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16 March 2000
In House: Covent Garden, 50 Years of Opera and Ballet 
by John Tooley.
Faber, 318 pp., £25, November 1999, 9780571194155
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Never Mind the Moon: My Time at the Royal Opera House 
by Jeremy Isaacs.
Bantam, 356 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 593 04355 3
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... As the Royal Opera House staged its grand reopening, two of its former bosses filed conflicting accounts of its recent history. Both John Tooley (1970-88) and JeremyIsaacs (1988-97) describe the House’s considerable achievements over the past half-century; and Isaacs’s part in pushing through the magnificent rebuilding was heroic. What we still want to know is why ...

Openly reticent

Jonathan Coe

9 November 1989
Grand Inquisitor: Memoirs 
by Robin Day.
Weidenfeld, 296 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 297 79660 7
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Beginning 
by Kenneth Branagh.
Chatto, 244 pp., £12.99, September 1989, 0 7011 3388 0
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Storm over 4: A Personal Account 
by Jeremy Isaacs.
Weidenfeld, 215 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 297 79538 4
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... without giving in to sobs and reserved my warmest hugs for Brian and for Emma’. Sounds as though that marriage was a close thing, after all. Personally, Ken, I think you made the right choice. Jeremy Isaac’s account of his years at Channel 4 seems quite sober by comparison, although even in that rarefied corner of Charlotte Street it seems that the rank breeze of actorliness has made itself ...
22 February 1996
... by the Lottery, the only constant seems to be the money itself. At one end of the operation, the object is to find the lowest common denominator; at the other end, to find the highest. Mystic Meg and JeremyIsaacs are the two sides of what is literally the same coin – it is up to her to help raise the money, and up to him to help spend it. And this suggests an obvious question: if it takes Mystic Meg ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Awaiting the Truth about Hanratty

11 December 1997
... leaving her for dead before driving off in the couple’s car. Among the guests at the wake were Jean Justice, who told me he was a (rather elderly) law student, and his friend, a barrister called Jeremy Fox. I listened entranced to their assurances not only that Jimmy Hanratty had nothing to do with the A6 murder, but that they had been on intimate terms with the real killer: Peter Alphon. I was ...

Making strange

John Sutherland

19 March 1981
Other people 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 223 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 224 01766 7
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The Magic Glass 
by Anne Smith.
Joseph, 174 pp., £6.50, March 1981, 9780718119867
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The Book of Ebenezer Le Page 
by Gerald Edwards.
Hamish Hamilton, 400 pp., £7.50, March 1981, 0 241 10477 7
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Sharpe’s Eagle 
by Bernard Cornwell.
Collins, 266 pp., £6.50, February 1981, 0 00 221997 2
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XPD 
by Len Deighton.
Hutchinson, 397 pp., £6.95, March 1981, 0 09 144570 1
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... and well-written portrait of the criminal as a young urchin. It is done without nostalgia, posing or special pleading. The childhood chapters are far and away the best thing in A Sense of Freedom. JeremyIsaacs saw fit to cut them, however, together with the Barlinnie redemption, in his tendentious television version, leaving nothing for the gawpers but the hard man’s sado-masochistic feats in and ...

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