'HOUSE OF CARDS' SEASONS 1-4 available now on netflix and box set.




My career is over! Political fiction is dead. After decades of delving into make-believe, I can't see how it can ever again match what's going on out there. On the other hand, perhaps we're simply watching politicians desperately auditioning for parts in Series 5. It seems everyone is a fan of House of Cards.

House of Cards has transformed my life. Throughout all the creative and political excitement that has filled my life over the past decades (and if you're in a hurry you can see 'Dobbs in a Nutshell' by clicking on this link) my most loyal companion has been FU – you'll know him as Francis Urquhart or Frank Underwood, depending on your accent. He's recognised throughout the world.

Not so long ago I met with President Xi of China. I decided to mark the occasion by giving him a hardback copy of the original book, now almost thirty years old. They're not so easy to find, but I signed and dedicated it. He shook my hand as I passed it to him. Then his brow clouded. 'What?' he said. 'You have House of Cards in this country, too?'

Then I got a message from the small central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan. 'Dear Michael, we love your House of Cards. We are far too poor to pay for it so we steal it from the Russians. We wish to complain. They have dubbed it very badly.'


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You can't please everyone. But those extraordinary guys and gals at Netflix aren't far off it. We are in the middle of a television revolution, with more quality drama than ever. It's being called the Golden Age of Television and House of Cards is leading the way. The wonderful team led by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright has won all sorts of Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Some things just go on getting better.

I'm told that the novels aren't bad, either. They're published worldwide in about 30 different languages. You can get an updated edition here. Some believe my Harry Jones novels are even better. And Boris Johnson seems to like them, as you can see by clicking this link

hoc-cover2015WORDS, NOT SWORDS: Isn't it great news that the House of Cards series is being enjoyed by millions in China and Russia, as well as Europe and the US? While our political leaders seem to find ever more to disagree about, those cultural links being enjoyed by ordinary people in every corner of the globe become even more important. They give us something in common. That makes me an optimist. 

So I travel around the world trying to cheer people up. Why be so bloody miserable when you can pick up a good book or watch a great television drama? There's some of that on the link to the bottom right. And if you missed the Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture I gave to the Royal Television Society about the Future of Public Service Broadcasting, you can watch it here.
OK, I know I said that my career is over. I lied. I'm busier than ever. Series 5 will be out sometime next year and there are plenty more projects under way. Thanks for joining in.

Blue skies.


Michael's Signature



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    • . From my tiny Wiltshire village, you seem so close, you are my neighbours, your suffering shared. Closer together.,
    • 10 days yo go before new rips up your dreams. never looked more beautiful. Or more wicked. Kitten-free zone.,
    • Thank you and Manchester. Huge fun time. And one great rule. Nothing Lasts Forever. Not even misery. ,
    • Don't worry, George, when you reach the age of responsibility Theresa will let you wipe all trace of embarrassment! ,
    • Train to Manchester where 3 generations of my family wiped out by cholera in 1800's. Son now studying at uni there.… ,
    • Too kind, Jack! Both TV shows bloody brilliant. Ian Richardson, Kevin Spacey - when did I get to be so lucky? ,
    • My father's family from Birmingham and Burton-o-T. Looking forward to coming back home. ,
    • - Tories likely to end up with more ethnic minority MPs than Labour after election. Oh, and LibDems zero. None.,
    • So how will Remainers and Deniers explain this little lot then? strikes again.,
    • Vielen dank, Juergen! Ich freue mich. ,
    • Last week €50 billion, this week €100 billion. Inflation and ineptness in EU reaching dizzying heights.,
    • Just wondering if Pres Juncker took his maths lessons with Diane Abbott.,
    • My view S5 is perhaps most wicked & watchable yet. Brilliant job by new showrunners & . Ouch!,
    • Exactly 4 weeks to go - House of Cards | Season 5 Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix. But beware - it bites back! ,
    • But the pelicans eat pigeons. Great city, tough world! ,
    • Record car output/tourism/jobs growth. Told chaos still threatens from across Channel. We're waiting patiently. So are the fishes.,
    • Hoping for great day in , Chris. So much history. Tragedy. Trials. Executions. & mice. Desperate nee… ,
    • And, darling Greta, you got President Trump! (Before PC nuts go ballistic we are dearest friends, can disagree and… ,
    • Bilge about . Set up for benefit of broadcasters. What did you learn from the last lot apart from most candidates had two legs?,
    • Suspect I enjoyed my full British breakfast considerably more than President Juncker will enjoy his lunch. And breakfast means breakfast.,
    • Thought I'd leave that one to you! ,
    • Theresa May proving that politics is not soap opera but great drama, serious stuff about who we are and what we want to be. Love it.,
    • The election is the 2nd Referendum the Remainers have been demanding. Will they accept the result? Or continue to cry in the wilderness?,
    • !,
    • No need to like Erdogan but we must find way of doing business with him. NATO ally. Imagine horrors of Islamist Turkey on border of Europe.,
  • Michael receiving the lifetime achievement
    at the political book awards.


    The Turning Point

    Michael's play stars Benedict Cumberbatch & Matthew Marsh and centres around a little known 1938 meeting between
    Winston Churchill and Guy Burgess.
    Click here to view the live broadcast.

    Sky Arts Theatre Live