- Reading is my main pastime. I enjoy Charles Dickens, so the current focus on his work is an extra pleasure. Toni Morrison is probably my favourite writer; Beloved was one of those books that simply grabbed my attention to the exclusion of everything else. Recent reading has included Julian Barnes' Booker prizewinner The Sense of an Ending - which I enjoyed despite some biting criticisms it has received - and Treasure Island (again), which allowed me to body-swerve the duff TV edition. I've also recently finished Michael Connelly's Nine Dragons; for escapist easy reading, you can't beat Detective Harry Bosch. Among current Scottish writers I particularly enjoy Louise Welsh's work. I enjoy reading poetry and was delighted to be given The Poems of Norman MacCaig for Christmas, especially as I was tutored by him in my student days. Currently I'm reading Great Scottish Speeches, edited by David Torrance.
- I have fairly Catholic tastes in most things, although I do tend to return to old favourites. Musically, I am pretty much stuck in the past. Leonard Cohen (pictured) is my all-time favourite artist, closely followed by usual suspects such as Dylan and Van Morrison. Among more recently- acquired tastes are Ryan Adams and Paolo Nutini. I enjoy classical music, although I am no expert; Classic FM is my most-frequented radio station. I also like Ricky Ross's Another Country.
- Apart from news programmes, I mainly watch sport on television, alongside a few satiricalcomic programmes such as Have I Got News for You (pictured) and QI. I don't go to the cinema as much as the theatre but, when I do, it's usually for some escapist adventure film - but I can't actually remember the last one I saw.