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

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

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 site can explain every single problem in the world through his theories on the rise of the ‘New World… Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

The Royal Wedding

Andrew Marr recovering following a stroke

9 January 2013 19:39

Andrew Marr is recovering from a stroke in hospital, the BBC has said this evening. We at Coffee House wish him well in his recovery. The BBC’s statement on Andrew… Continue reading

A political opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is bound in gaol. Image: Getty

BBC begins to see that the Arab Spring has not sprung

11 December 2012 10:18

Hugely exciting Ten O Clock News last night on the Arab Spring – or ‘Arab Uprising’ as the BBC now prefers to call it, the word Spring usually being associated… Continue reading

Why has ex-BBC DG Mark Thompson been re-scheduling his meetings? Image: Getty

Time ticking away for Mark Thompson?

4 December 2012 19:32

Is the net beginning to tighten on Mark Thompson? The Sunday Times have run a story on either the ex-BBC chief, Savile or Newsnight every week since 28 October, and… Continue reading