William Cook

(Photo: Getty)

Trump has given Merkel a new lease of life

17 January 2017 8:24

Donald Trump’s Times interview has been a big story in Britain, but the President Elect’s parallel interview with Bild Zeitung…

Peter Cook with wife Lin at Mick Jagger's 50th birthday party in 1993. Photo: Richard Young / Rex / Shutterstock

Lin Cook, who died before Christmas, personified that odd breed: the celebrity widow

4 January 2017 15:52

Amid the flurry of famous deaths during 2016, one particular passing has been more or less forgotten. Peter Cook’s third…


Germany won’t break the rules for Britain’s sake

2 January 2017 10:11

Back in the summer of 2015, a year before the Brexit vote, I was summoned to the German Embassy in…

Germany remains a prisoner of its past

26 December 2016 10:00

In 1942, a man called Manfred Alexander turned up, unannounced, on my grandfather’s doorstep in Berlin. My grandfather knew him…

Could the German left join forces to oust Angela Merkel?

20 December 2016 16:11

German party politics has been overshadowed by yesterday’s atrocity in Berlin. But in light of this tragic event, which Angela…


How Angela Merkel divided Germany

19 December 2016 8:30

Crisis? What crisis? Here in prosperous Munich, it’s hard to believe the EU has taken such a battering this year…

Moderate candidate Alexander van der Bellen triumphed in the Austrian election

Thanks to Brexit and Trump, Austria lost its appetite for political upheaval

5 December 2016 14:49

Austria’s presidential election has been overshadowed by Matteo Renzi’s dramatic defeat in the Italian referendum, but Alexander Van der Bellen’s…

Martin Schulz’s return to German politics will make Brexit more bitter

28 November 2016 15:29

Shock news! Hold the (virtual) front page! Martin Schulz, arch bogeyman of every British Brexiteer – and even a few…


Angela Merkel wants to be liberal Europe’s answer to Donald Trump

21 November 2016 14:50

So, Angela Merkel has ignored the Spectator’s advice and has decided to run for a fourth term as German Chancellor…

Frauke Petry, Chairwoman of Alternative für Germany (Photo: Getty)

How Alternative für Deutschland forced German politics to the right

6 September 2016 13:09

‘When the world ends, I’ll go to Mecklenburg,’ quipped Bismarck, ‘because there, everything happens a hundred years later.’ Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has…

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

I used to hate Christmas – until I spent it in hospital with my sick son

25 December 2015 12:00

Ever since my teens I’ve hated Christmas, but last year something happened which made me change my mind. On 20th…


The Good Life – how a 70s sitcom became a Tory lodestar

14 April 2015 13:08

Hearing David Cameron’s many references to the ‘good life’ may puzzle younger voters who did not grow up with Richard…


The perfect job for Britain’s disenfranchised young men: boar hunting

24 January 2015 11:00

When I went to stay with my German cousin and he showed me the room where I’d be sleeping, the…

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How Kraftwerk did more to shape modern music than anyone since the Beatles

19 January 2015 9:00

Normally, few things in life are quite so tedious as listening to a bunch of academics discussing pop music. However…

(Photo: Graeme Robertson/Getty)

A & E just saved my son’s life. Let’s not forget how important it is

7 January 2015 15:30

We were lucky. The ambulance came in half an hour. By then my teenage son Edward was unconscious. He’d had…

Cologne Cathedral's lights are switched off in protest against a rally by Pegida (Photo: Getty)

Germany is shackled in the immigration debate. But Britain isn’t so must lead the way

6 January 2015 16:29

Today Angela Merkel will meet David Cameron in Downing Street. She will tell him what she can do – and what…

The new Dad's Army cast (left to right): Blake Harrison as Pike, Danny Mays as Walker, Tom Courtenay as Corporal Jones, Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, Bill Paterson as Fraser, Bill Nighy as Wilson, Michael Gambon as Godfrey

First look at the new Dad’s Army

25 October 2014 11:05

Back in the last century, when people still watched television rather than computers, I fulfilled the lifetime ambition of every…

Dr. Niraj Desai (L) sews in a kidney to

Have scientists really found proof of life after death?

13 October 2014 13:23

When I finally reached the hospital, my grandma had already lost consciousness. As soon as I saw her, I could…


Liechtenstein is utterly ridiculous – but that’s a big part of its appeal

7 October 2014 11:23

It’s official: Europe’s least visited country is unloved little Liechtenstein. Last year, a mere 60,000 tourists travelled to this absurd…

Stills from Sir John Betjeman's BBC film 'Metro-Land'

The false paradise of Metroland

29 August 2014 18:39

Gaily into Ruislip Gardens runs the red electric train… Near the end of the Metropolitan Line, where London dwindles into…

Robin Williams outside the Comedy Store in 1978. Photo: Wynn Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Robin Williams in London

14 August 2014 14:46

In 2001 I wrote a book called The Comedy Store (still available in some good bookshops – and quite a…

Photo: Chris Watt/Getty

I can’t recall a time when the destruction of a structure made so many people so distressed

23 May 2014 23:47

It really is rotten luck, and also cruelly ironic. Just as Glasgow was done debating how best to demolish its…

The Red Road flats are to be demolished as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremonies. Photo: Getty

Our infatuation with high-rise housing has been catastrophic. Good riddance to the Red Road flats

7 April 2014 12:25

‘If you meet anyone in a pub or at a party who says he is an architect,’ advised Auberon Waugh,…

The proposed Ebbsfleet Valley new town

Why building a new garden city at Ebbsfleet is a terrible idea

17 March 2014 9:52

So, the government plans to create a new ‘garden city’ in Ebbsfleet, Kent, with 15,000 new homes. Yesterday’s announcement by…