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Terry Pratchett, Going Postal interview Sky

4 Jun

This is a marvellous opportunity to listen to a great man. In my piece for the Sunday Express, I wrote the headline – “A Beautiful Mind”, and that’s exactly what you come away thinking after spending a good amount of time in this man’s company. It wasn’t intended – as far as I’m aware – that I would have two hours with Sir Terence, to give him his correct title, but that’s what happened. It was wonderful. I do think he’s one of the most impressive people I have ever interviewed, and quite the opposite to what I was expecting. It goes to prove you shouldn’t make up your mind before an interview.

One interesting aspect about Pratchett, a former local newspaper journalist, is that there are very few print interviews so I had little to read about him on my way to Salisbury, near to his home village in England. In those I did read, some journalists alluded to his temperament, suggesting that he could be a little irascible. He was nothing of the sort. He was polite, funny and quick. You will hear for yourself.

On arrival at his local pub, with his PA Rob, he ordered a brandy and sat down in a very relaxed mood. During the interview, you will I’m afraid hear us munching away on our lunch (listen out for the moment when, all having ordered ham & eggs, we all received fish and chips by mistake!). For the lunch noises I apologise, but the interview continues with Pratchett on great form. Shame to interrupt.

He starts off in the audio talking about the Going Postal production, by Mob, and how fans were again allowed on to the set and as extras. They prove a valuable addition to the production as he points out. Then we discuss television in general before moving on to more serious matters, such as his Alzheimers condition. He believes he may have had it for at least 20 years.

Pratchett, as you may know, wants a law to allow “assisted dying” via a local tribunal. He speaks very frankly and movingly about this. He was absolutely determined to get across his point, which he did very lucidly. It was a privilege to spend time in his company, a truly great British author.

Here’s the interview:David Stephenson\’s TV blog

Sunday Express print interview:

Pratchett sunday express

Richard Armitage, Strike Back, Sky

3 Jun

Richard Armitage

Well, you just don’t know with actors. Sometimes, you have can a terrific interview; sometimes completely teeth pulling. Younger actors can be the most difficult. Richard Armitage, however, is a thoughtful, intelligent, sensitive actor who has delivered another cracking performance, this time in Sky’s impressive new drama, Strike Back. He plays John Porter, a wronged Army operative who takes his revenge the Chris Ryan-way, the author of the original book.

Ironically, I interviewed Armitage in his dressing room on the set of his other hit drama, Spooks, in which he plays Lucas. Indeed, he was wearing his “costume” for his role and he was quite relaxed, despite just walking off “The Grid”. He would later take me around the set, which, like all sets, is much more uninspiring than you hope. Armitage, a gentleman, didn’t disappoint in the chat.
Postscript: I have now done a further interview with Richard for the next series of Spooks. I shall post audio closer to tramission in September 2010.

Richard Armitage interview

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