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Top 100 A.A. Gill Quotes & Biography



It was Adrian Anthony “A. A.” Gill’s birthday on June 28, 1954. He was a British author and critic. He is best known for writing about food and travel, but he was also a TV critic for the Sunday Times. He also wrote for Vanity Fair, GQ, and Esquire, and he wrote many books. A. A. Gill wrote his first piece for Tatler in 1991. In 1993, he joined the Sunday Times. As a British columnist, Gill was one of the most widely read and well-paid. A. A. Gill quotes are also very popular and he was also known for his sharp wit and sometimes controversial writing style. Gill won many awards for his writing. On his death, one editor said that he was “a giant in the field of journalism.” His articles were the subject of a lot of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission because they were bad.

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  • “You either get the point of Africa or you don’t. What draws me back year after year is that it’s like seeing the world with the lid off.” ― AA Gill
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  • “People threw their elderly relatives into the snow and granny flats became dining rooms, while they tied up miniature vegetables and sprayed raspberry vinegar like tomcats on the pull.” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “Trojan is giving away Magnum large condoms (do you think they were named after a large wooden animal inside which thousands of little men were hiding, ready to jump out and ruin your life?)” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “The cabbage seems to have been unknown to the Hebrews. It is not mentioned in the Bible.’ I love that – so French. Just the slightest note of disappointment with God; just the merest raised eyebrow and pursued Gallic lip.” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “America didn’t bypass or escape civilization. It did something far more profound, far cleverer: it simply changed what civilization could be.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Gobbledygook could be a word invented by God to describe speaking in tongues.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Venice is a Dorian Gray city. Somewhere up there in the world’s attic, there’s another place with the haggard, poxed and ravaged face of unspeakable evil. And I suspect it’s Cardiff.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “More often than not, an exhibition is merely a misplaced object.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “He puts a pot, big enough to boil a small missionary, onto the wide burner and chucks in skeleton segments two-handed.” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “There are celebrities in New York that no one’s heard of in New Jersey. It is interested and influenced by itself.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “It is the most complete skin-crawling, silently screaming evocation of hell; the reinforced concrete transubstantiation of sleepless megalomania and hysterical fear.” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “You wouldn’t know it had claimed so many hopeful, thrashing, gasping lives, but that’s the thing with the sea, it never looks guilty.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “In the nineteenth century, one in three British soldiers was an Irishman.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Taxidermy inhabits a half-life, an underpass between life and death. He is oddly vital, still possessed of an animating force, not as defunct as a corpse yet still nowhere near living. A talisman trapped between escape and dust.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “he too went bonkers, probably due to the mercury used in preparing top hats—hence “as mad as a hatter.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Rolf Harris is a hard man to hate, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try” ― A.A.Gill
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  • “Top hats in Paris and London were paid for with genocide along the Great Lakes of the wilderness.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “A bar girl in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad who asked to see my passport and held it to her nose; closing her eyes she sighed, ‘Ah, the smell of freedom.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “There is a duty to improve the lot of others. Charity isn’t personal, it’s public. It’s owed not just to God and salvation but to the nation: the idea that America itself deserves its citizens’ charity, not because it is poor but because it could always be richer.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “America’s genius has always been to take something old, familiar and wrinkled and repackage it as new, exciting and smooth.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “When you’re a visitor to a city, you like to hurry up the habits, lay down a pattern, gain predictability in place of roots.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Of course, only Americans can name a shop In-n-Out Burger without collapsing into a heap of dirty sniggers. You know the difference between them and us? To us, a double entendre means only one thing; to them, it means absolutely nothing.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Knowledge acquired outdoors always seems to have a greater, hardier wisdom than the stuff you find at a desk on a computer.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Peter Elers, one of the first openly gay vicars in the Church of England, who blessed a lesbian ‘marriage’ in 1976 on the understanding that, if the Church blessed battleships and budgerigars, it ought to find it in its heart to bless men and women in love.” ― Adrian Gill
  • “The French in particular confuse unadorned direct language with a lack of culture or intellectual elegance.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “I once saw ten minutes of The Big Breakfast and it was quite enough to convince me that television in the morning was like drinking in the morning: only real addicts could possibly do it without throwing up.” ― Adrian Gill
  • “A lobster bisque ought to be the crowning glory of the potager. And this one was excellent. Silky as a gigolo’s compliment and fishy as a chancellor’s promise.” ― Adrian Gill
  • “America has always understood that it is defined by what it stands against more than what it stands for.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Most journeys in all of the world start not with bright expectations, a sense of adventure or a bucket and spade, but an empty stomach.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Respect to the Indians, because the very idea of America belongs to immigrants.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Europe is a place that conserves. It maintains, it curates its civilization, protects it against the ravages and rust of other cultures, and the rot of time and intellectual theft. We are a continent where fear of losing what we have is greater than the ambition to make it anew.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “There is no tragedy so utter that a Belgian, with the best will in the world, can’t make worse.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Walden, which is a diary that oscillates between eye-rolling minute tedium and laughable hyperbole, with sections of profound whimsy and social condescension.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “What Americans value and strive for is straight talking, plain saying. They don’t go in for ambiguity or dissembling, the etiquette of hidden meaning, the skill of the socially polite lie.” ― A.A. Gill

