I'm the author of three novels, “Out of Office” and “Fire Horses" (both published by Legend Press), my new comic novel "Kidology," and a collection of short stories and creative non-fiction, "Militant Factions." I've had dozens of major features in the Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Independent, Mail, Express, Telegraph and many more. Email me at:
|Posted on January 16, 2020 at 9:00 AM|
“News that Islington’s yummy mummies are up in arms about a proposed Ocado refuelling centre near a local primary school has caused much mirth and merriment in the media. How hypocritical, that the very people who use Ocado deliveries most – when not driving their 4WDs with Greenpeace bumper stickers to the Nags Head branch of Waitrose – should be jumping up and down in their ethically sourced hemp sandals at the possibility their little darlings might have to inhale the same fumes as common folk in Barnsley and Brixton. Few of the contributions have taken note of the fact that air pollution around Yerbury, where the Ocado depot is being built, is appalling and a great leveller – lung disease doesn’t discern between those who own or rent their homes…”
|Posted on December 16, 2019 at 1:15 PM|
“Unlike some, I don’t blame the BBC, the press, Brexit or the thicko electorate for last Thursday’s wipe-out – I blame myself. Back in 2015, the night before voting closed in Labour’s leadership contest, I had a dream – that I needed to rediscover my socialist roots and vote for Jeremy Corbyn as leader. So I paid my £3, joined the party that my family helped set up, and put my faith in my constituency MP – one who I was convinced would reconnect Labour with its roots…”
|Posted on November 22, 2019 at 5:35 AM|
|Posted on November 20, 2019 at 1:35 PM|
“According to Labour-controlled Calderdale Council, a 71-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s should be able to live on £15.28 per day after rent and bills. I wonder how Calderdale’s “Director of Adult Services and Wellbeing” Ian Baines would manage on £15.28 day if he was unlucky enough to have a life-limiting illness and rely on low-paid carers employed by his own authority for support…”
|Posted on November 9, 2019 at 7:35 PM|
“There is nothing embarrassing or untoward in my wife’s drawers. I’ll clarify that at the outset, because when we tell friends that we enjoy regular holiday home swaps, their first question is invariably: ‘Aren’t you worried about them going through your drawers?’ Our response is always the same: no, because unlike you filthy people, we have nothing to hide – and if we did, there’s a lockable cabinet…”
|Posted on November 2, 2019 at 8:10 PM|
Fantastic night last night at the Dogstar in Brixton for the launch party for the “Greetings” anthology published by Enthusiastic Press. The book has one of my poems, “Roman Synchysis”, and my short story, “The Angel of Stalingrad”. Readings, great music and booze – what more could you want?
The anthology is available now on Amazon – you can buy it here:
|Posted on October 3, 2019 at 6:35 AM|
“I have a confession to make. In 1981, aged 14, I almost killed the Queen. I was on holiday on a tiny island off the Scottish coast with my father and his family; as we sat on a pebbled beach eating sandwiches, to our bemusement a small boat approached the shore and Elizabeth II disembarked. As her flunkies spread the bathing towel, my fingers closed round a rock: then my dad’s fingers firmly grasped my wrist. I looked at him in surprise: after all, I thought we were against the Monarchy?”
|Posted on September 8, 2019 at 6:35 AM|
|Posted on August 6, 2019 at 12:00 PM|
Set amid 500 acres of rolling countryside at Bretton Hall Estate, Yorkshire Sculpture Park opened in 1977 and features sculptures by local heroes Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, as well as Joan Miro and other giants of the discipline. To the delight of the park’s many child visitors – mine included – there are also actual giants, such as Eduardo Paolozzi’s “Vulcan”, a 23-feet metallic humanoid….
|Posted on July 4, 2019 at 5:50 AM|
Last night (3rd July) I was honoured to be invited to speak at our local Society of Authors event on the subject of applying for grants, awards and other forms of funding. In recent years I’ve been fortunate enough to receive several awards from the Royal Literary Fund, Authors’ Foundation and the Journalist’s Charity, so hopefully those present were encouraged to keep applying for financial support to enable them to get that masterpiece over the line.
