The old familiar places

Television Quiz show, University Challenge, first broadcast in 1962, has switched question master and channel and has reflected the changes in academic institutions and their students – but one thread has remained constant. Ask a question centred on the culture, history, or geography of Scotland, Wales or Ireland and, unless a team contains a studentContinue reading “The old familiar places”

What became of the people

Back in the sixties, life – and television, seemed  simple. People would write to Granada Television, makers of Coronation Street,  seeking the tenancy of houses vacated by actors leaving the soap  opera. They sent in wreaths when Ida Barlow was hit by a bus, and couldn’t understand how Z Cars’ Jimmy Ellis was unable toContinue reading “What became of the people”

Southbound on the Highway of Memories

Popular music takes hold of you. It provides the accompaniment to all the occasions of your life – the special and the mundane, the memorable and the forgettable, those of import, and the everyday routines – and it never really goes away. At least, that’s how it seems to those of my generation, for whomContinue reading “Southbound on the Highway of Memories”

A different kind of Eden

Around twenty years ago, I wrote a piece in the Times Educational Supplement  about Hunter Davies – long one of my favourite writers. He had coaxed his wife, the late novelist and biographer, Margaret Forster, into  being interviewed, by him, at the Edinburgh Book Festival. I loved her writing almost as much as his, andContinue reading “A different kind of Eden”