The Edition

Christmas Special

65 min listen

Welcome to the special Christmas episode of The Edition!

Up first: What a year in politics it has been. 2022 has seen five education secretaries, four chancellors, three prime ministers and two monarchs. But there is only one political team that can make sense of it all. The Spectator’s editor Fraser Nelson, deputy political editor Katy Balls and assistant editor Isabel Hardman discuss what has surely been one of the most dramatic years in British political history (01:13).

Then: Christmas is a time to spare a thought for our neighbours. While in the UK we have our own hardships, families in Ukraine are facing a Christmas under siege. The Spectator’s Svitlana Morenets joins the podcast alongside author Andrey Kurkov, dialling in from Lazarivka near Kiev to discuss traditions in Ukraine (16:29).

Next: We have a special Christmas treat for our listeners. For our festive triple issue of the magazine, historian Tom Holland interviews the author Robert Harris about everything from eco-radicals and interpreting history, to why the monarchy is so essential. They have kindly allowed us to hear some their conversation (25:58).

Also this week: In his piece for The Spectator’s Christmas issue, travel writer Sean Thomas reflects on a recent cruise around the Antarctic peninsula, a trip which gave him a new answer to the question which perpetually plagues him: what is the best place you have ever been? He is joined by explorer Felicity Aston who in 2012 became the first person to ski solo across Antarctica (40:59).

And finally: Pantomime dames are as synonymous with Christmas as mince pies and a Spectator Christmas issue, but what makes a truly great dame? This is the question that Robert Gore-Langton asks in our festive magazine. He is joined by pantomime legend Christopher Biggins and Martin Vander Weyer, The Spectator’s business editor and amateur pantomime dame (51:52). 

Throughout the podcast you will also hear from some of our favourite answers to our Christmas poll: what gives you hope? Including Robert Tombs (15:19), Mary Beard (24:58), Susan Hill (39:15) and Peter Hitchens (50:58). 

Hosted by William Moore. 

Produced by Oscar Edmondson. 


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