In My Own Time
- My all-time favourite is definitely Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - it's just one of those books that made me laugh all the way through. I really like all the bizarreness, but it's a bizarreness matched toe-to-toe by stinging black satire. Philip Roth also impresses me. I've read about half-a-dozen of his books and every one I've thoroughly enjoyed. Portnoy's Complaint was one of them - a crazy rumble - and The Human Stain was stern, majestic and serious.
Apart from the usual student-politician required watching (The West Wing, Question Time, Newsnight Scotland), my fave classic series would be Six Feet Under, Wallander (obviously the original Swedish version) and Hustle. And I can't miss Have I Got News For You. For a show that hasn't changed its formula and key people since I was a school pupil, it just keeps on being funny.
I've made a discovery recently of DJ Edu's Destination Africa show on Sunday evenings on Radio 1Xtra - it's just a really different sound that you can't hear anywhere else on the radio (well, usually the iPlayer, actually). He has a set where he mixes up the big club tunes in Africa just now with UK RnB and hip hop.
One favourite is Best in Show, directed by Christopher Guest, of This is Spinal Tap fame. It follows a bunch of dog owners taking part in a national dog show and is similar to Tap in the faux- documentary sense. It is just as cringeworthy at times as The Office or The Thick of It. A favourite quote comes from Fred Willard, who plays the commentator at the show, Buck Laughlin: "And to think that in some countries these dogs are eaten!" Comedy gold.