Jed Mercurio: “Our cast know that no-one in Line of Duty is safe…”

In the course of his eclectic and intimidatingly high-achieving career, Jed Mercurio has gone from being a doctor and an RAF pilot to arguably the most successful and powerful writer-producer in British television. And he owes it all to an episode of Blockbusters. “When I was in the lower sixth, there was a kid onContinue reading “Jed Mercurio: “Our cast know that no-one in Line of Duty is safe…””

Anna Friel: “I had to learn to be a tough cookie. I don’t take any nonsense.”

Anna Friel is wearing a jumper with the word HAPPY emblazoned across it in large, bright letters. Which feels like a bold statement from an actress whose recent successes have largely come from mining the depths of human misery. “I don’t know why I seem to be attracted to those parts, or those parts areContinue reading “Anna Friel: “I had to learn to be a tough cookie. I don’t take any nonsense.””

Russell T Davies: “The way I write is like life – sad one minute and sunny the next, and not a hair’s breadth between the two.”

When Russell T Davies wrote It’s A Sin – his new Channel 4/HBO drama about the 1980s AIDS crisis, which might just be the best work he’s ever done – he didn’t expect to be premiering it during a global pandemic. “We shot this before lockdown,” Russell tells Weekend over a Zoom call. “This drama in whichContinue reading “Russell T Davies: “The way I write is like life – sad one minute and sunny the next, and not a hair’s breadth between the two.””

Isa Guha: “I feel a responsibility to the game that’s given so much to me.”

When Isa Guha made her England cricket debut aged 17, she had no idea she was also making history. “It never crossed my mind,” says the celebrated pace bowler of becoming the first British Asian woman to represent her country in any sport. “It’s only later I actually discovered why it was a big deal.Continue reading “Isa Guha: “I feel a responsibility to the game that’s given so much to me.””

Lily Cole: “It’s very hard to have ideals and fully live up to them. But that doesn’t mean ideals aren’t important.”

In 2010, Lily Cole received two invitations in the space of a week. One was to take part in a fashion show – the sort of high-profile catwalk parade that had helped make the then 22-year-old one of the most famous models in the world, with a multi-million pound fortune to match. The other wasContinue reading “Lily Cole: “It’s very hard to have ideals and fully live up to them. But that doesn’t mean ideals aren’t important.””

Don Black: “Did I ever write a song for my wife? Yes, all of them.”

A week after Don Black was admitted to hospital with Covid-19, a nurse happened to notice his hands. “She said, ‘they’re very soft – what do you do?’” the 82-year-old tells Weekend. “I said, ‘I write songs – Google me’. And I thought that was it. Anyway, when the day came for me to leave, theyContinue reading “Don Black: “Did I ever write a song for my wife? Yes, all of them.””

Nitin Sawhney: “You’re constantly confronting demons from your past.”

Spend half an hour in the company of Nitin Sawhney and you’ll quickly see why the word that crops up time and again in profiles of him is ‘polymath’. Over the course of a wide-ranging conversation with Weekend, the composer and multi-instrumentalist bounces from discussions of race and identity to a technical deconstruction of Western classicalContinue reading “Nitin Sawhney: “You’re constantly confronting demons from your past.””

Norah Jones: “There could be a million nice things that people say, but the one negative is the one you remember.”

Promoting her last album in the summer of 2016, Norah Jones voiced her worry that “the world’s kind of falling apart right now”. And now here she is, four years on, releasing its follow-up against the backdrop of a global pandemic, race riots and an America more bitterly divided than ever. “Boy, if I couldContinue reading “Norah Jones: “There could be a million nice things that people say, but the one negative is the one you remember.””

Joe Wicks: “My childhood was chaotic. Doors getting slammed, shouting, food thrown about… It was manic, so I’m the opposite.”

“It’s all been a bit unexpected, really,” says Joe Wicks, reflecting on his recent elevation from successful fitness guru to – let’s not be coy – fully-fledged national hero.  “I was really excited about sharing my workouts online, and doing what I could,” adds the man whose daily P.E. With Joe exercise classes have become a centralContinue reading “Joe Wicks: “My childhood was chaotic. Doors getting slammed, shouting, food thrown about… It was manic, so I’m the opposite.””

Rob Delaney: “I don’t fight to win. I fight because there’s a fire inside of me.”

As a comedian, Rob Delaney has a favourite punchline. He’s called Rob Delaney. ‘There are some comedians who want to be cool,’ the 43-year-old tells Weekend over breakfast in London. ‘I’m not among them. I’ve got no interest in seeing a stand-up who’s like, “Hey, let’s celebrate how organised I am, or how well IContinue reading “Rob Delaney: “I don’t fight to win. I fight because there’s a fire inside of me.””