© The Financial Times Ltd 2015 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
June 11, 2011 1:16 am
A Long Lunch, by Simon Hoggart, John Murray, RRP£9.99, 320 pages
From his apprenticeship on the Manchester Guardian in the 1960s, Simon Hoggart’s four decades as a journalist have taken in serious reportage from the US and Northern Ireland, and lighter touches writing political sketches and chairing the BBC Radio 4’s satirical News Quiz. A Long Lunch features a rich mix of anecdotes that incidentally offer a memoir of sorts but mostly entertain for their own tart value.
WH Auden’s heroic approach to dry martinis; breakfast repartee about erections with Sir John Major; stubbing out a cigarette in Mia Farrow’s hair: Hoggart delivers his celebrity encounters with a comedian’s timing and charming self-deprecation.
The author’s sketch-writing background helps shape these broad and varied recollections into succinct, mellifluous dispatches that amuse and provoke by turns. A good ear for absurdity and a journalist’s instinct for pace give this collection a jaunty engagement that keeps the pages turning.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.