Tag Archive: Simon Amstell


Who wants to watch an entire film about veganism? Well, I do but I am already converted to the cause so I don’t really count.

Comedian Simon Amstell is aware that preaching to the choir isn’t going to change hearts, minds and eating habits. His savvy BBC film is therefore aimed at the not so silent majority who still cling to the outdated notion that being a vegan is unachievable, extremist and faintly ridiculous. Continue reading


Is everybody happy?

Catching the latest three episodes of the BBC 2 sitcom Grandma’s House made me sorry that I missed the first season.

Simon Amstell. an openly gay struggling actor from a Jewish family, plays the part of  an openly gay struggling actor from a Jewish family.  No prizes for guessing how he and co-writer Dan Swimer came up with the idea.

It’s got all the makings of a boring, safe comedy or a self indulgent mess but works because, like in Mike Leigh’s plays and films,  you cringe in recognition of the characters .

Simon isn’t a great actor but manages to work this handicap into the part – “I’m stiff in real life”, he says at one point. He comes over as vulnerable and likeably dysfunctional.

Rebecca Front is particularly good in the role of  his mom Tanya, defending him (“he’s rich in soul”) while wanting him to be more sorted out and assertive. There can’t be many moms who tell their sons they should masturbate rather than meditate. Continue reading

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