Toy Story is coming back. I'm pretty sure that sentence will be enough to send a shiver of excitement through anyone under the age of about 40. Like many of you, I grew up with Buzz, Woody and co. I watched them battle Sid, become friends, escape from the Toy Barn, outwit Lots o' Huggin - and I nearly cried as they all held hands and slipped towards the furnace. I'll be honest, I thought I had seen the last of them when they sat with Andy's neighbour as he headed off to colle
Cut to city centre street. A battered DeLorean explodes into view in a flash of smoke and flame, it swerves across the road and comes screeching to a halt next to a row of bins. A dazed Marty McFly stagers out of the car and looks about him. Marty: Ok, so, 2018. Doc must be about here somewhere. He looks around and his eyes come to rest on a cinema across the road. Marty: So what films did 2018 come up with? A ninth Star Wars movie, another Predator remake, the tenth superher
Tea is something of a national pastime here in the UK. But I think it is fair to say quite a few of us don’t know much about it beyond the obvious; “milk, no sugar please.” The folks at Yumchaa are keen to change all that. So last night S and I headed over to their shop in King’s Cross to find out more about this most popular of drinks. The Yumchaa King’s Cross tea room is a delightful spot. It is a glass-walled haven of all things tea tucked away in Granary Square. The walls
A few years ago a young man sat at a desk in a small English town and rubbed his hand across a clean-shaven chin. As he sipped a cup of tea he peered out of the window at what was, presumably, a fairly mundane view, and contemplated the world going by outside and his place in it. Fast-forward a few years and it is all change. Now that man spends much of his time on international flights; constantly rushing for place to place. Gone is the hairless visage, replaced with a beard
I still remember the feeling; that sinking in the pit of my stomach. My heart was in my mouth and I hardly dared take a breath as the results were announced. I had taken my chance and had my say, but I knew thousands of others around the country had done the same and now the outcome of this decision was in our hands. Had we got it right? What was “right”? Had we thought it through properly? This decision would have consequences and repercussions. In my front room there was ba
Southwark Playhouse is a real jewel in London’s theatrical crown. Over the last couple of years I have seen lots of brilliant shows there, from Pippin to Working. But last night I saw one of the best things I have seen, not just at Southwark but anywhere. I was a late replacement to join S at Southwark for a production of The Rink. It is written by Kander and Ebb, the team behind Chicago, and was tipped by one of S’s friends as “their best musical”. He wasn’t wrong. Musical s
More than a decade ago Desmond Payne was sat at a bar in Japan. But he had a problem. Tonic in Japan tastes different and it was ruining his gin and tonic. “So I looked around me,” he says. “And I thought: ‘What are people drinking?’ Tea. Green tea mostly. “Does tea and gin work? Yes it does. So I drank gin with green tea. So when I made a new gin I thought: ‘Tea works with gin, does tea work as a botanical in gin?’ It's that eureka moment, when the lightbulb turns on. You ne
So Avengers Infinity War is in the can. By now most of us know that the film's conclusion left quite a few of the Marvel Cinematic Universe dead or vapourised - which, for the sake of argument, I am counting as the same thing. But we know there are a raft of Marvel films still to come in Phase Four and the MCU doesn't have the best record for keeping dead people dead. As the credits rolled, the highest-profile survivors were Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Nebula, Rocket, Nat
You have probably heard of Fortnite Battle Royale. It has become the latest online sensation and is taking the gaming world by storm. I am not an avid gamer, but even I have got hooked on this one. It is so easy to take part. Sign up and you are given a character, you are then dropped, along with 99 others, onto an island where you have to find weapons, medi packs and building materiels and then kill your opponents to be the last player standing. The release of films like Rea
"There he was, about 5'7", skinny, but on nights out in Munich, if he walked into the bar, the women - whoomph - would be around him." So Tom Adams described one of the coolest-looking men who ever lived - Steve McQueen. The pair met filming the classic movie The Great Escape. McQueen's reputation as a womaniser comes as no surprise, but when I first saw this quote the thing that struck me was the first half of it. Steve McQueen was 5'7" I am aware 5'7" is not astoundingly sh
