Simon Round

Our schools aren't all that bad, Mr Gove

By Simon Round, February 7, 2014

I have some good news for Michael Gove. The Education Secretary has been calling for state secondary schools to provide a standard of education worthy of Winchester or Eton despite the cuts his government has imposed, which means they have to do so so on around £20,000 less per child than the top public schools.

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Man in the kitchen: Carpe diem: a fishy tale

By Simon Round, February 3, 2014

I have always loved fish. For my family, Friday was fried fish night, a legacy of my grandmother’s Sephardi tradition which was passed down to my dad. Not only did we have fried fish on Friday nights but we tended to have stories of the sea told with dinner. My dad was a Navy pilot in the Second World War and he never seemed to run out of tales of his exploits on the seven seas.

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She's feeling a little Flush after the return to TV of Dorien

By Simon Round, January 30, 2014

In the quarter of a century since Birds of a Feather first became a massive TV hit, Lesley Joseph has become well-known to viewers as Dorien Green. And whereas many actresses would rail against being typecast, Joseph has no problem with it. In fact, every now and then she even dresses up as her sitcom persona. “If I’m going to a function I might occasionally go as her,” Joseph reveals.

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Man in the kitchen:Scotch not to be missed

By Simon Round, January 27, 2014

Tomorrow is Burns Night which is a significant event in my family. You see, I am Scottish. To be more precise my mother’s father was first-generation Glaswegian and although he left Scotland in his 20s and lived the rest of his life in the south of England, that still makes me Scottish enough to play football for the national team if I am good enough.

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Interview: Samantha Ellis

By Simon Round, January 20, 2014

Samantha Ellis can pinpoint the exact moment when the idea for her literary memoir How To Be a Heroine came into her head.

She was on a visit to Brontë country with her friend, Emma. Ellis's favourite Brontë character had always been Cathy Earnshaw in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights: "I was genuinely surprised and shocked that Emma was championing [Charlotte Brontë's] Jane Eyre.

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Review: Birds of a Feather

By Simon Round, January 17, 2014

Some 15 years have passed since the last episode of this hugely popular '90s sitcom and there has been a major change - the BBC turned down the opportunity of a new series and so Sharon, Tracey and Dorien have decamped to ITV.

That aside, all is much as you will remember - Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson are still the bickering sisters from Chigwell and Lesley Joseph plays "the slapper from nex

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Interview: Dan Patterson

By Simon Round, January 17, 2014

Producer and writer Dan Patterson freely admits to being an addict.

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Interview: Jonathan Teplitzky

By Simon Round, January 17, 2014

If your filmic preference is a storyline about a man struggling to recover from trauma, look no further than Jonathan Teplitzky.

Two years ago, the Australian director released Burning Man - a powerful drama about a chef whose life disintegrates following the death of his partner from cancer.

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Man in the kitchen: enough of the carb curb

By Simon Round, January 13, 2014

W e are now 10 days into the new year health drive. You haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since New Year’s eve and your fridge has all the ingredients for a daily spinach smoothie. So, enough already. You see, the irony about this idea of dieting in mid-winter is that this is precisely the time when your body craves carbs and calories to counteract the cold.

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In the future, we'll all be working at Starbucks

By Simon Round, January 10, 2014

January, as we all know, is detox time, so I’ve been thinking that I should start cutting down on my consumption of that well known Colombian powder which has been in the news so much lately... coffee.

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Where are they now? Bickering like it was 1998

By Simon Round, January 9, 2014

Birds of a Feather (ITV)

Some 15 years have passed since the last episode of this hugely popular ’90s sitcom and there has been a major change — the BBC turned down the opportunity of a new series and so Sharon, Tracey and Dorien have decamped to ITV.

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Man in the kitchen: Dhal L for lentils

By Simon Round, January 8, 2014

A s you will remember from last week’s column we got the new year health drive off to an early start with a saintly meal of chicken poached in its own stock.

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Man in the kitchen: Detox with a zingy zhug

By Simon Round, December 31, 2013

OK, we all know the deal. Several celebrations have come and gone and in only a few days’ time we will be in January — the detox month. It doesn’t really matter who you are or what community you come from, the entire nation will be united in the new year in panicking and joining a gym.

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Director Teplitzky gives Kidman and Firth a traumatic experience

By Simon Round, December 23, 2013

If your filmic preference is a storyline about a man struggling to recover from trauma, look no further than Jonathan Teplitzky.

Two years ago, the Australian director released Burning Man — a powerful drama about a chef whose life disintegrates following the death of his partner from cancer. It stemmed from Teplitzky’s own experience of bereavement and bringing up his son alone.

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My own festival of light

By Simon Round, December 17, 2013

Any cricket fan who has watched a test match from Old Trafford will have heard the commentators talking at length about the significance of the Pennine hills on the game. So the saying goes, if you can see the Pennines, it’s going to rain and if you can’t see them, it’s already raining.

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Man in the kitchen: Can't refuse this fusion

By Simon Round, December 9, 2013

The term fusion food has come into disrepute in the past few years. Back in the 90s it seemed like every trendy restaurant was combining Pacific Rim cuisine with Sicilian ingredients and coming out with something both expensive and inedible.

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Merav Michaeli: ‘Time to bring an Arab party into government’

By Simon Round, December 6, 2013

INTERVIEW

Last year, Merav Michaeli made what many would describe as a strange decision.

Ms Michaeli was one of Israel’s top TV presenters and producers with a career that spanned entertainment, documentaries and a regular column in the prestigious Ha’aretz daily.

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No regrets as Ed plays it safe on his island

By Simon Round, November 28, 2013

I have an idea in my mind’s eye of what certain politicians might have been like as teenagers. In my imagination, Ed Miliband was a gawky youth in a green anorak who attended Labour Young Socialist meetings and didn’t have any girlfriends — or any other interests for that matter.

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Lou Reed's walk on the mild side

By Simon Round, November 15, 2013

I was very sorry to hear about the recent death of the legendary rock star Lou Reed — sorry but not surprised. This was, after all, a man who had inflicted such damage on his liver through his rock’n’roll lifestyle that the liver announced its retirement earlier this year and had to be replaced with a new one.

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Peace process is doomed, says security veteran

By Simon Round, November 15, 2013

There are few living Israelis who have more experience in the fields of both war and peace than Ami Ayalon.

He was a decorated navy commando who became the commander of the Israeli navy, then served as director of the Shin Bet security service before ultimately being elected to serve as a Labour minister in Ehud Olmert’s coalition government.

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