October 4th, 2004

Grisjambon Vert

I don't like Graham Greene- too angsty, too catholic, too self-conscious (also dull)- but I admire him.

Sometimes I call myself a writer. Well hush my mouth. I'm a dilettante, a dabbler. To produce book after book after book and then when inspiration fails to go crawling all over the globe in search of untold stories- that's being a writer!

Happy 100th birthday, Graham!


Channel 5 has a little competition on to find Britain's favourite living comedian. I look at the names on offer and think, "pah, none of them compares to the great names of the past. Ronnie Barker- omigod!"

But isn't that always the way? It's very hard to see contemporaries as giants. It's even harder if they're younger than you are. The guys I think of as giants are all older than me and mostly dead. This is true, not only of comedians, but of actors, writers, musicians, artists, you name it.

For someone to seem like a giant you need to have had your first look at them when you were a kid- before your critical faculties kicked in.

The only exceptions to the rule are sports stars. The results, the scores, the victories provide an objective measure of greatness. Tiger Woods may be nobbut a lad but there's no arguing against his record.