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  • “America is Europe’s greatest invention.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “The noisy, lumpy, hilarious breath runs through me like a great brightness. Magical, free laughter that spins me back to being a child; a hiccuping, chorus-rolling, crashing, howling, sobbing laughter, so unexpected, so strange, like finding that all together we can sing.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “So much of the Western tradition deals with the most despairing and angst-ridden emotions, but they’re movies made for kids. It’s as if America was trying to pass on an unpleasant but necessary lesson of life: that you were alone, and you needed to toughen up and shut up.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Cleverness that the French adore and always mistake for wisdom.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “The definition of wit is a joke that doesn’t make you laugh.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Europe is, for the most part, a hugger-mugger continent that works best on the consensus of inertia and precedent. Those who have dogmatic and contrarian beliefs can cause disproportionate ructions and ripples in our overcrowded and hierarchical communities.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “There is a theory that bravery and intrepidness and extreme risk taking are all sorts of madness, and that only one person in 1,000 or 100,000 is born without the normal safety rail of self-preservation, the pressing need to turn around and go home when it’s dark, cold and frightening.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “The first lift shaft was built four years before the first lift. In 1852 Peter Cooper was constructing the Cooper Union building in New York with an elevator shaft, in the sure and certain knowledge that if he built it, the lift would come. That isn’t an act of impatience, it’s an act of faith, and it is, archetypally, the act of an American.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “It is in Europe that we are born and bred to a single role. America is populated by second acts, encores and revivals.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Death lends everything a metaphoric imperative. Mundane objects become fetishes when the departed no longer need them, and breakfast conversations grow runic and wise from behind the shadows.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “In the Edwardian way of things, collected indiscriminately and rigorously, with the global kleptomania of empire and the desire to own, calibrate, measure and stuff everything possible, to put all of creation into its place, and place as much of it as possible in glass cases.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Cannibalism is a Western, white imposition. A retrospective racism. Tribal memory, collective dreams and wishful thinking should, if not silence, then at least reduce to a tearful academic whisper any attempt to discredit the lives of Indians. Haven’t they suffered enough?” ― A.A. Gill
  • “The Swiss—also a federation of semi-independent states—are even more attached to their guns than Texans, and they have a greater number per capita, but death by shooting is so rare they don’t even collate the figures.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “There is a name for this sudden slap of art, this falling through the rabbit hole of civilisation. It’s Stendhal’s syndrome: being overcome by beauty. They say that the guards in the Uffizi are trained to deal with collapsing Americans who have lived lives of blameless comfort in Midwestern ugliness and can’t compute the full beam of a Bronzino.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “New York bakes in a cess of gritty fug all summer, and congeals into gray slush all winter. There are a couple of days in the spring and autumn when the sky is madonna blue, the air crisp, and the light bright and sparkling, and that’s when they take the pictures and make the romantic comedies.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “The Gulf is the proof of Carnegie’s warning about wealth: ‘There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “In America, immigration is the story of hope and achievement, of youth, of freedom, of creation. But all entrances on one stage are exits elsewhere.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Have you ever stopped to think how weird it is that you have to take malaria pills to go to places where the population doesn’t take them, or that you get injections for yellow fever, cholera, typhus and hepatitis? None of the locals are immune to these things. They just suffer them. Drug companies can find prophylactics for rich Western holiday-makers, but not for people who live with disease the other 50 weeks of the year.” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “If you want to know what the Georgians were really like, just watch the furniture experts on the Roadshow, those spraunced and pinched plonkers with marbled hair and patinated jowls pulling ancient drawers off old widows’ ball-and-claw feet and getting all arch about their lovely dovetails. That’s the true voice of Georgiana.” ― Adrian Gill
