After leaving School, David went on to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge to read English.
What influenced your parents to send you to the Grammar?
I don’t think anyone thought much about it back then: I passed the 11-plus, so went to the Grammar school. I remember nothing about the run-up to the 11-plus. It seemed that one morning we all went into the assembly hall at my junior school and did an exam, so I don’t think I experienced any pressure either at school or at home.
What was it like?
It was very boisterous: the 6th form common room was always being trashed; fights were quite common; I cringe at how horrible we were to each other. Yet, there was an astonishing intellectual ambition and you could flourish, as I did. I loved it all.
What have you been doing since leaving the Grammar?
All I wanted to do was go to Cambridge and read English. I did that, then had no idea what to do next. So I worked on a farm (had my own tractor, a Ford 7000); was a laundry van driver’s mate; tutored rich kids; finally got a job on an arts magazine. After two years of that I moved to the Sunday Times and have been there ever since.