Culture House Daily

Books Podcast: Stalin’s war on Ukraine

21 September 2017 14:53

In this week’s Books Podcast I talk to the Pulitzer Prize winning historian (and former Spectator deputy editor) Anne Applebaum…

Scotland’s artist-activists are the country’s truly sinister nationalists

21 September 2017 9:16

The SNP’s Fiona Hyslop is not an obvious candidate to lead a cultural revolution. The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for…

Spectator competition winners: Big Ben’s bongs

17 September 2017 9:45

For the latest competition you were asked to compose poems about Big Ben’s bongs. The decision to remove the 13-tonne…

Books Podcast: How not to be a boy

14 September 2017 13:02

In this week’s Books podcast, my guest is the comedian and writer Robert Webb — whose moving and funny new…

What our critics thought of the books on the Man Booker shortlist

13 September 2017 16:39

The Man Booker shortlist is out. My colleague Philip Hensher isn’t convinced. He today tweeted ‘Booker shortlist – McGregor, Z…

Man Booker Prize 2017: Fiona Mozley’s debut novel is an old-fashioned portrayal of gender privilege

13 September 2017 16:26

Elmet by Fiona Mozley John Murray, £10.99, pp. 311 Daniel and his big sister, Cathy, do not go to school.…

Pragmatic women have cross-dressed throughout history – but it doesn’t make them transgender

13 September 2017 11:28

Women passing as men is a well-documented manoeuvre that goes back centuries. The history stretches from the legend of Hua…

Sir Peter Hall (1930–2017) on Harold Pinter, actors and making love

12 September 2017 10:48

Sir Peter Hall has died at the age of 86. He spoke to The Spectator in 2009: Even at 78 and…

The Last Night of the Proms is still an exceptional British party

11 September 2017 13:01

Wouldn’t you just know it: there’s another row about Last Night of the Proms. Apparently the Scots in their open air…

Spectator competition winners: Alex Salmond woos Nicola Sturgeon (but she’s only got eyes for M. Macron)

10 September 2017 9:30

The latest challenge called for love poems written by one contemporary politician to another. Virginia Price Evans, writing on behalf…

Schama, Uglow and Applebaum among the longlisted authors for the Baillie Gifford

8 September 2017 13:12

The Baillie Gifford longlist – consisting of contenders for the country’s most prestigious nonfiction prize – is out today. A…

Books podcast: A N Wilson

7 September 2017 11:58

A N Wilson’s new biography of Darwin was acclaimed in these pages by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst for having a ‘scientist’s forensic…

Spectator competition winners: is August the cruellest month?

3 September 2017 9:54

The latest competition invited poems in praise or dispraise of August. There was a whiff of collusion about the entry…

Books Podcast: World Book Club’s 15th birthday

31 August 2017 12:54

This week, in the books podcast, I talk to Harriett Gilbert – who has a good claim to be the…

Game of Thrones bungles the execution of its last great villain

28 August 2017 15:40

Another season of Game of Thrones is over, and nobody knows when it will return. After a run of seven…

Spectator competition winners: Donald Trump’s ‘The Book of Moron’

27 August 2017 14:09

The idea for the latest competition came courtesy of Steven Joseph, who suggested that I invite competitors to change a…

Books Podcast: Clive James

24 August 2017 12:59

In this week’s Books podcast I speak to Clive James. Since he was diagnosed with leukaemia, Clive has been as…

Action soars but acting plummets on Game of Thrones

21 August 2017 16:50

The penultimate episode of a season of Game of Thrones is usually the point where something spectacularly game changing happens.…

Taylor Swift’s sexual assault case reveals feminism’s guilty secret

21 August 2017 16:01

Despite Taylor Swift’s aspiration that her sexual assault trial last week should stand as an example for all women, what’s…

Spectator competition winners: in praise of Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Trump and Jacob Rees-Mogg

20 August 2017 9:45

The invitation to submit a disgustingly flattering poem in heroic couplets in praise of a contemporary person of power saw…

Books Podcast: Robert Lowell’s centenary

17 August 2017 12:55

For this week’s podcast, in celebration of Robert Lowell’s centenary year, I’m joined by the critic and writer Jonathan Raban…

The Garden Bridge was the definition of a folly

15 August 2017 15:32

Dry your eyes, Joanna Lumley, and try to move on. For the Garden Bridge was doomed from the start. Sure,…

Daenerys Targaryen has become the Donald Trump of Game of Thrones

14 August 2017 16:36

If he takes a break from the 24-hour feed of Fox News and switches over to HBO in time to…

Spectator competition winners: reader, I ate him: literary classics/horror mash-ups

13 August 2017 9:45

The latest comp, which called for extracts from a mash-up of a literary classic of your choice and horror fiction,…

Geoff Dyer: How I write

13 August 2017 8:00

In the sixth form we’d get assigned essays to be written over the Christmas holidays. I always did these right…