Culture House Daily

Spectator competition winners: Adlestrop revisited (Yes. I remember Germolene…)

20 January 2020 12:08

The latest challenge, to submit a poem beginning ‘Yes. I remember…’, was suggested by a reader who was very taken…

The Book Club podcast: Francesca Wade on the women of Mecklenburgh Square

15 January 2020 18:55

My guest on this week’s Book Club podcast is Francesca Wade, whose fascinating first book Square Haunting tells the intersecting…

Spectator competition winners: Boris Johnson in trochaic tetrameter

12 January 2020 9:30

The latest challenge invited you to add to Sam Leith’s lines about Boris Johnson, written in the metre of Longfellow’s…

The Book Club podcast: what do T.S. Eliot’s letters reveal?

8 January 2020 18:10

In this week’s Book Club podcast, we’re talking about the life and loves of the greatest poet of the twentieth…

BBC’s A Christmas Carol was the victim of tub-thumping lefty politics

26 December 2019 16:19

‘People trust us,’ claimed Lord Hall, recently. But like a lot of what you hear from the BBC these days…

Spectator competition winners: ’Twas the night before Brexit…

22 December 2019 9:28

This year’s Christmas challenge was to compose a poem entitled ‘’Twas the Night Before Brexit’. That seasonal classic ‘A Visit…

The Book Club: James Ellroy on God, drugs and his mother’s murder

18 December 2019 13:18

In this week’s Book Club podcast, I talk to the ‘demon dog’ of American letters, James Ellroy — whose latest…

Spectator competition winners: Alan Bennett writes to Santa Claus

14 December 2019 9:30

The first festively themed challenge of this year was to compose letters to Santa in the style of the author…

The Book Club podcast: the magic of children’s books

11 December 2019 15:36

In this week’s Book Club podcast, my guest is the children’s writer Piers Torday, author of the Last Wild trilogy…

Spectator competition winners: Shakespeare on eyebrows

8 December 2019 9:30

This time round you were asked to submit Shakespeare’s newly discovered ‘Woeful ballad to his mistress’ eyebrows’, as referred to…

The Book Club: Tom Holland on Christianity’s enduring influence

4 December 2019 20:50

In this week’s Book Club, my guest is the historian Tom Holland, author of the new book Dominion: The Making…

Spectator competition winners: ‘Toilets’ by T.S. Eliot (anagrammatic poems)

30 November 2019 9:30

The inspiration for the latest challenge — to rearrange the letters of the names of poets (e.g. Basho: ‘has B.O.’)…

The Book Club podcast: The Who’s Pete Townshend on his new novel

27 November 2019 18:38

My guest in this week’s Book Club is the rock musician, writer and sometime Faber editor Pete Townshend. Pete has…

The Book Club podcast: a conversation with Clive James

27 November 2019 16:48

Clive James is gone. What a great spirit, what a lively and curious mind, what an instinct for laughter we’ve…

Spectator competition winners: Jeremy Corbyn – the early years

24 November 2019 9:30

The call for the comically appalling first or final paragraph of the memoir of a well-known figure was one of…

Spectator Book Club: who was the poet Laurie Lee?

20 November 2019 17:56

I’m joined from beyond the grave on this week’s Spectator Book Club by the late Laurie Lee — to talk…

Spectator competition winners: Halloween/ Occurs between/ The end of October/ And the start of not being sober: calendrical clerihews

16 November 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to compose clerihews about any date in the calendar. I was very grateful recently to eagle-eyed…

The Book Club: a literary history of 20th century Britain

13 November 2019 18:39

In this week’s Spectator Book Club, my guest is Christopher Tugendhat, whose new book offers a refreshing and thought-provoking survey…

Spectator competition winners: ‘By Waterloo Station I sat down and…’

10 November 2019 9:30

The latest challenge called for a poem that begins ‘By Waterloo Station I sat down and…’. Some of you begged,…

Spectator Books: is meritocracy a trap?

6 November 2019 18:03

For this week’s books podcast, I’m joined by Daniel Markovits, the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School.…