Great train robbery mastermind worked at Middlesex Hospital

  Bruce Reynolds, mastermind of the Great Train Robbery of 1963, died in February so did not "celebrate" its 50th anniversary in August. The robbery took place near Leighton Buzzard at 3 am on August 8 when the haul was over £2.6 million (worth about £45 million at today's prices). When caught most received sentences …

Griff’s giggles and gravitas

Actor’s blueprint for his career and Fitzrovia By Brian Jarman Versatility could be Griff Rhys Jones’ middle name, if he wasn’t already using one in that Welsh single-barrelled kind of way. Comedian, actor, TV presenter, producer, director, writer, King of West End farce - he’s always up for a new challenge.  Who else could you …

Barry Miles – adventures in the counterculture

By Clive Jennings Miles, for nobody calls him Barry, has devoted his life to both creating and chronicling the countercultural life of London. Doyen of the underground, he co-founded International Times, the first English underground newspaper (which I remember as an essential prop, ostentatiously poking out of my bag, when I was a provincial 16-year-old …

John gave radio breaks to Adrian Mole, Joe Orton and Tom Stoppard

By Brian Jarman I’ve wanted to meet Mr Tydeman for many years. And for most of those years, to be precise, I wanted to find out if he was real. It was to John Tydeman of the BBC, you may recall, that 13 ¾-year-old Adrian Mole sent his poems. The creation of Sue Townsend, his  …