Culture House Daily

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,…

The trouble with mobs

5 February 2018 16:39

If you are lucky enough to get a ticket for Julius Caesar at London’s Bridge theatre, prepare to join the…

Spectator competition winners: When Donald Trump met W.S. Gilbert (‘I am the very model of a Very Stable Genius’)

4 February 2018 10:17

The latest competition was a nod to Donald Trump’s first year in office, and what better as a springboard than…

Books Podcast: Mohsin Hamid

1 February 2018 17:49

In this week’s books podcast I’m talking to the award-festooned writer Mohsin Hamid about his latest novel Exit West — touching on the…

The one where millennials don’t get Friends

29 January 2018 13:05

All progress is war on the past and millennials are particularly merciless combatants. The arrival of Friends on Netflix UK…

Spectator competition winners: ‘I met a traveller from an antique land’ – poems about passports

28 January 2018 9:30

The latest challenge was to provide a poem about passports. While the news that British passports issued after October of…

Books Podcast: The life and work of Muriel Spark

25 January 2018 14:59

This week’s books podcast celebrates the centenary of Muriel Spark. I’m joined by Alan Taylor (author of a new memoir…

Will white supremacy always haunt America?

25 January 2018 14:00

I found Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book We Were Eight Years in Power surprisingly engaging. It combines a calm, friendly voice with…

Books Podcast: 200 years of Frankenstein

18 January 2018 13:17

It LIVES! This week’s books podcast honours the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein. To cut through all those high…

The Bayeux Tapestry is coming home at last

17 January 2018 10:14

The Entente Cordiale is alive and well, it seems. It was announced today that, thanks to the benevolence of Emmanuel Macron,…

Spectator competition winners: ‘Of January wary be!’ (plus: a presidential patter song)

15 January 2018 18:15

In the brief for the latest challenge — to submit poems entitled ‘January’ — I mentioned William Carlos Williams, R.S.…