Nigel Farndale is an award-winning journalist who has written interviews for The Observer Magazine, The Times Magazine and The Sunday Telegraph MagazineAn anthology of some of his early interviews was published in Flirtation, Seduction, Betrayal – Interviews with Heroes & Villains

Nigel with Hilary Clinton (left) and with Sir Paul McCartney (right)

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Gillian Anderson

Forget the 'X-Files': Gillian Anderson, one-time ‘world’s sexiest woman’, is about to tackle Ibsen in a new West End production of 'A Doll's House' The first surprise is Gillian Anderson’s accent. I have heard about how she can slip from English to American as effortlessly ...
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Alan Ayckbourn

A lesser playwright might have slowed down after a stroke. But not Alan Ayckbourn. He talks to Nigel Farndale about critics, creativity and the healing power of comedy From the bow window of his drawing-room, more a belvedere of curved glass, Sir Alan Ayckbourn can ...
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Alexander Armstrong

Daytime TV, Saturday night talent shows, ads for shopping centres in Durham: is there nothing the more puppyish half of Armstrong & Miller won’t do? In one crucial respect, Alexander Armstrong, Xander to his friends, is not your typical comedian. I’ve met a few and ...
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Marc Almond

My idea of living dangerously is staying up until 2.30am watching television and drinking whiskey when I know I have to drive to Wiltshire next morning for a wedding. Marc Almond's idea is to jump on a plane to New York, consume a wheelbarrow-full of ...
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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, ...
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Jeffrey Archer

The lift glides to a halt at the penthouse suite on the 13th floor. A butler leads the way along a panelled corridor and into a spacious, glass-walled living-room. Lord Archer is standing in a rhombus of sunlight, his back to the glinting spires of ...
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James Blunt

It could be the homes around the world; his military bearing; or that he's our biggest musical export since Elton. For whatever reason, being called annoying, a philanderer or - worse - middle class doesn't exactly keep James Hillier Blount awake at night. Nigel Farndale ...
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Cherie Blair

'Vulgar, self-pitying, greedy' - impressions of Cherie Blair weren't exactly sympathetic during her time as the Prime Minister's wife. But two years after she left Downing Street, the human rights lawyer is frank, funny and (whisper it) quite charming From the moment she enters the ...
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Melvyn Bragg

Pavarotti wanted new boots; Elizabeth Taylor, dim lighting; Francis Bacon, drink - lots of it. As 'The South Bank Show' celebrates its 30th birthday, Nigel Farndale meets its presiding genius, Melvyn Bragg - and talks to some of his best-known friends, fans and critics When ...
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Charley Boorman

Charley Boorman held Angelina Jolie as a baby and had starred in several Hollywood films before he left school. Yet today he's best known as Ewan McGregor's globe-trotting wing man. How will he fare travelling the world on his own? Nigel Farndale joins him in ...
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Kevin Bacon

There is an etiquette to meeting a Hollywood star for breakfast. Certain do’s and don’t. Do be on time. Don’t be late. That’s about it, really... Unless the Hollywood star is Kevin Bacon. Here you have some latitude, as I discover when I arrive a ...
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Julie Burchill

When Julie Burchill opens the door to her studio flat, a short distance from the sea front in Hove, she is wearing sunglasses, a black top, a black skirt, black tights… and a white and blue foot brace. ‘This? David Beckham had one of these ...
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Tony Booth

The musty air of Manchester's Portico Library has just been pricked, incongruously, with the sharp smell of vinegar. It is wafting off the plate of fish and chips with peas that Tony Booth, father-in-law to the prime minister-in-waiting, is busy polishing off. The domed and ...
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George Best

Gone are the bloated and waxy features of the career inebriate; gone the grey beard, the lank and lifeless mullet, the shell suit, gone, all gone. Indeed, as George Best steps out of his dark-windowed Range Rover he looks lean, tanned and casual in black ...
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Geoffrey Boycott

There are many reasons to feel queasy at the prospect of interviewing Geoffrey Boycott - but the most obvious are that he's rude, obnoxious and, when he's in a good mood, charmless. Such a pity he has to be morbidly fascinating as well. Or at ...
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Shirley Bassey

Though the sun is already low in the sky, the day is young for Dame Shirley Bassey. She rarely manages to get to sleep before 4am, her body clock having been irreparably skewed by all those years of playing late-night cabaret, and she rarely rises ...
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Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello is a doting father, friend to presidents and writer of 'proper' love songs - but he's still got the same old fire... On a roof terrace overlooking Manhattan, an awning flaps lazily in the breeze. The man sitting underneath it is wearing sunglasses, ...
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Fifty Cent

Like a formation of geese ahead of an approaching cold front, an entourage arrives. It includes several hefty bodyguards with wires coiling from their ears and sunglasses shielding their eyes. Minutes later there is indeed a change in the atmosphere; a crackle of static. Perhaps ...
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Ronnie Corbett

