How important is satire today?
"Very. As a nation we have always been good at laughing at ourselves. Pomposity must be exposed at all opportunities, but satire must be funny. There is nothing more irritating than preachiness dressed up as satire when it’s not even amusing. A good laugh is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. It is getting much harder to make jokes though, as we’ve all become rather sensitive to criticism (see answer above) and terrified of offending anyone. The New Yorker cartoons are generally so cautious these days that you laugh at them rather than with them."
What is your process? Do you draw with an end result in mind, or see where the pencil takes you?
"I normally have an idea. If I gave the pencil free reign it would go to stupid places and probably draw spirals, which it knows I loathe."
How did you stay inspired during lockdown?
"I found the necessity of paying the mortgage inspiring and as I’ve always worked from home and been pretty anti-social I didn’t notice much of a difference with lockdown. I also moved house in the middle of it all which kept things interesting. Trying to make new friends in a new place when you weren’t allowed to talk to anyone or leave your house was an interesting challenge and I thrive on adversity."
What are your Fortnum’s favourites?
"Marrons glacé, Fortmason blend tea, the musical biscuit tins and the fancy eclairs, I love an éclair, particularly the French style ones that are filled with that clever, cold custard. That’s four, for my fifth choice I’d like to say the Fortnum’s eau de nil colour, which is delectable."
Last, but by no means least: jam or cream first on scones?
"Clotted cream is one of the culinary world’s best inventions and I think it might be unique to these isles. It is also much less harmful on the health than double cream, a fact that is not widely enough known. For a long time, I couldn’t decide if I liked strawberry jam or raspberry jam best on scones, then one year inspiration struck and I made a jam using half raspberries, half strawberries, genius I know. To answer your question my natural inclination is to put the clotted cream on first, like butter, then spoon on the jam then add more cream if you can balance it on top. While I’m here I’d like to say that when you order a cream tea in almost any establishment, they don’t provide you with enough cream and I always have to request another instalment half way through. There was one hotel I used to go to in Gloucestershire where they gave you a cricket ball sized portion of cream, they knew what they were doing. Sorry, you probably only wanted a one-word answer to this question, but it is such an important issue.