John Gibson: Books put Peter in Pole position

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How’s your Polish? I asked Peter Kerr. How far does it extend beyond “Yes, I’ll have another vodka”? Kerr was noncommittal but it’s not the drink that’s taking him to Warsaw the weekend after next. It’s books.

He’s written more than a few himself -think Majorca and oranges – and it’s on the strength of his much-lauded literary efforts that the Poles have asked him back to participate in their annual Big Book Festival, a celebration of actual books. Flesh and blood books, if you like, or print and paper.

Ninety guests, the Haddington-based Kerr the sole Brit among them, and the 50 events are crammed into two days (June 22 and 23). The festival’s motto: ‘‘Paper never dies.’’

There’s no point

Here is the news and I can visualise you gripping your chair. Richard Osman, co-host of the BBC’s nightly tea-time dross, Pointless, tells us that last year he organised a World Cup of Chocolate on Twitter. Which gives us a pretty idea of what he stores in his noddle.

“I do occasionally have too much time on my hands,” he’s saying, presumably without a blush. Shameful waste of a university education at Cambridge, I’d say.

Miles away

Stand in line, John, there are a thousand men before you. I was at an age, then, when every male had a shine for Ryan’s Daughter. Frothing over Oscar-nominated Sarah Miles.

Smiles better. She is now in Sussex running a healing centre at her home, where she buried her screen-writer husband Robert Bolt in the garden.

I suspect Sarah’s gone a bit “strange”, like Doris Day’s done with her dogs.