If I have any strength as a writer it's putting down on paper the way women talk when there are no men around. Outraged at the treatment of women in rape trials, I wanted to address this issue.
Why are there still no out (and proud) Hollywood A-listers? Yes, I know Jodie Foster came out during her Golden Globes speech. While admirable and brave, it didn't exactly coincide with the pinnacle of her on-screen career. Likewise, 'Star Trek' star Zachary Quinto, but neither he nor Jodie could greenlight a movie on their name alone.
How many times have I seen "Stop it, 2016!" in the past few weeks? Graphs showing the upsurge in celebrity death, memes about George R. R. Martin writing the year, demands to put all sorts of international treasures in cotton wool. But shouldn't we be ready for this?
I was ten years old at the time and my babysitter brought this strange looking album to the house featuring a longhaired black man straddling a wicked motorcycle on the cover (so cool, debonair and quite unlike anything I had seen before).
I managed to grab a word with a few famous faces at the start. Chris Evans was playing it exceptionally cool, while Judge Rob Rinder was casually talking of going sub-three hours. Sprinter Iwan Thomas was a ball of energy. It was rather bizarre to bump into MP Simon Danczuk, who's been suspended by the Labour party, along with his estranged wife Karen.
My whole reason for putting myself back in a competing arena isn't to knock up a victory on my record, (although that would be nice), but to get back into serious completion shape, to once again live in vibrancy and to be full of energy, to embrace life and everything in this glorious world.
Today I'm making a pledge to myself and my fellow global citizen. I will try to educate myself before I express myself. I will try to learn before I teach. I will try to listen before I shout. I will do my best to help find solutions. When I disagree, I will do so with respect and grace. I will try to be a better man. I will rise up. Will you?
The next few months are make or break for Lady Gaga. Poised for the release of her fifth studio album, the singer knows she has a lot to prove following, what can only be described as, a rocky few years. Once the biggest popstar in the world with more number ones and awards than you could shake a disco stick at, the wheels fell off after the release of her last album Artpop in 2013.
Can someone please ask the Grim Reaper to take a break? Go and lie down somewhere, go on holiday, anything - just stop scything away at much-loved artists who have brought joy to millions... What's going on? Is it just me, or are the deaths of some of our most popular public figures coming much faster than they used to?
The question that remains the most perplexing of all isn't who shot Kennedy or what happened that made the Big Bang, bang. The most perplexing question of all is 'what is happiness?', and also 'how do you get some?' More books are written about it than everything else combined.
You could see his pants. You could see his pubes. You could see the crack of his arse. And as you beheld the brazen display, he just looked right back at you with an attitude and a pornographic lyric on his mind. He looked like Phil Lynott, but Lynott didn't scare the bejesus out of me the way this beguiling, demonic, sex pixie did.
A desire to 'comeback' is the difference between making excuses or fuelling motivation, failing or succeeding or applying the handbrake or stepping on the gas when it comes to facing any one of life's various and inevitable challenges.
She was one of the finest, one of the greats. The wit was a reading wit: funny, intelligent, observant realism with a twitching sting. It was subdermal: deeper than language and timing; it fluttered in her stomach and it caught in her giggles. It knew pathos and pain. She understood her country, and helped to explain it. I don't think anybody identified with Alan Bennett's observations as much as Wood. They often used the same actors. She recognised the voices of his Talking Heads (1988/1998) and extended our time in their company. Whilst Bennett's were twitching curtains, and having solicitous affairs with Hindu shopkeepers, Wood's were elsewhere.
Here I am, hours from returning to that start line once more, to confront those demons. Every little niggle right now is a big worry. Every sneeze from one of my girls a potentially run-threatening cold I could catch.
Instead of being happy for her, congratulating her and sending their well-wishes, some people have decided to comment on the first photo she's shared of herself and her daughter as being "self promotion". Basically all people can talk about is her boobs.
I am of course falling prey to 'clickbait' and also happen to be just one of the many b*stards on the planet who use the dark art as part of their vocation - it is a tool in the armoury of many industries.