Sunday Express review

Simon Brett reviews Masters Of Sitcom in the Sunday Express, 25 September 2011.

Spectator review

Marcus Berkmann in the Spectator reviews Galton and Simpson, The Masters of Sitcom: “A lovingly compiled and annotated selection of some of their best scripts … He has chosen well.”

Kenneth Williams: hero or villain?

kenneth williams 1949

Kenneth Williams, 1949


The challenge at the Hampstead and Highgate literary festival was to define how I saw Kenneth Williams – was he a hero or a villain? In the chair was Melissa Katsoulis; around the table were Daisy Waugh (talking about Rudolph Valentino), Anna Sebba (Wallis Simpson) and Justine Picardie (Coco Chanel).

As I don’t have the permission of the other writers to broadcast their talks, this excerpt features only me, cramming as many anecdotes as possible into my quarter of an hour.



Listen to my Interview with Steve Gilmour on Talk Radio Europe, about Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, and Kenneth Williams too, broadcast on 6 September 2011.

National Theatre podcast

This is my recording of the book launch event at the Lyttelton Theatre, in the National Theatre on London’s South Bank, on Thursday 1 September 2011. It’s about 45 minutes long, and concludes with a deafening standing ovation.

The voice closer to the mike is Ray Galton’s. The slightly echoey voice, further away, is Alan Simpson’s.

Book launch at the National Theatre

Pasted Graphic
Ray Galton and Alan Simpson in their office at Associated London Scripts in the early sixties

A packed auditorium at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre gave Ray Galton and Alan Simpson a standing ovation on a memorable evening to launch their book Galton and Simpson: Masters of Sitcom, from Hancock to Steptoe.

During 45 minutes of conversation on stage, Ray and Alan reminisced about working with great comedians including Tony Hancock, Harry H Corbett, Sid James and Spike Milligan. “Spike used to do things like sticking his head round the bottom of the door and announcing, ‘Dere’s a midget here to see you!” Ray said.