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July issue​ of the Oldie available to download now – one week early!

Blog | Jun 14, 2018

Welcome to the July issue of the magazine, packed with fresh, gripping, first-hand accounts of the great, the good and the downright evil. Harry Mount, Editor, The Oldie

Hancock's last hours by Barry Cryer

50 years after Tony Hancock’s suicide, Barry Cryer recalls how his old friend discarded his writers and co-stars, and ended up discarding himself

Anne Robinson on the brilliance of Norman Scott

The Weakest Link star recalls her strong affection for Scott in the 1970s, when he advised her on wine, game and the art of exquisite interior decoration

Neil Kinnock on the joys of growing up in a prefab

The former Labour Party leader remembers moving into a South Welsh prefab as a boy and how it transformed his life

Adolf the Dummkopf Francis Wheen on Hitler’s terrible grammar – read the article here.   

Josceline Dimbleby on her idyllic road to Damascus

The food writer on growing up in sylvan Syria before civil war tore it apart

PLUS Bamber Gascoigne’s naughty weekend in Hamburg; Giles Wood on the Wiltshire ghostbuster; Gyles Brandreth on the genius behind his 80s jumpers; Mary Killen on Mark Boxer; and Matthew Norman’s new Grumpy Oldie Man column.

AND a 32-page Oldie Review of Books supplement, the ultimate round-up of the reviews. See the full table of contents here, with all our regulars, book and arts reviews.

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Plus, listen to new interviews for the July issue with Barry Cryer on Tony Hancock. Barry recalls the comic genius of his friend, and how Hancock discarded his brilliant writers before finally, tragically discarding himself. Listen here.

Roger Lewis looks back on his journalism and books, and discusses his unique, sardonic, comic style. He also unlocks the characters of Peter Sellers and Laurence Olivier in a discussion of his ground-breaking biographies. Listen here.

Plus, listen to the the talks from our recent Literary Lunch on June 5th at Simpson's-in-the-Strand.

Lady Antonia Fraser was in conversation with her cousin, Harry Mount (both, pictured below), on her book The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829 . Listen here.

Angela Levin, fresh from reporting on the Royal Wedding for CNN from 4.30am until 9pm, revealed extracts from her royal biography Harry: Conversations with the Prince. Listen here.

Charles Duff stood in to replace his cousin John Julius Norwich, who was forced to step down due to ill health. An actor and lecturer in Shakepeare and theatre history, he entertained and enthralled talking about his memoir, Charley's Woods published by Zuleika. Listen here.


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Below you will find links to five FULL teaser articles but other highlights include.....


Olden Life: What was Yorkshire Television? Austin Mitchell 

Modern Life: What is gamification? Annabel Sampson

My friend Tony Hancock Barry Cryer 

Latin epitaphs for pets John Davie I was a prefab sprout

Neil Kinnock Desmond Morris at ninety Lucy Lethbridge 

My time with Mark Boxer Mary Killen 

Death of the Romanovs Frances Welch


Socks – and sex – just get in the way – Raymond Briggs

Mr Brexit retires from the battlefield – Media Matters, Stephen Glover

Bus-spotters' holiday - The Way We Live Now, Dafydd Jones

Yes, we have no servants... – Letter from America, Dominic Green

Why can't waiters speak properly? – Grumpy Oldie Man, Matthew Norman

Norman Scott, my witty decorating guru – Short Cuts, Anne Robinson

Whatever happened to 'thank you'? – Gyles Brandreth’s Diary

Celebration of celluloid – Postcards from the Edge, Mary Kenny

The past is on the cards – History, David Horspool

So many flowers grow in an English urban garden – Town Mouse

Haunted cottage? Time to call Wiltshire's ghostbuster – Country Mouse, Giles Wood

