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

19 July 2013 17:03

Wadjda is the first feature-length film to come out of Saudi Arabia, and was shot by the country’s first female director – but those aren’t the only things that are… Continue reading

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Image: Getty

Alan Yentob laments as austerity reaches Aunty

15 July 2013 14:48

Troubled times at the BBC. There has been shock at the spectacular amounts of money that have been poured down the drain, and the row over executive pay-offs grows more vicious. And now new… Continue reading

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David Dimbleby - Book Signing

There are upsides to live TV, but being spanked by David Dimbleby is not one of them

9 July 2013 18:05

Belated thanks to readers who wrote in about the BBC’s Question Time last week (still viewable here). It was a slightly odd edition, I thought. The panel – Margaret Hodge,… Continue reading

30 Comments
People take part in a tomato fight at the Glastonbury festival.

Down with the Glasto smugfest

2 July 2013 11:39

I suppose this will seem churlish, but I’d just like to add my support to the grime rapper Wiley who, upon arriving at the Glastonbury festival, tweeted to Michael Eavis:… Continue reading

76 Comments
Peter Bone

Do you agree with the Tories’ Alternative Queen’s Speech?

27 June 2013 11:59

A bunch of back bench Conservative MPs have won the right to present to parliament, via the almost pointless conduit of private members bills, a sort of alternative manifesto. A… Continue reading

35 Comments
Alex Jones lets rip on the Sunday Politics today. Photo: BBC.

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones goes mad on BBC Sunday Politics

9 June 2013 14:28

Everyone enjoys a good conspiracy theory, particularly Alex Jones. His Infowars.com site can explain every single problem in the world through his theories on the rise of the ‘New World… Continue reading

79 Comments
Turkish protesters confront riot police. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey redux

8 June 2013 9:56

It must be boring for you too, returning to the same complaint, over and over again. Report on the BBC’s 10 O’Clock News about the trouble in Turkey. Not a… Continue reading

55 Comments
Arts Montage21

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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Prince William and Prince Harry prepare to open Tedworth House Recovery Centre, the hospital run by Help for Heroes. (AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS)

A point of order, Your Royal Highness

20 May 2013 16:58

The Duke of Cambridge joined forces with Prince Harry this morning to open Tedworth House Recovery Centre, the military hospital run by Help for Heroes. All power to the duke’s… Continue reading

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Representatives of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament stand outside Downing Street to hand a letter to the Prime Minister calling for the withdrawal of the British naval task force heading for the Falklands because the government refused to deny the presence of nuclear weapons in the task force. (Picture: Press Association)

CND cannot rewrite its own history

29 April 2013 14:28

Last week I recorded an edition of Hardtalk for the BBC which has gone out today.  It is a discussion with Kate Hudson, the General Secretary of the Campaign for… Continue reading

25 Comments
Investigation In Jimmy Savile Allegations Continues

The Wright Way

27 April 2013 11:14

Continuing the domestic bliss/ tv theme, one programme I have not watched so far is The Wright Way. This is a situation comedy about somebody called Wright, as you might… Continue reading

54 Comments
An undated photograph, released by North Korean propaganda authorities, of the young Kim addressing soldiers. (KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images)

The LSE’s anger about BBC Panorama sounds synthetic and sententious

16 April 2013 18:12

If I were to make a list of the things I thought the BBC should be doing, then a report from inside North Korea would come right at the top.… Continue reading

73 Comments
Wizard of Oz

For 79p a download you can outrage the Establishment!

12 April 2013 12:49

During the period when Ireland  had its own sort of censorship, a version of the Vatican’s Index of Forbidden Books, there was an ugly rush by publishers and writers to… Continue reading

39 Comments
Mark Thompson is about to rub shoulders with some old friends. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/GettyImages)

Mark Thompson’s BBC past haunts

4 April 2013 18:19

Steerpike is back in this week’s magazine. As ever, here is your preview: ‘One of Lord Hall’s predecessors, Mark Thompson, is toiling away as chief executive of the New York… Continue reading

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The Queen inspects the elite of Eton College, during her Diamond Jubillee celebrations.

The workers united will never be defeated…

4 April 2013 15:16

There’s a BBC website where you can find out what class you are, according to new criteria drawn up by some bloke at the LSE and a babe from Manchester… Continue reading

64 Comments
Steph McGovern presenting BBC Breakfast

Why the confusion between debt and deficit?

20 March 2013 10:15

Polls show that, depending on how you ask the question, just between 8pc and 12pc of us realize that debt is rising. It’s not hard to work out why: first,… Continue reading

35 Comments
The BBC's coverage was going fine until this religious guy started saying something about a daddy up in the heavens...

The BBC and religion

17 March 2013 13:54

It is to David Lammy’s credit that he hasn’t deleted what my Spectator colleague, Hugo Rifkind, describes as his new all-time favourite tweet. For those who haven’t come across it… Continue reading

96 Comments
Redacted sections of a transcript of Jeremy Paxman giving evidence to the Pollard Review.

Censor’s black pencil hovers over BBC’s Jimmy Savile review transcripts

22 February 2013 12:12

The BBC has released its (redacted) transcripts and other evidence from the Pollard Review, which examined the decision to drop Newsnight’s Jimmy Savile investigation. There are thousands of pages of… Continue reading

24 Comments
BRITAIN-BBC-MEDIA-STRIKE

The BBC’s great public service: Cancelling the Today programme

18 February 2013 14:10

Is it true that the Today programme did not go out this morning?  If so the strikers have done a great public service. Giving the country a day off the… Continue reading

24 Comments
People walk on the snow-covered Pont de

Writing of walking

7 February 2013 10:00

At 3pm this afternoon Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding will broadcast a programme about The Walking Book Club, to which Emily Rhodes belongs. ‘I love walking in London,’ said… Continue reading

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Jake Berry has written to BBC director of news Helen Boaden to complain about the corporation's coverage of council tax benefit cuts. Picture: Getty

Shapps aide delivers next blow in BBC cuts row

31 January 2013 15:07

Eric Pickles has been at war with the BBC over the way it reports council cuts for a while now. But today the battle took on a new front following… Continue reading

107 Comments
Will Self is poised to return to Radio 4 as writer in residence. Image: Getty

Will Self, writer in residence at BBC Radio 4

20 January 2013 14:46

I see that Will Self is being lined up as a “writer in residence” at BBC Radio Four. I think this is very good news. Self is an excellent writer… Continue reading

37 Comments
Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 11.28.21

Syria exposé shows the BBC at its best

19 January 2013 10:33

Superb piece of journalism on the BBC News from Lyse Doucet. A horrible story, of some appalling mass murder in Syria – told calmly and bravely; unpartisan, questioning and undoubtedly… Continue reading

98 Comments
Mary Fitzpatrick's work at the BBC has made John Simpson a rarer breed among the corporation's foreign correspondents. Image: Getty

Mary Fitzpatrick made the BBC less ‘hideously white’

14 January 2013 11:15

Anyone remember Mary Fitzpatrick? She was the BBC’s ‘Diversity Czar’ back in the middle of the last decade, paid £90,000 p.a by the licence payer to spout egregious pc bollocks.… Continue reading

87 Comments
Image: Getty

Any suggestions for ‘Any Questions’?

11 January 2013 11:54

I’m doing Radio 4′s ‘Any Questions?’ tonight with Harriet Harman and Simon Hughes. It’s a strange news week, in which almost anything could come up.  But I wondered if Spectator… Continue reading

38 Comments