With the Hay Festival in full swing the Guardian have devised an interesting little article that I guess must appear in one of the paper's supplements today (almost always reading the Guardian online means I've pretty much forgotten the format of the thing). The gist of it is as follows: one 'sharp and intelligent mind' from the festival asks another just one question, and the responses (as indeed the questions) vary from the insightful and illuminating to the downright ridiculous and hilarious. See Will Self's question to Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire on the ancient aurochs of Chatsworth, for example.
Anyway, here's poet and novelist Simon Armitage showing his northern roots, questioning fellow poet Glyn Maxwell:
Armitage: Q. Where's that 20 quid I loaned you in Reykjavik?
Maxwell: A. I put it all on Londoners one day electing Boris Johnson to run their city. We're millionaires, man.
Sad but true. What bookie would've given any less than million-to-one odds on such an occurrence back in '94? Mind you, I suppose John Major was PM...
NB. In other news, my critical perspective of Simon Armitage's work is now up on the British Council's Contemporary Writers database. Find it here.