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Diary

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Antony Jay

28 April 2012

No great April Fool’s Day spoof this year. The best ever was in Panorama on 1 April 1957. I was mildly connected with it — I was on the Panorama… Read more

Damian McBride

21 April 2012

This week marked seven years since I agreed to quit my civil service career to become a political adviser to Gordon Brown, and three years since I was forced to… Read more

Lynn Barber

14 April 2012

Last summer when I was staying with my friend India Knight in Cornwall she said I absolutely must join Twitter. Besides being a Sunday Times columnist, she is a Twitter… Read more

William Boyd

31 March 2012

Vienna. I’m here on the first leg of a short three-city tour for my new novel — Eine Grosse Zeit in German. The weather is sensational, warm and sunny, and… Read more

Jessica Raine

24 March 2012

Asked to write a diary for The Spectator, my first reaction was: ‘Why me?’ To sit down at my laptop and write — rather than read a script — feels… Read more

Tessa Hadley

17 March 2012

I’m a cowardly traveller. I’m not afraid of trains, planes, cars — just of change, and of elsewhere. Months ago I agreed to go with my colleagues from Bath Spa… Read more

A.N. Wilson

10 March 2012

Some time in the olden days, an Irishman called St Piran took the trouble to float over the ocean on a millstone and land in Cornwall, with the purpose of… Read more

Miriam Gross

3 March 2012

When we switched on the BBC’s 6 o’clock news on 18 February, we had no idea that it was the day of Whitney Houston’s funeral, and even less that the… Read more

Roger Mosey

25 February 2012

When I took the job as director of the BBC’s coverage of London 2012, my cousin asked if anything about the job kept me awake at night. The truth is… Read more

Mary Wakefield

18 February 2012

We are not made incrementally aware of things that happen incrementally. Though something may have been changing for a while, the realisation comes all at once in a swoop, usually… Read more

David Hare

11 February 2012

One of the best things about being a writer is that you get asked to interesting places. I’ve always turned everything down because I believed I should sit at my… Read more

Rachel Johnson

4 February 2012

Try as I might, I can’t pretend even to myself that the Cambridge Union debate against Katie Price was anything but a total victory for tits and telly, and an… Read more

Alain de Botton

28 January 2012

I have a book out this week and, as always, it’s a torrid time, alternating between delight at good reviews (A.N. Wilson in this magazine) and despair at the massacres… Read more

Sam Leith

14 January 2012

To Moscow! To Moscow! Recently I was in Russia as a guest of the British Council. My friend Damian Barr hosts a regular literary salon in London, and the idea… Read more

Conrad Black

7 January 2012

It is hard for me to monitor this from my prison cell in Florida as I wait for the spurious and failed prosecution of me to flounder to an end,… Read more

Harry Mount

31 December 2011

At last, 18 years after leaving university, the call comes to appear on the University Challenge Christmas Special. A wonderful boost for my intellectual vanity. Not so good for the… Read more

Andrew Marr

17 December 2011

This is the time of year when we all need an epiphany or two. Mine came last week driving near Seville, where I’ve been filming. Far away, across the valley,… Read more

Angela Huth

10 December 2011

Recently, telling myself I must cure my allergy to the banal language employed by the Church of England these days, I went to a service in a local Norman church.… Read more

Charlie Taylor

3 December 2011

Last Easter I left the special school for children with behaviour problems, where I had been head for six years, for a job advising on behaviour at the Department for… Read more

Quentin Letts

26 November 2011

Nine years ago we moved to Herefordshire from Gloucestershire, where lovely Jilly Cooper was a neighbour. There is less bedhopping here in the Marches, fewer rakes such as Jilly’s character… Read more

Brendan O'Neill

19 November 2011

Athens The manner in which George Papandreou was ousted has shocked Greeks. ‘It’s a foreign invasion, a takeover, only without tanks’, says Calchas, an angry young man whom I find… Read more

Tony Hall

12 November 2011

‘He’s the reason I’m working in opera,’ one of the stage managers told me in the middle of the 12-minute standing ovation for Plácido Domingo, ‘he’s the most generous artist… Read more

Anthony Horowitz

5 November 2011

How nice to find myself at the front of The Spectator rather than the back, where I make occasional appearances, albeit under a pseudonym, next to the crossword. I love… Read more

Tom Hollander

29 October 2011

Last week I travelled to New York for an audition. And before you ask, I haven’t heard yet. On the flight I sat next to a retired Hollywood producer from… Read more

Philip Delves Broughton

22 October 2011

I arrived at the Occupy Wall Street protests on Monday morning, their one month anniversary, at 7 a.m. raring to go. That’s when the subway stations of Lower Manhattan are… Read more