The Simon Round interview

Interview: Victoria Coren

By Simon Round, September 17, 2009

Victoria Coren is very good at poker and has won a lot of money playing it. But despite this and a big sponsorship deal from a poker website, she does not consider herself a professional player. This is probably a very good thing, because when she is not writing or presenting TV programmes (which she does consider her job), she is generally playing poker, either online or live. So if poker was work, she says, she would have no free time at all.


Interview: Wendy Salisbury

By Simon Round, September 9, 2009

Lots of people disapprove of Wendy Salisbury. Despite the fact that she is successful in her career, happy in her personal life and has a good relationship with her two daughters, there is one aspect of her life that worries her friends.


Interivew: James Smith

By Simon Round, September 2, 2009

Very few people remain unmoved by a visit to Yad Vashem, but for Stephen and James Smith from Nottinghamshire, it proved to be a life-changing experience.

The brothers, who had hardly met anyone Jewish before they visited the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem in 1991, came home with a conviction that they should do something to encourage education about the Nazi genocide of the Jews.

The result was the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre, built in a renovated farmhouse at the family home in the village of Laxton.


'Simon Wiesenthal lied'

By Simon Round, July 23, 2009

If you are writing a book about the people who hunted down the Nazis after the Second World War, the one figure it is impossible to ignore is Simon Wiesenthal, the man who became legendary for tracking down war criminals, earning two Nobel Prize nominations in the process.


Interview: Michael Rosen

By Simon Round, July 2, 2009

Children love Michael Rosen. As one of the most successful and prominent children’s poets of the past 30 years, he has brought laughter, entertainment and a love of literature to youngsters all over the country. Not all adults are so complimentary about him though — particularly those Jews who see his stand against Zionism as hateful and, indeed, self-hating.


Interview: Zoë Wanamaker

By Simon Round, June 25, 2009

Many Jews tell stories, passed down by their grandparents or great grandparents, of how persecution forced them to flee their homes in Europe to travel in hope to the New World.

For Zoë Wanamaker it happened in reverse. Her family were forced to flee the New World for the Old. Her father, director and actor Sam Wanamaker, was a victim not of antisemitism but of the McCarthyite witchhunts in America in the early 1950s, when those suspected of having links with Communism were blacklisted.


Interview: Dan Falk

By Simon Round, June 18, 2009

Dan Falk is bang on time for our interview. This would not normally be a fact worth noting. He is after all an accomplished and almost certainly a very punctual science writer who is used to making and keeping appointments. However, given the nature of our conversation, it is significant – particularly when he reveals that the time is actually different for him than it is for me.


Interview: Gerald Ronson

By Simon Round, June 4, 2009

If you ever wondered what it takes to become a multi-millionaire, Gerald Ronson’s weekend timetable is a salutary lesson.

From Monday to Friday, he puts in 12-hour days. Then at the weekend, Ronson — who at the age of 70 still heads his Heron International property empire — wakes up early for what he calls his Saturday job.


Interview: Lord Weidenfeld

By Simon Round, May 21, 2009

Lord Weidenfeld may be nearly 90 years old but he is still a man in a hurry. He is squeezing in our interview before rushing home to pack for an important trip to Israel. This in no way takes away from the warmth of the welcome. His eyes twinkle, his smile is genuine and he gives the impression that this meeting is the highlight of his day — perhaps of his week.


Interview: Professor Yonatan Halevy

By Simon Round, May 14, 2009

The next time you find yourself waiting for three hours at your local accident and emergency department with a badly sprained ankle, you might wish to compare the experience with that of your Israeli counterpart.