A plate of shortbread arrives, and Ronnie Corbett pauses for a second or two as he regards it out of the corner of his eye. He continues talking (or 'blethering' as he calls it) about High Hopes, his autobiography, but he's still distracted by the ...
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Will Carling

His family, in a spirit of affection no doubt, nicknamed him The Little Shit. One of his first long-term girlfriends called him Big Willy, or at least that is how he signed himself in letters to her. The players in the England rugby team he ...
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Max Clifford

You know that creepy feeling you sometimes get of being watched? Well, that's what it's like all the time when you're with Max Clifford. It's not him doing the watching, it's hidden cameras, as if you're taking part in The Truman Show. The acting is ...
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Hillary Clinton

In her only British newspaper interview, Hillary Clinton admits she has had to take 'a long, hard look at her marriage, my husband and myself'. Does that mean she is now ready to run for President? She talks to Nigel Farndale (Telegraph 18 Jun 2003) ...
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Evan Davis

Thanks in part to his role in 'Dragons' Den', Evan Davis is the first BBC economics editor to enjoy something approaching cult status, writes Nigel Farndale Three men in suits are sitting by the window in a pizza restaurant near Earls Court. 'Hey,' they say ...
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Esther Duflo

Meet Esther Duflo, the rock-climbing professor tipped for a Nobel prize, whose radical thinking on global poverty has earned her the ear of the world’s most powerful politicians and philanthropists. Just don’t ask her to crack a joke. I am trying to decide whether or ...
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Charles Dance

Army officers, worthy medicos, louche aristos, and now a donnish C.S. Lewis in 'Shadowlands' – when casting directors need 'a toff actor', Charles Dance is top of their list. It's all pretending, the secret plebeian tells Nigel Farndale, and he loves it. Portrait by Joss ...
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Clarissa Dickson Wright

Clarissa Dickson Wright, one half of the Two Fat Ladies and a former alcoholic, is more likely to carry a shotgun than a handbag. But, as Nigel Farndale discovers, she still cries easily There is a bluntness to Clarissa Dickson Wright, which disarms as much ...
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Kirk Douglas

TELEGRAPH, 9 DECEMBER 2016 Kirk Douglas celebrates his 100th birthday today. For this interview, originally published in July 2011, Nigel Farndale spoke to the Hollywood star about his remarkable life No sooner does Kirk Douglas sit down on the silk-covered sofa in his drawing room ...
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Laurie David

Two helicopters curve along the Potomac River before rising up over the Lincoln Memorial, blotting the sky and strangling the conversation. ‘Hey George!’ Laurie David shouts as it becomes apparent that they are the presidential helicopters. ‘Watch the goddam film!’ The helicopters bank towards the ...
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Anne-Marie Duff

Perhaps it’s because rehearsals haven’t been going so well — ‘It’s been one of those “two steps back” mornings’, Anne-Marie Duff says as she sits shivering in a warm breeze that gusts over the rooftop terrace at the National Theatre. Perhaps it’s because she’s insecure ...
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The Dalai Lama

A river of orange water is tumbling hysterically down the steep sidestreets of Dharamsala, cleansing them of manure left by the sacred cows that roam free here. It's also carrying off the empty drink cans and food wrappers discarded by the thousands of 'spiritual tourists' ...
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Tam Dalyell

The whole point about a politician like Tam Dalyell, if you face the thing squarely, is that he lives, plays, breathes, eats and sleeps politics. So, to encounter his shambling figure in corridors other than those of the Palace of Westminster would be an aberration, ...
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Nigel Dempster

The thought that there may be a real-life Nigel Dempster out there somewhere seems preposterous. Scary even. It's because he's been doing what he does for so long: 35 years. His name has entered the language as a synonym for gossip and because he has ...
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Richard Dawkins

I think Oxford University's Professor of the Public Understanding of Science has gone into shock - traumatic hysteria, to judge by his frozen features. But he has only himself to blame. He shouldn't go around popularising science in the way that he does. It was ...
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Clarissa Eden

Sitting in an upright chair in her large, high-ceilinged drawing room in west London, Clarissa Eden, Countess of Avon, seems slight and wan, as if painted in watercolour rather than oil. It's a trick of the light, perhaps - no electric lamps are on and, ...
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Aaron Eckhart

Aaron Eckhart plays baddies best - and his latest role, as a champion of the tobacco industry, reaches new depths. 'I think if I chose to, I could manipulate pretty much any room I entered,' he tells Nigel Farndale 'Look at them,' Aaron Eckhart says, ...
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Rupert Everett

To understand the man, Freud believed, you must look to the child - and as a child Rupert Everett was asked to leave his prep school for ‘being difficult’. The reason given for his expulsion from drama school several years later was ‘insubordination’. It would ...
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Richard E Grant

