Thursday, 22 November 2012


I'm really enjoying the new political thriller Secret State which I wrote about over at Robin Jarossi's Crimetime Preview blog.

There is just one episode left in the four part series and so much to resolve in the finale of this fast paced drama that is one of the best on TV in recent years.

Well, it does have a top rate cast, including the brilliant Gabriel Byrne, great production values, intricate and twisting plots, plenty of action and a premise too plausible to be comfortable so it's no wonder viewers are hooked from start to finish and left waiting impatiently for the next instalment.

I have taken to watching selective TV programmes on channel internet players such as BBC iPlayer or ITV Player or Channel 4 and 5 On Demand facilities and find it makes viewing much more rewarding. Checking through the TV schedule for Freeview listings often leaves me deflated as there are many days when there isn't a single thing on TV that I want to watch.

Tuesday was one such day and then yesterday there were three things on at about the same time that I would have missed had it not been for the watch again options on the web.

So I managed to catch up on Secret State, The latest Exposure update on the Jimmy Savile investigation, Crimewatch, and The Hour

I don't know how I missed the first series of this alluring drama which is about an early 1960s state funded TV channel news programme "The Hour" in a time when glamour ruled and journalists were prepared to take risks to get the stories that they actually had to leave the office to find.

It was also an era when women knew their place - the kitchen, the home and the bedroom - but also when women began to demand more and were beginning to be seen, by the enlightened anyway, as having much more to offer. I wonder though, in reality, if a woman would ever have made it into top positions such as the producer played by Romola Garai.

Crimewatch was it's usual real life mix of fear, violence, tragedy and sorrow. In all of the years that I've watched it - I still recall the first episode watched at my former mother in law's house in North Wales back in the 1980s - I've never been able to help having never witnessed any crime it's featured nor recognised any of the faces in the rogue's gallery. Perhaps I mix in the wrong company for that.

But if I could help then I'd love to be able to do something in helping to find Katrice Lee the two year old who disappeared from an Army base in West Germany on her 2nd birthday 31 years ago.

I hope that she was abducted and is still alive and well and happy because the alternative is too awful to think about.

However, that said, I can also imagine the trauma she must have suffered if taken. My grandson is stuck like glue to his mum and should she even leave his side for a second, then he has floods of tears. Should someone take him (God forbid) then I think he would die of a broken heart. I hope Katrice was not the same and even if she is still alive, her mum will never forget how her child was stolen by someone with no right to take her. I am sure every year and every birthday since has brought nothing but sadness, tears, hopes and fears.

This is Katrice when she went missing from the Naafi in Paderborn, West Germany in 1981.

And this is Katrice as she probably looks today as an adult.

As I said, sadly, I can't help but if you can, you know what to do and bring some peace to a family that has suffered three decades of hell.

Friday, 9 November 2012


I've been busy elsewhere on the internet and the magazine world of journalism this week starting with my thoughts on the Inspector Montalbano series which was featured over at Robin Jarossi's Crime Time Preview blog.

Millions of people love the show so there wasn't much controversial in the article but the same couldn't be said for my view on Stephen Tompkinson in the role of DCI Banks.

After more than a week of chasing my tail on features, better luck arrived this week but things have notably changed in my absence since taking time out on other projects including my MA course.

Fees have dropped since The Leveson Inquiry and the News of the World hacking scandal. Getting a deal that clients have been happy with has been a struggle but worth it in the end. Great stories are there to be told whether in real life or in the land of fiction and as a writer it's my job to tell them.