elcome back to the Londoner’s Diary. First up Kazuo Ishiguro reveals his confidence in the power of literature has “gone slightly shaky” and he now doubts the argument he made in his Nobel prize speech in 2017. Later on Tom Holland says he has discovered he would be the “worst soldier in the world” and Candice Carty-Williams reveals her rather peculiar superpower. Later on Ghosts actor Laurence Rickard talks about some of his “unusual encounters” with fans, including a bottle with a mystery liquid.
Rishi Sunak delivers his second Budget today, but it’s his video trailing it that’s taken all the limelight. Despite the sniping which saw Labour’s Jon Ashworth say “the ego has landed”, the Treasury are still proud of it, we hear. The video has nearly one million views, a source points out, adding “it’s a good thing that people have watched an almost six-minute video about the budget and economic policy”. They added: “Of course whenever you’re trying/doing something new people will attack you,” hinting more videos were to come as the reaction had been generally positive. “People expect politicians to produce good and clear content — after all we watch videos more than ever.” We’ve not seen the last of it yet.
Ghosts star’s spirited meeting
Ghosts actor Laurence Rickard says although his fans are usually nice people, he has had some “unusual encounters”. One man asked if he was the “bloke from Ghosts” then went on to tell him how he hadn’t watched it. Another sent him a bottle of cloudy liquid described only as “homemade drink”. But the actor — who plays caveman Robin — tells us his most wince-worthy moment was when the tables turned. When he found himself next to comedian Rob Brydon at a reception he chatted amiably, believing they had worked together. It was only when Brydon walked away he realised: “I just recognised him off the telly.”
Candice has new slant on reading
Candice Carty-Williams has revealed her rather peculiar superpower. The author says she wrote the first 40,000 words of her debut best-selling novel Queenie in just one week and tells Annie Macmanus’s Changes podcast that she can read a book in a couple of hours. The key to her efficiency? “I read diagonally.” She says: “I just read it across and I just end up picking up the full paragraph quite quickly. It’s really strange.”
No bones about Tom’s soldiering
Tom Holland has discovered he would be the “worst soldier in the world”. The Spider-Man actor, who plays an army medic in new crime drama Cherry, says whenever the directors shouted action and “the bullets would start flying and the explosions would start going off”, he would “just panic”. He even managed to dislocate his ankle while running during a scene. He told GQ, fortunately: “I stood on it and it popped back in.” At least he’s got the medic part of the role down.
Kazuo Ishiguro has admitted his confidence in the power of literature has “gone slightly shaky” because of the events of the past year and that he now doubts the argument he made in his Nobel prize speech in 2017. “Are we on the wrong side of the fence in this battle of how you present the truth?” the author asked at an event last night.
Ishiguro, who lives in London, won the Nobel prize for literature in 2017 and gave a speech saying fiction was important because it has emotional truth. “I said it as I received my Nobel prize and I didn’t doubt that all these people would think ‘oh yes’,” he told a Guardian Live event, but said now just four years later he sees a parallel with Trump supporters. “I make people feel things and if I’m successful they come away with a conviction that there’s something authentic and true in there. Is that kind of like people who emotionally feel that Donald Trump won the election?”
He explained there has recently been a “head-on collision” between a scientific approach to truth and an emotional one, which had led to many Americans believing Donald Trump had the presidential election stolen from him. The idea that “it’s the emotion that matters and if you want to assert that your emotion says this then that can be the truth… makes me very uncomfortable”, he said. Ishiguro now wonders “why give a Nobel prize to someone who’s just saying ‘I feel this, this is the emotional truth,’ alongside all these scientists?”