Arts interviews

My breakfast with Larry David

By Peter Rosengard, August 21, 2008

A few days ago, I was eating breakfast at The Regency ("Home of the Power Breakfast") Hotel in New York.

At the next table was a bald, middle-aged man in glasses, in a dark grey T-shirt and black shirt jacket reading The New York Times.

"Larry!" I said.

He didn't look up.


He looked up.

I smiled and leant towards him, my hand outstretched.


Jerry Springer: ‘I was a poor refugee’

By Simon Round, August 15, 2008

Jerry Springer was born in a London Tube station during a Nazi bombing raid. As a child he dreamt of driving the 102 around Finchley. That's until he moved to New York and became a talk-show celebrity

Hopefully, one day they will get around to putting up a blue plaque to mark Jerry Springer's place of birth. If they do, many JC readers might see it on their way to work because Springer, one of America's most famous faces, was born at East Finchley tube station in North London on a cold winter's night in 1944, during a Nazi bombing raid.


Julie Burchill: Brash, outspoken and wishing she was Jewish

By Gerald Jacobs, August 8, 2008

‘Beautiful and exceptionally intelligent': Julie's views on Jews. Meet Israel's staunchest supporter in the UK media - a working-class former punk from Bristol who's responsible for some of the most entertaining journalism of the past 30 years.

Almost the first words Julie Burchill utters as she opens the door of her Brighton flat are: "Did you go on the rally?" She is referring to the Salute-to-Israel rally at the end of June and which she says was the occasion for her first trip up to London in two years.


Jonathan Freedland: Why my alter-ego does fiction

By Simon Round, August 1, 2008

Sam Bourne, best-selling thriller writer, is in fact political journalist Jonathan Freedland. He tells us about his dual identity - and the relative freedom of novels


When you think of a thriller-writer called Sam Bourne, what image does the name conjure up? Perhaps a cross between Andy McNab and Frederick Forsyth, a hard-drinking ex-mercenary who has roughed it in equatorial Africa, maybe someone who is familiar with the sleazy backstreets of Moscow, London and New York.


Esther Rantzen: Older and wiser

By Dana Gloger, July 25, 2008

One of Britain's most famous TV presenters has spent much of her career trying to right wrongs. Now, at 68, with a revived interest in her Jewishness, she is targeting age discrimination

Esther Rantzen is a woman on a mission. But this time, it has nothing to do with consumer rights, child protection or mastering the tango on Strictly Come Dancing. Her goal is simply to change society's
attitude towards older people. The 68-year-old former television presenter says she has become increasingly irritated by the "ageist times in which we live".


Josh Howie: Punch-ups of a Shoah joker

By John Nathan, July 18, 2008

Comedian Josh Howie regularly uses his Jewishness as material — but not always with the desired results.


The Schmooze Brothers: ‘We’re the ideal men. Straight women love us’

By Rachel Fletcher, July 18, 2008

All-women drag act The Schmooze Brothers explain how they seeking to attract a more kosher audience.

It is straight women who stare at them the most, apparently. Avivit Katzil is adamant: “We were in a club the other day, and the people who were looking at us more than anyone were straight women. It’s because we are the men they want to have.”

“We’re much cuter,” Su Rath Knan adds. “We’re the ideal men, and they’re in love. We’re soft but cheeky and sexy. We’re male, but not really. They don’t care what’s underneath.”


David D’Or: Meet Israel’s classical hero

By Paul Lester, July 18, 2008

David D’Or has sung for the Pope and Bill Clinton.

David D’Or is Israel’s Charlotte Church — only, obviously, he is male, and not married to a rugby player. But he is his nation’s best-known classical singer and has, over the years, performed for everyone from the Pope and the King of Thailand to Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton. Not surprisingly, he believes his music can make a difference.


Iris Bahr: 'I morph, therefore I am'

By Alex Kasriel, July 11, 2008

Iris Bahr is a comedian who writes in intimate detail about her sex life, and plays 10 characters in her London stage show. Maybe she just wants to be accepted

She may have appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm as the Orthodox Jewish daughter of a doctor, and spent her childhood in a religious New York primary school, but Iris Bahr is no prude.


Chantal Akerman: My family and other dark materials

By Julia Weiner, July 11, 2008

Top avant-garde director Chantal Akerman explores her pressured past in a film being shown in London

Chantal Akerman once described her concerns as follows: “Language, documentary, fiction, Jews and the Second Commandment.” Many critics would add feminism to the list. However, Akerman, whose first solo exhibition in this country opens today at the Camden Arts Centre in North-West London, resists the idea of being categorised.