Culture House Daily

In praise of the bands that said no to Greta Thunberg

13 August 2019 11:41

My faith in rock music has been temporarily restored. According to the manager of The 1975, the execrable essay/song that…

Spectator competition winners: Dylan Thomas does the ‘Hokey-Cokey’

12 August 2019 11:40

Jeff Brechlin’s inspired ‘Hokey-Cokey’ rewritten as a Shakespearean sonnet prompted this week’s invitation, to filter the song through the pen…

Spectator Books: when Coleridge met Wordsworth

7 August 2019 13:26

In this week’s books podcast, we’re getting Romantic. I’m joined by the writer Adam Nicolson and the artist Tom Hammick…

Spectator competition winners: the Last Bumble Bee

2 August 2019 15:26

For the latest competition you were invited to submit a short story entitled ‘The Last Bumble Bee’. The buff-tailed bumblebee,…

Spectator Books: is there a meaning to life?

31 July 2019 13:42

The star New York Times columnist David Brooks has never been afraid to go beyond the usual remit of day-to-day…

Spectator competition winners: ‘No milksop this, the Tories’ favourite son…’ (remaking Milton)

27 July 2019 9:30

For the latest challenge you were invited to provide a sonnet with the following end rhymes (taken from Milton’s Sonnet…

Spectator Books: how pigeons won the War

24 July 2019 9:41

Pigeons: revolting pests who can’t tell the difference between fag-butts and chips, right? Not so, according to my latest podcast…

Elizabeth Bennett reads her letter from Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Spectator competition winners: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ meets Pride and Prejudice (literary mash-ups)

20 July 2019 10:37

The germ for the latest challenge —to provide an extract that is a mash-up of two well-known works of literature…

Books Podcast: the double agent who changed the Cold War

17 July 2019 18:40

There’s nobody who writes true-life spy stories like Ben MacIntyre — and with his latest book The Spy and the…

Spectator competition winners: poems with a twist

13 July 2019 9:25

The latest competition called for poems with an ingenious twist at the end. Though popular, this challenge turned out to…

Science may say this is a Caravaggio but my eyes think otherwise

12 July 2019 17:38

Last month a painting that had been found in an attic in 2014, supposedly by Caravaggio, was put up for…

Spectator competition winners: David Attenborough on the World Cup Lionesses

8 July 2019 11:23

For the latest challenge you were invited to succumb to Women’s World Cup fever and submit a fragment of commentary…

Would Faber & Faber still exist without T.S. Eliot?

3 July 2019 16:44

This year the publishers Faber & Faber celebrate their 90th birthday, and to honour the occasion I’m joined by Toby…

Stormzy was good but Miley Cyrus was better: Glastonbury Festival reviewed

1 July 2019 15:24

Glastonbury was almost ruined for me by Kylie Minogue. Very selfishly, she started her sunbaked set – in the Sunday…

Spectator competition winners: Theresa May’s life in three limericks

30 June 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to encapsulate the life story of a well-known person, living or dead, in three limericks. The…

The Books Podcast: the right way to write with Benjamin Dreyer

26 June 2019 12:04

In this week’s Spectator Books podcast my guest is Benjamin Dreyer — whose name is pronounced, as I discover live…

Spectator competition winners: ‘The hour is come: Now, Gods, stand up for Boris!’ (Shakespearean soliloquies from would-be prime ministers)

23 June 2019 9:30

For the latest literary challenge you were invited to submit a Shakespearean soliloquy delivered by one of the contenders for…

Books Podcast: writings of the working class

19 June 2019 11:00

In this week’s books podcast Kit de Waal is here to talk about her new anthology of working-class memoir, Common…

Britain's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove leaves from 10 Downing Street in central London on March 20, 2018 after attending the weekly meeting of the Cabinet. Britain and the European Union on March 19 reached a landmark deal on a transition phase that will see London follow the bloc's rules for nearly two years after the Brexit divorce. Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Davis said the agreement, which European leaders will sign at a summit this week, was a "decisive step". (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Spectator competition winners: Gradgrind’s fan letter to Michael Gove

15 June 2019 8:27

The idea for the latest challenge — to compose a fan letter from one well-known person from the field of…

I never wanted it to end: Royal Ballet’s Triple Bill and Fonteyn celebration reviewed

14 June 2019 12:21

Margot Fonteyn: A Celebration Royal Opera House The Firebird / A Month in the Country / Symphony in C Royal…