|Posted on June 15, 2019 at 4:50 AM|
Delighted to announce that my first major feature appears in the Summer 2019 (Vol CXXX No. 2) issue of The Author. “Scandal & delight” includes quotes from Toby Litt and Lily Brett, as well as describing the pain that being a writer can cause the ones we love. No link available – so try this instead
|Posted on June 15, 2019 at 4:10 AM|
“Hard to believe that in 2019, as the UK falls apart, when the only stores booming in the high street are food banks, when a New York-reject like Boris Johnson can zip up his pants for five minutes and declare himself PM, and Europe is busy wishing us a not-so-fond adieux, that there isn‘t a single punk band ready and willing to rage against the machine. That no one dares to push back against this dumbed-down cultural vacuum in which art, books and music must be inclusive, representative, nice…”
|Posted on March 4, 2019 at 7:40 PM|
In 1991 I was living over an Indian takeaway in the Holloway Road with two fellow Yorkies; on the whole they were desperate times, sharing a maggot-infested room with a plank for a toilet door, but getting free popadom when we paid our rent on time (which was rare). One night, hearing The Prodigy were playing at the Rocket in UNL (as it was then), after a few drinks and possibly illicit substances we decided to attend. Somehow my friends convinced me that the tiny shorts I had on would be perfect for a rave, so off we went. Naturally the bouncers, seeing the state of us (and in particular me in my shorts), wouldn’t let us in. Not to be deterred, we sneaked round the back, climbed a few walls, and at one point- confronted by a wide gap between two roofs – ran as fast as we could and… jumped.
Let’s freeze there, midway between two north London roofs, above a drop to concrete that would certainly have killed us. 24 years old, single, barely a penny to our names, working as computer cleaners, desperate, angry but still young. Sometimes I wonder: if I’d misjudged the gap and fallen to my death, would anyone have noticed?
A pointless question: we made it. We flew.
Once on the other roof we sneaked through a window and a minute or so later having charged through a series of corridors fell out on stage, where The Prodigy were performing their set: me in shorts like a Yorkshire version of Bez, skint, buzzing, and 24. We made it.
RIP Keith. My fellow ravers, rave on.
|Posted on February 16, 2019 at 11:05 AM|
Recently I’ve been working with BAFTA-winning artist, photographer and film-maker Alison Jackson, writing a show based on her unique work creating lookalikes of famous people. It’s Alison’s show but I’m glad to say a lot of the jokes are mine – some of them pretty fucking outrageous. Royalty, Trump, the Kardashians and some filthy jokes by yours truly - what more could you want?
“Double Fake” will be at Leicester Square Theatre from 5-7 March. Tickets still available!
|Posted on February 7, 2019 at 2:30 AM|
Standing beneath a blazing Outback sun with my wife and two children, I am staring at a rock.
It's a big rock -not as big as expected, but certainly impressive -and looks like a wave, hence the name.
|Posted on January 17, 2019 at 2:40 PM|
“On turning 50, I realised I’d never own my own home. What bank would agree to give a mortgage to someone with no regular source of income? Even if I did somehow hold down a job, I would have just 15 years until retirement age.
For a while, I was depressed. Owning your own home is the British dream. Why else would all those property shows I drool over be so popular? I won’t have anything to hand down to my kids. What sort of loser am I?”
Listen to the Spectator podcast: discussing social housing with @LukeDoonan and @IsabelHardman
|Posted on November 25, 2018 at 7:20 PM|
"When Mark Piggott realised how many events and places that were important to his family lay on a 20-mile trail from the outskirts of London to Soho, he decided to walk the whole route in a single day…"
I’ve been planning this walk for years now, so I’m delighted to announce the whole 4,500-word feature can be found at The Independent’s fantastic Long Reads section. Read it here
|Posted on November 14, 2018 at 8:10 AM|
Just been a guest on 5 Live where I discussed Brexit with the wonderful Emma Barnett. You can hear our discussion here.
|Posted on October 1, 2018 at 7:35 PM|
Recently I was lucky enough to meet Turner-shortlisted artist Ian Davenport ahead of his new display at at the Waddington Custot Gallery in London. Read my interview at the Blouin Art Info website.
|Posted on September 15, 2018 at 7:45 PM|
For the third year running I am deeply indebted to the wonderful Royal Literary Fund for their extremely generous grant. This money will enable me to finally finish some major projects I am very excited about – more details soon.
The RLF has been helping authors since 1790 and thanks to its support I have been able to concentrate on writing rather than simply working all hours to survive. I am now close to where I want to be – again, watch this space! – but will never forget their support and faith in my work - which couldn’t have come at a better time. I really hope one day I’m in position to repay their generosity in one form or another and would encourage all writers to apply for a grant if they are experiencing financial difficulty – and to donate if their circumstances are more comfortable.
Thank you RLF!