Weekly drawings in The Times to illustrate a column by Joanna Coles about life in the Big Apple.
Considering I had no concept of New York life, had never even watched Sex in the City and had only about four hours from Joanna’s weekly briefing phonecall to the moment a messenger arrived to collect my finished drawing, I feel quite proud of this particular collection of drawings.
I was helped by the fact that, for a wordsmith, Joanna was remarkably visual. She helpfully described the details of style of every setting and attitude of every character I needed to portray.
The couple dining in the restaurant, she said, would be smart, gay, fortyish, in matching black polo-necks. The waiter would be a wannabe actor with ponytail and in-your-face dramatic style (since, who knows? these diners might be tv series commissioners) and the menu design would be equally extrovert. One diner might be totting up the prices on his blackberry. And (the point of this particular article) there, just out of sight, lurked the cockroaches and rats, as perhaps they do most of the world over, even in what I supposed to be a city of great wealth and glamour.
Looking through these articles twenty years on, how clear it is that so many entertaining quirks we then thought of as American peculiarities have now become everyday throughout mainstream UK culture today.