Gerard Hoffnung: A comedian ahead of his time

Nige pays tribute to a nearly-forgotten comic whose work seems remarkably contemporary... Under Mahlerman's Sunday post on Unserious Music, Worm mentions the once very famous and popular Gerard Hoffnung. That name took me right back to my boyhood. One of my uncles had a recording of Hoffnung's legendary stand-up (and sway ... Read More...

Richard Burton and the Kings of the Underworld

Gaw recalls a Welshman who was a self-made hero to some, a self-romanticising show-off to others. Brit's clip of Richard Burton reading Under Milk Wood from Lazy Sunday Afternoon the other week sent me looking for more opportunities to hear that voice. Here's a spell-binding excerpt from an interview where he talks about mining. ... Read More...

Loving Elizabeth David

Next year (yes, we thought we’d get in first) will be the centenary of the birth of food writer Elizabeth David who, Toby Ash believes, still has more to offer the modern domestic kitchen than all of today’s celebrity chefs put together. I just can’t imagine Elizabeth David stealing from Tesco. ... Read More...

Osbert Lancaster’s Crystal Ball

  We take a look at the predictions of cartoonist Osbert Lancaster (1908-1986), who thought that any attempt to rebuild Shakepeare's Globe Theatre would be laughed out of town... With his tweedy outfits and otter-like head, cartoonist Osbert Lancaster was well known to households of the middle twentieth century. Magnificently named, Osbert rose to ... Read More...

Dabbler Heroes: Sid Waddell

  For years hence there will be gnarled Geordies huddled over schooners of broon and Red Bull, claiming they were there in the auditorium when Sid Waddell uttered the immortal phrase: His eyes are bulging like the belly of a hungry chaffinch.* And their wide-eyed children’s children will be perched on their ... Read More...

Happy odyssey

This year marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of Adrian Carton de Wiart, one of the most remarkable soldiers this country has produced. His soldiering career extended from Boer to Second World Wars, taking in many events of large historical importance. He was usually to be found in the thick of ... Read More...