I will start this out with a confession: I am a big fan of Crystal Head Vodka. The first time I saw one of their skull bottles I thought it was one of the coolest things I had seen. I then met the team behind it at ork events and they were, simply put, some of the nicest people I have worked with. For those who have not discovered Crystal Head, it was founded in 2008 by artist John Alexander and comedian and actor Dan Akroyd. Yes, that Dan Akroyd. Unsurprisingly, the very coo
The Oscars were last night. As I sit writing this at my desk in London, Twitter is lighting up with photos of semi-inebriated Hollywood bods enjoying the post-ceremony merriment. The morning after the Academy Awards always produces a tidal wave of lists all chronicling one of two things: who won what and who wore what. Shockingly they are usually pretty similar (and if you have somehow missed out there is a winner's list at the bottom). But this is something a bit different,
I recently started keeping a journal again. I say "again", I am not really sure if I ever properly kept a journal before. I've had notebooks that I've written bits down in and I once kept a diary for a whole year of my life to see if anything exciting happened - it did. But I am not sure I've ever has a receptacle for thoughts, experiences, creativity and random musings. A journal is, I suppose, a little bit like a paper blog. But slightly more private. Depending on your read
Don't say I don't do anything for you. Find yourself a comfy seat and kick back for a few minutes with the new Deadpool trailer. We get a look at Josh Brolin as Cable (yep, the same Josh Brolin as is playing Thanos Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War films), Ryan Reynolds is at his hilarious best and there is plenty of stupidity. Oh and if there is not a reference to Brolin's double duty in the Marvel universe then someone missed a trick. Anyway, enjoy. Photo from Ryan Reynolds o
We have a new Doctor and, therefore, a new look for fans to get their heads round.
The BBC's Doctor Who has been thrilling fans for decades and during that time 13 actors have played the part - 12 as "The Doctor" and John Hurt as another iteration of the character known as "The War Doctor".
Each version comes with their own characteristics, ticks and a fresh new attire. As with any fandom, the Doctor's new look is always a big one for fans.
Those fans were out in force ear
This week has been a pretty theatre-filled affair. After Big Fish on Wednesday, I was back in the stalls on Thursday and Friday for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Now, despite my usual view on spoilers, I am going to follow the publicity campaign and "keep the secrets" for this show. The reasons for this are two-fold - firstly I know a lot of people desperately want to see the show and would give their right arm to do so, but can't get tickets. S and I got lucky with the
Welcome to my first Friday Zeitgeist. zeitgeist
the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time. This aims to capture the spirit and mood of the last week by looking at eight things people have been talking about. Why? Well tonight a few of you will head to the pub with friends or colleagues and chat about the week that was. Over the weekend you will meet people for coffee or drop by to see family
Last night S and I popped to the theatre for one of the most unexpectedly brilliantly shows of the year so far. We almost forgot we had bought tickets for Big Fish at The Other Palace. We booked them on a whim a while ago and were suddenly reminded about them when we saw an advert on Facebook at the weekend. There was a surreal moment of conversation which went: "There's a musical of Big Fish, do you want to see it?" "Yeah, sure." "Hang on, haven't we got tickets already?" An
You have probably heard of Tim Minchin - the dreadlocked Australian comedian, actor, writer, musician and director is well-known for his musical comedy and composing of successful shows Matilda The Musical and Groundhog Day. He is also a little bit chatty and opinionated. In 2013 he gave a speech to graduating students at his alma mater, the University of Western Australia. In it he presented them with nine life lessons, but he did admit "I'm not an inspirational speaker...ho
Today I ran into the legendary Ian McShane in London. Ok, not strictly true, I walked past him and did the slow-motion look you do as someone famous walks past without airs and graces. The man just has presence. At a glance he was walking down the road, going about his business, in his own world just like everyone else. Except as he walked past me and off into the distance I realised, Mr McShane wasn't walking, he wasn't even strolling, he was ambling. amble ˈamb(ə)l/ verb ge