A subjective opinion given as if it were generally held

The Oxford Times: Fat knight: Antony Sher as Stratford's new Sir John Falstaff

1:03pm Thursday 17th April 2014

Christopher Gray takes issue with the media presenting an opinion that some may not share

Once in a blue moon get-together at Didcot

The Oxford Times: The glorious nighttime scene at the Didcot Rail Centre with, from left, King Edward II, Tornado and Sir Nigel Gresley

12:58pm Thursday 17th April 2014

Christopher Gray spots a special steam engine at Didcot Railway Centre

Why do we all black the partnership?

The Oxford Times: Awaited: What the Botley Road Waitrose will look like

12:42pm Thursday 10th April 2014

Christopher Gray on the John Lewis partnership

Master of the macabre reaches his 200th year

The Oxford Times: Sheridan Le Fanu's terrifying lesbian vampire Carmilla as she was first depicted in the magazine The Dark Blue by artist D. H. Friston in 1872

12:35pm Thursday 10th April 2014

Christopher Gray looks at Dublin's significant in vampire literature

How money looked in the days of my youth

The Oxford Times: How money looked in the days of my youth

12:28pm Thursday 27th March 2014

The proposal of a new £1 coin sends Christopher Gray on a trip down memory lane

Veronese - master of faces, fabrics and fur

The Oxford Times: Stunning: Christopher Gray in front of the colossal Martyrdom of St. George. Behind is exhibition curator Xavier F. Salomon being interviewed

12:03pm Thursday 27th March 2014

Christopher Gray visits an unmissable Veronese exhibiton at the National Gallery

It's a man's job running the railways

The Oxford Times: Paris bound: A train on the HS1 line speeds through Kent

11:23am Thursday 20th March 2014

Christopher Gray ponders the lack of female staff running the nation's railways

Trio of fine restaurants for foodies to savour

The Oxford Times: John Footman at the Oxford Kitchen

11:15am Thursday 20th March 2014

Where is a good place to eat? Christopher Gray has a few answers

A campaign has started to preserve a useful bridge

The Oxford Times: A campaign has started to preserve a useful bridge

1:10pm Thursday 13th March 2014

The bridge links Roger Dudman Way with River Thames towpath, writes Christopher Gray

Did Labour's top man save the student play?

The Oxford Times: The Caucasian Chalk Circle

1:08pm Thursday 13th March 2014

Christopher Gray reports back after attending the Oxford Playhouse production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Who is Bisto kidding with its odd claim over servings?

The Oxford Times: What's cooking?: In fact Bisto sauce doesn't need any

11:12am Thursday 6th March 2014

Christopher Gray ponders what even constitutes a 'serving'

Girl power was going strong in the sixties

The Oxford Times: Dame Shirley Bassey

11:09am Thursday 6th March 2014

Christopher Gray believes female figures dominated the charts long before the Spice Girls

Joy of the new for me at two splendid shows

The Oxford Times: Close encounter: Hitman Captain Lesgate (Robert Perkins) attacks victim Shelia Wendice (Kelly Hotten) in Dial M For Murder

11:07am Thursday 6th March 2014

Christopher Gray talks about seeing Dial M For Murder and Ghost the Musical in Oxford

Oysters and champagne for the first night crowd

The Oxford Times: Loins girded: The men of Full Monty

2:29pm Thursday 27th February 2014

Christopher Gray is surprised by the food and drink on offer when he attended a London production of The Full Monty

Old Parsonage revamp is nearing completion

The Oxford Times: The famous facade

2:25pm Thursday 27th February 2014

Christopher Gray talks about the stunning refurbishments at Oxford's Old Parsonage Hotel

'Local lad' Tom lands a coveted new stage role

The Oxford Times: 'Local lad' Tom lands a coveted new stage role

11:28am Thursday 20th February 2014

Former Cherwell School pupil Tom Bateman is set to play William Shakespeare, writes Christopher Gray

Ideal spot for what we like to see organised

The Oxford Times: At work: Cotswold Brewing Company's founder Rick Keene in the foreground with brewer James Boatright with a new batch of lager

11:25am Thursday 20th February 2014

Christopher Gray talks about the Cotswold Brewing Company

Victorians too blew smoke at their children

The Oxford Times: Guy Deverell by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

11:53am Thursday 13th February 2014

Christopher Gray talks passive smoking

Comic come-uppance for bully-boy compere

The Oxford Times: Dame Edna Everage

11:46am Thursday 13th February 2014

Christopher Gray on the comedian's mocking tradition

Chef Raymond's surprising tip will put paid to our evening meal

The Oxford Times: Chef Raymond's surprising tip will put paid to our evening meal

11:34am Thursday 6th February 2014

Christopher Gray looks at Raymond Blanc's interesting piece of advice

A wise choice of inn for Presidential lunch

The Oxford Times: A wise choice of inn for Presidential lunch

11:27am Thursday 6th February 2014

Christopher Gray on David Cameron's pub lunch with French President Francois Hollande

How the Sun had the story back to front

The Oxford Times: New Mini: An instance of successful car building in Britain

11:47am Thursday 30th January 2014

Christopher Gray criticises a tabloid story regarding Britain's cars

Is kissing a wrinkly a new student game?

