Brady music quiz leaves BBC stunned

Ian-Brady23454If you’ve read the papers today you’ll have seen stories on this frankly bizarre piece of radio programming. As I’m writing about the taboos around serial killers for my MA I am looking at Ian Brady and our responses to him. However I never expected this

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We are the Martians… landing soon!


I’m pleased and proud to be among the contributing writers to this magnificent piece, edited by Neil Snowdon. It allowed me to make contact with, and meet, the legendary TV director Herbert Wise and to speak with him about his version of The Woman in Black. The film was adapted for TV by Nigel Kneale, which is why Herbie’s interview (along with producer Chris Burt) is in this book. Sadly the implosion of the original publisher Spectral Press meant the book has been massively delayed; in the intervening period Herbie sadly died. However I know he would have approved of this book and its championing of his film.

Read more on its imminent release by PS Publishing here.

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HorrorCon 2017 – another winner


It was a lot of fun hosting Q&As at this year’s HorrorCon – the third and the best so far.

My duties were with Heather Langenkamp – Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare on Elm Street. And what a lot of fun she was. (Image above by Scott Kellaway)

The first of our interviews has popped up on YouTube. So if you could’t get along to HorrorCon to see her in the flesh, here she is courtesy of someone’s iPhone.

Great to see lots of friends, and to hook up with me old mate Christopher Frayling. That’s Professor Sir Christopher Frayling to the rest of you…

Enjoy. And maybe see you next year.

HorrorCon guest pic

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Extra! Extra!




Look close at tonight’s transmission of King Charles III on BBC2 and you may see me in the background as a Member of Parliament.

My scenes were shot in the Council Chamber at Bradford City Hall last December. The key sequence featured King Charles (the late, great and much lamented Tim Pigott-Smith, above) entering Parliament and taking on the assembled MPs.

I’m just one of about 60 extras in that scene, all waving our papers and making a great deal of noise about the king and his controversial speech.

King Charles III blurb

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TV debut for The First Film

12243381_1087121271306271_1405922919681207111_nA labour of love for its director, The First Film receives its TV debut this coming Sunday, March 5, on Film Four.

The First Film is the story of Louis Le Prince, the ex-pat Frenchman who invented moving pictures in Leeds, Yorkshire, in October 1888.

One of the key moments in the documentary is the recreation, 125 years to the day, of ‘Roundhay Garden Scene’, a brief sequence shot by Le Prince and widely regarded as the first film ever shot. I was privileged to be a part of it.

I wrote about Le Prince and his pioneering work in my 2008 book Made in Yorkshire, which is referenced in The First Film. A marvellous piece of detective work, it is a long overdue tribute to a remarkable man.

Made in Yorkshire

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Rondo Hatton rears his head again


I was delighted to see my name among the nominees for this year’s Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.

The nod  – my fourth – is for my 2016 release FANTASTIQUE – Interviews with Horror, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Filmmakers, published by BearManor Media, a book that has been well-received and reviewed and that I’m particularly proud of.fantastiq-front-cover-final

But there’s some stiff competition from other books and other writers including my friends and colleagues Dennis Bartok and Jon Towlson. What’s more the compendium Unsung Horrors, to which I contributed, is also up for the same award. So I am competing against myself!

The voting ballot is here.

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Bound for Bradford

trinity_oct12_4419-cr2-pI’ll be at the University of Bradford this afternoon at the invitation of Dr Mark Goodall to give a lecture to students on film journalism.

There have been a few of these recently, including a masterclass/workshop at Sheffield Hallam (for Dr Sheldon Hall) and another over at Leeds Trinity for my good friend Liz Rymer.

Here I am in full flow…




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New life on DVD

s-l400A few years ago I did a day’s work on The War I Knew, a WWII adventure written and directed by Ian Vernon.

I’m always up for being in a movie, and the attraction of this one was a glorious death scene. That and poncing around holding a Schmeisser sub-machine gun.

Anyway, on one of the hottest days of the summer me and some war re-enactment chaps did our bit to defend a farmstead from an attack by a ragbag band of allied troops. Naturally we all got blasted to bits; I was particularly pleased with my death scene.

The film is now out on DVD, retitled D-Day Survivor. Have a look.



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Happy 100th, Roy


In a year that’s seen both Olivia De Havilland and Kirk Douglas turn 100, I couldn’t let the day go by and not pay tribute to my friend Roy Ward Baker, who was born 100 years ago today.

Roy was a remarkably versatile filmmaker whose later reputation with Hammer and films such as Quatermass and the Pit and The Vampire Lovers is the period most people seem to point to when regarding his career. He later had a strong association with Amicus.

But he was active from the 1930s, working with Hitchcock and, from the 1940s onwards, as a director himself on a wide range of movies. They included Morning Departure, InfernoA Night to Remember, Flame in the Streets and The One That Got Away.

He was a talented man and a kind man. I was privileged enough to work with him back in 2000 when I presented a retrospective of his work at Bradford Film Festival. The following year he wrote the foreword to my first book An Actor and a Rare One – Peter Cushing as Sherlock HolmesAn Actor and a Rare One

And when I received an award for it he came along to London’s National Film Theatre as my lucky charm.

Roy was a tremendously fine filmmaker. More than that, he was my friend. Wherever he is, I hope he’s enjoying a glass of something classy.

Roy Ward Baker 1916 – 2010



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Forces of Geek guide to holiday gifts selects FANTASTIQUE


I’m delighted to hear that my latest book FANTASTIQUE has made it onto the Holiday Gift Guide at Forces of Geek. Thanks to editor-in-chief Stefan Blitz for that. If you wish to check out the full line-up, click here.



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