I've been a journalist and writer for 20 years, working for publications including The Independent, the Financial Times and The Spectator. I have interviewed figures including former President Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, Ciro Bustos - one of Che Guevara's last collaborators, Imran Khan, Omar Sharif, Doris Lessing and Yoko Ono.
Foreign politics is a passion - recently I have written about the persecution of Christians in Syria and Egypt for Prospect. During the course of the last two years, I also broke the story about the alarming rise in the gay vote for Marine Le Pen, and interviewed UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura. The overlap between politics and culture fascinates me. I'm particularly interested in the increasingly diverse and fascinating films emerging from from the Middle East that have been directed by women.
My tastes are on the eclectic side - I have also just had a novel published about an eighteenth century art scandal, called The Optickal Illusion. It's set in London at a time when Europe was convulsed by the aftermath of the French Revolution. Superficially the time was very different to ours. But as I wrote it, it struck me increasingly how the combination of thirst for change among the young and varying degrees of hostility to the status quo created an atmosphere of febrile uncertainty that made 1790s London feel incredibly close to the London of today.