Sunday 20 September 2015


She was not happy. Jackie Collins arrived at the reception desk of Bush House, London, (then the home of the BBC World Service) in a less than happy mood.

It was 1988, and I was going to interview Miss Collins about her new novel, Rock Star. As was my habit I had gone to meet my interviewee as opposed to waiting in the studio for someone to bring her to me.

I had long ago learned that the five minute walk-and-lift-journey to the studio was an invaluable ice-breaker. It had served me well, time and time again, but today it looked as if were going to fail me for the first time...
BS: You're having quite a hectic day, I imagine...

JC (Snappishly): All I can say, is I hope this interview is better than the last one!

BS (Suddenly feeling apprehensive): Oh dear, did it not go well?

JC: You could say that! One of your colleagues at Broadcasting House just started interviewing me by asking: "What can I possibly ask Jackie Collins that she hasn't been asked before?"

BS (Now decidedly anxious): Ah....

JC (Icily): I told him: "Why ask me? I thought that was supposed to be your job!" But, of course, it's easier to ask something like that than to actually read the book!
We travel the rest of the journey in silence. This is not going to be easy...

The red light goes on. The microphone is live. My throat feels as though I have swallowed the Sahara.

My opening question involves a scene and a quote from quite a way into the novel – because, although I had never read a Jackie Collins novel before Rock Star (and have never read another since), I had read the book!

Miss Collins begins (slowly at first) to melt...

What might have been the interview from hell, turns out to be a pleasure and delight.

Relaxed, Collins is wickedly funny....

The interview draws to a close and there's one final question still on my notepad that I've not asked yet.

Dare I ask it?

Yes, I think so!
BS: Jackie Collins, one of the characters in Rock Star says: “Sex is the most important thing in the world – more important even than money…”
She laughs. So far so good.

Right! Here goes...
BS (with a cheeky smile): So... what’s most important to Jackie Collins –– sex or money?
She doesn't bat an eyelid. Doesn't miss a beat...
JC: Both! –– And, preferably, together!


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Tuesday 15 September 2015


One of my graphic heroes is Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003), the legendary caricaturist, responsible for hundreds of memorable black and white pen-portraits of many of the greatest stars and and most cerebrated of celebrities – all drawn with a fluid, flowing, calligraphic  line that captures the personality with such astonishing accuracy that a Hirschfeld likeness is unmistakable.

Every drawing features his famous block-of-lines signature (see left) and is known to conceal the name of his daughter 'Nina' in one or more places in the design.

Here's a few reminders of Hirschfeld's genius...

And this Hirschfeld cartoon takes me to the point where I can explain the title of today's blog post...

The subject is Eric Goldberg one of a new golden age of Disney animators responsible for – among others – this memorable character...

It only takes a glance to see that Eric Goldberg was channelling Hirschfeld in his designs for the Genni in Aladdin. Goldberg's stylish homage earned him the master's friendship and permission to use the Hirschfeld-look for the stunning 'The Rhapsody in Blue' sequence in Fantasia 2000.

Now Goldberg has taken up his Hirschfeldian pen and drawn a gallery of famous Disney characters created in the style of the caricatured star portraits on the walls of New York's famous Sardi's Restaurant.

These will eventually be displayed on the walls of an American diner at the forthcoming Shanghai Disneyland, but to save you having to wait until the newest Disney park is open, these brilliant drawings have been collected into a stylish volume from Disney Editions: An Animator's Gallery - Eric Goldberg Draws the Disney Characters with a text by David A. Bossert and a Foreword by John Lasseter.

An Animator's Gallery features hundreds of classic characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Frozen via Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

Every page should prove a delight for Disney and Hirschfeld fans alike and, indeed, for anyone who shares my enjoyment of the graphic art of black-and-white pen-and-inkmandship...