Culture House Daily

Books Podcast: The year in strange facts

14 December 2017 14:21

This week’s Books Podcast — the last before the Christmas break — sees the Spectator’s office flooded with elves. The…

Books Podcast: How totalitarianism reclaimed Russia

7 December 2017 13:40

In this week’s Spectator Books Podcast, I’m talking to Russia’s most prominent dissident journalist, Masha Gessen, about her National Book…

Spectator competition winners: Foggily-froggily/ Michel B. Barnier…: topical double dactyls

3 December 2017 9:45

The latest competition, a wildly popular one, invited you to compose topical double dactyls. The double dactyl was dreamed up…

Books Podcast: Richard Flanagan

30 November 2017 12:51

This week in the books podcast I’m talking to Richard Flanagan, the Man Booker prize winning author of Gould’s Book of…

How the music of Bach can teach us how to die

28 November 2017 15:35

Imagine if we had access to over a hundred Shakespeare plays in which the Bard was at or near the…

Inviting Jansons to the Barbican was like pouring vintage Pol Roger into a throwaway plastic cup

28 November 2017 11:14

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra / Mariss Jansons Barbican NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover / Andrew Manze Symphony Hall At the end of…

Spectator competition winners: Our Dawkins, who art in Oxford: Lord’s Prayers for the 21st century

26 November 2017 9:10

The latest competition, to submit a Lord’s Prayer for the 21st century, drew a smallish but pleasingly varied entry. One…

Books Podcast: Can Anna Karenina save your life?

23 November 2017 16:09

My guest this week is the comedienne and writer Viv Groskop, and our subject is the greats of 19th- and…

The Louvre Abu Dhabi: the best – and worst – of globalisation

20 November 2017 17:19

The headlines announcing the opening of the dome-shaped Louvre Abu Dhabi are a cornucopia of superlatives. ‘Spectacular palace of culture…

Wholly gripping: Glyndebourne on Tour’s Hamlet reviewed

20 November 2017 16:57

Hamlet Theatre Royal, Norwich, and touring until 1 December I had mixed feelings about Brett Dean’s Hamlet as I went…

Boozing and bitching with Germaine Greer: David Plante’s Difficult Women revisited

20 November 2017 15:24

Difficult Women: A Memoir of Three  David Plante New York Review of Books Classics, 2017, £10.99 Worlds Apart: A Memoir David…

Morrissey’s Brexit love affair makes him the last true rock’n’roll rebel

20 November 2017 14:10

Morrissey, Smiths frontman turned solo crooner turned novelist, has long taken pleasure in rattling the establishment. From mocking the monarchy…

Spectator competition winners: the inspired awfulness of Dan Brown

19 November 2017 9:45

The latest comp was a nod to the curiously enjoyable awfulness of the wildly rich, bestselling author Dan Brown’s much-mocked…

Read what The Spectator thought of the winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction

17 November 2017 15:44

Last night saw the award of this year’s £30,000 Baillie Gifford Prize – the country’s most respected prize for non-fiction…

A h(a)ppy ending for Nicola Barker – a true experimentalist

17 November 2017 13:10

Nicola Barker has just won the Goldsmiths Prize for experimental fiction with her new novel H(a)ppy. She earned it. If…

Books Podcast: Melvyn Bragg on William Tyndale

16 November 2017 13:03

In this week’s Books Podcast I’m talking to Melvyn Bragg about his fascinating book on William Tyndale — which makes…

Spectator competition winners: unnatural combinations

12 November 2017 9:45

The latest competition invited you to submit cringeworthy portmanteau words. The word portmanteau was first used in this sense by…

Books Podcast: Anthony Powell

9 November 2017 15:09

In this week’s Books Podcast I’m talking to Anthony Powell’s biographer Hilary Spurling about why A Dance to the Music of…

Netflix was wrong to fire Kevin Spacey

5 November 2017 15:10

Being, as ever, years late to the party, my wife and I were only midway through season one of House…

Spectator competition winners: a poem for Boris

5 November 2017 9:46

The latest competition called for a safe poem that Boris Johnson could have on hand to quote from when out…

Twenty years on, Brass Eye is still the best – as this film of unreleased material proves

3 November 2017 18:10

‘Drug use among children has for many an education and with obvious alarm for both parents on the increase almost…

Books Podcast: Philip Pullman

2 November 2017 15:28

In this week’s Books podcast I talk to Philip Pullman about his captivating new novel La Belle Sauvage — in…

Women need to free themselves from permanent victimhood

2 November 2017 9:22

If there is one thing the reactions to the Harvey Weinstein accusations have confirmed, other than the common knowledge that…

‘I’m not marching towards some utopia, I’m marching towards my Oscar’: Jonathan Pie interviewed

1 November 2017 17:02

At some point in the early 21st century, comedy stopped being funny. Politics became the biggest joke on earth, thanks…

BBC4’s The Vietnam War was unique, informative and shattering

26 October 2017 18:44

The Vietnam War BBC4 The BBC should be praised for showing all ten episodes of this unique, informative and shattering…