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 owner, Stephen Fry. He emerges to retrieve it a few minutes later - nine feet tall, jawline like the prow of a ship, a physically awkward, middle-aged schoolboy checking his side-parting with his hand - and apologises Read more [...]

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 shortbread, analysing it, surreptitiously passing judgement. Corbett was born and raised in Edinburgh, the son of a master baker and confectioner, and one legacy of this is an inability to pass cake shops and bakeries without checking the glaze on the Read more [...]

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 here. The air is sweet with pollen and freshly mown grass. Kindly morning sunlight bathes the flowering chestnuts and swelling fruit. It is a fitting place for a man of such obvious bottom, gravitas and destiny. Jay's Read more [...]

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 almost hear the bells registering the score. There is another sound in the mind's ear: the theme tune from the Benny Hill Show, the reedy one which accompanies the speeded-up chase sequences. Inevitable really, this. Nicholas Parsons used to be Benny Hill's Read more [...]

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 up a bar in a working men's club in Barnsley, and only vaguely listening to him on the theme of how t' bloody presenters today don't know they're born, how you can't find t' bloody producers any more, and how t' bloody guests aren't up to much Read more [...]

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. Instead, that firm jaw-line is diffused by a week's stubble, and the leather jacket he's wearing makes his shoulders look rounded, his physique stocky. I squint uncertainly and give him one of those vague hand Read more [...]

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 former veterinary surgery - and seems unable to stay in the same room for more than five minutes. As he lopes distractedly from his ping-pong room to his kitchen, his mongrel dog, Molly, follows him. His seven-year-old daughter, Alice, who is off school because she Read more [...]