Thursday, January 28, 2016

Forget War and Peace – 1970s costume drama The Pallisers is the thing to watch

My Guardian piece on the return to British tv screens of the classic 1970s period costume drama The Pallisers.

Its fake backdrops may be creaky and its pacing slow by today’s standards, but The Pallisers, the 1974 BBC Trollope adaptation now on daytime TV, wins you over with its nuance and emotional intelligence

Quality period costume drama is back on the BBC. Not just in War and Peace, but now the return of what I would argue is the best of them all: the 1974 series The Pallisers, which has just started at lunchtimes on BBC2. (It’s not available on iPlayer, but if you want to catch up with the first couple of episodes, you can find them on YouTube.)

You can read the whole piece here.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: When 'Possibly' & 'Probably' Mean 'Certainly'



My new piece for Sputnik UK:

In my Concise Oxford Dictionary "probable" is defined as "that may be expected to happen or prove true, likely" and "possible" is defined as "that can exist, be done, or happen." But something very strange happened to the English language on Thursday, January 21st, 2016. The words "probably" and "possibly" changed their meaning to "certainly."
The report of Sir Robert Owen QC into the death of Alexander Litvinenko apparently told us for sure that President Putin and the Russian state ordered the killing of the ex-FSB operative.
What the report said was "probable" or "possible" or "could" have happened, was interpreted as being "certain."

You can read the whole piece here:

Monday, January 25, 2016

Davos is the problem, not the solution



My new piece for RT.com OpEdge

In the real world, there’s mass unemployment, an ever-widening gap between rich and poor, and the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two.
Meanwhile at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, the business, financial and political elites who have helped create the mess we’re in, sipped expensive champagne, networked, and gave us lectures on what we need to be doing to sort things out....

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Concorde takes off: 40 years ago supersonic travel came to UK...secrets of iconic jet

My new piece from the Daily Express.

IT WAS the day when a longheld aviation dream finally came true. Exactly 40 years ago this week, at 11.40am on Wednesday 21st January 1976, the world’s first commercial supersonic passenger service was launched.
Two Concorde aircraft took off simultaneously, one from Heathrow, the other from Paris, flying respectively to Bahrain and Rio de Janeiro.
For the first time ever air passengers could travel faster than the speed of sound. In fact, on board Concorde, with its cruising speed of 1350mph, passengers could travel twice as fast as the speed of sound.
The supersonic age had truly begun....

You can read the whole article here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

British politics like a Francis Durbridge thriller - nothing is what it seems



My new piece for RT.com:

It’s just over forty years since British television first screened Francis Durbridge’s classic thriller The Doll, in which - much like Britain's present political system - few people and things are what they at first appear.
RT‘s motto is ‘Question More,’ while Francis Durbridge encourages us to question everything and everybody. Without giving away too much of the plots (and you’re in for a real treat if you’ve never see a Durbridge thriller before), the character you thought was the hero’s friend, often turns out to have been plotting against him and is part of some criminal conspiracy. The people you thought were the ‘bad guys’ were actually on the side of justice. The man who’s behaving very suspiciously turns out to have been a detective. But can we even trust the detective?

You can read the whole piece here.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Neil Clark’s Sporting Edge: Where have all the goals gone?



My new Sporting Edge column for RT.com

At half time in the Premier League football program on Saturday there was just one goal in the six 3pm kick-offs. The lack of goals - particularly in the first half of matches - has been a feature of English football this season.
Take Manchester United as an example. On Saturday they were drawing 0-0 at half-time with Swansea, the ninth match in a row at Old Trafford where Louis van Gaal’s team had failed to score in the first 45 minutes. Overall the Premiership’s average of goals per game after this weekend’s fixtures stood at 2.58 - fractionally higher than last season’s 2.57- courtesy of a seven-goal thriller between Everton and Stoke City on 28th December), but lower than any year since 2008-9.
It’s not just in the Premiership where goals are proving hard to come by....

You can read the whole column here.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Most Confusing Year. Or was it?



I’m confused about many things which happened in 2015. Can anyone help me?

My end of year column for RT.com OpEdge. You can read the whole piece here. 
A very Happy New Year everyone- let's hope that 2016 won't be as confusing....

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lovely jubbly: what the Christmas 1985 Radio Times tells us about Thatcher's Britain



My new piece from The Guardian on what we were watching in Britain thirty years ago- at Christmas 1985.

Christmas Day audiences were faced with a choice between Del Boy and Arthur Daley – but what else do the festive schedules tell us about the era we lived in.

It’s Christmas 1985. Mrs Thatcher has been in power for just over six-and-a-half years and – appropriately enough – those zeitgeisty wheeler-dealers, Derek “Del Boy” Trotter and Arthur Daley, are on the covers of the Radio Times and the TV Times.
The television listing magazines of 30 years ago (there were just two of them back then), make for a fascinating read, and tell us much about the state of Britain in the middle of the 1980s...

You can read the whole article here.