Simon Round

Strictly Kosher star on fame, phones, and chicken soup

By Simon Round, August 18, 2011

Just a month ago, Bernette Clarke was a Manchester housewife, juggling work and family. Now, following the screening of ITV1's Strictly Kosher documentary, she is Britain's latest reality star. And she might just end up as Prestwich's answer to Nigella.

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TV review: Great thinkers: in their own words

By Simon Round, August 8, 2011

The cuts are biting hard at the BBC, and the resulting industrial action has hit news programmes this week.

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Losing the battle of bedtime

By Simon Round, July 25, 2011

It is eight o'clock on Sunday evening. "Right, children, it's time for bed," I announce authoritatively.

"But I need to spend quality time with you," pleads eight-year-old Lucy. "Yes," agrees six-year-old Alex. "I need to spend quality time as well… whatever that means."

I clap my hands decisively and hurry them off towards the bedroom.

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Avoid cancer? Eat like an Israeli

By Simon Round, July 21, 2011

Zvi Livneh has spent years researching lung cancer. However, despite all of his work, he is not particularly interested in finding a cure for this killer disease. Rather, the Israeli scientist wants to stop people getting it at all.

Despite a substantial drop in smoking levels in the western world, lung cancer is still responsible for 30 per cent of all cancer deaths.

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Review: The Apprentice

By Simon Round, July 21, 2011

Cast your mind back 15 years. Alan Sugar was not then what you would call a national treasure. His reputation was as a belligerent, bad-tempered, hard-nosed businessman who had alienated the fans of Tottenham Hotspur FC for committing the cardinal sin of running the football club as if it were a business.

But then came The Apprentice.

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Strictly Kosher: I give it two sequins

By Simon Round, July 14, 2011

It was called Strictly Kosher but if you were taking all your information from this documentary you would probably conclude that Manchester Jewry was a cross between Glee and Fiddler on the Roof.

We saw the community through the eyes of three main characters - or should that be caricatures?

Joel owns a clothes shop frequented by women who are never knowingly under-sequinned.

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TV Review: History Cold Case

By Simon Round, July 14, 2011

A couple of years ago, during the construction of a shopping centre in Norwich, a dry well shaft was excavated. In it were found the bodies of 17 people, including 11 children.

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Interview: Tony Klinger

By Simon Round, July 14, 2011

Many children of illustrious fathers hesitate before following their parent's career footsteps, but for Tony Klinger, son of film producer Michael Klinger, it happened the other way around.

Klinger decided at the age of nine that he wanted to be a film-maker and was furious that his father, who came from an engineering background, changed career in middle-age to become a cinema-owner and, later

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Interview: Sir Sigmund Sternberg

By Simon Round, July 7, 2011

It has been a big few weeks for 90th birthdays. First the Duke of Edinburgh hit the magic number, but amid all the celebrations he still found time to send a letter of congratulations to mark the birthday of fellow nonagenarian, Sir Sigmund Sternberg.

Like Prince Philip, Sternberg is attempting to rein in his many activities now he has entered his 10th decade. But there is a lot to rein in.

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TV review: Imagine

By Simon Round, June 30, 2011

Three years ago, Alan Yentob made a documentary with neurologist Oliver Sacks.

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On Johann Hari

By Simon Round, June 29, 2011

All the fuss about the Independent’s Johann Hari recycling quotes and passing them off as his own reminds of something Winston Churchill said to me in an interview back in the late 40s. "What about those RAF guys?" I asked Churchill.

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My Twitter rule: remember people might read it

By Simon Round, June 20, 2011

So by now you will all have heard of Twitter, the micro-blogging site on which Stephen Fry and Lily Allen tell you what they had for breakfast in 140 characters or less.

It’s also the go-to site if you wish contravene a Premier League footballer’s super-injunction or start an uprising somewhere in the Middle East.

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The day France betrayed its Jews

By Simon Round, June 10, 2011

On the morning of July 16 1942, some 13,000 Jews were arrested in Paris and sent to internment camps around France. After months of near starvation, the adults and children were separated and deported to Auschwitz.

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TV review: Case Histories

By Simon Round, June 10, 2011

Case Histories is advertised by the BBC as "an unusual take on the detective genre".

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Interview: Nicola Mendelsohn

By Simon Round, June 10, 2011

We all know what goes on in advertising agencies. They are full of executives wearing interesting eyewear in open-plan offices, playing table tennis, drinking mojitos, having barbecues, and occasionally coming up with killer ideas before going off on skiing holidays.

Is this a true picture?

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Interview: Lewis Wolpert

By Simon Round, June 2, 2011

Lewis Wolpert likes to keep busy. His latest book, You're Looking Very Well, has just been published and he is already working on the next one. In breaks from writing, he goes running, plays tennis once or twice a week, cycles and has a busy social life - in other words he enjoys an enviably active lifestyle. Nothing remarkable about that, except that Wolpert is 81 years old.

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The free-spirited Bob Dylan

By Simon Round, May 26, 2011

Blowing in the Wind: Bob Dylan's Spiritual Journey
BBC Radio 4, 4/5

Tangled up with Dylan
BBC Four, 2/5

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He's called Green and he's giving London the blues

By Simon Round, May 26, 2011

The prevailing wisdom is that following in the footsteps of a famous father can be dangerous, particularly when your father was Benny Green, the beloved jazz saxophonist, writer and broadcaster who died in 1998.

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This Chasid is strictly unorthodox

By Simon Round, May 19, 2011

Wonderland: A Hasidic Guide to Love, Marriage and Finding a Bride
BBC2, 2/5

Dolphin Boy
More4, 3/5

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Interview: David Eagleman

By Simon Round, May 19, 2011

When conducting an interview with someone who has just written a book or a play, or embarked on a new venture, the natural starting point is ask where the idea came from.

However, in the case of American author and neuroscientist David Eagleman I know in advance what his answer will be - that he does not have a clue.

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