Carrie Fisher

When Carrie Fisher goes missing right before an interview, you have good reason to worry. This, after all, is the woman who stopped taking her lithium during a holiday in Australia, had a psychotic episode, and took an impulsive trip to China because it was only six inches away on the map. Her press officer… Read more »

The Forth Bridge

IT is Saturday night, almost Sunday morning, and 150 feet above the chill, black water of the Forth, in a sheet-metal bothy the colour of blood, the men of the bridge are waiting to begin work. “Sweetie?” Someone offers a barley sugar. “That’s what gets you through these shifts. Better than a hip flask.” The… Read more »

Lou Reed

IT was a bright cold day in March, and the clocks were striking one when I learned I was to interview Lou Reed. Lou Reed! My immediate reaction was elation, swiftly followed by doubt, then dread. Reed is notoriously difficult; he is to journalists what Cape Horn was to 18th century sailors – a vicious… Read more »

Tilda Swinton

TILDA Swinton is standing on the beach at Nairn, the beige sand dotted with worm-casts, bladder-wrack and mussel shells the shape and colour of bruised eyes. She is wearing a fuzzy orange coat, her red hair is dyed blonde, and she is being photographed with her back to the Moray Firth. Swinton has called this… Read more »

Nicola Sturgeon

THE village of Dreghorn, Ayrshire, one summer evening in 1987. In her home, “Tulsa”, a bungalow down a quiet cul-de-sac, Kay Ullrich, a 43-year-old social worker and SNP ­activist, is preparing to go out canvassing. The prospect fills her with little joy. She has no chance of being elected MP for Cunninghame South. This is… Read more »