Pole to Pole is my second No. 1 best-seller, having deposed Madonna and held off the challenge of Mr Bean in 3rd place. Once again I’m among the literary giants! Sweep up leaves in the garden, clear drains and gutters.
Read extracts from the latest volume of Michael's Diaries, 1988 to 1998 below.
(New entries added regularly.)
Watch Colin Thubron on South Bank talking about why he travels. Though he’s very serious and intense, I like what he says about the urge to travel. It’s not escape, it’s more about enhancement of your life. Widening horizons, physically and mentally.
Lunch at the invitation of Karen Wright of Modern Painters. She has commissioned a cover from Tracey Emin. ‘The first cover we’ve ever commissioned,’ she says proudly. Unfortunately Tracey’s contribution is an embroidered square reading ‘Fuck Modern Painting’. Karen is distraught. Her husband says he’ll leave her if she puts it on the cover. W. H. Smith will refuse to stock it. I really can’t understand her pusillanimity. If you commission from Tracey Emin, this is what you get. Anyway, it’s rather colourful and sweet and quite a good joke.
An interview with a very bright, chirpy ex-air hostess who now edits the BA staff magazine. One thought-provoking question. If I was able to travel in time would I go for the future or the past? I unhesitatingly plump for the past, which I suppose betrays my literary and artistic preferences over scientific curiosity. Choose Ancient Egypt or Elizabethan England – tempted by the prospect of going to the world premiere of Hamlet.
Earlier this evening Alan (Bleasdale) and Robert were on Wogan. Asked about me, Alan said that I hated, above all else, being called nice … ‘but he is so nice!’ he went on and told the story of the only time in the whole of GBH when he’d seen me in a sulk, which was when I’d asked for an Independent and been delivered a Guardian!