In a small, private cinema in Soho, Richard E Grant is introducing Wah-Wah, the autobiographical film he has written, directed and, to all intents, produced (though that’s a long story). ‘The audiences we have tested it on so far have both laughed and cried,’ he ...
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Tamara Ecclestone

With her £1 million bathtub and 100 (and counting) pairs of shoes, Tamara Ecclestone seems to want for nothing – well, nothing except the love of an honest man. Nigel Farndale meets an heiress in search of her happy-ever-after. Before I meet Tamara Ecclestone, I ...
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Bryan Ferry

Bryan Ferry is our unflappable king of cool, so stylish it's said he should be hanging in the Tate. Then last year he was accused - wrongly - of praising the Third Reich. 'It was very scary, and very ugly,' he tells Nigel Farndale. The ...
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Mike Figgis

A man distracted by his washing machine, that is Mike Figgis when I meet him in his North London flat on an overcast afternoon. He is sitting on a laundry bin in front of the machine, staring gloomily into its port hole, perhaps in the ...
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Jane Fonda

Imagine trying to write an obituary for Jane Fonda. Where would you start? Is she best known as the archetypal 1960s sex kitten Barbarella, or the clench-fisted 1970s political activist Hanoi Jane? Or did her defining moment come in the 1980s when she pulled on ...
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Frederick Forsyth

Frederick Forsyth's two terriers hadn't run off on that cloudless June morning, many rabbits who later died would have stayed alive, and the world would have taken a different course. But the Jack Russells of War are a law unto themselves. The scent of a ...
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Stephen Fry

Upstairs at the Café de Paris, a nightclub in Piccadilly, an unattended mobile phone is ringing. More accurately, the mobile is barking out the words, 'Stephen, answer the sodding phone. Stephen, answer the sodding phone. Stephen...' The velvety bass voice is unmistakeably that of its ...
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Graham Fellows

The drive to Louth in Lincolnshire has taken me five hours. I've come to interview Graham Fellows - comedian, actor, one-hit wonder - but it isn't going well. His mind keeps wandering. As do his legs. He lives in a rambling old house - a ...
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David Frost

It's like wading across a river of warm, bubbling molasses, interviewing Sir David Frost. The current is tugging, part of you wants to drift with it, another part fears you might drown. The stuff of anxiety dreams, in other words. Sir David is slouched on ...
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Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal's latest role plunges him into the world of terrorism, torture and difficult choices – and it suits him down to the ground. He talks to Nigel Farndale about his life in hollywood and the joy of 'celebrity godparents' He may have a large ...
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David Gilmour

David Gilmour is the model rock-star plutocrat - modest, creative, generous. Until the talk turns to money... and the Rolling Stones. 'How much do they need?' he asks Nigel Farndale. 'It's like a sexual compulsion'. An arrow of barking geese spirals down towards a lake ...
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Alison Goldfrapp

She’s a pop phenomenon whose loud, flamboyant stage presence has inspired everyone from Madonna to Lady Gaga. But in person, her silences speak volumes If June 6, 1944, is the longest day, my hour in the company of Alison Goldfrapp may qualify as the second ...
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Boy George

Addiction to drugs, an explosive temper and being a 'gay warrior' have made a soap opera of his life, but those days are behind him, Boy George tells Nigel Farndale The middle-aged man who answers the glass door could be anyone, though the fact that ...
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Ricky Gervais

How would he like to die? What's happening with The Men From The Pru? And why is he wearing pyjamas in a graveyard? Our greatest comedy misery-guts reveals all As well as being a protection from the unsettling glare of his fame, the Giorgio Armani ...
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Martin Gilbert

An author should be allowed his vanities. In the case of the historian Sir Martin Gilbert, the vanities fill two whole shelves of his library in North London. These are the books he has written since he graduated from Oxford in 1960, more than 75 ...
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Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop talks to Nigel Farndale about conscientious objectors, muscular Christianity, and whether Ross and Brand have any connection to 'edgy' comedy When there are no cameras around, Ian Hislop wears black-rimmed glasses rather than contact lenses. And in between series of Have I Got ...
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David Hockney

Forty years ago David Hockney left Bradford, peroxided his hair and headed for the Los Angeles hills. As a new book of the artist's life and works is published, Nigel Farndale meets a 'Yorkshire Californian' The kidney-shaped swimming-pool is clue enough. It has been painted ...
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Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens, 'right wing Leftie' and raconteur, hates God and bores. But most of all, he hates losing an argument... Christopher Hitchens likes to point out, he never misses a deadline, or a plane – despite his fondness for ‘strong waters’ and his disinclination to ...
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Bob Hoskins

The actor Bob Hoskins, once likened to 'a testicle on legs', is very much in touch with his feminine side. In fact, it could be the only thing keeping him sane... Lovely scented soap, that’s what Bob Hoskins likes about this restaurant around the corner ...
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Sheila Hancock

