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 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|
|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!
|Posted on August 21, 2018 at 5:15 PM|
Sunday morning. On a particularly busy section of the A2 – our old car hemmed in by transcontinental lorries, all apparently in desperate need to reach Dover – the Citroen C4 begins to lose power. Even with my foot to the floor the speedo continues to drop – 30, 25, 20 – while behind me truck drivers help out as best they can by tooting horns and waving fists.
“There seems to be something wrong with the car,” I tell my wife.
PS Speaking of holiday nightmares - check out my comic novel KIDOLOGY (mentioned in the article). The perfect holiday read!
|Posted on August 20, 2018 at 3:25 AM|
"As Europe’s team claims the UK is bugging Brexit meetings, the Sunday Express finds the transcript* of a meeting attended by negotiator Michel Barnier, EC president Jean-Claude Juncker, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron..."
*according to Mark Piggott
|Posted on August 4, 2018 at 7:25 PM|
"On reading that former Tottenham Hotspur legend and shampoo salesman David Ginola has become a father again at the age of 51, my first response was: “Sacré bleu!” Sleepless nights, smelly nappies, illogical tantrums – that’s middle age for you. Who’d want to bring kids into it? However, having become a parent at a relatively late age myself (isn’t all parenting relative?) I must confess that my primary feeling for David is neither sympathy nor disgust, but envy..."
|Posted on July 24, 2018 at 3:15 AM|
"Rising from a stranger’s bed I pull aside the curtain and see the low isle of Anglesey floating in the Menai Strait: a fine day to climb Snowdon, first episode in what we hope will become the Three Peak Trilogy over coming weeks as part of my daughter’s Duke of Edinburgh challenge..."
|Posted on July 8, 2018 at 6:05 AM|
"Now, I’m as much of an England fan as the next man (if the next man is Jean-Claude Juncker) but to be honest, after three solid weeks the novelty of watching matches between two nations I’ve no interest in – perhaps a sandy Sultanate versus one of those central American countries where they throw losing managers from helicopters – has started to wane.
Trouble is my wife Lynda is from Liverpool, which means she’s genetically unable to miss a single match.
When she gets home from work she throws herself down in front of the widescreen with a cold beer and starts shouting at the players (not the ref, mind – her father was a referee which means she can explain the offside rule better than Alan Shearer)..."
|Posted on July 1, 2018 at 5:25 AM|
"When a Newcastle academic called me a southerner recently I almost choked on my mushy peas. "Tripe!" I muttered. When my wife had handed me my tripe I had to resist the temptation to kick a whippet. Then I remembered it's only Northerners who are prone to sudden acts of irrational violence; as a southerner-elect I'm above such things, and resolved instead to buy a one-bed flat for half a million and stop saying "hello" to people on the street..."
|Posted on June 11, 2018 at 3:15 PM|
In order to "celebrate" (ahem) England's guaranteed success at the World Cup Finals in Russia, why not read my surreal short story, "Psycho Blitzkrieg", about hooligans on the rampage on a terrifying new drug.
Here's a sample:
"The first game takes place in a nondescript city on the shore of a great lake, its name unfamiliar, unpronounceable, lost to search engine. "City" makes the place grander than it is: just a rambling string of shacks and blocks without planning or purpose. As the bus weasels in from the parochial airport below sludge sky all the damprise apartment blocks along each side of the strafed dirt road absorb what little light has managed to penetrate this gloom - particles of light which made it through 93 million miles of harsh space only to be stymied by the reflective murk of a second-world industrial zone - and as the crew look out through brown-streak panes I sense a deflation, a sense we're on alien territory where each individual person, creature, atom wishes us and our descendents harm.
"Looks like Sheffield," jokes Kirk beside me, and everyone laughs: loud, uneasy. I know why he made the joke: an anchor of familiarity in this dead world, this otherworld, a way of making it seem familiar, as Disney or Pixar make savage creatures seem human. An anthropomorphism of buildings, almost racist in its assumptions, because Kirk and those who laugh (me included) are really saying: these people are unknowable..."
|Posted on June 4, 2018 at 6:40 AM|
"Any doubts that UK Prime Minister Theresa May doesn't have a clue what she is doing have been well and truly dispelled by her Sunday Times column earlier in May. We now know for certain that the Prime Minister doesn't know what she is doing..."