Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston is pretty sure I'll know the story, but tells it anyway. 'It's about - oh, nuts, who was that British actor in Room at the Top? Laurence Harvey - it's about Laurence Harvey. When he was doing Romeo he called Olivier and said, "You must play The Chorus." And Olivier said, "No." And Harvey said, "Why not?" And Olivier said, "Because I'm too fucking grand."' It's as well I do know the story, for Heston has propped his crutches up against the table behind him and I have become distracted Read more [...]

John Mortimer

From his father, as Sir John Mortimer cheerfully tells everyone, he inherited bronchial asthma, glaucoma and a tendency for his retinas to become detached. He was also bequeathed a number of walking-sticks. On an autumnal Tuesday morning, as I approach the house his father built on a wooded rise near Henley-on-Thames, Sir John waves one of these sticks at me from his study window, which proves that his sight can't be as bad as he makes out. His father went blind in middle life, though that was never Read more [...]

David Campbell

The voice that comes from under the medieval torture rack is a deep, dark mahogany. 'You must be Nick,' it says with an assurance that defies correction. Though decidedly English in register, it belongs to Campbell of Strachur yr - David Niall MacArthur Campbell of Strachur the Younger, that is - the 48-year-old Scotsman who gave the kiss of life to the ailing Everyman publishing house, just in time for it to leap from its bath chair, put on a paper crown and celebrate its 90th birthday this Wednesday Read more [...]

Daniel Radcliffe: ‘I’ve always had an intolerance for bad behaviour’

Daniel Radcliffe remains remarkably well adjusted for someone who, even at 23, still has to endure being called ‘Harry Potter’ every day. Just don’t ask about his bank balance… Daniel Radcliffe bounds in to the hotel room like an eager puppy, all hand shakes and smiles for the assembled publicists, PAs and make-up artists. He is talking excitedly about the “gorgeous blonde” he just met in the corridor. She had asked if he could direct her to her room – not so subtly revealing her room Read more [...]

Woody Allen

To meet Woody Allen in London is to meet a man violently out of context. Imagine stubbing your toe on the Statue of Liberty while out walking the dog on Tooting Common and you grasp the scale of the incongruity. He belongs in New York, he's synonymous with the place; as he says at the beginning of Manhattan (1979), it's his town. I once saw him there, wearing a baseball cap and a lumberjack shirt, marching towards me across a bridge in Central Park. It was six in the morning - I couldn't sleep - Read more [...]