11:30am Thursday 30th January 2014

Christopher Gray is puzzled by a student's request

A co-pilot is advisable for an online booking

11:27am Thursday 30th January 2014

Christopher Gray advises to take care when booking a holiday online

Photographer shows stars ready to act

The Oxford Times: David Tennant in the RSC's The Rivals in 2000

12:12pm Thursday 23rd January 2014

Christopher Gray recommends an exhibition showcasing famous actors preparing to perform

Iconic can-can legs are joined by another pair

The Oxford Times: Jamie McCartney's can-can legs above Duke's at Komedia in Gardner Street, Brighton

12:05pm Thursday 23rd January 2014

Christopher Gray spots another one of John Buckley's trademark sculptures on a trip to Brighton

Wisecracks to brighten dark drama

The Oxford Times: Nathaniel Parker as Henry VIII

10:47am Thursday 16th January 2014

Christopher Gray examines some king-size jokes among the darkness of Henry VIII

Friends bid farwell to popular publisher

The Oxford Times: OLD FRIENDS: Bob Campbell, in suitably salmon-decorated tie (with Campbell tartan trousers beneath), greets Elizabeth Whelan, a publishing colleague for 25 years and one of the speakers at his retirement dinner

10:44am Thursday 16th January 2014

Christopher Gray attends a retirement dinner for publisher Bob Campbell

Successful bid to woo young people to the London stage

12:59pm Thursday 9th January 2014

Christopher Gray looks at how theatres are attracting younger audiences

Strange sights in the Catalonian sunshine

12:55pm Thursday 9th January 2014

Christopher Gray reflects on a memorable festive season getaway

Some quite remarkable boozing...

11:31am Thursday 2nd January 2014

Christopher Gray remembers a personal encounter with the late David Coleman

Affectionate memories of life at Christ Church

11:26am Thursday 2nd January 2014

Christopher Gray looks at a fictional study of J.I.M. Stewart's Oxford college

Wodehousian fun with the master and his students

The Oxford Times: Prof. John Albery of University College

1:37pm Thursday 19th December 2013

Chris Gray looks at the unique relationship between Professor John Albery and his students

Confusing voices on BBC's news show

The Oxford Times: Confusing voices on BBC's news show

1:29pm Thursday 19th December 2013

Chris Gray has a bit of trouble with some of the voices on Radio 4

If we must have titles please get them right

The Oxford Times: SILLY ASS: Ian Carmichael as Bertie Wooster. The novels of P.G. Woodhouse are excellent on the use of titles

1:24pm Thursday 19th December 2013

Chris Gray has a bone to pick with some national newspapers

Good to see Carol ready for a Python flight again

The Oxford Times: Carol 'Cleavage' Cleveland in ber Monty Python heyday

12:40pm Thursday 12th December 2013

Anyone tune into the BBC Radio New Comedy Award final on Monday night? Me neither. How could one possibly have been attracted to this search for new stand-up comedians by the material used to promote it?

Happy Jack is a Prince of the pop-up

12:33pm Thursday 12th December 2013

Matthew Norman hit on a curious venue for his weekly Daily Telegraph restaurant review on Saturday. He accorded his full half-page space to something called The Pocket Bakery. His choice struck me as markedly metrocentric (as usual), the eaterie being located in London SW11. It was, moreover, of scant value even to his readers located in the capital, since the place only opens on Friday lunchtimes.

Gary is the latest star in bed with the BBC

The Oxford Times: Broad appeal - but Gary Barlow's latest recording is no so popular with some critics

12:30pm Thursday 12th December 2013

This column has moaned in the past about the BBC’s propensity for offering free plugs across its network to pop bands eager to shift their new ‘product’. A particularly egregious example involved Coldplay who, at the time of the release of Viva La Vida, performed outside Broadcasting House watched by, among other groovers, the Beeb’s creative director, Alan ‘Botney’ Yentob. Speaking of creativitity, Viva La Vida was the album that introduced us to the novel concept of “Roman cavalry choirs”.

A dignified reserve over remembrance

The Oxford Times: From the Daily Telegraph

4:00pm Thursday 7th November 2013

Anything strike you as noteworthy in the picture on the left? It is from last Friday’s Daily Telegraph and shows the Queen on a visit to a fish market in Newhaven, East Sussex.

Now can we have a house back please?

The Oxford Times: Movies Video Rental in Walton Street

4:00pm Thursday 7th November 2013

Opportunities for me to disagree with our excellent Jericho and Osney ward councillor Susanna Pressel are few and far between, but one has certainly arisen concerning the premises of Movies Video Rental in Walton Street. The shop, which had traded for more than 20 years, closed on Sunday of last week, a victim of changing trends in home entertainment. Susanna told one of our reporters: “I think it will be a loss to Jericho. As far as I know it was quite well used and I hope something similar will reopen.”