In 2002 Sheila Hancock was left heartbroken by the death of her beloved husband, John Thaw. Eight years on and enjoying a new lease of life, she discusses sports cars, swearing on live TV and why she's saying 'yes' to everything The Sheila Hancock who ...
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Ron Howard

I wouldn’t say that meeting Ron Howard was an anti-climax, exactly. I did not, after all, expect the 52-year-old, Oscar-winning director and movie mogul to be like his friend Russell Crowe, an exciting mixture of bluntness and volatility. Nor did I imagine him to be ...
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Harriet Harman

At first I assume the references to ‘the Leader’ are meant as a joke at Harriet Harman’s expense. Westminster is buzzing with rumours that she is positioning herself for a coup against Gordon Brown and someone from her office has been sending me emails referring ...
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Charlie Higson

It's not just ducks and overweight people who waddle. As Charlie  Higson - 5ft 10in of solid but unfleshy television personality - heads towards me across the floor of an Indian restaurant in Soho, I see he does it, too: feet splayed, hips forward as ...
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William Hague

On the wall of William Hague's office in Smith Square hangs a large oil painting of some friendly-looking sheep. It's by Mackenzie Thorpe, a Yorkshire artist who found national fame in 1998 when the Hagues reproduced one of his canvases on their Christmas card. 'Everyone ...
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James Hewitt

In the outer morning room of a gentlemen's club in Pall Mall, a tall, languid figure stoops over a table. The day's papers are fanned out in front of him. As he browses, he purses his lips and nods to himself. I can't believe it, ...
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William Hurt

Mathematicians say that if you halve each pace in crossing a room you will never reach the opposite wall. I'm beginning to think this true of crossing the Charles Bridge in Prague with William Hurt walking beside me. He has a slow, flat-footed gait and, ...
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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, ...
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Seamus Heaney

There can be few sights as poignant as that of an Irish poet struggling to find the right word on a slate-grey afternoon in London. And not any old Irish poet, the Irish poet: Seamus Heaney, 'Seamus Famous' as he is known in his native ...
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Michael Holroyd

The air of madness in Michael Holroyd's study is so charmingly baroque it must be contrived. Every surface is strewn with papers; two wicker armchairs have come to rest, like driftwood, near the desk; there is a sock by a table leg; and, among the ...
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Peter Hitchens

The mother of three - mild -mannered, tall, greying Louise Brooks bob - is wondering whether she should really be telling me all this: about how she met her husband when they were both Trotskyite students at York University in the early Seventies; how they ...
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Stephen Hawking

Possibly the greatest, certainly the most famous scientific thinker since Einstein is sitting in his motorised wheelchair grinning at me. 'Look behind the door,' Professor Stephen Hawking says in his computer-generated, Dalek-like voice. I look. There's a framed black-and-white photograph hanging there, which shows him ...
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Eddie Izzard

Transparent and inflatable, Eddie Izzard's sofa is not so much a piece of household furniture as a plaything in a crche. It's a bouncy sofa. A comedy sofa. One that makes rubbery squeaking noises whenever you move. I've been invited to sit on it by ...
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Armando Iannucci

Armando Iannucci - co-creator of The Day Today, Alan Partridge, The Thick of It, and now In The Loop - is an erudite classical music aficionado who raised the bar for swearing on the BBC. Yet no one (except Alastair Campbell) has a bad word ...
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Ashley Jensen

To read the Guardian’s ‘corrections and clarifications’ column is to tap a rich seam of unintended comedy: ‘We misspelled the surname of actor Ashley Jensen as Jenson in a preview of the new Ricky Gervais comedy series Extras,’ one entry began. ‘An accompanying photo caption ...
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Peter Jay

In vain would you search for Peter Jay in the soulless corridors of Television Centre, White City, west London. The 63-year-old economics and business editor of the BBC prefers to work from his farmhouse on the outskirts of Woodstock, Oxfordshire. As well he might. Blackbirds sing ...
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Clive James

The dimly lit back room of the Japanese restaurant is empty save for some scruffy codger hunched up in the corner, sitting sideways on, lost in his thoughts. At 56, it seems, Clive Vivian Leopold James has become smaller than life. Only when I am ...
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Glenda Jackson

The transport minister opens the door, plucks the cigarette from her lips and says: 'Be with you in a sec. I'm just on the phone to Cherie.' As she hastens back to her desk she steps out of her shoes and hops on one stockinged ...
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Elton John

Witnessing Elton John greet his burly, unshaven manservant with a peck on the cheek and a fruity 'How are you, dear?' was more than I had any right to expect. But then he sat on his piano stool, placed his fingers on the keyboard, and ...
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Derek Jacobi

Billy Graham put him off religion. Laurence Olivier taught him etiquette. And as for Princess Margaret? Don’t ask. Sir Derek Jacobi tells all It would take a will stronger than mine to resist comparing Sir Derek Jacobi to the Staffordshire porcelain figurines which dominate the ...
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Mick Jagger

