The acclaimed author waxes passionate about gigs by The Cure and slim volumes by Goethe. Just don’t get him started on book reviews in the Metro First record you ever bought ‘Intuition’ by Linx, from Woolies in Tiverton. And I’m not ashamed.

First film you saw that really moved you If ever a film changed my life it was Billy Liar. It made me realise I really shouldn’t work in a petrol station all my life, that I had to make some kind of leap and get things done.

Last lie you told I can’t remember, but I get the feeling I’m about to tell one about Kramer Vs Kramer.

First movie you ever went on a date to Kramer Vs Kramer.

Last time you cried My wife regularly makes me cry with laughter. That’s partly why I married her. First thing you do when you’ve got time off work Head to the park and feed the ducks with my wee son, Arthur.

Last great meal you cooked Spaghetti, peas and veggie gravy nobody ever believes me when I tell them it’s a classic.

First crush Annabella Lwin. First song you’ll sing at karaoke ‘Slow Hand’ by the Pointer Sisters.

Last extravagant purchase you made A load of super-soft cotton jersey bed linen. I work in bed, so this kind of thing is important. Last book you read I just re-read The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe for the first time in ten years. What a book. Nice and short too.

First great piece of advice you were given Be patient. I’ve never followed it, but it is good advice.

Last time you were star struck Sitting in the front row of a Trey Parker and Matt Stone talk at the Underbelly. I felt like a 14-year-old girl seeing the Beatles in 1963. First thing you’d do if you ran the country Abolish Prince Edward. None of the others, just him it would be worth it just to see the look on his face.

Last meal on earth what would it be A fried spaghetti sandwich, made by the master (me).

Last time you exploited your position to get something I used to be with a big ugly showbiz agency, and they got me into an exclusive gig by the Sugababes’ first line-up. They only played about six times, and it was never the same after Siobhan left. They were ace. Apart from that I plunder Canongate’s shelves whenever I’m in the office. First time you realised you were famous Dude, I’m so not famous. You’re talking to me like I’m Nelson Mandela, or BA Robertson.

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Last time someone criticised your work Crappy free rag Metro has given my new one their traditional lame-arsed and humourless review. As ever they can fuck off.

First three words your friends would use to describe you Grumpy, miserly and evasive. Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it A pair of cords that seemed brown in the shop, but everywhere else on earth they’re a dazzling purple. I still wear them, though - I’m too mean not to.

John Otway, Kenny Lynch and Manuel from Fawlty Towers. I thought all gigs were going to be like that.

Last time you bought someone flowers Oh dear. It’s been a while. I’m a terrible husband. First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning Where’s my pillow gone?

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep I don’t half fancy a giant marshmallow.

First concert you ever attended The Cure at the Royal Albert Hall in 1986. They had a magnificent supporting line-up: The Waterboys, Dan Rhodes reads from his new novel Little Hands Clapping at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, Fri 12 Mar, 7.30pm, £7 (£6), as part of Aye Write!

We were as surprised as you when we found out, but it turns out that we (and by ‘we’, we mean men, women, work experience people) really quite like being bossed around by the ironically-buff, bare-chested male model in the white slacks, on horseback, in the Old Spice advert (See for yourself at /1d1kK). Having calmed ourselves

down with a sobering look at the terrifying, and ludicrous, definition of ‘pinemouth’ online, which cruelly struck down one of our staff this week, we also like pine nuts NOT IMPORTED from China. Spread the word, people. Don’t end up a pinemouth statistic. While we heartily dislike the horizontal sleet-storms that February

treated us to, we like the idea of furnishing our March ‘transitional-spring’ wardrobe with limited edition 25th anniversary Nike Air Jordan’s ( Also, after the non-stop tolling of the death knell for the music industry in recent years, we like rediscovering the Dead Kennedy’s oddly prophetic anti-piracy warning on a 1981 cassette single.

2 THE LIST 4–18 Mar 2010