Sunday, June 03, 2007


If you're in and around my home town of Bangor over the next fortnight, beware - I'm on the loose with a camera, making a 40 minute documentary for BBC 1 Northern Ireland. Never really done anything like this before, but am already enjoying it immensely - nearly everyone I've approached to take part has agreed, including the likes of Jimmy Nesbitt, Lord Trimble and Laine McGaw (who played Patricia in Divorcing Jack). I'll be returning to my old schools, Ballyholme PS and Bangor Grammar and talking about the Spectator years, where I trained as a reporter, and we've already got a lot of footage we recorded at the Aspects Festival in the town in September. Should be on TV some time in the Autumn.

Hay ho, let's go

Just returned from the Hay-on-Wye literature festival in Wales where I was unexpectedly invited to appear with the great and good. I was taking part in a crime panel together with the lovely Alex Barclay and the just as lovely Alan Guthrie. A fantastic time was had all round, partially to do with the copious amounts of alcohol on offer. It was slightly surreal as I was staying in the town's wonderful main hotel, The Swan, which had 25 rooms - which meant that when I came down in the morning I was joining the likes of Bob Geldof, Tony Benn and Columbo for breakfast. Yes - Columbo. Peter Falk was there to promote his memoirs and I was introduced to him - three times. As we couldn't actually get tickets to see Columbo's gig, and being very drunk, we decided to become part of his 'posse' and managed to blag our way in. The words 'never' 'again' and 'drinking' were uttered early the next morning.