Culture House Daily

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…

Books Podcast: does tripping balls tell us anything profound about human consciousness?

12 June 2019 19:32

This week’s books podcast promises to be a trip. I’m joined by Mike Jay to talk about the history of…

Spectator competition winners: ‘Please quit all that huddling…’: contemporary takes on ‘The New Colossus’

10 June 2019 9:32

The latest challenge was an invitation to compose a contemporary take on ‘The New Colossus’, the 1883 sonnet by Emma…

Books Podcast: Chaucer’s European roots

5 June 2019 17:19

In this week’s books podcast we’re talking about why the Father of English Poetry, Geoffrey Chaucer, at least half belongs…

Spectator competition winners: odes to Alexa and Siri

2 June 2019 9:30

For the latest competition you were challenged to submit an ode to Alexa or Siri. A recent study by Unesco,…

The Books Podcast: science fiction from Jim Al-Khalili

29 May 2019 17:25

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by the physicist Jim Al-Khalili (host of Radio Four’s The Life Scientific) to…

The Books Podcast: Rory Stewart in conversation with Sam Leith

28 May 2019 13:47

Rory Stewart is the back-of-field Tory leadership candidate who’s catching most attention at the moment; popping up all over London…

Jacopo Ligozzi’s chimera

Spectator competition winners: ‘A beast whose name links Cor with May…’

26 May 2019 9:30

For the latest competition, you were asked to dream up an imaginary animal that is a hybrid of two existing…

Rest in peace, Judith Kerr

23 May 2019 11:25

I am so, so sad to hear about the death of Judith Kerr. I last saw her only a month…

The Books Podcast: what makes Shakespeare special?

22 May 2019 17:11

In this week’s books podcast my guest is Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College, Oxford, who’s talking…

The Green Room Podcast: who are Europe’s ‘Civilisationists’?

20 May 2019 12:28

Thirty years ago, protests, riots and murders followed the publication of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. Three decades later, we…

You can’t blame politics (or Brexit) for Britain’s Eurovision woe

19 May 2019 22:56

Yes, Eurovision is political – but for 20 years now, this fact has been used as an excuse to explain…

Spectator competition winners: poems that go backwards and forwards

19 May 2019 9:30

For the latest competition you were asked to compose a poem that can be read forwards and backwards, i.e. from…

Books Podcast: Ursula Buchan on her grandfather, John Buchan

15 May 2019 11:23

In this week’s books podcast, I’m joined by Ursula Buchan – the author of a hugely involving new life of…

The St George flag. Image: Getty

Spectator competition winners: what is Englishness?

12 May 2019 9:30

The call for poems about Englishness in the style of a well-known poet produced a mostly predictable line-up — from…

The Books Podcast: Bret Easton Ellis on coming out as Patrick Bateman

8 May 2019 19:06

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by Bret Easton Ellis. The author of Less Than Zero, American Psycho and…

Spectator competition winners: how it feels to be a half-eaten gorgonzola

5 May 2019 9:30

Your latest challenge was to submit a short story that ends ‘I feel like a half-eaten gorgonzola’. Thanks to reader…

Books Podcast: Joseph Stiglitz on the EU’s big economic mistake

2 May 2019 11:43

In this week’s books podcast, my guest is the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, architect of Bill Clinton’s “Third Way”…

An etching of Robert Burns (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Spectator competition winners: ‘O Poor deceasèd Robbie Burns – or should we call you Rabbie?’: William McGonagall’s elegy on Robert Burns

28 April 2019 8:43

The prompt for this challenge – to submit an elegy by a poet on another poet – was ‘Adonais’, Shelley’s…

The Books Podcast: Nicci Gerrard – The Cold Friction of Expiring Sense

24 April 2019 16:12

In this week’s books podcast I’m joined by the journalist and (as one half of the crime writer Nicci French)…

The Books Podcast: Cass Sunstein – Beyond the Nudge

17 April 2019 11:22

In this week’s Books Podcast I’m joined by Professor Cass Sunstein – best known here as co-author of the hugely…

The return of plainchant

15 April 2019 15:54

‘I’m still warmed up from last night,’ said Sophie Bevan early on a Sunday morning in the practice-room behind the…

Why Peter Sellars’s staging of the St John Passion – which I sang in – was deeply flawed

10 April 2019 18:14

It has been my privilege over the past two weeks to sing in the chorus of the Orchestra of the…

The Books Podcast: who was Søren Kierkegaard?

10 April 2019 17:53

My guest for this week’s books podcast is Clare Carlisle, author of a new life of Søren Kierkegaard, Philosopher of the Heart.…