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Diary

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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James Bartholomew

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

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

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

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

(Photo: BBC/Jeff Overs)

Mishal Husain

23 November 2013

I’ve worked for the BBC for years and have been listening to the Today programme all my adult life, but joining it as a presenter feels like exploring a new… Read more

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Celia Walden

16 November 2013

For a minute I just stood there with my back against the wall, staring at the credit card receipt. Then I slid down into a crouching position on the kitchen… Read more

(Photo: Getty)

Gyles Brandreth

9 November 2013

Hard on the heels of the 90th birthday of Nicholas Parsons (10 October) comes the 65th birthday of the Prince of Wales (14 November). Neither is due for retirement any… Read more

A portrait of William Shakespeare is pic

Alexander Waugh

2 November 2013

Researching a new book on Shakespeare’s sonnets, I stumbled upon an astonishing piece of hitherto unnoticed evidence in a 16th-century book by a sex-maniac clergyman from Cambridge. I shall not… Read more

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Jonathan Aitken

26 October 2013

The last time I wrote for The Spectator I was sitting in a prison cell. I sent the then editor a poem called ‘The Ballad of Belmarsh Gaol’. Instead of… Read more

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron a

Tristram Hunt

19 October 2013

ONE OF THE MINOR sociological treats of being appointed shadow education secretary is a frontbench view of David Cameron’s crimson tide — that half hour journey, every Question Time, during… Read more

Billy Bragg performs at the Americana Music Festival Photo: Getty

Billy Bragg

12 October 2013

A great night to be in Pittsburgh. The local baseball team, the Pirates, were attempting to reach their first play-offs in 21 years. Meanwhile in Washington DC, a Republican party rejected… Read more

(Picture: Getty)

David Hare

5 October 2013

So mysterious, the Conservative party. In every poll, our five most admired institutions are the NHS, the BBC, the Royal Mail, the armed forces and the monarchy. The Conservative party… Read more

Labour Annual Conference 2013

Damian McBride

28 September 2013

They say nothing beats the feeling of seeing your book in print. But for me, the proudest moment was presenting the first copy to my Mum. She’s been ill recently… Read more