Willie Donaldson

Meeting the squire of Levington Park, JP Donleavy

The news that JP Donleavy  – author, playwright, litigant and squire  – died earlier this week has reminded me of one of the more peculiar meetings I had while researching a biography of our mutual friend Willie Donaldson in 2006. Donleavy’s early novels, The Ginger Man, The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B and The Onion […]

Remembering Paul Sidey

Some time in the early 1990s, the writer Willie Donaldson devoted his weekly column in the Independent to an account of how the editor who had commissioned him to write his memoirs was so desperate to get the book delivered that he had committed him to an addiction clinic run by mad Christians: ‘Paul Sidey […]

Beyond the whinge – a message to Sir Jonathan Miller

Now and then, about once a year, the stage of public life darkens as a leading player makes his entrance. Sir Jonathan Miller is about to make a pronouncement about the cultural state of the nation. The news is rarely good. This week he revealed that, in spite of being a director, he had not […]

In Celebrityland, no one can hear you laugh

Today, officially and in public, I was declared to be the biographer of Fergie, Duchess of York. It is a small embarrassment (what a terrible job that would be) but frankly I can only blame myself. In today’s Independent, I’ve written a piece about Fergiegate, pointing up the madness – not to mention the nastiness […]