He's a restless man, Mick Jagger. Having risen from his sofa to check for texts on his mobile, he sits bonelessly back down, tucks his legs underneath him, ploughs his hands up through his thick, glossy hair and then rises once more, this time to ...
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Imran Khan

Sitting in Jemima Khan's Chelsea house, Imran Khan talks to Nigel Farndale about the 60th anniversary of Partition, the 7/7 bombers and the war on terror. Sixty years ago this week, a British lawyer drew a line across a map and created a country, Pakistan ...
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Stephen King

Seven years after a van ran into him, leaving him with a dislocated hip and 25 broken bones, Stephen King still aches. His gait is stiff and awkward. His lank frame is still a little hunched. But it seems to suit his manner: a curious ...
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Diana Krall

For entirely selfish reasons I have been trying hard to like Diana Krall. I go to see her in concert, you see. I have all her albums. And the next time I go to see her in concert, or play one of her albums, I ...
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Henry Kissinger

After weeks of delicate negotiation with his diary secretary, an hour is found in Henry Kissinger's schedule. Then his 97-year-old mother, who he believes was responsible for everything he achieved in his life, dies. The interview is postponed. And now, a fortnight later, it looks ...
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Andrew Lloyd Webber

His 1986 musical gave the world its darkest hero and broke every box office record going. Now, amid feverish anticipation, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Phantom’ is returning. But is his creator coping with the pressure? There are two Andrew Lloyd Webbers, separated by a hyphen. There ...
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Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox, angry? You bet she is. As she releases a new album, the singer tells Nigel Farndale what she's railing against now – and why, for all her pacifism and fragility, she relishes a good scrap. It is Annie Lennox weather outside – the ...
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Doris Lessing

Following the death of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Doris Lessing we republish the last interview she gave to the Telegraph, in which she discusses Hitler, literary awards and her relationship with her mother with Nigel Farndale When Nigel Farndale interviewed Doris Lessing in April 2008, at ...
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James Lovelock

As you enter Professor James Lovelock’s whitewashed cottage on the border of Devon and Cornwall, you see a contraption on a stand, a small box with a few curved wires. It’s an invention of his, one that should be in a museum. He used it ...
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Gina Lollobrigida

In Rome the souvenir shops reproduce Gina Lollobrigida’s face on keyrings, pens and mugs, even now. They are movie stills, mostly, from the 1950s and 60s, a time when she was as much an Italian icon as the Vespa — Gina the bare-foot gypsy girl, ...
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Courtney Love

For the record, I didn’t make Courtney Love cry. She made herself cry, every time she mentioned Frances, her 15-year-old daughter from her marriage to Kurt Cobain, the frontman of the grunge band Nirvana. As she raised the subject four times over the course of ...
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Matt Le Blanc

Perhaps it's the pain that blurs and distorts Matt Le Blanc's appearance. Perhaps it's the painkillers. Either way, he's pretty much unrecognisable as he slouches into the dimly lit bar in Beverly Hills. No big entrance, no swagger, no boyish grin in camera-conscious three-quarter profile ...
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Des Lynam

On the seventh floor of the Café Royale in central London, in a room unheated despite the wintry night air outside, a door creaks open. A callow youth in overalls stands hesitantly, framed in the doorway, chair in hand. He takes in the long mahogany ...
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Dave Lee Travis

Driving towards Tring on a drizzly morning with the radio tuned to 828 Medium Wave is like travelling back in time. On the M25 the signal is still too faint and crackly to make out that sonorous, diluted Mancunian voice once so familiar. Then, as ...
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Ken Livingstone

Upstairs at Politico's, a bookshop-cum-coffee house ten minutes' stroll from Whitehall, Ken Livingstone is sitting with his back to a television set, cupping a chocolate-dusted mocha in his hands. On the screen behind him, Robin Cook is introducing a short film which recalls the highlights ...
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Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor has been involved in no fewer than six films this year. But that doesn't stop his fellow countrymen telling him: 'You're not as good as Alec Guinness.' Interview by Nigel Farndale Being Ewan McGregor, that must be a laugh. I don't just mean ...
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Dylan Moran

When Dylan Moran isn't making people laugh, he is being 'arsey' - he'd like that on his tombstone. Anger is funny, he tells Nigel Farndale Of stand-up comedians, there are two types. There are those who will gallop off with any subject an interviewer throws ...
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Abi Morgan

The terrible actress turned terrific screenwriter, on creating the ‘British Mad Men’ and admiring Thatcher Having only ever seen a photograph of Abi Morgan before, I find her height comes as something of a surprise. I’m not sure why I imagined she would be a ...
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Andrew Marr

On my way to meet Andrew Marr, I get a call from him. A meeting has finished earlier than he expected so could we bring our interview forward by half an hour? Such is his frenetic life. It is Monday afternoon. This morning, he hosted ...
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Bette Midler

