Victoria Lane

Town above the clouds: Cordes sur Ciel

Notes on …The Tarn Valley

Why didn’t I know about the Tarn Valley? I’d often been right next door. But here, north-east of Toulouse, between…


'Morocco is a diabetic's nightmare'

Marrakech is a strange carnival, says Victoria Lane


Aeolian joys

It’s 5 a.m., a splashy grey dawn, and we’re out of here on easyJet. Palermo is another world of heat…

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Incredible string band

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain are performing at the Albert Hall: playing their tiny instruments in a very big…


Brown study

Stage hypnotists need the trust of their audience, but also a whiff of danger. So Derren Brown calls his show…


A life in letters

At 93, with a new epistolary memoir just published, Diana Athill remains as sharp a conversationalist as ever

Dare to be dull

Why can't we be shown old documentaries in full?

Give Charlie a break

The boy’s gone to jail. Isn’t that enough?

In the beginning was the crossword

On Thursday evening, a stream of distinguished visitors poured through the doors of 22 Old Queen Street. These were the readers who had applied and been picked to attend a party to celebrate the publication of the 2,000th Spectator crossword.


For his next trick …

Derren Brown wants to avoid the posturing of most illusionists. But he can give a remarkable impression of transparency while keeping his cards very close


An 80-year-old mystery

Ruth Rendell talks to Victoria Lane about her long life as a writer, growing up with warring parents and being a working Labour peer