The Simon Round interview

Interview: David Shenk

By Simon Round, July 8, 2010

If you have been watching the World Cup over the past month you will have been marvelling at the way Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi manages to glide his way through defences with the ball seemingly attached to his left foot - how he evade tackles, finds team-mates with a flick of his boot and shoots unerringly at the goal.

Messi is sublimely gifted - a natural-born genius like Maradona and Pele before him. Or is he? Is it just conceivable that Messi's genius is due to the fact that he practises harder than his contemporaries?


Interview: Debbie Klein

By Simon Round, June 17, 2010

A few weeks ago, journalists at the JC received a memo about directory enquiries numbers entitled "The Power of Advertising". Apparently over half of all directory enquiries calls had been made to 118118 - one of the most expensive numbers. We were implored to use an alternative service.


Interview: Caprice

By Simon Round, June 10, 2010

It could be any office anywhere. The location, wedged between London's Westway flyover and the train tracks, is not madly glamorous but there are signs, if you look for them, that the chief executive of this particular company has spent her life in places far removed from trading estates.


Interview: Simon Cohen

By Simon Round, June 3, 2010

Some people collect stamps, some collect postcards and others collect art. Most are proud to have their collections on display. Simon Cohen's collection is more unusual and he is rather ambivalent about it. He has around 1,600 pieces, of which most are tucked away in a back room and rarely see the light of day.


Interview: Andrew Dismore

By Simon Round, May 21, 2010

The boxes are piled high in Andrew Dismore's Hendon constituency office. There are unused leaflets, posters and some of the records and documents he has managed to salvage from Westminster. In the middle of the chaos sits a shell-shocked former MP.

He points to the campaign map of the constituency, each district marked with the canvassing returns that he and his small team carried out through the election campaign. The map says he should have won. The map was wrong.


Interview: Philip Rosenthal

By Simon Round, May 13, 2010

Philip Rosenthal treats people with addiction. However, his field is specific - he does not deal with drugs, alcohol or gambling but rather a compulsion which he feels is increasing exponentially.

The former United States police officer's speciality is addiction to technology. This usually takes the form of compulsive internet usage, although he has also treated addictive texters. "Basically," he says, "if it runs on batteries or plugs into the wall, I treat it."


Interview: Daniel Libeskind

By Simon Round, May 6, 2010

September 11, 2001 was already destined to be an important date in the life of architect Daniel Libeskind. It was the day that 13 years of labour would come to fruition with the opening of his spectacular project, the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

The museum duly opened its doors to the public for the first time that morning, only to close them again almost immediately as news filtered through of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.


Interview: Dennis Friedman

By Simon Round, April 22, 2010

There have been various theories to explain how the banking crisis and subsequent global downturn happened. Some have blamed governments, some point to the culture of irresponsibility in financial institutions. Psychiatrist Dr Dennis Friedman thinks it is the fault of the bankers' mothers.


Interview: Keren David

By Simon Round, April 8, 2010

Two years ago, Keren David was a mother of two young children, just returned from a spell living in Holland and looking for something meaningful to do. A friend suggested a course on writing for children.


Interview: David Baddiel

By Simon Round, March 18, 2010

David Baddiel is tucked away in a back corner of the Hampstead café where we have arranged to meet. It occurs to me that maybe he is attempting to do something of a Salman Rushdie-style disappearing act given the controversial subject matter of his new comedy movie, The Infidel, about a Muslim man who finds in middle age that he is really a Jew by birth.

But Baddiel, while anxious about how the film will be received both in the Muslim and Jewish communities, is not expecting a fatwa. Clearly, though, he has given the subject a fair amount of thought.