Toby Young

Was fortunate to finally get to see “When Toby Met Julie” last night on BBC4. I’ve been a ‘fan’ of Toby Young since his appearance on BBC3’s underrated "The Other Boat Race" in 2004. Straight after that series I went out and bought “ How to Lose Friends and Alienate People which, by that time, was in paperback. It must have soared in popularity again because the book was re-launched in a new cover, the stage adaptation returned to London (with TY rather egotistically taking the lead … “you must be the Toby Young you write so much about”) and Toby re-launched his website – turning it into a weblog and portal for his recent work. It’s funny how you can live years in ignorance of something then, once you discover it, it appears everywhere. In my case, the world of Toby Young is just like that. Barely a week goes by now in my life without an article relating to Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair, The Modern Review, Julie Burchill, or Martha Stewart appearing in some culture supplement or online. The BBC4 documentary was witty (confronting them repeatedly with their alternative versions of the past) and nicely textured with relevant cultural waymarkers during the (boy-band obsessed) cut-scenes (e.g. Duran Duran , Bros & Take That) and featuring all of the main protagonists in the magazine that arguably changed the face of British arts & culture journalism. It even showed a very likable side to both of them – quite self-effacing at times. What I found hardest to watch (other than Julie’s horrific dental portcullis and the numerous shots of bleeding thumbs) was that two coke-addled bohemians were writing with such obvious intellect and wit about such trivial things in much the same way I try to. They still write like this (although without the innovative resonance that they had in the early 1990s) and it puts my attempts at the keyboard to absolute shame. I’m now trawling eBay for copies of the MR…

Observations today:
Ferrari 355 in a sinister black over-taking on Rouen Road, Norwich at 08.30 in the morning. A powerful early morning stimulant. Afternoon was perked-up by the arrival of an Aston Martin DB9 on the same street.
The white gypsy skirt, ubiquitous and, unless adorning the waif-like hips of a nubile girl under 30, quite bilious.

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