Featured articles


Lords of laughter

What do the following comedians have in common? Morecambe and Wise, Ronnie Barker, Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse, Peter Sellers. They’re all dead, yes. But something else. None of them was knighted. Instead they were all made OBE, an honour Michael Winner once charmingly described as ‘what you get if you clean the toilets well at

Egyptian Notebook

The adventures of a wrecked ship can be pieced together from entries in its log book. The last moments of some doomed flight can be reconstructed by consulting its black box. If Dominic and I come a cropper here on the hard shoulder of the Cairo–Alexandria desert road, our iPhones will tell our story in

The great debt bubble of 2011

Have our governments averted a financial disaster – or paved the way for one? ‘The worst of the storm has passed,’ declared Barack Obama at the start of last year, seeking to calm the fearful. For his part, Gordon Brown assured Britain that talk of tough years ahead was ‘simply not true’. Both men spoke

‘Jesus hung out with freaks’

Why does the American religious right get all the attention: is there not also a religious left? Why is it always on the back foot? Why, though such a basic part of the nation’s history, does it seem un-American? It suffers from the same problem as its political cousin: most Americans think of the left