Category Archives: Film and TV

Jonathan Meades – the Plagiarist in the Kitchen

The tributes to AA Gill who died earlier this year tended to focus on his humour, his famous rudeness, and his ability to write movingly about those on the margins of life. But for me what made him compulsively readable … Continue reading

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SS-GB – The Hoarse Whisperer

This is a slightly longer version of something that appeared in the TLS a couple of weeks ago: Typical, you wait years for a World War Two counterfactual drama and then two come along at once. In 2015 Amazon launched … Continue reading

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Nelson, Marsala and the Mary Whitehouse Experience

I wrote something for History Today magazine on perhaps my favourite place in the world, Sicily, and Marsala, its rather forgotten fortified wine. There an extract below which you can click on it to read the entire thing. This probably dates … Continue reading

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Why writers love booze (and it’s not just because they’re often drunks.)

So closely are some of the giants of 20th century literature associated with alcohol that modern readers might think that a serious booze habit was once the equivalent of a degree in creative writing from Iowa or UEA. It’s not … Continue reading

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Why are wine lovers so easy to fool?

Sour Grapes: The Rudy Kurniawan story is now available on Netflix so I’m republishing this thing I wrote for the Spectator back in September. The documentary is well worth seeing. I also wrote a more in-depth thing on it for … Continue reading

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Did King Arthur’s father sell dodgy wine?

On holiday I watched Monty Python’s Holy Grail for the first time in years. Unlike most of their stuff, it’s actually still very funny. Whilst watching the taunting Frenchman bit below, I had a bit of an epiphany. Elderberries were … Continue reading

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These wines are Absolutely Fabulous

Many writers will be using the release of the Absolutely Fabulous movie to reminisce about the crazy 1990s: cocaine, clubbing and Kate Moss. Drink writers will be going on about Bolly and Stolly which Eddy and Patsy put away in heroic quantities. … Continue reading

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