A brief – and belated – doff of the hat to the woman I’d say has consistently been the best writer for the national press for more years than I care to remember* : a happy 80th birthday to Nancy Banks-Smith, TV and sometimes Radio critic for the Guardian. I was pleased to see that the dear old MG itself paid her an appropriate tribute, which is here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2010/feb/04/nancy-banks-smith-40-years
She is, I think, proof that it’s possible to write in a light (and, in her case, heavily Wodehousian) style about apparently trivial subjects and still go deeper than some of the windbags heavyweight commentators on the centre pages. I have no idea how she does it, and I’m in awe.
*Reading this back the next day, there is an element of post-alehouse hyperbole here. Perhaps “Most underrated prose stylist” would be nearer the mark. She is very good though.