The latest novel from best-selling English author Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down, focuses on a group of suicidal people who accidentally meet atop a tall building — and how that meeting changes their fates. He also writes "Stuff I've Been Reading," a column for The Believer magazine. Many of Hornby's novels have been made into films, including About a Boy, High Fidelity and Fever Pitch.
Leigh's social-realist comedies depict British working class life. He begins work on his films without a script, piecing them together from improvisations with his cast. His latest film is Vera Drake about a working class woman in Britain in the 1950s who secretly performs abortions.
Nigerian-born actor Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in the new Stephen Frears film Dirty Pretty Things. Ejiofor plays an immigrant former doctor who now must make his living in London as a cab driver and hotel clerk. Ejiofor graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and was named Outstanding Newcomer in The London Evening Standard Awards 2000. He recently completed a sell-out run at London's National Theatre as Christopher in Blue/Orange. At the age of 19 he had a role in Steven Spielberg's film Amistad.
Writer Sarah Waters is the author of three novels which she calls "lesbo-Victorian romps." The lesbian-themed books are: Tipping the Velvet (about "a sort of Moll Flanders in drag"); Affinity (a historical book set in a Victorian women's prison); and Fingersmith (a gothic melodrama). Fingersmith was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Tipping the Velvet was made into a BBC miniseries and it will be shown on BBC America, beginning Friday, May 23.
With writer Penny Valentine, biographer Vicki Wickham recently published Dancing with Demons: The Authorized Biography of Dusty Springfield. Wickham was Springfield close friend and manager for over a decade of Springfield career.
Hoskins starred in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" "The Long Good Friday," "Mona Lisa," and "The Cotton Club." He also directed the two films, "The Raggedy Rawney" and "The Rainbow." Recently he starred in the British film "TwentyFourSeven." It won him the best actor award at the European Film Awards this year.
Rock critic Ken Tucker tells us about the latest British invasion: Spacehog (their new album is "Resident Alien"--Sire Records), Black Grape ("It's Great When You're Straight"--Radioactive Records) and Pulp ("Different Class"--Island Records).
British musician Sting was the bassist and lead singer for the Police, which from 1978 to 84 produced a creative and popular blend of jazz and rock. Since beginning his solo career in 1982, Sting has released six albums. His latest "Mercury Falling," is scheduled for release in the United Sates on March 12.