Stephen Fry

A celebrity’s guide to impersonating yourself

In a cynical, marketing-crazed world, it is probably absurd to be distracted by three words on a promotional poster.    All the same, one or two people might have registered the mildest start of surprise at seeing a quote which appears beside the head of Stephen Fry in advertisements for his new one-man show. It […]

Sleek, corporate, safe – it’s time for the BBC to take risks

I wrote recently in the Independent that the high level of self-satisfaction within the BBC at the quality of its output was not exactly borne out by what we see on our screens every evening. I concluded: “Away from the discussions about salaries, relocation and pensions, the BBC needs to remember that its public remit […]

Dancing himself into the tomb

From the moment that Sebastian Horsley entered the church, his coffin draped in red glittering material like a large Christmas present, it was clear that this was going to be an unusual funeral. The sound of Marc Bolan’s Cosmic Dancer, sadder and more ghostly than it has ever been, echoed around the church. I danced […]

A blog virgin confesses…

Oh, bugger. At the very moment when finally – and nervously – I am joining the blogging community, the whole thing is slipping out of fashion. In a brilliant Observer article about writing in the digital age, Tim Adams refers to a backlash against online communication. “The capacity for rigorous sentence construction… is being replaced […]

The heroic career of an unserious man

Someone surely should commission a biopic based on the bizarre life of Gyles Brandreth, that Zelig in the world of contemporary celebrity. For more than 50 years, Brandreth has played the fool in one way or another, modifying and varying his act and career as the culture around him changed.  When he was at Oxford, […]