The writer and actor’s life is full of riotous adventures: accidentally enrolling on a teacher training course with a young Dawn French, bluffing her way to each BBC series, shooting Lulu, trading wild faxes with Joanna Lumley, and touring India with Ruby Wax and Goldie Hawn.
Ultra-high-functioning addict meets gravity in this latest volume of autobiography. The writer and actor talks to Peter Florence.
‘I went into the newsagent’s for a packet of fags and I saw the exercise book, and I thought, yes, that’s got your name on it. Or it soon will. Buy it and fill it with your thoughts, which are many and beautiful and frequently in service to the Lord. Make a diary of your time at St Saviour’s. Maybe, in two hundred years’ time, you’ll be celebrated as the Samuel Pepys of the Church of England. Or a sort of Reverend Bridget Jones. Is that too much to hope for, Lord?’ The creators of the glorious television comedy present the thoughts of Rev. Adam Smallbone.
This is a statement from the superstar author of How To Be A Woman about the world and the causes she cares about. It’s a compelling and hilarious rallying call for our times, tackling topics as pressing and diverse as reclaiming the word feminism, gaying up the Olympics, affordable housing, 1980s swearing, boarding schools and the reasons the internet is like a drunken toddler. Chaired by Stephanie Merritt.
An interview with the treasured actor, writer, traveller and diarist.
The Now Show and Outnumbered star muses on a self-confident, pluralist Olympic Britain – a country where a major politician can dangle helplessly from a zip wire like a discarded straw dolly and gain in popularity, and whose Jubilee Queen can send herself up and then descend by parachute.
The late-onset superstar and stadium-rocking comedian discusses his extraordinarily happy memoir How Did All This Happen?
Listen to an evening with the phenomenal comedian.
Part 1: Watching War Films With My Dad
In the first part Al discusses his passion for history with James Holland. Growing up in the 1970s, Al, with the help of his dad, became fascinated with the history of World War Two. They didn’t go to football; they went to battlefields. Because like so many of his generation whose childhood was all about Airfix, Action Man and Where Eagles Dare, he grew up in the cultural wake of the Second World War…
Part 2: The Pub Landlord – The Only Way Is Epic
In the second part Al brings his legendary stand-up character to Hay Festival. Britain’s most irrepressible inn-keeper will be serving up his premier brew of ale-inspired acumen and bar-room buffoonery.
“An exceptional balancing act. Performing in his short-sleeved white shirt, with a working beer pump behind him, Murray’s interaction with his crowd remains one of the wonders of the comedy world…satire with scope and a real sting.” The Times
“It’s wickedly witty stuff, and the knowledge that Murray is in fact a staunch, rather high-born Europhile with an MA in modern history makes this outwardly boorish satire on British provincialism more seductive still – right down, in fact, to the occasional guilt-ridden moment of doubt as to exactly what it is you’re laughing at.” The Telegraph
Martin Sixsmith’s book Philomena has been made into a multi-award-winning film by screenwriter and actor Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, The Trip, Despicable Me) and the director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dirty Pretty Things). They talk to Alan Yentob.
The brilliant successor to Douglas Adams’ and John Lloyd’s 1983 classic The Meaning of Liff. A liff is a familiar object or experience that English has no words for. Afterliff corrects this disgraceful oversight: including ‘Ljubjana’ interj. – What people say to the dentist on the way out; ‘Eworthy’ adj. – Of a person: worth emailing but not worth phoning or meeting. John Lloyd is the legendary producer of Blackadder, Not The Nine O’Clock News and QI, and is joined by Jon Canter, Afterliff's co-author.
At QI’s very core is the astonishing fact: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. Pigs suffer from anorexia. Wagner always wore pink silk underwear. Rugby School’s first official rugby kit in 1871 included a bow tie. Lord Kitchener had four spaniels called Shot, Bang, Miss and Damn. It is impossible to whistle in a spacesuit. Join in the fun with the QI writing team.
From minding your Ps and Qs to wondering why X should mark the spot, Alphabetical is a book for everyone who loves words and language. Whether it’s how letters are arranged on keyboards or Viking runes, text-speak or zip codes, this book will change the way you think about letters forever.
Like Carrie Bradshaw, Gordon may have had a column in a national newspaper, but her twenties weren’t one long episode of Sex and the City. They were a decade of hangovers, heartbreak, and hideously awkward mornings-after, all over her overdraft limit. She tells the tales to Georgina Godwin.
At QI’s very core is ‘the astonishing fact’: painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity. Pigs suffer from anorexia. Wagner always wore pink silk underwear. Rugby School’s first official rugby kit in 1871 included a bow tie. Lord Kitchener had four spaniels called Shot, Bang, Miss and Damn. It is impossible to whistle in a spacesuit. Join in the fun with the QI writing team.
In his latest curious adventures into human eccentricity the humorist investigator goes on patrol with America’s real-life superheroes, nerds a UFO convention in the Nevada Desert with Robbie Williams, and asks a robot whether it has a soul.
Bad waiters, bum tables, little rip-offs, big cons, old fish, cheap meat, yesterday’s soup and tomorrow’s gastroenteritis… The splenetic humorist tells us how to avoid the lot, and even come out of it with free champagne and a dish named after you by way of apology.
What do you do when a girlfriend’s 60th birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s 30th? Does the Dalai Lama actually Tweet or is it his assistant? Is sleeping with someone after 2 dates and 6 weeks of texting the same as getting married after 2 meetings and 6 months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day? Pondering these, and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of single-motherhood, Tweeting, texting and rediscovering her sexuality in what SOME people rudely and out-datedly call ‘middle age’.
The actor and hugely successful children’s writer yarns his working life from child stardom in the first production of Oliver! and the joy of Baldrick, to the documenting of Time Team archaeology and The Worst Jobs in History. Robinson was knighted in 2013 for public and political service. Chaired by Lucy Cotter.