Series 11 of Only Connect, with me in the question-editor chair, begins tonight on BBC Two at 8.30pm.
A piece about the origins of Louie Louie and the FBI’s investigation for the BBC News Magazine.
The Kingsmen noticed that their audiences now included middle-aged men in suits and shades and were soon questioned by the Feds, apparently being told: “You know we can put you so far away that your family will never see you again.”
They insisted that Louie Louie was innocent, but as ardently as they’d sought reds under the bed, and over the course of two-and-a-half years, the G-Men contrived a series of eye-wateringly unpalatable images and practices from Ely’s mumbles.
A short piece for the Guardian about “the best board games you’ve never heard of“:
Cosmic Encounter: Ignore the name. And the scifi-flavoured box. This is a strategy game, but the brilliance is that each player can utterly break the rules in a different way. One might be permitted to play out of turn; another might be allowed to declare themselves the winner if they go out first. What you do, and who you trust, is determined far more by this rule-breaking than by the straightforward mechanics underneath. The possible combinations of these disruptive powers mean that each time you play, it’s a thoroughly new experience – and each time, it’s the greatest board game you’ve ever played.
- Do Something: How to win quizzes – from pub contests to Mastermind
- Do Something: How to solve a cryptic crossword
On the 40th anniversary of Nick Drake‘s death, a short piece for the BBC News Magazine:
His first album, the pastoral Five Leaves Left, correspondingly begins with the lines: ‘Time has told me you’re a rare, rare find / A troubled cure for a troubled mind’.
The second, Bryter Layter, is purposefully upbeat and the last, Pink Moon, ends: ‘So look, see the sights, the endless summer nights / And go play the game that you learned from the morning’. This is music of comfort, not of despair; rebirth, not death.
And there’s a John Peel version of my favourite track, Cello Song, at the Guardian.