Michael Bywater

Michael Bywater

Michael Bywater is a writer, broadcaster, columnist and polymath. He wrote the notorious ‘Bargepole’ column in the late lamented, Punch, where he was a senior editor for many years, and wrote a weekly column in the soon-to-be-late-lamented Independent on Sunday, and in the late lamented The Listener, and would pause to point out that all this late lamentation is pure coincidence and he is not some kind of authorial Typhoid Mary.

Michael has written regularly for almost all national newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The New Statesman and much else, from Tatler to Wired. In this gallery of publications has been, inter alia, art critic, culture critic, scurrilous diarist (as ‘PHS’ in The Times), essayist on Technology & Culture in The Observer, hurler of abuse and defender of the righteous.

His books include The Chronicles of Bargepole, the chart-topping Lost Worlds, and Big Babies, or Why Can’t We All Grow Up?. He is currently completing a musical about Oscar Wilde with the legendary American songwriters Leiber & Stoller.

Michael has broadcast regularly on BBC Radio (including Thinking Allowed, The Moral Maze, The News Quiz and so on) and on television, (including Newsnight Review, Only Connect, and presenting many Promenade Concerts). He has worked in unscripted (‘Reality’ TV) development, written computer games (two with the late, etc, Douglas Adams), was a Visiting Fellow at Magdalene College Cambridge, where he taught Tragedy (and preached a formal sermon), has been Royal Literary fellow at Warwick, flew solo round the Australian outback for six months, and has advised organisations from the Museum of London to offshore oil-platforms. He is also a musician, and an award-winning perfume writer. His hobby, unsurprisingly, is conversation.

Michael agreed to become an Honorary Fellow of the Trust in 2015