Journalist and author - I am the TV critic of the Daily Mail, with a column five days a week to review the previous night's television. I write regularly for the main features pages of the paper, as well as for the Mail's Weekend magazine. WRITTEN IN STONE traces the Stone Age words that are the basis of English. It unravels the DNA of our language, to show how prehistoric syllables thousands of years old are the source of everything we say and write. You will never think the same way about our ordinary, everyday words. I am also a passionate fan of classic British comedy. I am the official biographer of Carry On star Kenneth Williams, and of comedy geniuses Ray Galton & Alan Simpson. My proudest moments include interviewing Ray and Alan on stage at the National Theatre on London's South Bank, and compering I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue at the Old Vic theatre in Bristol, with Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Colin Sell. My biography of the Carry On star Kenneth Williams, BORN BRILLIANT, was authorised by his estate, and I was lucky enough to be entrusted with all his diaries and his archive of letters, more than five million words of comedy history. BORN BRILLIANT was serialised as a Radio 4 Book of the Week, and shortlisted for a Sherry, the Sheridan Morley Theatre Biography Prize. Ray Galton and Alan Simpson helped to invent situation comedy - MASTERS OF SITCOM is a celebration of their careers, and includes many extracts from their lost shows. Perhaps the most exciting discovery was the script for the feature film that they wrote for Tony Hancock but which was never made, THE DAY OFF. A REAL BOY is the story of how my family coped with bringing up our younger son, who is profoundly autistic. It was endorsed by the National Autistic Society, whose president, Jane Asher, called it "wonderfully honest". A GIRL CALLED BARNEY is a novel about a single dad who must come to terms with his little girl's autism. My guide to mnemonics and traditional memory aids, THIRTY DAYS HAS SEPTEMBER, was the best-selling reference book on Kindle for many weeks.Read more Read less
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