Author, Journalist, broadcaster

News and Events

24th April 2014 – Interview with Jilly Cooper

“Victoria is currently researching her next book about rescue dogs – and was delighted to interview the bestselling author and dog lover – Jilly Cooper at her home in Gloucestershire. Jilly was charming and fascinating. Naturally, they talked about owning rescue dogs: both women had childhoods filled with canine family members. Jilly also talked about her writing – and how the beloved dogs fit into her very busy life. There will be a chapter all about Jilly in the new book.

This interview came about because a mutual friend, Judy Zatonski, “put in a good word” for Victoria. Judy makes beautiful, bespoke greetings cards – Jilly is one of her “customers” but, more importantly, a close and treasured friend.”

Thank you Jilly, for a funny, entertaining – and thoroughly enjoyable interview.

10th April 2015 – BBC Documentary

Victoria took part in a BBC4 documentary called Biggest Band Break Ups and Make Ups – screened at 9pm on a Friday evening. It was, as the title suggests, all about famous bands and duos – their ups and downs, their creative clashes and personal resentments. Victoria was interviewed on camera in early February by Assistant Producer Chloe Campbell, about the partnership and relationship of Simon and Garfunkel, as depicted in her book: Simon & Garfunkel, the Definitive Biography – available on Kindle.

Chloe’s painstaking research and relaxed interviewing manner were impressive; also, she kept the bottled water coming – you get very thirsty when you’re being interviewed for two hours. Producer Guy Evans and Chloe put together a fascinating documentary and Victoria was very proud to be asked to take part.

Hounslow Conservative Club Ladies Group – March 3rd 2015

Victoria did a talk (yes, another one) at the Ladies’ Group and a good time was had by all. She talked about her recent interview about Simon and Garfunkel for a BBC4 music documentary.

By special request, Victoria took along one of her own dogs – Millie the greyhound who is only four, but already quite an ambassador for dog charities.

Millie stole much of the limelight, and it must be said, quite a few of the biscuits intended for human consumption. She slept like a log that night, obviously worn out by her first public appearance. The ladies treated her with kindness and enthusiasm. She did not, however, win a raffle prize. Just as well really. Thank you all for being so welcoming.

November 4th, 2014 – Hounslow Conservative Club Ladies Group

Victoria talked to these friendly ladies about being a writer, talking to famous people and the dog charities she supports.

The ladies were very welcoming and Victoria even won a prize in the raffle – a box of Jaffa Cakes! She signed her books and chatted after the talk. One lady said very graciously: “I know you were interesting because I didn’t fall asleep.” Well said.

Many thanks to Lesley Smith, Secretary to the Ladies Group – and to Sylvia Hill, Events Organiser.

25th Sept – Simon and Garfunkel

Victoria and David attended The Simon and Garfunkel Story at Richmond Theatre, as special guests of Dean Elliott, the show’s producer and star. To say they are a tribute band is inadequate. They are very talented and have become very popular – indeed, it was tricky to catch up with them at a local venue, but all things come to those who wait. Next year, it’s South Africa – and London’s West End!

Although months and months into the touring, when many shows start to get tired and jaded, this show is still as fresh as a daisy. Dean and Jonny and their wonderful band are still performing with energy and enthusiasm. They still talk to the audience warmly and intimately as if they did it all for the first time yesterday.

The back screen, showing pictures from the period – some of the duo, some of America itself, works as a counterpoint to the music: sometimes ironic, sometimes poignant – and while it does all this, it never detracts from the centre stage. Even if this isn’t the first time you’ve seen the show. Truthfully, you could see this show again and again and it would still retain its sparkle, its originality, its sheer entertainment value.

This time I noticed more details: how wonderful the lighting is. When Dean and Jonny come onstage as Paul and Artie at Central Park, the silhouette-effect is quite stunning, quite tingling really – like seeing a moment from the past flash by you. There was a kind of gasp from the audience. It also struck me – and maybe it did the first time too – just how excellent a guitarist Dean Elliott is. The band members are masters of their instruments – and Paul Simon compositions really do challenge the musician – but they also perform well as an ensemble.

They all work so hard – belting out the upbeat songs and sweetly singing the ballads – and you wonder where they get their energy from. Long may they continue. Meanwhile, don’t miss out. Book some tickets. These guys really do know how to keep the customers satisfied.

June 5th, 2014 – St Mary’s Church, Parish Hall, Twickenham

Victoria talked about her career as a writer and her love of dogs – and signed copies of her books. Once thrown open to questions from the group, about 20 in all, the talk wandered into topics such as women growing older and wiser, cleaning the house and the ups and downs of working from home. Victoria was accompanied by her friend Janet Marcantonio, who organised the book selling splendidly.

President Cynthia Winkles and Booking Manager Greta Butler were very efficient and the whole group made Victoria feel very welcome. Both Victoria and Janet won raffle prizes and bought some delicious fruit cake.

15th May 2014 – St Philip & St James Women’s Group

Victoria talked to the group – 30 plus women – about her writing career, the people she has interviewed and the ups and downs of being a feature writer. It all went like clockwork – what an organised team they are. Janet Short did the booking (almost a year previously because they are so booked up) and was very warm and welcoming, aided by Leader Chris Raymond and Treasurer Jean Morley.

Victoria sold and signed copies of her books and was treated to a cup of delicious coffee and two chocolate biscuits. It was a wonderful evening. Victoria thanks the team – and all the ladies for being so friendly, so challenging in their questions – and such fun.

NWR (National Women’s Register), Banstead – Tues 4th March 2014 at 10.00.

Victoria talked about her writing, her books and journalism. She also signed copies of her books.

The ladies were a lovely audience who asked many questions – some very challenging ones. Victoria wishes to thank Val Bloomfield who organised her visit there and was so welcoming. Also thanks must go to Val Vernon, a fellow greyhound rescuer, who thought of the idea in the first place.

March 19th 2013, 7.45, Whitton Methodist Hall

Victoria talked to the Twickenham Gardening Association about her journalism, poetry, her rescue greyhounds and the famous people she has interviewed. Though she is a poor gardener herself, she has interviewed some excellent ones: Susan Hampshire, Wendy Craig, Isla Blair, Gayle Hunnicutt – and she has met Alan Titchmarsh – at the Savoy Hotel, no less. She had hopes of chatting to him about her plants, but he was constantly surrounded by women who had the same idea.

Everyone was very warm and welcoming – and Victoria appreciated the coffee (plus a choc biscuit and a hob-nob) – and the lively discussion after the talk. The audience was very interested in journalism and asked some challenging questions. Afterwards, Victoria signed copies of her books.

Victoria was accompanied by her friend Janet Marcantonio, who did the bookselling and the driving – and was, as always, very supportive. Many thanks to Mike Collas who organised the event so well – and to Eileen Collas for being an excellent “hostess”.