The Week

Leading article

Portrait of the week


How McCartney and I helped put pop on the map

In 1977, when I set up the South Bank Show for ITV, I wanted Paul McCartney to be on the first programme. His unique talent apart, I thought he would be the key to unlocking one of my chief aims in the new programme, which was to disrupt the accepted order of play in which

Ancient and modern

The ancient art of love spells

An Oxford don has raised the prospect of producing a cocktail of hormone pills that would help you to fall in love. What an appalling prospect! You might suddenly find yourself consumed with an irresistible desire for Ian Blackford. The ancients knew what was really required: a means of ensuring that the object of your


Who’s still buying Russia’s fossil fuels?

Striking differences This summer’s strikes are unlikely to erupt as badly as the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 in the US, which still stands out as one of the most violent in history. It began when workers on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad refused to accept a 10% pay cut, their second in a year.


Letters: How to face death

Be prepared Sir: The advice of Jeremy Clarke’s Aunty Margaret that he ‘must “get right with the Lord” as a matter of the gravest urgency’ in the light of his cancer diagnosis is spot on. I say that not just because I’m a vicar, but because I have sat at innumerable bedsides of people in