The woman who began her career singing in seedy bath-houses is now the star of the biggest, brashest, lewdest show Vegas has ever seen. Why then, does she still feel like an impostor? The prima donna-ish behaviour is there in the subtext, between the lines ...
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Chris Moyles

Off air Chris Moyles, the headline-grabbing, over-paid Radio 1 DJ you love to hate, is reserved, likeable and - he says - worth every penny Though the London sky is sagging with rain, Chris Moyles is sitting outside at a pavement table. He has just ...
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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 ...
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Charles Moore

It's difficult to imagine anyone more Tory than Charles Moore. He edited the Telegraph, opposes gay marriage and for the past 17 years has been writing Margaret Thatcher's official biography. Nigel Farndale meets the man who's been rifling through Maggie's wardrobe What can it be ...
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Helen McCrory

For the third time in five minutes, as we sit drinking coffee under an awning in Brick Lane, London, Helen McCrory and I are interrupted by the same man. That he is the owner of the café doesn’t make him less distracting. This time he ...
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Anchee Min

There is bamboo in every room of Anchee Min’s house in the hilly East Bay area of San Francisco. It is to remind her of China. The mud on her clothes and in her long hair today also reminds the author of China, specifically the ...
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Alfred Molina

There is something about Alfred Molina’s body language today which suggests sheepishness. But what? The defensive way he draws in his shoulders, perhaps. Or the way he folds his arms as he grins. He’s a solidly built 6ft 3in, so these may be examples of ...
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Bob Monkhouse

If Bob Monkhouse had bludgeoned his own mother to death with an entrenching tool, calmly burnt down an orphanage and then experimented openly with cannibalism during a Royal Variety Performance, it is doubtful whether the poor chap's critics could have come up with stronger words ...
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Trevor McDonald

There's an impostor in Sir Trevor McDonald's office at the ITN studios on the Gray's Inn Road. With his big square specs, short wiry mat of silver hair and slow-breaking, granite smile, he certainly looks like Sir Trevor. But this stranger lacks the calm authority ...
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Prince Moosa

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a handsome young prince who wasn't really a prince at all and, subjective though these things are, wasn't really that young or handsome either. His people called him young and handsome because there existed ...
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Michael Mansfield

Warm, clubbable, avuncular, human - these are some of the adjectives that can be applied to the left-wing barrister John Mortimer. They don't canter to mind, however, when attempting to describe that other high-profile left-wing silk - and champion of the Bradford Twelve, Bridgewater Four ...
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Paul McCartney

The soundcheck over, Paul McCartney -  he rarely uses the Sir -  stares out across the empty seats of the ice-hockey stadium, eyebrows raised in that way of his, lost in thought. In two and a half hours these chairs will be filled with Americans ...
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Liza Minnelli

Of course I know her name isn't pronounced 'Lisa'. Everyone does. She even had a television show in the 1970s called Liza with a Z. But the moment I learnt that she gets stroppy when people anglicise (or anglicize) her name, that was it: the ...
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D. M. Thomas

Luminous white hair, dandruff on black polo neck, florid complexion, thick lips cracked and bruised, fingers stained yellow from smoking... The 64-year-old Cornishman drinking Rioja and chain-smoking Marlboro Lights at the table by the window is either a broken-veined pervert or a literary genius. As ...
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Bill Nighy

He's a maniacal texter who doesn't own a computer and has a profound fear of daylight and shorts. Is Bill Nighy, star of Richard Curtis's The Boat That Rocked, just another oddball actor, or one of the last great British eccentrics? Judge for yourself. He's ...
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Annie Nightingale

At an age when other DJs have been put out to pasture, Radio 1's Annie Nightingale is still discovering new talent and partying till dawn - all because she's terrified of looking back. Nigel Farndale meets a reluctant 'melancholic' with low self-esteem but masses of ...
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Ilie Nastase

As the driver of the Ilie Nastase Campaign Jeep swerves violently to avoid a pothole that is only a few inches off being classified a crater, the former tennis star lurches sideways in his seat, checks his hair with his hand, turns to me and ...
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Andrew Neil

All heads turn as Andrew Neil enters the newsroom of the Sunday Times like a gunslinger moseying through the swing doors of a Wild West saloon. On his arm, dressed in the shortest of skirts, is the pouting Pamella Bordes. On his hip is the ...
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David Owen

There are two ways of proving that time is relative. You can either measure the speed of light in a vacuum, as Einstein did, or you can place a dog and a politician in a restaurant and observe how the three entities age differently. In ...
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Grayson Perry

As he unveils his biggest exhibition yet, the ‘transvestite potter’ seems set to join the art world’s big beasts. But will his ladylike alter ego and childhood teddy bear be joining him? Being an accommodating man, Grayson Perry has asked if we – that is, ...
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Michael Portillo

