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(Photo: BBC)

It’s Evan Davis for Newsnight

21 July 2014 10:58

With the BBC set to make a formal announcement about Jeremy Paxman’s replacement at Newsnight imminently, tweets from BBC staff revealing the news were hurriedly deleted. Not quite all of… Continue reading

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Spectator competition: craft a voter-repelling party political broadcast (plus James Joyce and co. give Phil Neville a masterclass in football commentary)

19 July 2014 9:30

Unkind comparisons were drawn, after his commentary debut, between Phil Neville’s style and a speak-your-weight machine. One Twitter user speculated, when the England physio was stretchered off injured, that it… Continue reading

Gilbert and George have not engaged in equal-opportunity blasphemy.  Not by a long shot. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Gilbert and George have lost their bottom over the burka

17 July 2014 12:52

Let’s brood, shall we, on the following report in the Evening Standard about an exciting new departure by the winsome duo, Gilbert and George, on the back of their new… Continue reading

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Weak David Cameron is more ‘Borgen’ than ‘Game of Thrones’

17 July 2014 11:01

I don’t know if David Cameron was trying to tell us something about Michael Gove’s prospects as chief whip by comparing him to the Hand of the King in Game… Continue reading


The Tories have little to fear from this latest luvvie attack on its policies

15 July 2014 18:19

Zero-hours contracts: refuse to work with one, and you might lose your benefits. To the Left, it’s preeminent proof of the Coalition’s malevolence, a brightly blazoned slave contract clutched in… Continue reading

Nadine Gordimer. Photo: Getty Images/Ulf Andersen

Nadine Gordimer, 1923-2014

14 July 2014 20:43

Spectator reviewers over the years have had a difficult time with Nadine Gordimer’s books. Gordimer (1923 – 2014), who won the Nobel Prize for literature and was one of the… Continue reading

Ways With Words Festival. Photo: Christopher Jones

The mindlessness of mindfulness

14 July 2014 16:12

I was at the Way with Words literary festival in Devon last week, reading from my new book. Afterwards I was led to the authors’ tent to do signings. As… Continue reading


World Cup diary — in defence of ‘pervy’ camera crews

14 July 2014 11:55

The best team won, and the best two teams reached the final. This is a comparatively rare event at a world cup. And it was a fine world cup in… Continue reading

Estate Agents – how much longer will they be around? Image: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Spectator competition: unmask a well-known figure of the 20th century who is also a secret poet (plus elegies for postmen and headsmen)

12 July 2014 9:30

Estate agents, travel agents, publishers, record company executives; all have seen their livelihoods put in jeopardy by a brave new digital world. So it seemed fitting to invite competitors to… Continue reading

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The old technique is to look closely for creases on spines

How to tell who’s really reading Thomas Piketty

11 July 2014 18:33

No one owns a Kindle for very long without becoming obsessed by its social highlighting feature: unless you go into the preferences to turn it off, the glibbest and most… Continue reading

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Three cheers for being miserable

10 July 2014 14:26

I prefer the music and lyrics of Pharrell Williams’s Happy to Morrisey’s Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now (because I loathe the smug insincerity of Morrisey more than anything else) but –… Continue reading

The NT is the jewel in the crown of our artistic heritage

The National Theatre could – and should – survive without state funding

9 July 2014 12:18

Two glorious playhouses grace the south bank of the Thames. Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre stage the finest shows available anywhere in the world. Both are kept in business… Continue reading

Members of Team Scotland pose in their opening ceremony uniforms. Image: PA

Team Scotland’s Commonwealth Games uniforms are a headache waiting to happen

8 July 2014 16:37

If you want a laugh, and I suspect you do, take a look at the Team Scotland parade uniform for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It’s awful. A kilt that… Continue reading

3D-printed houses in China

Why Eric Gill would have enjoyed the 3D-printed dildo as much in principle as in practice

8 July 2014 11:05

‘At the Sign of the Cross in St James’s Street, When next you go thither to make yourselves sweet By buying of powder, gloves, essence, or so, You may chance… Continue reading

Alan  Partridge: Alpha Papa World Premiere Day & After Party

Aha! Steve Coogan sticks it to Rupert Murdoch

7 July 2014 16:49

Mr S would like to draw your attention to two separate articles in the Guardian, which he passes on without so much as a smirk. The actor and comedian Steve… Continue reading

Kanye West at Wireless. Picture: Getty Images

Kanye West is a sanctimonious prat – which is exactly why he’s so great

5 July 2014 13:37

What’s the difference between Kanye West and the space cadets of Speakers’ Corner? Without having access to their bank statements, the biggest distinction between the two parties is that when… Continue reading

Tracey Emin's 'My Bed'. Picture: Getty Images

Why I love Tracey Emin’s bed

5 July 2014 13:10

My Bed, one of the works that failed to win Tracey Emin the Turner Prize (she lost to Steve McQueen in 1999), made £2.2m at Christie’s this week, going to… Continue reading

Bonnie Langford for Rebekah Brooks? Picture: Getty Images

Hacking Trial: the movie

5 July 2014 12:38

We may have had the verdicts and the sentences in the hacking trial, but the biggest question remains unanswered: who’s going to play everyone in the movie? There’s one clear… Continue reading

Yoko Ono. Image: Getty

Spectator competition: Decide what Leigh Hunt’s Jenny did next (plus oblique cooking with Yoko Ono)

5 July 2014 9:33

As if there weren’t enough recipe books in the world, the latest assignment challenged competitors to invent a title for yet another one, with a fresh angle, and supply a… Continue reading


Shot at Dawn: an emotionally charged WWI musical

3 July 2014 10:53

A court-martial — followed by an execution: not exactly promising ingredients for a musical. But Ross Clark’s new music drama Shot at Dawn turns out to be unexpectedly moving. On… Continue reading


A novel for men who don’t read novels

2 July 2014 8:30

Are you the sort of man – or is your man the sort of man – who’s always meaning to read more novels but never gets round to it? Proper… Continue reading

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Summer sucks

30 June 2014 17:19

Who could possibly choose hay fever, insect bites and heat rash over an open fire, cashmere blanket and hot chocolate laced with brandy? Although I love the bright early mornings… Continue reading

Katherine Jenkins. Photo: Getty Images

Don’t knock Cool Britannia II – it’s a clever move by the Tories

30 June 2014 17:04

It sounds like a cruise liner, doesn’t it? The Cool Britannia II: stopping at Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and 12 Years a Slave. And if the rumoured guest list… Continue reading

Netherlands v Mexico at round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup. Photo: Getty Images.

World Cup diary: now we know how utterly shite England were

29 June 2014 19:48

I’ve been cheering for the Dutch as a sort of thank-you for them humiliating Spain. But there was something thoroughly unpleasant about the way they dispatched Mexico, the world’s great… Continue reading

Gates Open For The Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury: a middle-aged mudbath for those who failed to misspend their youth

28 June 2014 10:00

In 2010, Brendan O’Neill suggested that Glastonbury had become an authoritarian, corporate pigpen. From the looks of things this year, nothing has changed. Here’s Brendan’s piece: Most people, when they… Continue reading