Eats, writes about it. Ponces about on telly. Has big hair.

There’s one photograph all politicians fear: the one of them eating — Short of being photographed as one of those curving toilet doors on a Virgin Train slides gently open, revealing a mess of bare knees and shirt tails, there is one photograph that the modern politician fears more than any other: the eating shot.

Peace and loaf: restaurant review — 217 Jesmond Road, Newcastle (01912 815 222). Meal for two, including drinks and service, £110 Let's start at the very end, with a petit four of bubblegum-flavoured marshmallow dyed the shade of blue that meat inspectors use to mark carcasses as unfit for human consumption.

I saw up close how an establishment closed ranks over the Janner affair — A little over 24 years ago, as a young freelance journalist on the Independent on Sunday, I telephoned the Leicester office of Raymonds News Agency and arranged for a reporter to cover an imminent pre-trial hearing at the city's magistrates court. It was the sort of mundane hearing that would not normally trouble the media.

Jay Rayner: Forest chump — La Sapinière, Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire. Open to non-guests on Saturday evenings (08706 009 900). Meal for two, including wine and service, £90 There are lots of good reasons for booking a holiday at Center Parcs; dinner isn't one of them.

Brassica, Beaminster, Dorset: restaurant review — For seven years from 1970 my family went on holiday to a hotel overlooking Studland Bay in Dorset. As a result I've never quite managed to believe that the county actually exists, in the way Leicester or Bromsgrove plainly do.

Mark Lynas: truth, treachery and GM food — What was that line in Lord of the Flies? When Roger decides to kill Piggy? He makes that irreversible transgression with something like "a sense of delirious abandonment". Mark Lynas couldn't quite remember, but that's exactly how he felt as he walked on to the stage, in the mid-morning of 3 January, to make his dramatic speech.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co: restaurant review — At the top of the stairs up to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co by London's Piccadilly is a sign. It reads: "Stupid is as stupid does". Perhaps I should embrace this as a gift from the god of restaurant critics: here, my child, take this slogan that they have nailed to the wall for you and riff on it.

Gentrification is ripping the heart out of communities — Only the most fervent of cheerleaders would claim that the food offering in London's Chinatown is universally wonderful. Too many of the restaurants serve claggy, poorly executed food served by waiters with interpersonal skills that make traffic wardens look like first-class airline stewards. And yet, in the last decade, Chinatown has steadily improved.

The lamplighter dining rooms: restaurant review — High Street, Windermere (01539 443 547). Sunday lunch for two, including drinks and service: £70 It's time to talk about the really important things, the ones that make a difference. Obviously, I'm referring to the correct way to make cauliflower cheese. More food crimes have been committed in the name of cauliflower cheese than almost any other dish.

1847: restaurant review — 58 Mosley Street, Manchester (0161 236 1811). Meal for two, including drinks and service: £75 It's late at night and I'm in the newly opened Manchester outpost of the London-based Hawksmoor steak house group, all wood panelling, reclaimed parquet and seared animal. I am happy.
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Apr 19, 2015

@TimesCrime ... He's back at the sindy as news ed now. Thanks for kind words. Many people flabbergasted when I tell him I started on news

Apr 19, 2015

@TimesCrime old times, eh. A proper grown up was sent to babysit me in the Leicester pub. One Dave connett. Was going to compare notes but..

Apr 19, 2015

@TeddyShepherd @Keith_Vaz he was guilty. The case against him m was overwhelming

Apr 19, 2015

@richyh5712 @BullshineBilly no I wasn't defending him, as a reading of the original article would make clear

Apr 19, 2015

@jmarkprescott i did a lot of that for 15 years. I now do a wide mixture of things, but certain of them attract more attention

Apr 19, 2015

V disturbed by the violent and racist rhetoric in some comments below posting of my Janner piece on Guardian's Facebook page. Unacceptable.

Apr 19, 2015

@nickapeacock very very happily. Commenters can be appalling

Apr 19, 2015

@hassinator_69 @hendopolis known as a restaurant critic now but I was a general reporter for many many years

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