Victoria Wood: my unfunny encounter
 
By Ross Welford
21 Apr 2016
 

Victoria Wood: my unfunny encounter


“She won’t be funny, you know,” said our executive producer. I had booked Victoria Wood, who died yesterday, as a guest on a chat show I was producing for ITV, starring Jimmy Tarbuck (about which I have written before). She was a late booking, the first guest on the first show in 1996.  Two days […]

A gem on every page
 
By Ross Welford
4 Apr 2016
 

A gem on every page


Fifteen years ago I was holiday with my then-girlfriend (now wife) in Zahara de los Atunes in southern Spain.  Three things are especially memorable.  Mrs W told me she was pregnant; Islamist psychos flew aeroplanes into the Twin Towers in New York (the horror of which we watched unfold on a television in a village bar); […]

Did people actually wear these things?
 
By Ross Welford
16 Mar 2016
 

Did people actually wear these things?


I fear they did.  The 1970s was, after all, “the decade that fashion forgot”. Except, it wasn’t.  It was more like, “the decade that fashion forgot that clothes should not be principally hilarious.” By which I mean, look around you. There is relatively little in how people dress now that in twenty years’ time will […]

Mysterious object in the mail
 
By Ross Welford
12 Mar 2016
 

Mysterious object in the mail


This arrived this morning. It’s a self-assembly mini-drone, so far as I can tell.  There was no sender, no return address, no instructions. All I can tell is that 1.  It was sent by Swiss Post 2. The sender’s signature is printed as YANWEN which appears to be a Chinese shipping company 3.  There’s a […]

Park Hotel, Tynemouth – a sad decline
 
By Ross Welford
7 Mar 2016
 

Park Hotel, Tynemouth – a sad decline


All right, all right.  I should have known.  I’ve driven past it plenty of times to have noticed its decline.  It’s just that I haven’t actually been in it for ages, decades, probably. So when it came to booking a Mothering Sunday lunch, and all the first choices were full, the Park Hotel, Tynemouth didn’t […]

February 29: get ready, ladies
 
By Ross Welford
29 Feb 2016
 

February 29: get ready, ladies


This business of women proposing marriage on February 29.  Does anyone, anyone at all, take it remotely seriously? You’d think not.  I mean, obviously it’s just a bit of a laugh, some humorous tradition that – personally – I doubt was ever more than that. But already, this morning, I’ve read things that make me suspect that […]

Gilbert O’Sullivan.  Then…and now.
 
By Ross Welford
10 Feb 2016
 

Gilbert O’Sullivan. Then…and now.


I’m way too old to choose what music I listen to on the basis of what is hip, cool, cutting edge, or will make me appear any of those things.  Which is just as well, because my tastes in popular music run in a definite Radio 2 groove. So I was in the car the […]

Are you “well-read”?  Take our humiliating and condescending test!
 
By Ross Welford
9 Feb 2016
 

Are you “well-read”? Take our humiliating and condescending test!


I think I am.  More accurately, I like to think I am. In fact, I’m probably not.  Not really.  I’m a fairly slow and fairly picky reader. But how can you tell whether you qualify for this fatuous and altogether snobby accolade? Well, one way would be to do this quiz, which popped up in my […]

The author as stand up comic
 
By Ross Welford
31 Jan 2016
 

The author as stand up comic


You’re up there for an hour, doing nothing but talking, and they’re all laughing, hundreds of them, sometimes.  You’re being FUNNY! You’re a comedian! This was not what I expected.  Not even slightly. “Are you up for doing some promotion?” they asked.  “Perhaps touring schools, signing some books, talking to the kids a bit?” “Um…sure? […]

The glorious myth of the “book launch”
 
By Ross Welford
24 Jan 2016
 

The glorious myth of the “book launch”


Well, it’s out.  Officially.  My book, that is. (Time Travelling With a Hamster.) I know that because I have had a “launch party”, which – it appears – is something that everyone (myself included) assumes happens for every book that is published, more or less.  And which, in actual fact, almost never happens unless: The author […]

The Kid Who Came From Space

A small village in the wilds of Northumberland is rocked by the disappearance of twelve-year-old Tammy. Only her twin brother, Ethan, knows she is safe – and the extraordinary truth of where she is. It is a secret he must keep, or risk never seeing her again.

More Info

The Dog Who Saved The World

My pet dog is called Mr Mash. We named him that because he's a mishmash. A total mongrel. He smells terrible. He'll eat literally anything. He can't see very well. But I love him more than anything. (Sorry dad.) And without him, the world is going to end...

More Info

The 1,000-year-old Boy

There are stories about people who want to live forever. This is a story about someone who wants to stop.

More Info

What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible

Turning invisible at will: it’s one way of curing your acne. But far more drastic than 13 year-old Ethel Leatherhead intended when she tried a combination of untested medicines and a sunbed.

More Info

Time Travelling With A Hamster

My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty nine, and again four years later when he was twelve.

More Info