Michael Berkeley's guest is the journalist and broadcaster Simon Hoggart, son of the sociologist Richard Hoggart. He has been writing for The Guardian since the 1960s, and from 1993 has been its parliamentary sketch-writer. He also writes a wine column for The Spectator, and his books range from 'Life's Too Short to Drink Bad Wine' to a serious political review and several popular collections of hilarious Christmas round-robin letters. He chaired Radio 4's comedy show 'The News Quiz' in the 1980s, and again from 1996-2006, and has appeared on TV's Grumpy Old Men series.
His musical tastes range from Mozart's serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony to Tallis's motet Spem in alium, a piece by Piers Hellawell, and excerpts from Berlioz's 'Damnation of Faust', Donizetti's 'L'elisir d'amore' and Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde'.