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Diary

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ussian President Vladimir Putin attends Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum Photo:Getty

Peter Mandelson’s diary: The accomplishments of George Osborne – and Vladimir Putin

31 May 2014

My trips to meet Russians in Russia these days are a little less controversial than my encounter with them in Corfu. The Corfu trip, though, did have the bonus of… Read more

BRITAIN-ROYALS

Peter McKay’s diary: Is Kate and William’s Scottish trip a pro-union initiative?

24 May 2014

Having dampened local republican ardour during their recent tour of New Zealand and Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit thinking-about-breaking-away Scotland next week. They’ll tour Glenturret Distillery near… Read more

Madresfield Court, Malvern Photo: Cellach / Maggie

Christopher Buckley's diary: How to fit a cow into your bedroom

17 May 2014

My wife and I spent the winter in Worcestershire. This allowed me to tell everyone back home in the States: ‘We are wintering in Worcestershire.’ This may be a sentence… Read more

Shangri-La Hotel Opens In The Shard

Paul Johnson’s diary: Boris would make a great PM – but he must strike now

10 May 2014

I feel an intense antipathy for Vladimir Putin. No one on the international scene has aroused in me such dislike since Stalin died. Though not a mass killer on the… Read more

2011 Toronto International Film Festival - 'The Hunter' Portraits

Sam Neill’s diary: Back in Blighty, remembering drinking binges of yore

3 May 2014

I am back in the UK for work. Great time to turn up — after the grim, grey grind of the British winter. Here in Manchester, people stroll in shirtsleeves… Read more

Freddy Highmore and Vera Farmiga star as Norman and Norma Bates in Bates Motel

Joan Collins’s Diary: Springtime in the City of Angels

26 April 2014

Ahh! Spring has sprung at last! Or has it? Leaving a warm and sunlit London last month we expected balmy weather in Los Angeles but the skies were grey and… Read more

Crete appears to be a matriarchy

Andrew Marr's diary: Ruins on Crete and a spat with Alex Salmond

19 April 2014

A week away in Crete: I’ve come for the archaeology and culture — little patches of Minos, ancient Greece, Byzantium and the Venetian Republic are scattered around this most southern sentinel… Read more

Jan Moir's diary

12 April 2014

Sunday afternoon brings the bomb squad to South Kensington. From my third-floor window, I see them fan out through the garden square, scrutinising leaf and bud, lamppost and compost bin.… Read more

UKIP Annual Conference 2013

Nigel Farage’s diary: Comfort for Cameron, and the wonders of German traffic

5 April 2014

What a week! I was thrilled to have a chance to confront Nick Clegg but my excitement was tempered with disappointment that neither Cameron nor Miliband agreed to take part… Read more

Parenting Class

Miriam Gross

29 March 2014

I had a slight shock last week, while listening to Desert Island Discs. The admirable nurse Dame Claire Bertschinger had chosen a reading of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ as one of… Read more

Laurence Fox with his 'WOP', Billie Piper  Photo: Getty

Laurence Fox's diary: On being married to a WOP

22 March 2014

I have just shaved off my beard in preparation for a new series of Lewis because I want to look my best for my on-screen love, Donald Whately. Donald? Isn’t… Read more

Demotix 16/12/2013

Jeffrey Archer’s diary: My personal trainer only smiles when I’m in pain

15 March 2014

The week leading up to publication is a strange time for any author. You subject yourself to doing everything from BBC Radio Hebrides to reviewing the Sunday papers on TV,… Read more

BFI Screentalk: Tim Rice Introduces "From Here To Eternity"

Tim Rice’s diary: From Eternity to here

8 March 2014

Last October, in these very pages, I wrote with what is now annoying prescience, ‘Like almost everyone else in the insane world of musical theatre, I don’t know how to… Read more

FBL-WC2014-CONFED-PROTEST

Niall Ferguson’s diary: Brazil is overtaking us – but it no longer feels like that

1 March 2014

 São Paolo It was back in 2001 that my good friend Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs coined the acronym ‘Bric’, short for Brazil, Russia, India, China. These were the emerging… Read more

Author Dame Penelope Lively after receiving her Dame Commander medal  from the Princess Royal Photo: Getty

Penelope Lively’s diary: My old-age MOT

22 February 2014

My surgery has been calling in all those over 75 for a special session with their doctor — a sort of old-age MOT. I came out of mine pretty well,… Read more

White Dee with her daughter Caitlin

White Dee's diary: From Benefits Street to Downing Street?

15 February 2014

There’s no reason why you should have heard of me. No reason why you would have watched a Channel 4 television series called Benefits Street — with a title like… Read more

Babar creator Laurent de Brunhoff Photo: Nathan Denette/AP/PA

Alexander McCall Smith’s diary: Meeting Babar’s creator

8 February 2014

As any author will tell you, literary festivals differ widely. If you are invited to Willy Dalrymple’s Jaipur Festival, with its renowned final party, you say yes within minutes of… Read more

Canadian Press Photos

Conrad Black’s diary: Why I won’t join the campaign against Rob Ford

1 February 2014

When visiting Britain and Australia last November, I discovered that the mayor of Toronto, Robert Ford, is now the world’s best-known Canadian. He has acknowledged the occasional use of cocaine… Read more

Respect For Elders

Ferdinand Mount's diary: Supermac was guilty!

25 January 2014

You have to hand it to Supermac. Fifty years after the event, he is still running rings round them. The esteemed Vernon Bogdanor (The Spectator, 18 January) tells us that… Read more

Pearly King and Queen, Columbia Road, London, UK, 02/10/2011

Michael Heath's diary: I've fallen among hipsters (and I have the T-shirt to prove it)

18 January 2014

I now live in the hippest part of London, Shoreditch. It must be Tony Blair’s idea of heaven, a multicultural mix of hugely rich and up-and-coming young things of every… Read more

Rory Stewart: a fine example of an Old Etonian (Photo: David Levenson/Getty)

Peter McKay's diary: The Old Etonian David Cameron should have been

11 January 2014

David Cameron gives Old Etonians a bad name. Critics deplore his Old Etonian-ness,  his Lord Snooty Factor.  Childish, but it’s an uncomplicated prejudice which can be freely expressed in our… Read more

diar

James Bartholomew's diary: Give up the Today programme - you'll feel better

4 January 2014

It’s amusing to see serious journalists and authors struggling to use Twitter under instruction from their newspapers and publishers. They realise they lose dignity by condensing their great thoughts into… Read more

Wooden crosses are pictured in a field o

Sebastian Faulks's diary: Inside the official first world war commemorations

14 December 2013

A year or so ago I was asked to sit on a committee that advises the government on how to commemorate the first world war. It consists of about 30… Read more

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960)

Steve Punt's diary: Britain is now living in a middle-class parody of itself 

7 December 2013

One of the most dispiriting experiences currently available is any commercial break during a televised football match. In a Champions League game, within seconds of the half-time whistle you are… Read more

Hugh Gaitskell at the Labour Party Conference Photo: Harry Thompson/Evening Standard/Getty

Nigel Lawson's diary: My secret showdown with the Royal Society over global warming

30 November 2013

The long-discussed meeting between a group of climate scientists and Fellows of the Royal Society on the one side, and me and some colleagues from my think-tank, the Global Warming… Read more