Culture House Daily

Why The Spectator is the world’s oldest weekly magazine

24 June 2017 15:48

Founded in 1828, The Spectator has been proud to describe itself as ‘the oldest continuously-published weekly in the English language’. But this…

Books Podcast: The secret lives of Julian Assange, Craig Wright and Ronald Pinn

22 June 2017 13:17

In this week’s podcast I’m talking to the novelist and journalist Andrew O’Hagan about lies, paranoia, and the way that…

Spectator competition winners: a song for Europe

18 June 2017 9:45

This week you were invited to fill a gap by providing lyrics for the European anthem. The powers that be…

Books Podcast: The art of the first novel

15 June 2017 15:12

In this week’s Books Podcast, we’re turning our eye on an area of literary endeavour that is too often neglected:…

Spectator competition winners: P.G. Wodehouse’s Guide to Manly Health and Training

11 June 2017 10:07

For the latest competition you were invited to take inspiration from the recently published Walt Whitman’s Guide to Manly Health…

Books Podcast: William Empson’s legacy

8 June 2017 14:19

In this week’s Books Podcast, we’re talking about William Empson, one of the most brilliant and captivatingly eccentric literary critics and…

Spectator competition winners: ‘To be or not to be’: an answer to this and other famous literary questions

3 June 2017 10:59

‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?’; ‘What porridge had John Keats?’; ‘And is there honey still for tea?’ Your answers…

Books Podcast: Will Self

1 June 2017 13:28

In this week’s Books Podcast, I’m joined by the novelist, broadcaster and serial user of arcane words Will Self. He…

Spectator competition winners: ‘A PM’s lot is not a happy one’

28 May 2017 10:00

The latest challenge was to supply a poem that takes as its first line W.S. Gilbert’s ‘A policeman’s lot is…

In defence of Mahan Esfahani

26 May 2017 12:30

Seven years ago I ripped the CD off the front of a music magazine and found myself in the thick…

Books Podcast: Martin Luther, Catholic dissident

25 May 2017 12:23

In this week’s Books Podcast, we honour the five hundredth anniversary of the nailing of that business with the 95 Theses, the church…

There’s a reason why Isis targets gigs: music is the enemy of fundamentalism

23 May 2017 15:48

Until last night Ariana Grande’s fans, predominantly tweens and teens, were more preoccupied with the concept of friendship than the…

Impeccable filmmaking from Michael Haneke: Happy End reviewed

23 May 2017 13:19

The title is ironic. The end is not happy for Michael Haneke’s bourgeois French family, whose hamper of festering secrets the…

Amusing, waspish take-down of Jean-Luc Godard: Redoubtable reviewed

22 May 2017 11:24

Jean-Luc Godard’s famous dictum was: ‘all you need for a movie is a girl and a gun’. In Redoubtable, French…

Coffee, mist and brilliance: Sky Atlantic’s new series of Twin Peaks reviewed

22 May 2017 10:41

So much coffee. Just like in the original, the characters in the new series of Twin Peaks get through so…

Spectator competition winners: The joy of bad translations (‘For tiptop consummation, finger choice dish and place on kinky table…’)

20 May 2017 10:45

The request for a set of instructions for an everyday device that have been badly translated into English was prompted…

Books Podcast: The art of losing control

18 May 2017 14:01

Is Enlightenment rationalism overrated? Do we spend too much time thinking and not enough time letting our conscious thoughts scatter…

Spectator competition winners: Donald Trump’s obituary for Planet Earth

13 May 2017 10:30

The invitation to submit an obituary for planet Earth drew a smallish but varied and heartfelt entry. The usual culprits…

Why do the British have such terrible taste in voices?

12 May 2017 12:58

When it comes to voices, the words of the apocryphal Times headline come to mind: ‘Fog in the Channel; Continent cut…

Books Podcast: The lost stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald

11 May 2017 14:02

Following the publication of a new collection of the lost short stories of F Scott Fitzgerald (I’d Die For You…

Emma Watson is right: film awards should be ‘gender neutral’

8 May 2017 14:14

Emma Watson isn’t, you might say, to everyone’s taste, given that her feminism – she can hardly get up in…

Books Podcast: Taking Hamlet around the world

8 May 2017 13:59

This week’s Books Podcast turns to perhaps the greatest work of the greatest writer in English history. Yup: it’s Hamlet…

Spectator competition winners: acrostic sonnets on The Spectator

6 May 2017 10:01

The latest competition asked for an acrostic sonnet in which the first letters of each line spell AT THE SPECTATOR.…

Spectator competition winners: rude limericks by well-known writers

2 May 2017 14:15

Leafing through Vern L. Bullough’s Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia, I discovered that Tennyson wrote rude limericks as an antidote to…

There’s still hope for photography: Sony World Photo Awards reviewed

28 April 2017 17:57

Much has been said about the endless photographic mediocrity of the digital age. The infinite glossy ads, the stream of…