roy "Pretty Boy" Shaw, Lenny McLean, and Charles Bronson. I had a crack at No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies by Naomi Klein, but didn't finish it.
Tuesday 12 February 2008
The pro-hunt campaigner Otis Ferry – son of the singer Bryan Ferry – was cleared of criminal damage yesterday after snatching the car keys of two paparazzi who were pursuing the actress Sienna Miller.
Tuesday 29 January 2008
Tuesday 08 January 2008
Monday 31 July 2006
It would not be unreasonable to presume that, given the rise in temperature over the past few years, we British might have learnt to dress in the heat. But no. The native male's predilection for doing his shopping topless when the sun shines is as prevalent as ever.
Friday 22 July 2005
Tuesday 01 February 2005
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of ‘affluenza’?
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