A former contender to the Tory crown - and eventually beaten by Iain Duncan Smith... - Michael Portillo has now turned his attention to fist-fighting With his arms not so much folded as wrapped around himself, Michael Portillo looks as if he is being restrained ...
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Michael Palin

There is, you sense, a discontent at the core of Michael Palin, one that gnaws away at him with steady purpose. It’s not to do with his manner, which is as amiable as you would expect. Indeed, when I tell him what my editor emailed ...
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Nicholas Parsons

It's as if Nicholas Parsons has been fired into a pinball machine. As he bustles from one flowerbed to another, bouncing up a hillside here, ricocheting down into a secluded dell there, the bunch of flowers he is collecting grows in size - I can ...
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Michael Parkinson

With a slow sideways glance I take in the silvering hair and craggy profile of the Yorkshireman sitting on my side of a round dining-table in the airy elegance of Bibendum in Chelsea. For several minutes I've been lost in my thoughts, imagining him propping ...
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Leslie Phillips

There's something poetic about the sight of an old man chasing moths around a room cluttered with antique bronzes, glassware and sepia-coloured photographs. The man is Leslie Phillips, the room is on the ground floor of his Victorian house in Maida Vale, north London, the ...
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Tony Parsons

Tethered to the small basket of red roses on the kitchen countertop is a red balloon - helium-filled, heart-shaped - with the words 'I love you' written across it in silver letters. It's a cameo of kitsch, a miniature masterpiece of sentimentality, yet it is ...
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Geoffrey Rush

He gives digital aliens personality, holds his own against Johnny Depp and fought to get a small film about stuttering made. Just three reasons why the star of 'The King's Speech' still shines If you walked in on my conversation with Geoffrey Rush without hearing ...
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Diana Rigg

Dame Diana Rigg may be 70 this month but she still drives a Mercedes sports car, smokes 20 a day and swears by a bottle of Merlot before bedtime. The spirit of Emma Peel lives on, finds Nigel Farndale. There is a low-boughed tree in ...
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Amanda Ross

Amanda Ross, the brains behind the Richard & Judy Book Club, has turned at least 10 authors into millionaires. So why does she attract such sniffiness? Nigel Farndale finds out Before I meet the most powerful woman in British publishing, I meet her dogs, two ...
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Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The runaway international success of ‘TheShadow of theWind’ has made Carlos Ruiz Zafón rich, sought-after and deeply uneasy. In his first British interview, he tells Nigel Farndale why As the shadows lengthen over the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, one symbol of the city, Carlos Ruiz ...
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Ruth Rogers

Ruth Rogers – co-founder of the River Café and the most well-connected chef in Britain – is celebrating 20 years of serving cucina rustica to London’s politicos, authors and media moguls. But, she tells Nigel Farndale, she’s not power-hungry, just committed to the food revolution, ...
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Gerald Ratner

Before I meet Gerald Ratner I meet his wife Moira. She is in their kitchen, wearing sportsgear, on her way to pilates. The couple live in an Edwardian house with electric gates on the outskirts of Bray, Berkshire. It’s not the sort of grand house ...
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John Redwood

The aromatic whiff of a log fire and the sound of shoes crunching up a gravelled drive are all that disturb the drizzly Saturday afternoon air in this secluded, woody enclave of Berkshire. It is growing dark and the glow from the sturdy Thirties redbrick ...
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Tim Rice

It's all that Andrew Lloyd Webber's fault. If it hadn't been for his soppy influence, Sir Tim Rice could have been a serious rock 'n' roller: helping Keith Moon throw television sets out of hotel windows; hanging out with John and Yoko as they lived ...
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Daniel Radcliffe

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 ...
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Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney has a good luck ritual that involves writing 'Dad' on a piece of paper. What other secret, success-bringing gimmicks there are out there? Mitt Romney has revealed the secret of his new-found popularity, or rather his wife has. Before he starts to speak ...
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David Starkey

The dumb-waiters either side of the pink marble fireplace speak eloquently of the man Dr David Starkey believes himself to be. So do the fresh carnations, the dainty silver spoons arranged on a side table, and the mildewed pages of Shakespeare left lying open near ...
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David Sedaris

David Sedaris is no stranger to embarrassing encounters: he's made a career out of them. The most popular American humorist since Woody Allen talks to Nigel Farndale about the tics that make him tick. I know a lot, perhaps too much, about the slight, gap-toothed ...
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Carly Simon

Coming around again: the Seventies songstress on famous friendships, affairs and therapy. As Carly Simon is showing me around her house on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, she mentions, matter-of-factly, that it is haunted. Guests in the spare bedroom always hear the same conversation, apparently, about a ...
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Tom Stoppard

