George Takei: “Arnold Schwarzenegger made me so angry, I came out – at 68”

George Takei has always been a great admirer of the British. “I’m the son of my father,” the man known throughout the galaxy as Star Trek’s Mr Sulu tells Weekend. “He was a great Anglophile. And I was born three weeks before the coronation of George VI. Hence my name.” One thing the 85-year-old doesn’tContinue reading “George Takei: “Arnold Schwarzenegger made me so angry, I came out – at 68””

Mark Gatiss: “My career is partly a long revenge against P.E…”

Mark Gatiss is a busy man. No surprises there, of course: over the past two decades, the writer, actor, director and all-round pop-cultural polymath has racked up a CV longer than his beloved Doctor Who’s stripy scarf. When he’s not reinventing literary icons like Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, reuniting with his old pals from TheContinue reading “Mark Gatiss: “My career is partly a long revenge against P.E…””

Kate Hudson: “I was a real ‘pull up your bootstraps’ kind of girl. Sometimes, maybe I just needed a hug.”

For most actors, press junkets fall somewhere between a grudging contractual obligation and an outright irritation. Kate Hudson is not one of those actors. “It just feels so good to be back talking to people,” beams the 43-year-old, apparently sincerely, when Weekend meets her at a London hotel. “I’ve been doing this for two decades,”Continue reading “Kate Hudson: “I was a real ‘pull up your bootstraps’ kind of girl. Sometimes, maybe I just needed a hug.””

David Baddiel: “There are versions of me out there that aren’t me.”

David Baddiel is talking to Weekend on the day his son Ezra turns 18. (Don’t worry, he’s at school – we haven’t gatecrashed his birthday party or anything.) With his daughter Dolly now 21, it means that one of Britain’s bestselling children’s authors – among many other things – is no longer a father toContinue reading “David Baddiel: “There are versions of me out there that aren’t me.””

How five people ruined the entire 21st century (in one day)

You know who I blame for all this? Those stupid hanging chads. “Blame them for what, Paul?” For everything. For the entire dumpster fire that is the 21st century. For they are the nexus point on which the whole of modern history turns. They were the beating butterfly’s wings that triggered storms from Baghdad to AleppoContinue reading “How five people ruined the entire 21st century (in one day)”

Through the square window: 100 years of the BBC

When we consider the great moments that have bound our nation together over the past century, there is a singular thread that runs through them all. From Neville Chamberlain gravely informing the British people that “this country is at war with Germany” to Her Majesty The Queen assuring us during the Covid pandemic that “weContinue reading “Through the square window: 100 years of the BBC”

Sir Ian McKellen: “I think about death every day of my of life.”

Ian McKellen gave his first performance as Hamlet on Christmas Day, 1948. He was nine years old – so still some way off becoming a knight of the realm and a national treasure – and the venue was a toy Victorian theatre he’d received that morning. “You cut out all the parts and glued themContinue reading “Sir Ian McKellen: “I think about death every day of my of life.””

Jarvis Cocker: ‘It’s dangerous to believe fame is an improvement on reality’

In 1981, a teenage Jarvis Cocker was pictured in the Sheffield Star holding a plastic tortoise. The photoshoot, in Jarvis’s mum’s living room, was to celebrate his band Pulp being invited down to London to record a session for John Peel’s legendary Radio One show. But it was only when he came across the photograph again fourContinue reading “Jarvis Cocker: ‘It’s dangerous to believe fame is an improvement on reality’”

Sally Wainwright: “Being thought of as formidable worries me a bit.”

Growing up in West Yorkshire, all Sally Wainwright wanted to do was leave. “I couldn’t wait to get away,” admits the award-winning screenwriter of a county that, today, is as central to her work as Wessex was to Hardy, or Middle Earth to Tolkien. “I wanted to go and live in London, because I thoughtContinue reading “Sally Wainwright: “Being thought of as formidable worries me a bit.””

How I accidentally turned my wife’s granddad’s trouser fly buttons into an internet sensation.

READER, I’ve gone viral. Big deal, you might think – who hasn’t these days? But I’m not talking about that virus. I’m talking about the other sort. I’m talking about the day I BROKE THE INTERNET. Or dented it, at least. Actually, it was more of a surface scratch, really. But you get the idea.Continue reading “How I accidentally turned my wife’s granddad’s trouser fly buttons into an internet sensation.”