The Edition

Christmas Special 2023

70 min listen

Welcome to this festive episode of the Edition podcast, where we will be taking you through the pages of The Spectator’s special Christmas triple issue. 

Up first: What a year in politics it has been. 2023 has seen scandals, sackings, arrests and the return of some familiar faces. It’s easy to forget that at the start of the year Nicola Sturgeon was still leader of the SNP! To make sense of it all is editor of The Spectator, Fraser Nelson, The Spectator’s political editor Katy Balls, and Quentin Letts, sketch writer for the Daily Mail. (01:06)

Next: The story that has dominated the pages of The Spectator in the latter half of this year is of course the conflict in Gaza. Writing in the Christmas magazine, Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Bloomberg Opinion columnist Niall Ferguson discusses the history of generational divide when it comes to geopolitical conflicts. This is partly inspired by a piece that Douglas Murray wrote earlier in the year, pointing out the generational divide in the Anglosphere when it comes to support for either Israel or Palestine. They both join the podcast to ask why the kids aren’t all right? (19:29)

Then: In the Christmas magazine this year Charles Moore discusses the divine comedy of PG Wodehouse, and discloses to readers the various literary and biblical references contained within The Code of the Woosters. To unpack the Master’s references further and discuss the genius of Wodehouse, Charles is joined by evolutionary biologist and author, Richard Dawkins. (41:03) 

And finally: who would put on a village Christmas play? 

This is the question Laurie Graham asks in her piece for The Spectator where she rues her decision to once again take charge of her community’s Christmas play. It’s a struggle that our own William Moore knows all too well. He has written and will star in his local village Christmas play this year. Laurie and William join  the podcast to discuss how to put on a great Christmas play. (57:30). 

Throughout the podcast you will also hear from The Spectator’s agony aunt Dear Mary and the special celebrity guests who have sought her advice in this year’s Christmas magazine, including Joanna Lumley (17:43), Nigel Havers (39:36), Sharron Davies (55:56) and Edwina Currie (01:10:59). 

Hosted by William Moore and Lara Prendergast. 

Produced by Oscar Edmondson.

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