Simon Round

TV review: Yes, Prime Minister

By Simon Round, January 24, 2013

Around 26 years after the last episode of Yes, Prime Minister aired, it is back, with the same writing team but a different cast — Henry Goodman replaces the peerless Nigel Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey and David Haig is the bumbling PM Jim Hacker in place of the much underrated Paul Eddington, both the original actors sadly no longer with us.

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Francesca Segal: the Costa Prize-winnning novelist following in her father's footsteps

By Simon Round, January 24, 2013

The most surprising thing about Francesca Segal was that she was in her 30s before she published a novel. Aged three, her imaginary friend was the secretary who would take dictation for her. When she was six, Segal would hand stories she had written over to her father — Erich Segal, the author of Love Story — to take to his publishers.

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Death on the A20

By Simon Round, January 18, 2013

At noon on October 31 1946, the body of a 48-year-old woman, Dagmar Petrzywalski, was found by the side of the A20 in Kent. She had been strangled by Sidney Sinclair, a lorry driver from whom she had hitched a lift early that morning on the way to visit her sister.

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An epic survivor's tale

By Simon Round, January 17, 2013

This extraordinary film was made by Lisa Bryer, the producer of The Last King of Scotland, about her Aunt Henia.

According to the producers, when it was shown to BBC1 controller Danny Cohen, he cleared the schedules so that the film could be the centrepiece of the Holocaust Memorial Day coverage. Having seen the 40-minute documentary, I can only endorse his decision

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A good read and good friendships - why we love book groups

By Simon Round, January 17, 2013

The demise of the book has long been predicted. Television was forecast to rip us forcefully away from the novel but somehow the written word survived — indeed adaptations of classics such as Pride and Prejudice actually boosted sales.

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Karen Ruimy: the high-flyer who gave up finance for flamenco

By Simon Round, January 10, 2013

This is the time of year when many people take a look at their lives and wonder whether they are going in the right direction.

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Staving off the winter blues

By Simon Round, January 7, 2013

OK, it's the first week of January and I know for a fact that all of you are clinically depressed and will remain so until the clocks go forward. And yes, I know that it is dark out there from about lunch-time onward, the winter weather is, well, wintry and there are no holidays until Pesach.

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Felix Posen's mission: the first-ever entire record of everything Jewish

By Simon Round, December 27, 2012

Felix Posen is passionate about secular Jewish culture. If it is not a contradiction, he is positively evangelical about it. And he has also been prepared to invest more than just time into his interest.

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TV review: Ottolenghi’s Mediterranean Feast

By Simon Round, December 6, 2012

Yotam Ottolenghi is not the first celebrity chef to make a culinary journey to the Mediterranean. Keith Floyd, Rick Stein, James Martin — you name them, they have all been there.

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Richard Young, the photographer who clicks with celebrities

By Simon Round, December 6, 2012

If you believe Richard Young’s account of his own career, he is one of the luckiest photographers around. He tells of how he was working in a bookshop, dabbling in photography, when he obtained a world exclusive by accident.

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Ooh la la and allo allo already

By Simon Round, December 4, 2012

For the first time ever, I feel sorry for Joey Barton. Normally, I have no time for footballers who are randomly violent and excruciatingly pretentious but, having heard his recent post-match, French-accented interview, I do empathise with him a little.

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Enrico Macias: France's megastar comes to the UK

By Simon Round, November 30, 2012

It is not just the Rolling Stones who are celebrating 50 years of musical success this year. French singer Enrico Macias may not be a household name in this country, but he has been a star in France since 1962.
Now his British-based fans will be able to see him in concert, playing songs stretching right back through his career.

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What chutzpah! How Olivia Lee became the queen of prank TV

By Simon Round, November 29, 2012

When you interview Olivia Lee there is bound to be a slight sense of nervousness. This is a woman who has made a TV career out of playing pranks on the unsuspecting, so as I sit down there is a temptation to look for a camera crew secreted behind the potted plant.

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Brett Wigdortz, the Teach First man who is transforming Britain's schools

By Simon Round, November 29, 2012

If you were looking for someone qualified to lead an initiative to improve the standard of education for under-privileged children, Brett Wigdortz would not be that man. At least, 10 years ago he was not that man — he did not have any relevant skills or experience and he was only 28.

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JC Profile: Adam Richman

By Simon Round, November 23, 2012

Adam Richman could eat for America.

In fact that is more or less what Richman's job has been for the past few years. As presenter of the massively popular Man v. Food show, which has aired on Dave, The Food Network and UK TV Food, Richman has become a cult figure for taking on some of the most insane food challenges in a country renowned for unhealthy portion sizes.

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Sera Hersham-Loftus: the seductive interior designer

By Simon Round, November 22, 2012

Sera Hersham-Loftus’s parents must have despaired of her when she was a child. She had two off-putting habits.

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They did their bit - the story of three centuries of heroism

By Simon Round, November 15, 2012

Sadly, there are not many Jews who fought in the Second World War who are still able to march. But those who can will be polishing their medals to parade down Whitehall on Sunday, in honour of their comrades who fell in the 1939-45 conflict and those before and since.

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They did their bit - the story of three centuries of military heroism

By Simon Round, November 15, 2012

Sadly, there are not many Jews who fought in the Second World War who are still able to march. But those who can will be polishing their medals to parade down Whitehall on Sunday, in honour of their comrades who fell in the 1939-45 conflict and those before and since.

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Guest who?

By Simon Round, November 12, 2012

Simchahs come and go, but somehow the cast of characters remains the same. There are types who find their way into just about every bar- and batmitzvah or wedding - people whom you instantly recognise. Here is a small selection.

The Kvetcher

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Amos Oz: When it’s OK to join the boycott

By Simon Round, November 8, 2012

When Amos Oz sits down to write at his desk in the study of his Arad home, he does not use a computer. Rather, he has two pens — a black one and a blue one. Each has a different function, he says.

“I use one pen to tell stories and the other to tell the government to go to hell.”

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