  • “The anti-gun urban liberals are really not that much more evolved. They have an equal and opposite fanaticism about guns—that to own one is to be a latent murderer. But worse than that, it’s to be tasteless. There is a raft of assumptions that go with gun ownership.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Guns are a trigger for a whole magazine of internal snobberies and prejudices that crackle through white European-American society. There is a salutary sentence for these two groups—the gun lobby and the urban liberal. They are two tribes tied together by guns.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Crack cocaine is the contemporary beaver, an international fad that has radically altered the economics of the poorest, marginal people, indigenous America. The gangs are the tribes of the New World.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “a gun in a film is so culturally specific to America. It looks odd in world cinema unless it’s ironic. I wonder if there are more balls in English films than guns, more nipples in French films. Guns in America’s story are a constant, a plot device, like coffee cups in European films. Guns are Hollywood.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Of the 1,223 new medicines developed between 1975 and 1997, just 13 were for tropical diseases. Only four sprang from the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to cure humans. None were found on purpose.” ― Adrian Gill
  • “a German spy landing off the coast of Norfolk, walking into a village and banging on a pub door to ask in perfectly accented English for a glass of hard cider. The publican gave him a drink, made an excuse and went out the back to fetch the local policeman. The only person in Britain who didn’t know you couldn’t get alcohol at nine in the morning would be a German spy.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Emerson lectured and wrote treaties and essays, and masses of clotted, cabbagey poetry. Reading him is like trying to hack your way through a swamp of creeping verbiage.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “America is layered with the given graffiti, names of its generous dead. There isn’t a museum or hospital, a theater or municipal amenity, however humble, that can’t be blessed with the remembrance of the comfortably-off and defunct. The money left to Ivy League universities in America isn’t about the needs of learning.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “By 1927, only the richest 2 percent of Americans paid any federal tax at all.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Dr. Rush’s Bilious Pills,” laxatives that were 50 percent mercury. I think they were reusable: you swallowed one, suffered the violent scatological consequences, reclaimed the pill, washed it and saved it for the next poor sucker.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Tellingly, the department that deals with relations with the rest of the world doesn’t have the word “foreign” in it: it is the State Department. It looks after the interests of one state alone. It might be called the Bargepole Department.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “But they also confuse two distinct occupations: cooks and chefs. Cooks do it at home for love. Chefs do it in public for money. Dinner parties are karaoke cheffery. There”― Adrian Gill
  • “The best way to imagine how big the emptiness of nature is, is to jam it with humanity.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “a tax on salt cod that precipitated the War of Independence.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “The one nation America has seemed to gain something of a special relationship with is Israel, the sliver of the Middle East that has no oil and little strategic importance.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “It must be said that almost all primitive people think themselves divinely wrought, singled out and special. Often their names translate simply as “the people” or, like the San bushmen of the Kalahari, the first people. But this is a symptom of primitiveness; attempting to prove divine biology in the nineteenth century is the anthropological equivalent of a society regressing to sleeping with the lights on.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Accent is the last great redoubt of prejudice. The race relations industry, that inquisition of fairness and sensitivity, doesn’t protect against discrimination by funny voice. You can mock an accent with impunity, and everyone does” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “At the end of the eighteenth century, science was one of the few areas in old Europe where illegitimacy could not overshadow accomplishment.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “The purpose of an army must surely be to put itself out of business.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “There was a powerful and effulgent smell of industrial disinfectant. It’s a smell that never reassures you about cleanliness; rather, it makes you doubly squeamish of lurking vileness. Soap smells clean, disinfectant smells dirty. Funny that.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “The only type of humor that is excused lower classness is satire, and satire is the chamber music of comedy – a joke that many people profess to enjoy, but few actually get.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Niagara Falls Power Company chose to go with AC current to feed the industry of Buffalo, which became briefly known as the electric city of the future.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Old guns rarely die, they just hang on walls.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “the moral is perhaps that intellect and being well-read have no innate value to a contented or useful life. The number of hardbacks on your bedside table is in inverse proportion to the number of arched backs in your bed.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “The New World failures may have been greater, the disasters more excessive, the consequences more brutal, but there’s a bounce in every fall, a spit on the palm’s new start for every setback.