Transvestite star's walk on the wild side of Oxford

The Oxford Times: Holly Woodlawn

4:00pm Thursday 7th November 2013

Where were you when you heard about the death of Lou Reed? I was in the Iberian sunshine at the Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival and was amazed at how much hoo-hah there was about his demise on BBC News 24. Heaven knows what will happen when Bob Dylan croaks.

Spanish writer remembered at his 'local' in Oxford

The Oxford Times: William Chislett and the plaque to Arturo Barea at The Volunteer, Faringdon

4:00pm Thursday 31st October 2013

It was a curious circumstance that I needed to travel to Gibraltar and its first literary festival last weekend to hear a story local to Oxfordshire, and specifically to Faringdon. Its teller was William Chislett, a Madrid-based journalist well-known for his work in Spain and Mexico. If his name sounds familiar to my readers in Oxfordshire, this is possibly because his father, also William Chislett, was an authoritative writer on Oxford’s cultural scene over many years as the Oxford Mail’s chief music critic.

Famous faces at first literary festival on the Rock

The Oxford Times: FISHY FEAST: Lobster, smoked salmon and other delights served at dinner in St Michael’s Cave.

4:00pm Thursday 31st October 2013

Director Sally Dunsmore and other members of the team behind the hugely popular literary festivals in Oxford and at Blenheim Palace transferred last weekend to the southern tip of the Iberian peninsular to lend their skills at a new three-day celebration of books in Gibraltar. The conspicuous success of the pioneer Gibunco Gibraltar International Literary Festival has guaranteed there will be another, slightly later, in 2014 and further such events in the years to follow.

New elegance for a Victorian favourite

The Oxford Times: New elegance for a Victorian favourite

4:00pm Thursday 24th October 2013

Through the impressive entrance lobby of London’s Café Royal have passed over the years such figures as Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, James Whistler, Winston Churchill, Cary Grant, Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammed Ali, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and all the members of the Beatles. So in crossing that gleaming white marble floor, as I was privileged to do two weeks ago, one cannot but hear the ghostly footfall of the famous proceeding ahead.

New dance show takes us to another iconic hotel

The Oxford Times: New dance show takes us to another iconic hotel

3:00pm Thursday 24th October 2013

New York’s Chelsea Hotel is an establishment with a reputation for decadence to rival — perhaps even exceed — that of the Café Royal. An institution over many years, it was name-checked by two of my favourite troubadours in two of my favourite songs, Bob Dylan’s Sara and Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel.

Welcome return to the novels of a fine Oxford writer

The Oxford Times: The novelist J.I.M. Stewart, who also published detective novels as Michael Innes, pictured in 1976

4:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013

"By noon the local papers had their posters on the streets — and in no other town would they have read as discreetly as they did: Sudden Death of the President of St Anthony’s. For in the papers themselves the fact was stated: Dr Umpleby had been shot — it was suspected deliberately and by an unknown hand.”

How Mousetrap star inspired a screen classic

The Oxford Times: How Mousetrap star inspired a screen classic

4:00pm Thursday 10th October 2013

The cult status accorded to the British horror film The Wicker Man has always surprised me. When I first saw it — indeed when I last saw it — on its release in 1973 the antics it depicted among isolated island folk in Scotland seemed more funny than frightening. Like much else in that era of sexploitation, though, it featured a phwoar-worthy array of crumpet, including Britt Ekland, who was in between romantic stints with Peter Sellers and Rod Stewart, and Ingrid Pitt, better known for her work as a screen vampire at the time — as was the film’s star, Christopher Lee.

Mariella gets back to her roots

The Oxford Times: Mariella gets back to her roors

12:00am Thursday 10th October 2013

Eyebrows have been raised over ‘bookish’ Mariella Frostrup’s involvement in the tacky Channel 4 series Sex Box in which couples have sex in a box and then talk about it. “Watching Frostrup front this show is a bit like catching your sister slip a sex toy into her handbag,” wrote Christina Odone in the Daily Telegraph.

Can Daily Mail headlines cause cancer?

3:10pm Thursday 3rd October 2013

Sometimes, seeing a rotund figure ahead of us in the street, Rosemarie and I will turn to each other and say “Yes!”. This answers the understood question: “Does my bum look big in this?” Many readers will recall this catch-phrase of an Arabella Weir character, the Insecure Woman, in The Fast Show, perhaps the last really funny comedy series on British television.

Partner a pet to help the dogs of Greece

The Oxford Times: Druna

3:10pm Thursday 3rd October 2013

‘Thanks for the lovely pictures. Would love to meet Druna one morning this week.”



Your townYourOxford


Your Say Your Oxford





Local Information

Enter your postcode, town or place name

House prices »   Schools »   Crime »   Hospitals »

click2find


About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree