THE PROBLEM WITH diaries (and I write as one who has failed for sixty-one years to keep one, and is now vaguely but irritably aware that there might have been a few bob in it had I but taken the trouble) is that they are only really at their best when recording death, destruction or disaster. Had Sir Richard Eyre opened hls with, ‘Jan 1. Sun shining. Ran National Theatre. Sir Ian McKellen very nice to me. Peas for lunch in canteen. Rain later’, we would hardly have been likely to stay with him for almost 500 pages.