Britain's most infamous playwright talks politics, famous muses and the true meaning of 'Stoppardian'. The tall, hunched figure smoking on the roof terrace of the National Theatre has his back to me, but his Wildean mien, and indeed mane, makes him unmistakable. As he smokes, ...
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Rory Stewart

It’s not the crisply-tailored suit and tie that makes Rory Stewart OBE stand out in a London hotel lobby. It is not even his dark, slightly dishevelled hair — hair that allows him to pass for a native while travelling across dangerous terrain in the ...
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Jon Stewart

If Jon Stewart didn’t have his daily show, called The Daily Show, he thinks he would sit around at home all day in his underwear screaming at his television set and occasionally firing bullets at it, ‘like Elvis used to do’. Actually, he has three ...
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Jocelyn Stevens

The chairman is running late. Half an hour. His PA has been popping her head around the door every ten minutes to convey his apologies. The sound of him barking out orders carries through the walls and, alongside me on the squeaky leather sofa in ...
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Steven Spielberg

The surprise is that, in certain countries, Steven Spielberg gets mobbed whenever he's spotted stepping out of a car or emerging from a hotel. Hair ruffled matily, congratulatory pats on back, autograph books thrust under nose. Not in Britain, obviously.  Because we're a dignified and ...
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Roger Scruton

I discovered Roger Scruton's true identity quite by accident, while listening to an interview I'd taped with him. There it was: a perfectly normal, if slightly lispy voice belonging to an earnest, 16-year-old public schoolboy. At first, I thought I had picked up the wrong ...
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Andy Summers

The people of Argentina haven’t yet erected a statue in honour of Andy Summers, but it can only be a matter of time. The lad’s a folk hero to them; Eva Peron with an electric guitar and a broken nose. Indeed, he has just returned ...
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Donald Trump

... now Donald Trump wants to turn part of Scotland into a golf course. He's already worth 'about $10 billion' but - in between barking orders to his secretary (and our interviewer) - he says he's not motivated by money. Nigel Farndale almost believes him ...
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Norman Tebbit

Backlit by milky sunshine, sitting at an awkward angle, Lord Tebbit looks brittle and frail. This is not what you expect. The former Conservative Party chairman, who will be 70 next month, has been called many things: Michael Foot dubbed him 'a semi house-trained polecat'; ...
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Colm Tóibín

With a mind as formidable as his features, Colm Tóibín is now firmly a part of Ireland’s literary landscape. It’s both a blessing and a curse. ‘Listen,” Colm Tóibín says. I listen, though there is nothing to hear. “And it gets even quieter at night,” ...
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Gore Vidal

On a cliff-top high above the Amalfi coast an awning flaps lazily, stirred by a welcome breeze, and then is still once more. It shares the temperament of the aged American bachelor standing under it, on his balcony, pondering the cobalt-blue sea half a mile ...
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Irvine Welsh

Thirteen years after writing Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh finds David Cameron 'attractive' and admits some of the nicest people he's ever met have been middle class. Blimey, says Nigel Farndale As he sits down for lunch, Irvine Welsh places two mobile phones on the table. Noticing ...
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Ann Widdecombe

She’s a 57-year-old spinster with teddy bears in her bedroom, her mother in the spare room, and a loathing for introspection. So why is Ann Widdecombe, politician-cum-novelist, about to try her hand as a television agony aunt? By Nigel Farndale Be honest, if left alone ...
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Ruth Wilson

The future dame of British theatre on fluffing lines, being a nomad, and those mesmerising eyebrows On the mantelpiece in Ruth Wilson’s south London flat, alongside an empty bottle of champagne and a black-and-white photograph of her brother in British Army uniform, there is an ...
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Dominic West

He’s well-educated, handsome and impeccably connected. Then why is Dominic West so good at playing deeply flawed losers? Before meeting Dominic West in a pub near his house in Shepherd’s Bush, I’m told by a publicist that the actor is tired of people only ever ...
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Terry Wogan

Shy and lazy, that’s Terry Wogan, according to Terry Wogan. They’re not words you would readily associate with a 67-year-old who rises at 5.30 every morning so that he can ‘talk rubbish for two hours’ — as he puts it — for the benefit of nine ...
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George Weidenfeld

Your first impressions upon entering Lord Weidenfeld's stately Chelsea apartment are puzzling - but not contradictory. A butler greets you at the door and as he takes your coat you can't help noticing the erotic art hanging on the wall. It is by Klimt. Of ...
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A.N. Wilson

The high-ceilinged rooms of the Pall Mall club are lined with statues: an alabaster Venus here, a bronze Mercury there, a Lord Castlereagh in the Smoking Room and, in the library, framed by a large window, an AN Wilson. Or so you could be forgiven ...
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Kirsty Young

On a darkening winter's afternoon, in a gently lit studio apartment in west London,KirstyYoung sits forward on a sofa looking composed and groomed.The presenter of Desert Island Discs is 41, and today, dressed as she is in black trousers and top, with black varnish on ...
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