Turner in Twickenham

Shrouded by yew trees steadily eating away at its foundations, an obscure little property peers out onto Sandycoombe Lane. With its grimacing windows and peeling paintwork, the faded St Margaret’s house hints at nothing beyond the routine currency of decay. But the faded impression is a trick of history’s light. For Sandycombe Lodge was a […]

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Fashion scrum

Injury for professional sportsmen can cause more than physical trauma. Robbed of the usual training routine and principal creative outlet while convalescing, athletes can suffer boredom and a sense of lost identity. Not Chris Brooker though. Teaming up with girlfriend Dominique Arthur, the Harlequins hooker has used his months in absentia to launch his own […]

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Marti Pellow plays ‘Che’

Marti Pellow, frontman of iconic British pop group, Wet Wet Wet, seems an unlikely candidate to play a wholly dissimilar icon, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. But in a growing stage career, in productions spanning the West End and Broadway, the Brit and Ivor Novello Award winning singer songwriter has exhibited a radical vocal range, so why […]

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A chat with Richard Wilson

Glued to my parent’s old Ferguson set and its meagre four channels, I watched my fair share of 90s television. Chris Evans hosted The Big Breakfast and Cilla Black taught us not to be so fickle. But no one on the box quite seized the national psyche like the grumbling misanthrope, Victor Meldrew. So it’s […]

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Meeting Chris Ingram

The Lightbox gallery and museum is home to The Ingram Collection – an extraordinary collection of contemporary works, many of which will star in the gallery’ latest major exhibition The Colourful Lives of Artists. The show, which opens on April 30, will explore the often controversial and complicated lives of sculptors and painters, exposing their private lives, their […]

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Interview with James Dreyfus

Rehearsals for Noel Coward’s The Vortex are a day ahead of schedule at Kingston’s Rose Theatre, and actor James Dreyfus is buzzing. While slightly disconcerted by the projection of his face looming large on the theatre bar windows behind me, Dreyfus nonetheless waxes lyrical about the star-studded production, which runs throughout February. It was Coward’s […]

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Meeting Tony Benn

Notting Hill is as happening as I remember, minus the carnival atmosphere of my last visit. I am navigating the broad Victorian streets in search of Tony Benn’s new address; a small flat a stone’s throw from his grand old family home, sold only 18 months ago. Benn’s downsize does not reflect a scale-down in […]

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Twickenham Studios at 100

The receptionist laughs as I swap seats, dodging the shower of dust and masonry that follows a succession of loud bangs. Refurbishment of the admin block at Twickenham Studios is under way and I have no wish to be killed off in the first scene. I am, in fact, waiting for a tour of the […]

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Jeremy Kyle Bites Back

The ITV star, whose infamous daytime programme chews over the challenges of often dysfunctional lives, freely admits an enduring phobia of dentists. “I had a terrible experience about 15 years ago,” says Kyle. “I was absolutely terrified.” “A tooth shattered and it started to go down my throat. The guy started to panic and the […]

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Interview with Clive Francis

I’ve caught Clive Francis just in time. This year’s tour of A Christmas Carol, his one-man production now in its 12th year, takes in venues across Ireland before heading for the English stage. Curtain up on the Emerald Isle is only a day away. “The story is so amazing. I love to keep reviving it,” […]

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