Culture House Daily

First look at the BBC’s BBC mockumentary W1A

20 March 2014 0:05

So, OK, here’s the thing with W1A: it’s just as brilliant as 2012. So that’s all good. By which I mean the…

Why Alain de Botton is a moron

19 March 2014 13:08

It’s become too easy of late to be rude about Alain de Botton. His banal aphoristic “insights” and homilies on…

‘Nijinsky disguised as Nigel Farage’: Angela Lansbury stars in Blithe Spirit. Review.

19 March 2014 10:08

Blithe SpiritGielgud Theatre If you’d asked me before this week, I’m afraid I’d have guessed Angela Lansbury had already reached…

Is Wilfred Owen’s poetry any good?

18 March 2014 14:04

Wilfred Owen, the poet whose work epitomises the horror of the First World War for most people in modern Britain,…

The BBC’s march to war

18 March 2014 9:23

Perhaps we are growing war-weary – weary, that is, of the gathering storm of World War One documentaries on the…

Under the Skin: one second of tits to every three minutes of glen

17 March 2014 10:22

‘I thought it was supposed to go on for another half hour!’ said a man in the foyer on the way…

Why building a new garden city at Ebbsfleet is a terrible idea

17 March 2014 9:52

So, the government plans to create a new ‘garden city’ in Ebbsfleet, Kent, with 15,000 new homes. Yesterday’s announcement by…

Spectator competition winners: 50 shades of…

15 March 2014 9:30

Last week, you were asked to dream up a short story entitled “Fifty Shades of”. The entries were a bit…

The Spectator website through the ages

14 March 2014 18:14

How has The Spectator weathered the first 25 years of the web? In Simon Courtauld’s excellent history of this magazine…

Russell Brand vows to write the revolution

14 March 2014 14:46

For a man who claims to be apathetic about politics, Russell Brand is rather noisy. Not content with guest editing…

The Picasso muse who became an artist

14 March 2014 13:00

With her long blonde hair tied in a ponytail, Sylvette David is familiar from many of Picasso’s paintings. She met…

The poetry and poignancy of the Consumer Prices Index

14 March 2014 9:39

Tufted carpets out, flavoured milk in. Canvas shoes in, take away coffee out. Last year we accepted spreadable butter, dropped…

Disposable dance-pop at its best and a Lennon-lite yawnfest. Kylie and George Michael’s new albums reviewed

13 March 2014 13:15

George Michael and Kylie Minogue have albums out this week. And while they might both be distinctly second-division these days,…

It was all going so well till the fishnet tights. A Classicist reviews 300: Rise of an Empire…

13 March 2014 11:25

It is 490 BC and it is raining. Themistocles, the Athenian general, is at Marathon, preparing to shoot an arrow…

Happy 25th birthday to the World Wide Web. What comes next?

12 March 2014 12:42

On this day in 1989, the World Wide Web was born. Tim Berners-Lee, a contractor at CERN, published a paper…

Isn’t Obama’s Two Ferns interview just a bit crap?

12 March 2014 8:28

Have you seen Barack Obama’s appearance on the satirical interview show Between Two Ferns? What did you think? According to…

New literary award launches. But is the Folio Prize just a pretentious version of the Booker?

11 March 2014 13:53

The British Library isn’t the first place I associate with contemporary fiction. For me, it’s about the Tudor manuscripts: the…

Review: The Michael McIntyre Chat Show, BBC One

11 March 2014 1:08

I was just thinking how strange it was that Michael McIntyre had morphed into Lang Lang, the ebullient Chinese pianist…

Culture House Pick of the Week: Minogue, Mahler, Strauss and Johansson

10 March 2014 16:50

FILM: Under the Skin (dir. Jonathan Glazer)  Critics who saw it at the Venice Film Festival thought it either ‘laughably…

Derek Jarman: no characterisation, no narrative, no poetry – no good

10 March 2014 10:33

A week or two ago, author Philip Hoare wrote an article for the Independent, describing Derek Jarman as ‘a modern-day…

New play forgets that rape is not just an Indian problem

9 March 2014 12:26

A play about the 2012 Delhi rape was never going to be easy viewing and unsurprisingly Yael Farber’s Nirbhaya is…

In defence of Gemma Worrall, and her ‘Barraco Barner’ tweet

8 March 2014 10:10

Meet Gemma Worrall, the latest unlikely worldwide star produced by social media. She is a 20-year-old beautician from Blackpool, now famous…

Competition: Ghost a sleb autobiography in the style of a literary great (plus: the horrors of reunion dinners)

8 March 2014 9:30

Spectator literary competition No. 2840 You were excellent this week on the horrors of the reunion dinner. But these gatherings…

Carry On El Comandante. Does the world need a Hugo Chavez exhibition?

7 March 2014 13:33

The other day I got an invitation to a do called ‘For Now and Forever – a reception and photo…

Was Mark Lawson bullied? Or was it just a matter of trying to improve Front Row?

6 March 2014 12:51

I don’t really know Mark Lawson; I’ve bumped into him a couple of times and he once was the moderator…