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “In Yorkshire there is only the impetus of decline; the farms, the woolen mills, the dairy rounds wither, unravel and turn sour. The family wears out, stumbles politely, tripping over drink and ennui and a genteel surrender to the momentum of underachievement.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “Derringer, who invented the gun that killed Lincoln, made as much money in lawsuits as he did selling guns.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “History is always personal—never more so than for those who find theirs is written by the enemy. It strips the defeated and the displaced of their dignity. It is a posthumous insult.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “nothing transformed the politics, the economy and the table of Europe like the potato. The tuber from Peru.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “The Ninth Amendment, which is not often mentioned, was perfectly foresighted. It says the numeration of the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. So no future law could be made that would deny or trespass on rights already given to Americans.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Catholicism was trying to avoid hell, but Protestantism was trying to achieve heaven.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “New York is like a divorcée looking for a richer second country.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “It is a miserable irony that the potato came from America and sent these people back to America as desperate economic refugees.” ― A.A. Gill
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  • “give a New York friend a panic attack, turn up unannounced on a Wednesday and suggest going for a drink. It is easier to organize five guys to raise a flag on Iwo Jima than to get mates out for movie and dinner. Surprise parties are such fun, but require e-mail “save the date” warnings. And everyone needs to know how to dress.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “a particularly American ability to come up with consistently dreadful names for new things. Just as there is an inspiring national talent to invent stuff and to think forward, so there is an equal and opposite imaginative black hole when it comes to naming the stuff: the conflation and truncation of words, adding extraneous vowels and hyphens to the portmanteau.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Thomas Edison was a graduate of Cooper Union. Like Otis, he is principally famous for things he didn’t do. He didn’t invent electricity, or the lightbulb, the phonograph or the movies. These misappropriations didn’t bother him much: he didn’t correct folk. What he was good at, what he really knew, was patents.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “proportionately, being a journalist in a war is more dangerous than being in the Special Forces, and more important.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “There is only a sparse handful of exceedingly rich countries that could begin to afford to maintain the bulimically wasteful expense of an American democracy.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Lawyers are the new three-button, white-collar, cuff-shooting cowboys. They fulfill all the cowboy criteria. Workingmen with arcane skills. They can be both good and bad, sheriffs and gunslingers.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Every surface I touched was sticky; the cutlery, tables, trays and chairs clung to us like lonely drunks.” ― Adrian Gill
  • “The name skyscraper is originally nautical. Skyscraper is the tiny, triangular sail flown from the top of the mast.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “It was one thing not taking an old bitterness to a new country. It was another to actually pay to send back Libyan Semtex to blow up my home.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “Plenty of Westerners come, though, to pick through its jumble for something off the peg that fits; they do yoga as exercise, which is a bit like walking the stations of the cross as aerobics.” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “Food and pubs go together like frogs and lawnmowers, vampires and tanning salons, mittens and Braille. Pubs don’t do food; they offer internal mops and vomit decoration.” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “A food critic really only needs two things in order to do his job properly: no eating disorders and the gastric morals of a hooker with a mortgage” ― Adrian Gill
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  • “Down a winding cobbled street from the church trips the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, the most evocative and strangely dramatic of all morris dances, performed for perhaps hundreds of years, conceivably for thousands. They are led by a single fiddler, dressed in a rag coat, playing a tune that is childlike and simple, but also full of sadness and an ethereal, mordant power, like the soundtrack of a dream. Behind him come men carrying antlered fallow deer heads in front of their faces. Behind them, a man-woman, a hunter and a hobbyhorse. They dance in silence, slowly. The hunt turns and turns, casting patterns in the moonlight. You feel its mossy, shadowed meaning beyond understanding. A ghost dance, a silently keening sadness. The things we misplace always bear a heavier loss than the things we choose to grasp with white knuckles. And in the darkness, quite unexpectedly, I feel tears of mourning on my cheek.” ― A.A. Gill
  • “The stands of aspen up here are the biggest living thing on the planet—who’d have thought? Acres of aspen share the same underground artery and vein system, their DNA identical. Branches of this lollygagging übervegetable are all rooted as one.” ― A.A. Gill

