I sometimes sit and let my imagination run wild when playing Beatles tracks on Absolute Radio - I wistfully stare out of the studio window and try to transport myself back to when the song was written and wonder what went on. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during those legendary Abbey Road recording sessions.
In light of the recent attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the debate on freedom of expression has once again come to the fore. It is claimed that Muslims are being overly sensitive and overreacting when it comes to the reprinting of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)...
It's simple: "The only way of living in a free society is to feel that you have the right to say and do stuff." Said Salman Rushdie. Go figure. Let truth and falsehood grapple. How do we know what is right if we don't know wrong and the case that is made for wrong. Ideas may be distasteful and deeply disagreeable, but we cannot airbrush and disappear that and those people that we disagree with.
Whenever I see Ed Miliband trying to pretend he's a human, I'm always reminded of a particular scene in Mark Tavener's criminally underrated sitcom Absolute Power in which the oily sultan of spin Charles Prentiss (not so much played by as written for Stephen Fry) is sizing up dowdy Tory shadow minister Joanne Standing (basically a pilot version of The Thick of It's Nicola Murray).
When I hear the word 'cartoon' and 'Muhammad' in the same sentence, I cringe and prepare myself for a plethora of conflict and disharmony between Muslims and the rest of the world. To the West we Muslims may come across as over-zealous, overexcited and too defensive-but this is not without reason...
Anyone catch that Keane v Vieira documentary the other week? If you've watched any football on ITV recently, you'll have seen national village idiot Adrian Chiles repeatedly flatulating over it like some sort of gammon whoopee cushion, each time turning to simper at sweet-tempered Roy with the distinct air of a man doing everything in his meagre powers to avoid having his intestines used to hoist the boom.
Amongst the formative experiences of my childhood are the regular trips I used to take to the workshop that produced extraordinary caricature puppets for the satirical 1980s TV show Spitting Image. I would poke around excitedly in the huge puppet storage room, and get under the overworked caricaturists' feet.