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David Dimbleby turns out to be a bit of a closet republican

In Keep Talking, David Dimbleby takes us through a gentle romp of a stellar, unrivalled broadcasting career spanning, incredibly, 70 years. There are no great revelations (even the name of the BBC boss who tried to fire him from Question Time is withheld), no dramatic insights to make us rethink well-known events, no ponderous thoughts

The utter vileness of Richard Harris

Brawling, boozing and womanising, those vaunted hell-raisers of the 1960s – Peter O’Toole, Oliver Reed, Richard Burton and, of course, Richard Harris – were all frightful bores. Because their professional lives involved dressing up and wearing mascara and silly wigs, it was essential for them to show what he-men they were: how hard. Like Stanley

The butcher of Chad who died in a private Senegalese clinic

Recent years have not been kind to the campaign for universal justice. The notion that some crimes are so serious that perpetrators should be hunted down and prosecuted irrespective of where the atrocities were actually committed has taken something of a beating since the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened for business in the Hague in

The bad boys of the Hypocrites Club

Members of the Hypocrites Club were Oxford undergraduates, and those with whom David Fleming’s book is chiefly concerned were born between 1903-5. It had originally been a respectable club, founded in 1921, its two most mentioned members being L.P. Hartley, the novelist, and David Cecil, the biographer and historian. But all that changed when Harold

Empress Eugénie’s shrine to the Bonapartes

The empress Eugénie – the Spanish-born last empress-consort of France, wife of Napoleon III, mother of the prince imperial – lived for the last 40 years of her life in Farnborough, between the military towns of Aldershot and Sandhurst. There she created a home, museum, mausoleum and chantry in commemoration of the first and second

Whoever persuaded Bono he could sing?

There are a few pop stars whose work I can’t help liking in spite of myself – their song-writing, that is. I’d be happy never to see the faces or hear the voices of Mick Hucknall or Chris Martin again, but the moment ‘Stars’ or ‘Trouble’ starts, I’m mesmerised – only to wonder crossly the