Culture House Daily

Spectator competition winners: a life in three words

18 March 2018 9:30

The latest challenge was inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s phenomenally successful memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Competitors were invited to choose a…

Books Podcast: St Paul, the biography

15 March 2018 16:11

In this week’s Books Podcast, I’m talking to N. T. Wright, one of the world’s foremost scholars of the theology…

Nope, I’m not nostalgic for the NME

14 March 2018 11:24

It’s no secret that my career isn’t quite what it was (lucky I’m rich!) so imagine my feeling of glee…

Our verdict on this year’s Man Booker International Prize longlist

12 March 2018 15:49

The longlist for the Man Booker International Prize for fiction – judged by a very impressive panel headed by Lisa…

Spectator competition winners: sequels to a six-word story

11 March 2018 9:30

The latest assignment was to provide a (longer) sequel to the six-word story ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn’. Long…

Bring back our bitchy celebs!

9 March 2018 14:45

You would have to be quite odd not to approve of the sudden surge of solidarity amongst Hollywood stars of…

Books Podcast: Wendy Cope

8 March 2018 15:12

In this week’s Books podcast, I’m joined by the great Wendy Cope, whose new collection Anecdotal Evidence is just out. I talk…

Angela Carter biography wins award

7 March 2018 13:09

I had the privilege – alongside the wise and learned Caroline Moorehead and Ian Kelly – of helping judge this…

The 2018 Oscars were indulgent, overlong, and weirdly amateurish — again

5 March 2018 7:37

It was always going to be difficult for this year’s Oscars to balance politics and entertainment, the sweeping declaration with…

Books Podcast: Jay Heinrichs’ How To Argue With A Cat

1 March 2018 14:18

In this week’s books podcast, I’m talking to Jay Heinrichs about his new book How To Argue With A Cat:…

How the spirit of The Spectator dates back to 1711

1 March 2018 8:35

Few sights are commoner in the second-hand bookshop than battered sets of the eighteenth-century Spectator. Common enough too is the…

Hollywood stars have lost their shine

28 February 2018 10:45

Reading the lip-smacking reports of the latest troubled celebrity relationships  (Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux definitely high and dry, Cheryl…

How the MeToo movement is affecting YouToo

27 February 2018 12:57

A well-placed source told me recently that late last year the BBC pulled plans to show the Oscar-winning film American…

‘I never had anything against Nancy’: coffee and cookies with Tonya Harding

26 February 2018 11:47

The film I, Tonya, has been well-received and is even up for an Oscar or two. I’m pleased about that…

Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine

Churchill did not have an affair – so don’t fall for Channel 4’s spin

25 February 2018 15:44

To present this story without interviewing any Churchill historians, or members of the family, is a disgrace

Spectator competition winners: Resignation letters (Anna Soubry channels Virginia Woolf)

25 February 2018 9:30

The latest challenge, to cook up a resignation letter in the style of a well-known author, was inspired by the…

Books Podcast: Steven Pinker

22 February 2018 13:53

This week’s books podcast was recorded live at a special Spectator subscriber event in London, where I was talking to…

Spectator competition winners: The Love Song of Donald J. Trump

18 February 2018 9:15

For this year’s Valentine-themed challenge you were invited to provide a poem entitled ‘The Love Song of [insert name of…

Books Podcast: Mick Herron

15 February 2018 16:01

My guest in this week’s podcast is the incomparable spy writer Mick Herron – these days, happily, a less and…

Children’s cinema is conservative – and brilliant

14 February 2018 10:58

The Oscars promise to be truly unbearable this year, with vomit-inducing levels of sanctimony followed by the usual gibberish from…

Obama’s drab portrait is a fitting metaphor for his presidency

12 February 2018 17:30

Has Barack Obama become a flower child? His new presidential portrait, which is over seven feet high, depicts him on…

In defence of Katie Price

12 February 2018 15:22

What do we talk about when we talk about Jordan? Not the country, or the river, or the cultural commentator…

Spectator competition winners: Laureates past on the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

11 February 2018 9:30

The latest challenge asked for a poem written by a poet laureate present or past on the engagement of Prince…

Books Podcast: The Minister and the Murderer

8 February 2018 15:48

My guest on this week’s books podcast is the author and critic Stuart Kelly. His new book, The Minister and the…

The Today programme has become Woman’s Hour

6 February 2018 11:44

Anniversaries are very interesting, of course, but all the same I think a news programme ought to revolve around, well,…