Christopher Howse

Christopher Howse is an assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph.

The mysterious world of British folk costume

In a remarkable photograph by Benjamin Stone, from around 1899, six men in breeches of a criss-cross floral pattern hold up great reindeer antlers. (Carbon dating of these objects produced the year 1066, plus or minus 80.) A man in a bowler hat holds a squeeze box and on the right a serious-faced boy stands

The Spectator’s 2023 Christmas quiz

Fairly odd 1. What had for 50 years been the name for Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit before it was changed this year? 2. Why did the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, have to pay £510 in fines and costs? 3. Which country overtook France as the biggest buyer of Scotch whisky, despite

Michael Simmons, Christopher Howse and Melissa Kite

19 min listen

This week, Michael Simmons looks at the dodgy graph thats justified the second lockdown (00:55), Christopher Howse examines what happened to received pronunciation (05:56), and Melissa Kite wonders whether Surrey’s busybodies have followed her and her boyfriend to Cork (14:47). Presented and produced by Max Jeffery.

Has Nadine Dorries lost the plot?

14 min listen

This week Nadine Dorries’s new book The Plot: The Political Assassination of Boris Johnson has been published, and it has ruffled some feathers in Westminster. In it, she claims there was a plot orchestrated by a secret cabal of back room advisors, politicians and individuals in the media to overthrow Boris Johnson. Just what is ‘the movement’?

How to speak London

Cockney is dead, but so is the King’s English. Long live Standard Southern British English. The Cockney Barbara Windsor yelling ‘Ge’ aah-a my pub’ is as fossilised as Eliza Doolittle. And what a shock it is today to hear the late Queen, aged 21, declare: ‘My whole life whether it be long or short shall

Open and shut case: the evolution of windows

Upstairs rooms in new houses are likely to be darker because building regulations now demand they should be at least 3ft 6in from the floor. Given the stingy heights of rooms these days, this reduces the glazed area. The regulators are worried about window safety. ‘Is there a plague of people falling out of them?’

Farewell to arms: Britain’s depleted military

39 min listen

This week: In his cover piece for the magazine, Andrew Roberts says that the British Army has been hollowed out by years of underfunding and a lack of foresight when it comes to replacing the munitions we have sent to Ukraine. Historian Antony Beevor and author Simon Jenkins join the podcast to discuss Britain’s depleted

Owen Matthews, Christopher Howse and Olivia Potts

23 min listen

On this episode, Owen Matthews examines the original sin of Russia’s exiled media (00:44), Christopher Howse says Handel’s Messiah is as much a Christmas tradition as a pantomime (09:08), and Olivia Potts gives her recipe for boiled fruit cake (18:01). Get the full recipe to Olivia’s boiled fruit cake here:

Handel’s Messiah is as much a Christmas tradition as pantomime

It was 9.45 p.m. and yellow light beamed from the church windows into the rainy night. As I opened the door the last bars of the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ reverberated from the chancel. This was a rehearsal by the London Docklands Singers. ‘Everyone knows the “Hallelujah Chorus”,’ said the conductor, Andrew Campling. ‘It’s in the DNA

The Spectator’s 2022 Christmas quiz

Verbals In 2022, who said: 1. Them’s the breaks. 2. I know that we will deliver, we will deliver, we will deliver.  3. Dear, oh dear. 4. Excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace. 5. For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power. 6. I could be wrong, but Hitler

The beauty of gaslights

Turn down an alley off St James’s Street (the east side), lined with old painted panelling, and you are in Pickering Place, which pub quizzers say is London’s smallest public square. It is certainly charming, with stone paving, wrought iron railings, Georgian windows and a sundial on a pedestal. A gaslight on a wall bracket

With Mary Wakefield, James Ball and Christopher Howse

22 min listen

This week on Spectator Out Loud: Mary Wakefield tells us about her frustrating experience trying to give blood (00:49), James Ball says that it may be the beginning of the end for Mark Zuckerberg (07:04), and Christopher Howse reads his Notes on… signatures (16:44). Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson.

What your signature says about you

I have a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II and her parents on the wall of my bathroom, not out of any lack of respect but because the gloom there prevents it fading. It is signed Albert, with an odd droop forward of the bar of the T to join a single flourish beneath, and Elizabeth

Christopher Howse, Richard Florida and Olivia Potts

28 min listen

On this week’s episode, we’ll hear from Christopher Howse on the destruction of Ukrainian churches. (00:50) Next, Richard Florida on how Covid has changed London for the better. (13:52) And finally, Olivia Potts on her love of the crisp sandwich. (23:56) Produced and presented by Sam Holmes Subscribe to The Spectator today and get a