"Obsessed as he is by English culture, I ask him whether he’s read any of the country’s more contemporary writers. Ian McEwan, Graham Swift, Martin Amis even? He looks at me as if I’m clinically insane. “Not even on a wet day. One reads the name Leslie Thomas and thinks nobody with a name like that could possibly write an interesting book.”
When I point out that he’s been responsible for popularising a group with the blandest name in the history of pop, he says, feigning weariness, “Yes I know… it’s been a great strain. You see before you a mere cast of a man,” and bursts out laughing."