I’m a journalist, broadcaster and author. I write a column for The Independent, and various features and interviews for other national broadsheets and magazines. I make and present TV and radio documentaries and am a regular guest on live comment programmes. I am also Chair of Hull City of Culture, 2017. My first novel The Square (Legend Press) has just come out. It’s a saucy romp featuring the middle class residents of a London garden square. So far none of my neighbours has taken me to court. I live in a London garden square. I’ve also written two other books, The Tastemakers (Thames and Hudson) about British contemporary art and Bonnes Vacances! (Summersdale) about a trip around the French speaking world which I did with my family. Croissants in the Jungle, a 6-part documentary series for the Travel Channel, was made on this journey. From 1994-2004, I was Arts Correspondent for the BBC. Then I was Arts Editor and Theatre Critic at the New Statesman, a profile writer for The Sunday Times and a writer for the Telegraph. I run marathons and I’m a Brownie leader.
I’m a graduate of Hull University, the London College of Communication and the Courtauld Institute, but before all that, I had a Glee-style education at an American High School courtesy of the English-Speaking Union. I have been a Trustee of the Carnegie (UK) Foundation, Home Live Art and Modern Art Oxford.
Radio documentaries I’ve done for Radio 4 include the 2014 series The Move, plus documentaries In Defense of Pushy Parents, Stories from The Squeezed Middle, and Towering Ambition, which analysed why London has skyscrapers but Paris has none. I am a regular guest on Five Live talk shows and Jeremy Vine on Radio 2.
I do newspaper reviewing for news programmes on Sky or ITV, and occasionally turn up on Newsnight or equivalent programmes to discuss topical issues, usually cultural or lifestyle. I appear frequently on television live debates. Last year I co-produced a documentary in the 2014 Perspectives season for ITV1, Kick Out The Jams, which was presented by Gary Kemp and looked at the legacy of the Young British Artists.