Robert Jackman

The rise of Christian cinema

Author Matthew Vaughan spent much of his life in the church – and even preached the gospel in Pakistan – but never considered himself a fan of Christian media. ‘To be honest, most of the films I saw were pretty corny,’ he tells me over the phone from his home in Birmingham. For Vaughan, that

Is wrestling an art?

It isn’t easy selling out Wembley Stadium with its capacity of between 70,000 and 90,000 (depending on the exact arrangement). It’s a feat achieved by only a handful of performers each year – all of whom you’ve likely heard of. This summer, though, Wembley will play host to something rather different – an American pro

Drivers beware: the rise of the vigilante cyclist

Do you ever break the law when driving? According to surveys, quite a few of us do – three in five drivers admit regularly speeding. And if that’s you, then be careful: Mike van Erp is out to get you. You may already know Mike. He’s the media-savvy cyclist (better known as Cycling Mikey) who

New British B-movie that strikes gold: Hitmen reviewed

Like a lot of modern day B-movie directors, the Enfield-based filmmaker Savvas D. Michael takes an almost tradesman-like pride in his output: the aim is to do as much as possible (artistically speaking at least) without splashing the cash. And if you’re partial to the output of Guy Ritchie – the former Mr Madonna whose

The rise of the modern British B-movie

If there’s a phrase that captures the frantic energy of the modern British B-movie, it’s the concept of the ‘heart attack shoot’. And Rhys Frake-Waterfield knows more about it than most. ‘It’s not unusual to spend more than 12 hours on set,’ says the happy-go-lucky thirtysomething director during a short break from promoting his new

Confessions of an energy drink addict

So 2022 bowed out with one last surprise. Who can honestly say they had ‘crowds queueing outside Aldi at 5 a.m. for a viral energy drink’ on their bingo card? The must-have product in question is Prime, a caffeine-free energy drink created by YouTube influencers Logan Paul and KSI. Since going on sale in the

The pick of this year’s Christmas TV

Has a certain media mogul had a visit from three ghosts recently? I only ask as this year’s Sky Christmas schedule is so packed with treats and big-hitters that it can’t possibly be explained by hard-nosed commercialism. An outbreak of sudden seasonal generosity seems to be the only explanation. Whatever has triggered Sky’s largesse, the

Cheryl Tweedy’s West End debut is one to watch

For an industry so dependent on glitz and glamour, the West End has never quite mastered the celebrity debut. While big names might be a surefire way of shifting tickets, they have an unfortunate knack for ending up in mediocre plays – even when they’re as famous as Madonna. The problem is partly structural. A-listers

What are the best alternatives to Twitter?

From the moment Elon Musk suggested buying Twitter, users began threatening to leave – and the Tesla kingpin’s erratic behaviour since he took over hasn’t exactly helped his case, with thousands of workers laid off and hundreds more resigning. The MIT Technology Review estimates that more than a million Twitter users have jumped ship since

Which appliances are pushing up your energy bills?

With the Chancellor confirming that the energy price cap will rise in April, it seems we won’t be taking our eye off our electricity usage any time soon. But while energy saving tips have become a staple of breakfast television shows and small talk, how many of them really add up in practice? The Spectator’s

What visitors to the Qatar World Cup can expect

In his first interview since being reappointed, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly laid down some clear diplomatic water between his party and Labour – confirming that, unlike Keir Starmer, he would attend this winter’s Qatar World Cup. The Foreign Secretary won’t be alone. The Football Association expects that some 10,000 England fans will make the journey

Sky’s Boris Johnson drama has a fatal flaw

You almost have to feel sorry for Sky. After spending 18 months building up to their big Boris Johnson drama, they end up releasing it at exactly the same time that British politics enters its own cliffhanger mode with drama that could rival any season finale. This England – which tells the story of the start

How to survive the queue for the Queen’s lying-in-state

The news that mourners may have to line up for 35 hours to pay their respects to the late Queen has made headlines – and unsurprisingly so. They say we Brits love queueing, but surely that love affair has its limits.  Elizabeth II’s lying-in-state in Westminster Hall is open to the public 24 hours a

Is Netflix losing the battle of the streaming giants?

From time to time, Netflix’s marketing brains like to get a bit cute with the company’s past. ‘Don’t give up on your dreams – we started with DVDs,’ read one recent viral post. But while the streaming giant happily references its most famous transition, it’s much more coy (and probably wisely) when it comes to

Could Stranger Things inspire your next American getaway?

Great TV shows have a knack for immortalising their locations. Think what Fargo did for the otherwise unloved Dakotas, or Vince Gilligan turning New Mexico into the heart of the 21st century’s greatest neo-Western with Breaking Bad. While the Duffer Brothers’ Stranger Things might have secured its place on the podium of brilliant box-sets, could

Hollywood loves to self mythologise

Hollywood can appear self-satisfied and insular at the best of times, but it’s been a rough few months even by Tinseltown standards. Judging by the slew of trailers that have dropped in recent weeks, this season in cinema land will centre on only one thing: biopics. From Madonna and Marilyn Monroe to Elvis (and even

Can a phobia therapist help conquer your fears?

According to the NHS, one in seven Britons lives with a phobia. But how many take the plunge and face their fear directly? Looking at the growth of bespoke phobia ‘experiences’ – in which sufferers get the chance to challenge their fear in a controlled environment – the number might be higher than you think.