Ian Fleming

If I were prime minister, by Ian Fleming

14 May 2015 19:35

This article was first published in The Spectator on 9 October, 1959. I am a totally non-political animal. I prefer the name of the Liberal Party to the name of any… Continue reading

Van Dycke's 'Portrait of Sir William Killigrew', acquired for Tate Britain by Sir Christopher Ondaatje

The arts rely on the generosity of non-doms. We pursue them at our peril

27 April 2015 16:32

This much we know. If Ed Miliband wins, he will reintroduce the 50p top rate of tax, impose a mansion tax on homes worth over £2 million and abolish rules enabling registered… Continue reading

Labour Leader Ed Miliband Visits Northern Ireland

Ed Miliband attempts to build bridges with the arts world, but where will the money come from?

23 February 2015 17:36

After Labour confirmed that they would not reverse Tory art cuts, the luvvies turned on Ed. During a spending plans onslaught from the Tories earlier in the year, the party… Continue reading

Chris Bryant and James Blunt

Blunt is right. Being posh in the arts is career suicide

20 January 2015 14:55

Yesterday saw Labour’s shadow minister for the arts, Chris Bryant MP, amusingly and justly savaged by the pop star James Blunt for some ill-advised remarks about the predominance of public school… Continue reading

The late Comandante, Hugo Chavez. Photograph: Reuters

Hugo Chavez – the ballet

28 November 2014 17:12

Here’s something to watch next time you’re visiting Venezuela, if you can avoid getting murdered while you’re there – a ballet based on the life of the glorious late president… Continue reading

The Mike Leigh/Nick Serota puff piece for Newsnight

Newsnight’s arts coverage has descended into a string of fawning advertorials

17 November 2014 15:37

Newsnight‘s decision to interview misogynist comedian Daniel ‘Dapper Laughs’ O’Reilly has been slammed as a cynical ratings grab, a descent even from the depths plumbed by devoting 15 minutes to… Continue reading


3,000 masochists descend on Edinburgh

9 August 2014 11:30

And they’re off. The mighty caravan of romantic desperadoes, radical egoists, stadium wannabes, struggling superstars and vanity crackheads is on its way to Edinburgh. This year’s Fringe sponsor is Virgin… Continue reading


Anti-Semitic double standards: the arts and the Jews

6 August 2014 15:35

‘Would you force anyone else to behave like this?’ the promoters of the UK Jewish Film Festival asked the artistic director of London’s Tricycle Theatre. Indhu Rubasingham and her colleagues… Continue reading

Imperial War Museum. Picture: Oli Scarff/Getty.

The Apollo Podcast July/August: The Imperial War Museum Reopens

4 August 2014 17:24

The Apollo magazine podcast, produced in association with The Spectator’s Culture House, takes a monthly look at international art and museum news. In the July/August edition, Thomas Marks is joined by Diane… 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


Let’s not stop at Maria Miller. Let’s get rid of the Department of Culture completely

9 April 2014 10:20

The arts world will not shed a tear at the news that Maria Miller has resigned. Though it was Jeremy Hunt who wielded the axe to the arts budget, it… Continue reading

Tony Hall, the BBC director-general

Tony Hall’s new vision for BBC Arts: waffle, stale buns and chief execs

25 March 2014 13:48

I can’t remember the last time I turned to the BBC for cultural guidance. That’s not to say that the BBC doesn’t provide an extremely valuable public service on the… Continue reading

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Addresses MIT Graduates

Science versus Arts – which degree is harder?

1 December 2013 14:00

People get competitive about the difficulty of their degrees. The accepted line at Oxford is that Science is harder than Arts, and everything is harder than PPE – three years… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

13 September 2013 18:17

As the new artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran might be expected to lie low as he settles into his new role. But on the contrary –… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

7 June 2013 17:30

Coronation Day across the Globe was first broadcast in 1953, by the Home Service, and until last Sunday, it wasn’t broadcast again. In order to celebrate the 60th anniversary of… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

31 May 2013 16:49

Christopher Purves began his musical career playing doo-wop and rock and roll with the band Harvey and the Wallbangers . These days however, the stages of Glyndebourne and La Scala are… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

24 May 2013 18:33

This Saturday’s Eurovision contest was never going to be a triumph for the UK, that much was for certain. What was slightly surprising, however, was the Danish victory with their… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: what’s worth – or not worth – watching, listening to or going to this weekend

3 May 2013 18:38

I’m So Excited is the latest offering from Pedro Almodóvar who, Deborah Ross says, she would usually love. But is I’m So Excited quite so, well, exciting? The trailer, which… Continue reading

Benedict Cumberbatch at a photo call for the adaptation of Parade's End that aired last year. (NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images)

Benedict Cumberbatch takes over the world

1 May 2013 15:09

What do you do if you wake up to discover your colleagues implying that you have it easy? If you’re Benedict Cumberbatch, you just stick to your Star Trek script… Continue reading

Visitors At The Hay Festival 2011

This Britain: Maria Miller confuses economics with pleasure and beauty.

30 April 2013 15:46

Is it possible for a government minister to give a speech that is not a “keynote address”? That was my first thought upon reading Maria Miller’s speech at the British… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

26 April 2013 18:00

Perched at number 3 in The Times’ ‘30 Richest under 30’ list this week were Fawn and India Rose James, aged just 27 and 21 respectively and with an estimated… Continue reading

Maria Miller today unveiled protections for religious institutions that don't want to conduct gay weddings. Picture: Getty

Maria Miller and Britain’s creative industries need to talk

25 April 2013 16:58

Everyone seems to like talking about the ‘creative industries’ these days. For arts folk, it gives the impression that what they do is hard-edged and economically viable, it makes geeky… Continue reading

Maria Miller

Maria Miller tells the luvvies to take their easels off her lawn

24 April 2013 12:40

Something had to give for Culture Secretary Maria Miller. She’s not had an easy time since the Leveson report and the subsequent battle over state regulation of the press. Harangued… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

19 April 2013 17:42

In a week where the news has been filled with stories about a certain ‘strong woman’, Kate Chisholm has found another strong woman to write about. In this week’s radio… Continue reading

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Spectator Play: what’s worth watching, listening to or going to this weekend

12 April 2013 17:53

When Lara Pulver hit our screens brandishing a whip and wearing little more than a pair of high heels in the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes-influenced drama Sherlock, she became something of… Continue reading