Boys need to know real men read books – School Days, Sophia Waugh

The wrong kind of train companion – Home Front, Alice Pitman

Footless and fancy-free – Wilfred De’Ath

Getting Dressed: From high chair to high table – Brigid Keenan

On the Road: Bamber Gascoigne – Louise Flind

I just want to rock... in a comfy seat – Golden Oldies, Rachel Johnson

That was no misprint – it was a mispaint – Words and Stuff, Johnny Grimond 

No 63 Hornsey Road, North London – Overlooked Britain, Lucinda Lambton

Beauty Galore – Taking a Walk, Patrick Barkham on Herm

Lampedusa Cross is a sign of our times – God, Sister Teresa

Alastair Rellie CMG, 1935-2018 – Memorial Service, James Hughes-Onslow

The sex machine of the sea – Profitable WondersJames Le Fanu

That nice person phoning is a computer – Digital Life, Matthew Webster

How to check up on the credit checkers – Money Matters, Margaret Dibben

Screening is key to health of the nation – The Doctor’s Surgery,Tom Stuttaford

Mute Swan – Bird of the Month, John McEwen

Ask Virginia Ironside


The Old Un's Notes

I Once Played Pancho Gonzales – Lucy O'Sullivan

Memory Lane – My idyllic road to Damascus, Josceline Dimbleby

Gothic Revival – British Building Styles, Nesta Fitzgerald

Readers’ Letters

Literary Lunches – lunches announced in partnership with IlkleyDorchesterMarlborough and Gibraltar Literature Festivals

Reader Trip – Join Huon Mallalieu in Jordan, 20-27th March 2018 in association with Kirker Holidays

Rant on Viewers – Roger Lewis

Travel: Into the royal lion's den – Claudia Gold on Henry II's French kingdom

Travel: The Italy that tourism forgot – James Pembroke discovers Basilicata

Bridge – Andrew Robson

Competition Tessa Castro

Crossword – Antico


Francis Wheen on Dictator Literature: A History of Despots Through Their Writing by Daniel Kalder

Alex Clark on Figures in a Landscape: People and Places: Essays 2001-2016 by Paul Theroux

Will Cohu on Under the Rock – The Poetry of a Place by Benjamin Myers

Valerie Grove on Girl With Dove: A Life Built By Books by Sally Bayley

A S H Smyth on Wrestlian a by Toby Litt D J Taylor on Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford by Barbara Cooke Frances Welch on After The Party by Cressida Connolly


Film – On Chesil Beach (15), Solo (12A) – Marcus Berkmann

Theatre – Red at the Wyndham's Theatre and Consent at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Paul Bailey 

Radio – Private Passions, Desert Island Discs, Michael Frayn's Pocket Playhouse – Valerie Grove 

Television – Jonathan Meades on Jargon, King Lear, A Very English Scandal – Roger Lewis

Music – Anniversaries, Richard Osborne

Exhibitions – Prized Possessions at the Holburne Museum, Bath to 16th September, Huon Mallalieu


Gardening – Beth Chatto's Legacy, David Wheeler

Kitchen Garden – Raspberries, Simon Courtauld

Cookery – Home Alone, Elisabeth Luard

Restaurants – 81 Beach Street, Deal, Kent and Bar Boulud, Knightsbridge, James Pembroke

Drink – A view to a swill, Bill Knott

Sport – The Beautiful Brain, Jim White

Motoring – A Pothole Plague, Alan Judd

Oldie Review of Books – 30-page Round-up of the reviews


American Presidents

Classic Read – Christopher Howse on The Young Visiters

Biography and Memoir

Forgotten Authors – Lucy Lethbridge on the Rev Savine Baring-Gould




Rebels and Suffragettes

Current Affairs


Children's Books


Extract – Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich

Obituary of Tom Wolfe, 1930-2018

Reviewers: Liz Anderson, Michael Barber, Minoo Dinshaw, Kate Ehrman, Claudia FitzHerbert, Tom Fleming, Sam Leith, Lucy Lethbridge, Deborah Maby, Brian MacArthur, Christopher Silvester, Maureen Waller

Last month's most read online
1. George Carman – the genius barrister who got Jeremy Thorpe off – Harry Mount
2. Auberon Waugh's dogged campaign against Jeremy Thorpe – Auberon Waugh
3. The Queen of Radio 82 is poached by the Sunday Times – Valerie Grove
4. High drama at the top table – Ferdie Rous
5. John Julius Norwich (1929-2018) – his last interview and his last article – John Julius Norwich
6. RIP the genius who designed jumpers for Elton, Diana and me – Gyles Brandreth
7. Crossing the pond - Misti Traya
8. The biggest royal wedding non-story – Nigel Summerley
9. Olé for the Oldies – Annabel Sampson
10. Queen Victoria spawned the First World War – James Hughes-Onslow

Last month's most listened to
1. Paddy the Great, king of Greece – John Julius Norwich in conversation with Harry Mount, on the topic of his good friend, Patrick Leigh Fermor – the legendary travel writer
2. Paul Atterbury and Marc Allum on 40 Years of the Antiques Roadshow, Hugo Vickers on his strife with the big-budget Netflix series The Crown and John Tusa on his motley career at the April 2018 Literary Lunch
3. Oldie Literary Lunch: Barry Cryer and his Parrot Jokes