A.A.” Gill Biography

Early life and school

When Gill was born, he had English parents. His father, Michael Gill, was a TV producer and director, and his mother, Yvonne Gilan, was a movie star. Nicholas was his brother. When he was a year old, the family moved back to the south of England where he was born. During the 1964 movie The Peaches, he played chess briefly. Gill went to a private school in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, called St Christopher School. Later, he wrote about his time there in his book, The Angry Island. Then, after St. Christopher’s, he moved to London to study art at the Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Art, where he kept his dreams of becoming an artist in mind. When Gill went to art school, he tried painting for six years before realising that he wasn’t very good. At the age of 30, after giving up his dreams of being an artist, he spent a lot of time working in restaurants and teaching cooking.


Gill started writing when he was in his 30s. He wrote “art reviews” for small magazines at that time. In 1991, he wrote his first piece for Tatler under the name Blair Baillie. It was about being in a detox clinic. In 1993, he moved to the Sunday Times, where Lynn Barber says “he quickly became their shining star.” He kept writing for the Sunday Times until just before he died in 2016. As well as being an editor for GQ, Gill was also a contributing editor for both Vanity Fair and GQ. He wrote a lot of columns for GQ about fatherhood and other things. For Esquire, he was an agony uncle called “Uncle Dysfunctional,” and he also wrote for the magazine.

As an Amnesty International media award winner, Gill won two other awards for her Sunday Times Magazine stories about refugees from the DRC, Jordan, and Lampedusa. His scathing review of Morrissey’s autobiography won him the “Hatchet Job of the Year Award” in 2014. He also won that award in 2014. In 2015, he wrote a memoir called Pour Me. A Sunday Times editor called Gill “the heart and soul of the paper.” He was also “a giant in the field of journalism.”

Personal life

Gill had a very bad case of dyslexia, so he had to write everything by hand. After getting sober, Gill drank until he was 30. Then, on April 1, 1984, he and his father took the train to Wiltshire and checked into the Clouds House treatment centre in East Knoyle. He used an Alcoholics Anonymous “12-step plan” to get clean. In honour of the group, he started using the name “A. A.” Gill when he did business. Gill said in a 2014 article in The Times that he had “smoked about 60 cigarettes a day” until he was 48 years old. A. A. gill quotes are still very popular in today’s generation for motivation.

She is a writer. Gill was married to her from 1982 to 1983. From 1990 to 1995, he was married to Amber Rudd, a financial journalist who later became a politician and is now the Home Secretary. She later became a politician and is now the Home Secretary. They had two children. He then had a long-term relationship with Nicola Formby, the editor-at-large of Tatler, who he left Rudd for in 1995. 

During a phone call in 1998, Gill’s younger brother Nick told her that “I’m going away now… I’ll be back soon.” I won’t be back. When Gill didn’t know what happened to Nick, he wrote that he always looked for him when he went to new cities. During his Sunday Times column on November 20, 2016, Gill told the world that he was getting married to Formby. In his last piece for the Sunday Times Magazine, which was published on December 11, he said that he had a lung tumour that had spread to his neck and pancreas. He died in London on December 10th, at the age of 62, and he died in London.


Gill’s sarcastic style caused a lot of media attention. This information was revealed by the Sunday Times in 2010. Gill had been the subject of 62 complaints from people who thought he was being unfair to them for five years.


Gill wrote about the Welsh in the Sunday Times in 1998, and he called them “loquacious, dissemblers, immoral liars, stunted, bigoted, dark, ugly, pugnacious little trolls,” among other things. To the Commission for Racial Equality, he told them what he thought. Anti-Welsh racism in the UK media was used as an example in a motion in the National Assembly for Wales, and it was called “persistent.” The Commission for Racial Equality said Gill “did not mean to incite racial hatred.” They didn’t want to go to court.


Gill called the county of Norfolk “the hernia on the end of England” in February of that year. December 2013, his column before New Year’s Eve was the result of a night out on the town in Grimsby and Cleethorpes. In both towns, Grimsby is “on the road to nowhere” and Cleethorpes has “hunched and dirty semi-detached homes.” 


Clare Balding’s TV show was written about by Gill in 2010. She called the host “a big lesbian.” “Bicycle-riding dyke”: She also called her that. There should be no special treatment for people who are gay, he said. They should treat each other the same as any other group that is well-liked. Jokes about people who don’t have a lot of power happen. Because a person is gay, they should not have a “safety net.”

Angus Balding was not happy with the answer, so he took it to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC). This word “dyke” was found to be offensive by the PCC. It was used in a “degrading and gratuitous way.” This piece was “an editorial lapse,” the PCC said. The newspaper should have apologised for it “at the first possible chance.” Mary Beard’s BBC show Meet the Rome was on in April 2012. Gill wrote a review. She should stay away from the cameras “at all costs,” he told her. It was different for Beard. He was afraid of “smart women.”

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