Noel Coward

What do Joan Rivers and Enoch Powell have in common?

15 April 2017 9:00 am

This is a gem of a book for Radio 4 lovers, particularly those of us who work out which day…

‘Too much caviar, Rita, too much caviar.’ The Aga Khan is seated beside his fourth wife and opposite Rita Hayworth at the reception following her wedding to his son Prince Aly Khan

The French Riviera — a sunny playground for nitwits

5 November 2016 9:00 am

‘Oh the Mediterranean addiction, how we fall for it!’ So sighed Sybille Bedford, who spent the 1920s and 1930s in…

The Food Programme is a miracle of radio

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Cooking really shouldn’t make good radio. On television, it’s already frustrating that you can’t taste what you’re seeing, but on…

Nancy Astor, photographed by Emil Otto Hoppé

How to suck up in society — with the Cunards, the Corrigans and the Colefaxes

10 September 2016 9:00 am

A more appropriate subtitle to this homage to the queen bees of the interwar years might have been ‘How to…

A filthy Noël Coward, snotty Frog, mad Swede and Maggie: Edinburgh Festival Fringe roundup

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Plus: Geoff Norcott, a refreshingly brilliant new comedic voice, whose ascent Beeb censorship will impede. See him live at the Underbelly

Roald Dahl’s perfect reader was his mother

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Love from Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to his Mother

A poster from the 1930s advertising Shanghai

'Wicked old Paris of the Orient': a portrait of 1930s Shanghai

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Here’s the Mandarin for ooh-la-la! As Taras Grescoe, a respected Canadian writer of nonfiction, shows in this marvellous, microscopically descriptive…

Why the Republicans are even more divided than they look

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Republican party schisms Sir: Jacob Heilbrunn astutely analyses the predicament Donald Trump creates for America’s neoconservatives (‘Lumped with Trump’, 14…

Donald Trump is an awkward ginger snob – and he owes me £20

7 May 2016 9:00 am

I am no admirer of Donald Trump — not because he is a doomsayer and professional patriot but because he…

Leading the party, two brilliant showmen: Kenneth Branagh (Ralph) and Rob Brydon (Brian) in ‘The Painkillers’

Slapstick enthusiasts will love this Branagh and Brydon farce: The Painkillers reviewed

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Sir Ken’s excellent West End residency continues with a sugar-rich confection. Sean Foley has adapted and updated an elderly French farce…

Orson Welles: ‘I started at the top and worked my way down’

Homage to awesome Welles on his centenary

12 December 2015 9:00 am

One day in May 1948 in the Frascati hills southeast of Rome, Orson Welles took his new secretary, Rita Ribolla,…

Without a word of advice, Paul Methuen set me free

29 October 2015 9:00 am

At the time he will barely have noticed me. In his mid-forties and (to me at 18) middle-aged, he was…

Playing it cool: Nicole Kidman as Rosalind Franklin

Nicole Kidman is upstaged by everyone - even the set: Photograph 51 at the Noel Coward reviewed

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Michael Grandage’s latest show is about an old snap. Geneticists regard the X-ray of the hydrated ‘B’ form of DNA…

James Bond's secret: he's Jamaican

9 August 2014 9:00 am

Lewis Jones on Ian Fleming’s Jamaican retreat and the inspiration it provided for the Bond novels

The Guardian didn’t much like Noel Coward’s Relative Values – but you will

3 May 2014 9:00 am

Cripes. How did I get that one wrong? A few issues back I blithely predicted that Harry Hill’s musical I…

Transatlantic traffic

9 March 2013 9:00 am

Paul Ibell on the theatrical links between America and Britain