Mark Solomons

Mark Solomons is a former industrial correspondent at the Sun.

In praise of long films

Late last year, Martin Scorsese’s epic Killers of the Flower Moon switched from cinema to living room on the Apple TV streaming service. An increasingly popular tactic, the move from big to small screen draws in a whole new audience, many of whom deliberately waited to see it for the price of a monthly subscription rather than spend

Football doesn’t need a blue card

Football is becoming a testing ground for every madcap idea the supposed guardians of the sport can come up with. The latest is the blue card, a stopgap between the yellow and red cards for bookings and sendings off, designed to send players to a sin bin for ten minutes should they commit one of

Is this the worst pop song ever recorded?

On a cold January night 39 years ago in Los Angeles, 46 of the world’s biggest egos gathered together to record a song that was, according to Netflix ‘The Greatest Night In Pop.’ The song was the grandly titled ‘We Are The World’, a hastily composed follow up to the monumentally successful British charity single

Why have we forgotten David Cassidy?

Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Some have several. One of mine is David Cassidy who died six years ago from liver failure at the age of 67, an event that barely made more than a back-of-the-book page lead in many newspapers. Which is a shame. For at his peak, he had a fanbase on a

Stag don’t: Britain’s deer problem is out of control

Britain’s annual wildlife spectacular is just warming up. From the Highlands to the New Forest, the raucous bellowing of amorous stags fills the air. Stags trek up to 50 miles to find herds of hinds to mate with – fighting off other males before they can get down to business.  Granted, it’s hardly the migration

In praise of Michael Parkinson

Different generations will have different memories of Sir Michael Parkinson, who has died aged 88. If you’re a little older, you’ll remember that Parkinson led a golden age of chat shows when they were about the guests rather than the host. He was a master of the art and, though famous, never came across as

In praise of Boris’s nemesis: the great crested newt

Britain is not blessed with an abundance of amphibians. There are just seven native varieties. The loss of ponds – whether in gardens, farmland or in areas earmarked for development – has seen a dramatic decline in habitat for one of the seven in particular, the great crested newt (or GCN for short). Its rarity

Move over, Lineker: quiz shows need a professional

Your starter for ten: who on earth thought it a good idea to hire Ross Kemp to present a quiz show? Or Gary Lineker? Or Lucy Worsley? And don’t get me started on Amol Rajan. Back in the mists of time, the general rule was to hire either specialist  – Nicholas Parsons and Robert Robinson

Why can’t football pundits be more like cricket commentators?

For the armchair sports fan, there is some reassurance as the sun sets on another fabulous Ashes contest: the football Premier League season will soon begin. But while the football is certain to be a match for the breakneck cricket we’ve enjoyed over recent weeks, the commentary that runs alongside it won’t be. Cricket fans

Should Oppenheimer have been played by a Jewish actor?

Cillian Murphy is a blue-eyed Irishman with cheekbones you could slice salt beef on but, sorry David Baddiel, as far as I’m concerned he makes a great Oppenheimer. Baddiel has once again opened the argument over ‘Jewface’ – non-Jewish actors playing Jewish characters – as Christopher Nolan’s epic takes cinemas by storm. He questions whether

Why don’t more tourists visit Ethiopia?

Standing on a cliff edge looking at where the Blue Nile is just a trickle, watched by a gelada baboon on a distant rock and staring over miles upon miles of some of the most beautiful countryside I’d ever seen, one thought struck me: why is there hardly anyone else here? Ethiopia is stunning to look

Readers of Ulysses have a right to be smug

Happy Bloomsday everybody. Today, 16 June, is the day on which the events of James Joyce’s epic novel, Ulysses, is set and the anniversary is celebrated every year by fans, scholars and people who simply want to look clever. Millions of people either cite the tome as the greatest piece of literature ever written, or as

The legacy of Chaim Topol

In 1969, for my seventh birthday, I was taken – dragged, probably – ‘up west’ to the theatre to see a musical. As I recall, it didn’t fill me with joy to be going, but it turned out to be fantastic. The songs, the acting, the dancing: it was great fun. Then we went for

The joy of non-league football

On a cold Tuesday night, as the wind whipped in from the North Sea, I joined 220 hardy souls to watch a game of football. Less than a mile away from the Sizewell nuclear plant on the Suffolk coast but light years away from the lurid lights of the Premiership, Leiston FC were playing Ilkeston

The horror of gastropubs

Last week saw the publication of the 14th annual Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs of Great Britain, a list consumed by middle-class foodies as eagerly as a £27 fish finger sandwich served on a piece of slate, washed down by a non-alcoholic cocktail in a jam jar. Couples scroll through former drinking holes transformed into Michelin-starred

The unstoppable march of the celebrity author

The anticipation surrounding the release of a certain memoir today obscures a bigger question about the changing face of our publishing industry. Why does every Tom, Dick and Prince Harry think they can write a book these days? Figures last week showed the number of independent bookshops in Britain reached a ten-year high in 2022,

The problem with Jeremys

Why is Jeremy Clarkson in trouble so often? Is it because he often appears arrogant, entitled or untouchable? Or is it for a much simpler reason: he’s called Jeremy? This week, in a column for the Sun, he suggested a rather unsavoury Game of Thrones-style punishment for the Duchess of Sussex. The article prompted 20,000 complaints to

Operation Turtle Dove: can these birds be saved?

With the exception of turkeys and geese, turtle doves are perhaps the birds most associated with this time of year. They are, of course, the second gift in The 12 Days of Christmas and they also feature in the nativity story – in the Gospel of Luke, a pair of turtle doves are sacrificed at