Adding to the Assisted Dying Debate on National Media


  It’s not often a writer is invited onto the UK’s TV screens to discuss a parliamentary debate, but that’s the position I found myself at the end of April as politicians responded to a petition, signed by over 200,000 people, to discuss whether it was right to legalise assisted dying here in the UK.

Fifty years on from Bowie at Leeds Rollarena


Fifty years ago, on Friday 29 June 1973, one of the strangest couplings of performer and venue in rock and roll history took place as David Bowie touched down for two shows in the unlikely setting of the Rollarena, a roller-skating hall on Kirkstall Road in Burley, Leeds.  Hammersmith, and Bowie’s last ever show as

The Royal Exchange Theatre. Round. Our Way.


The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester celebrates its 45th anniversary this month, making me realise how central it’s been to my theatre going experience over the years.  I first stepped inside the iconic in-the-round auditorium in 1977, a year after its opening, and have been a regular attendee since.   My first visit was to see

DNA Genealogy Kits – Stop Before You Spit


Following the launch of my novel Don’t Ask last week I appeared on a number of BBC Radio stations discussing the dangers and downsides of over-the-counter DNA genealogy testing kits.    These kits have many appeals, but the user is well advised to check out what they’re letting themselves in for before they spit into

The Rolling Stones: The 50th Anniversary of ‘Get Your Leeds Lungs Out’


The Rolling Stones, Leeds University Union, Saturday March 13, 1971 Being a fifteen-year-old schoolboy, how come I was one of 2,000 lucky punters crammed into Leeds University Refectory fifty years ago tonight when The Rolling Stones made their historic appearance there? By that age, I was going to plenty of live gigs, and Leeds, and the

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