Any excuse is good enough for me to indulge in my Stephen Fry obsession, but my present excuse is rather good actually: last Wednesday at the British Comedy Awards he was presented with a so-called 'lifetime achievement award' for his manifold contributions to British comedy. (Unfortunately the British Comedy Awards website hasn't been updated to include the list of winners, but luckily the BBC news website has published the list as well as reports in writing and in pictures.)
This occasion is as good as any to list some rather long but really worthwhile YouTube interviews with the man who to so many epitomizes not only wit and eloquence but also Englishness itself. All three of these interviews come in different parts; I've linked through to the first part only.
- Mark Lawson talks to Stephen Fry [This was part of BBC Four's recent Stephen Fry weekend; Mark Lawson is best known for the many years in which he presented Newsnight Review. This interview comes with subtitles in English!]
- Clive James talking in the library: Stephen Fry [Clive James is a well-known expatriate Australian writer, broadcaster and critic; in this interview Stephen Fry has some interesting things to say on British university life and on the difference between British and American culture]
- Shrink rap: Dr Pamela Connolly chats with Stephen Fry [Pamela Connolly is originally known for her comedy acting, most notably in Not the Nine O'Clock News; in a surprising career change she took up psychology and obtained a PhD and an academic position in the field; to my taste she tends to ask somewhat annoyingly insistent or even patronizing questions in this interview, but Fry somehow manages to take this in his stride and remain patiently polite and pleasant throughout, candidly discussing for instance his discovery of love and of mental illness]
P.S. Stephen Fry has recently also taken up blogging, mainly exploring his passion for nerdy gadgets (Apple computers, smart phones, etc.), but also discussing in one very interesting "blessay" (as he calls his particular brand of blog essays) the problem of fame.