The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms.
Very often it does not know what to do with genius.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Anecdotes about people I admire: those I’ve known for years, chatted with in green rooms, worked alongside on stage or in education. Then there are the unexpected brief encounters that leave you feeling uplifted.

2. Blossomest blossom – Dennis Potter, Cheryl Campbell, Bob Hoskins
8. Child benefits – Andy Stanton
11. Too short to hurry – Ruth Yockney
12. Station approach – conversing with a taxi driver
15. Of flerd and fraskCall My Bluff, Alan Coren, Sandi Toksvig
18. Accident of birth – HRH Princess Anne
22. Formative years – a popular personality from Yorkshire
28. University challenge – Will Hutton, Colin Sell
34. Constant gardening – Sarah, a former pupil
44. Master of the house – Lord Donald Soper, Matthew Engel
52. Safe pair of hands – Jack, a former pupil
65. Thank you for calling – Nick Clarke, Ian Dury, Joseph Heller, Laurie Lee
71. Saved… and a bellCall My Scientific Bluff, Lord Robert Winston et al
81. Tough on a teenager – a keen stage technician
88. Beach, where – Sid, the caretaker
97. Month of Sundays – Seamus Heaney, Sir Edward Heath, Wendy Richard
104. Instant wit instances – Dame Barbara Cartland, Barry Cryer, Eddie Braben
111. Test tickles – Jonathan Agnew, Mike Atherton
118. An absence of egos – John Hegley, Beryl Bainbridge, Sir Patrick Moore et al
143. N-to-N stuff – Andy Stanton, Julia Donaldson
157. Read dating – boy meets girl over books
184. Mystery of the moment – inspiring writers
186. Through the ceiling – Humphrey Carpenter
200. Behind the scenes – ordinary folk are safer
207. Called my bluff – a faux pas at Pebble Mill
227. Remembering Laurie Lee – and a cat called Titus
229. Basil D’Oliviera – owed to a cricketing statesman
239. Strike agreement – Mrs Fowler, the dinner lady
251. Control freak freaked – festival follies from 1999
269. Year of the person – special people, month-by-month
273. Fortunate opportunity – introduced to Charles Dickens
279. Bob Holness – memories of the gentleman presenter
284. Pedants’ revolt – Lynne Truss and the apostrophe
316. The default state – Terry Pratchett on writing
336. Missing Michael Groce – the inspiring Brixton poet
338. An annual event – Edward Gillespie, Jack Dee and an anniversary
358. Finding an extra level – Andy, a keen drama student
360. The DNA of Thursdays – the wit of Douglas Adams
381. The Bairstow boys – fathers, sons and cricket
406. Word games in Swindon – at the Arts Centre, with Tony Augarde
407. Comfort zones – sitting comfortably, remembering Jack Russell’s hat
410. If Poets were King – Elliott Murphy plays the Playhouse
430. All happening at once – bluff called by Robert Winston
436. Owed to Lesley Garrett – Beethoven’s Ninth: the sound check
440. Science Festival 1 – events prior to the event
441. Science Festival 2 – a satisfying draw
466. Mud and circuses – Clan Alba and other Glastonbury memories
494. Hospitality and tents – camping (or not) on cricket grounds
512. Remembering CMJ – the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins







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