Culture House Daily

Spectator competition winners: If Shakespeare had been an estate agent

7 September 2019 8:30

The latest competition called for estate agents’ details in the style of a well-known author. Highlights, in a cracking entry,…

Spectator Books: the best and worst of Auden

4 September 2019 18:17

Eighty years on from the start of the Second World War, my guest in this week’s podcast is Ian Sansom…

Spectator competition winners: acrostic politicians

2 September 2019 11:45

The latest challenge called for an acrostic poem about a politician in which the first letter of each line spells…

Spectator Books: the struggles of the care system

29 August 2019 15:19

My guest on this week’s Books Podcast is the poet and playwright Lemn Sissay. Lemn’s new memoir My Name Is…

Spectator competition winners: Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Brexiteers

25 August 2019 10:25

In Competition No. 3112 you were invited to submit an extract from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Brexiteers. The title of…

Spectator Books: Mick Herron on how to be a crap spy

21 August 2019 17:18

The spy writer Mick Herron’s Slough House series of comic thrillers has steadily established him as perhaps the most influential…

Spectator competition winners: William McGonagall on Magaluf

18 August 2019 9:03

Your latest challenge was to imagine William Topaz McGonagall’s poetic response to Magaluf. McGonagall was much taken with the town…

The joys of scavenging the Thames

15 August 2019 14:38

‘It’s very hard for you to really live in the day,’ says Ruth, ‘because you don’t know by evening you…

Spectator Books: books for the beach

14 August 2019 15:35

Even books editors have to go on holiday sometimes, so Spectator Books is taking a hiatus for a couple of…

In praise of the bands that said no to Greta Thunberg

13 August 2019 11:41

My faith in rock music has been temporarily restored. According to the manager of The 1975, the execrable essay/song that…

Spectator competition winners: Dylan Thomas does the ‘Hokey-Cokey’

12 August 2019 11:40

Jeff Brechlin’s inspired ‘Hokey-Cokey’ rewritten as a Shakespearean sonnet prompted this week’s invitation, to filter the song through the pen…

Spectator Books: when Coleridge met Wordsworth

7 August 2019 13:26

In this week’s books podcast, we’re getting Romantic. I’m joined by the writer Adam Nicolson and the artist Tom Hammick…

Spectator competition winners: the Last Bumble Bee

2 August 2019 15:26

For the latest competition you were invited to submit a short story entitled ‘The Last Bumble Bee’. The buff-tailed bumblebee,…

Spectator Books: is there a meaning to life?

31 July 2019 13:42

The star New York Times columnist David Brooks has never been afraid to go beyond the usual remit of day-to-day…

Spectator competition winners: ‘No milksop this, the Tories’ favourite son…’ (remaking Milton)

27 July 2019 9:30

For the latest challenge you were invited to provide a sonnet with the following end rhymes (taken from Milton’s Sonnet…

Spectator Books: how pigeons won the War

24 July 2019 9:41

Pigeons: revolting pests who can’t tell the difference between fag-butts and chips, right? Not so, according to my latest podcast…

Elizabeth Bennett reads her letter from Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Spectator competition winners: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ meets Pride and Prejudice (literary mash-ups)

20 July 2019 10:37

The germ for the latest challenge —to provide an extract that is a mash-up of two well-known works of literature…

Books Podcast: the double agent who changed the Cold War

17 July 2019 18:40

There’s nobody who writes true-life spy stories like Ben MacIntyre — and with his latest book The Spy and the…

Spectator competition winners: poems with a twist

13 July 2019 9:25

The latest competition called for poems with an ingenious twist at the end. Though popular, this challenge turned out to…

Science may say this is a Caravaggio but my eyes think otherwise

12 July 2019 17:38

Last month a painting that had been found in an attic in 2014, supposedly by Caravaggio, was put up for…