He was educated at Charterhouse and Balliol College, Oxford. He began his career in journalism at the Surrey Advertiser, and subsequently wrote for the London Evening Standard, The Stage and Television Today, before joining the Telegraph. He won "Critic of the Year" in the 1999 British Press Awards. He has written three crime novels: I Nearly Died (1994), Full Personal Service (1996) and Under the Influence (2000).
In a review published in the Daily Telegraph on 6 September 2012, he revealed that the reason for his absence from the paper's pages for the previous three months was that he had been suffering from clinical depression.