The Tao of Terry Wogan

Terry Wogan was only eight years older than David Bowie, but his soul was ancient... To my surprise, I felt slightly sadder about Terry Wogan’s death than about David Bowie’s. The thing about Wogan was that he was devoid of illusion about humans. He’d seen right through us, to the core, decades ... Read More...

Sean Penn’s Subtle Brume

Sean Penn's Rolling Stone 'interview' with drugs baron El Chapo contains some surprising details, finds Brit... Many Dabbler readers will be aware that there was a bit of a hoo-hah the other week about actor Sean Penn’s clandestine interview with fugitive Mexican drug baron and multiple murderer Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Fewer will ... Read More...

Slow Gambling

The digital revolution, Ray Winstone and the Ladbrokes Life have ruined gambling. It’s time to fight back… Until fairly recently, debates about The Golden Age of Pop Music have been about whether it ended in the 60s or 70s or 80s or 90s. But as I argued here, it is absurd ... Read More...

Mark Gertler’s Merry-Go-Round of Horror

Did you catch a glimpse of a truly horrible painting in the BBC's And Then There Were None?...  I thought the BBC’s adaptation of And Then There Were None, shown over Christmas, was excellent – it successfully brought to the screen the sick imagination of its author. The mind of Agatha ... Read More...

Living the Dream with Paul McKenna

Happy New Year! Here's how not to be happy... It may only be the start of January but it's unlikely that 2016 will see a more remarkable 'what I've learnt' self-interview piece than this one from the hypnotist Paul McKenna in The Guardian. Selected highlights: I wish I could be zen and say ... Read More...

Red Hot Riding Hood

They don't make kids' cartoons like this any more... While researching a piece on meanings and adaptations of well-known fairytales, I found this 1943 MGM cartoon directed by Tex Avery, the existence of which has lurked in the back of my mind for a while, even though my conscious mind could ... Read More...

Adele’s Missing Earworm

What is a melody, and why are good ones so hard to write?... In The Guardian Clive James writes: It could be said that Adele is Mama Cass born again, but she needs a song to match her voice. I have listened several times to her smash hit, Hello. I was hoping that the shapely beauty ... Read More...