For decades the columns of Miles Kington were a refreshing spot of lunacy in the dull acres of the world's news. From the arguments between gods past and present (as recorded in the minutes of United Deities meetings), to unlikely agony aunts, all-purpose Shakespeare plays, and interviews with ‘sock psychologists’, nothing is too trivial or unlikely to attract Kington’s attention and wit.
Selected here are over a hundred pieces, each a powerful antidote to doom and destruction with their irreverent, absurd and sometimes surreal attitude to life. They are amongst the best journalism and humorous works of the past fifty years. Read on.
‘Every single day over more than two decades, his column [was] witty, topical, erudite, acutely observed...Quite simply, no-one in modern journalism is capable of such an output at such high quality.’ Simon Kelner
‘As with the very best in any sphere of endeavour, Miles’s trick was to make it look easy. His lightness of touch amounted to a kind of genius. But behind the conversational prose lay craftsmanship of the highest order. His standards never wavered.’ Simon O’Hagan
Born in County Down, Miles Kington was one of Britain's most renowned and best loved journalists. He grew up in Wales and was educated in Scotland, which was all a big mistake as he was actually English. He wrote for newspapers including Punch, The Times, The Independent and The Oldie, presented for the BBC and was author of the Franglais books amongst many others.
When some people are told they have only a few months to live, they might travel around the world or write their memoirs or put their affairs in order. When it happened at the age of 66 to Miles Kington-one of England's best-loved humorists-he did what he did best, offering sharp, wry, laugh-out-loud observations and ideas about his situation. Following his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, Kington proposes crazier and crazier ideas for his next book (what he calls "cashing in on cancer") in a series of letters to his literary agent, Gill.
And what sort of things capture Kington's attention in his waning months? The sudden grimness of those 1,000 Places to See Before You Die books, for example. (What about 100 Things to Do Before You Die, Without Leaving Home?, he suggests. Instead of bungee jumping and whitewater rafting, learn to whistle with two fingers in your mouth, yodel, or steam open envelopes.) The irony that his dog, Berry, will probably outlive him, or the semi-outrageous idea of creating a funeral video:
The answer is quite simple.
Make a video in advance of my farewell speech, to be shown on a monitor, from the pulpit, or on a screen behind the stage, or wherever the best place would be.
I have already visualised the opening shot.
It is of me, smiling ruefully, and saying to camera: "Hello. I'm sorry I couldn't be here in person with you today."
Mischievous and utterly original, Miles Kington's words in the face of death are memorable and surprisingly uplifting.
A delicious second helping of the most humorous and indeed essential languages of all, Let's Parler Franglais Again! will save the day when you find yourself 'Dans le Health Food Shop' having to deal with 'Le Porte-à-Porte Salesman'. Never again will you go blank in le job interview, or when ordering une sandwich dans la boulangerie.
So mesdames et messieurs, bienvenue encore à the merveilleux monde of Franglais, the hilarious series that attained first cult and then classic status. C’est a passeport au success social, une garantie of plein de laughter and a heartfelt celebration of des grande union culturelle.
MAINTENANT NOMINÉ POUR LE PRIX NOBEL, VIGNT OSCARS, ET LE PRIX FRANGLAIS FOR BEST BOOK DANS L’HISTOIRE
Miles Kington was one of Britain's most renowned and best loved journalists. Born in County Down, he grew up in Wales and was educated in Scotland, which was all a big mistake as he was actually English. A presenter, playwright, polymath and wit, he wrote columns for The Times, the Independent, Punch and The Oldie. His other acclaimed titles include Someone Like Me, How Shall I Tell the Dog? and The Franglais Lieutenant's Woman.
Welcome back to the absurd yet joyful world of Miles Kington's legendary Franglais guides! C’est une des grande mixtures de l’histoire, comme gin et tonique, oeuf et bacon, ou les deux Ronnies. Cette combinaison de Français et Anglais vous permet une expérience mind-blowing.
MAINTENANT UNE SCRATCH ET SNIFF ÉDITION EBOOK SPECIALE! CHOIX DE TROIS FLAVOURS: GAULOISE/VINAIGRETTE/TARTE TATIN
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Miles Kington was one of Britain’s most renowned and best loved journalists. Born in County Down, he grew up in Wales and was educated in Scotland, which was all a big mistake as he was actually English. A presenter, playwright, polymath and wit, he wrote columns for The Times, the Independent, Punch and The Oldie. His other acclaimed titles include Someone Like Me, How Shall I Tell the Dog? and The Franglais Lieutenant's Woman.