John Lennon (Photo: Getty)

I’ve never thought much of John Lennon’s music – until now

It’s probably blasphemous to admit that I’ve never thought very much of John Lennon’s music. Common sense tells me it…

Robert Peston has got it all wrong about ties —viewers want broadcasters to look humbly respectful

When Robert Peston, the economics editor of the BBC, interviewed George Osborne on television in an open-necked shirt with collar…

Andrew Garfield in 99 Homes

It will tear your heart out: 99 Homes reviewed

99 Homes is an American drama about house repossession. Bummer, you might think, but here is what you don’t yet…

Nixon with Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld in 1969

Niall Ferguson's biography of Henry Kissinger is a masterpiece

I have met Dr Kissinger, properly, only three times. First, in Cairo, in 1980, when, as a junior diplomat escorting…

St Paul's Cathedral just after the blitz (Photo: Getty)

I lived next to St Paul’s Cathedral as a baby in 1940 – it’s a miracle I am alive

While the Germans were raining bombs on London during the second world war, the architects’ department of London County Council…

American marines coming ashore at Guadalcanal, 1942 (Photo: Getty)

Hirohito, MacArthur and other villains

The history of ‘great events’, Voltaire wrote, is ‘hardly more than the history of crimes’. Physically, the war in Asia…

American troops on the march during the First World War, 1917 (Photo: Getty)

Does history provide the answer to what happened in Tunisia?

There’s a part of me that thinks OK, we’ve heard enough now, one year on from the beginning of the…

Jackie Mason at the Hollywood Palace in 1964: ‘A good comedian must tell the truth’

Jackie Mason reveals the secret of stand-up: avoid fried food

What does it take to be a stand-up comic? Jackie Mason has absolutely no idea

Ed Miliband Completes His Election Campaign In The North Of England

I’d move to Kosovo if Ed Miliband became prime minister

If any of you sees Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, walking around with a begging bowl in his…

Peter Phillips. Photo: Valerie Batselaere

When Peter Phillips met E.L. James

Tours that start in Mexico have a nasty habit of repeating on one. Of all the British groups touring in…


Why American psychoanalysts are an endangered species

America’s psychoanalysts are becoming an endangered species

Find the voice, find the character: Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher

Even those who reviled Thatcher will be moved, appalled and astonished: Dead Sheep at the Park reviewed

Dead Sheep is a curious dramatic half-breed that examines Geoffrey Howe’s troubled relationship with Margaret Thatcher. Structurally it’s a Mexican…

Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’

Woman in Gold review: even Helen Mirren is weighed down by the script’s banalities

Woman in Gold feels rather like a Jewish version of Philomena as this too is about an older woman seeking…

Acropolis Hill, Athens

Where Alcibiades once walked, amateur tax spies are trying to entrap poor pistachio-sellers

 Athens I am walking on a wide pedestrian road beneath the Acropolis within 200 meters of the remaining Themistoclean wall…


Oh joy! Sean Penn has tried to crack a joke

What a pleasure it is to see the Hollywood actor Sean Penn neck deep in PC ordure. The rodentine thespian…

How I Learned to Drive at Southwark Playhouse

Muswell Hill reviewed: a guide on how to sock it to London trendies

Torben Betts is much admired by his near-namesake Quentin Letts for socking it to London trendies. Letts is one of…

US President Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear Photo: Getty

The pleasures and perils of podcast listening

No phrase is better calculated to tense the neck muscles of a regular podcast listener than ‘We have something special…

Law in action: Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman

Better Call Saul review: the box set equivalent of a (very) well-made play

I lost count long ago of the number of dinner parties and pub conversations where I’ve had to utter the…

An early sketch of the standard 'contour' design

The art of Coke

The Coca-Cola ‘contour’ bottle is 100 years old. Stephen Bayley salutes a design classic

King maker: David Oyelowo in ‘Selma’, the best performance of the year not nominated for an Oscar

Selma review: rich, nuanced, heartbreaking

Selma, the civil rights film that stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, undoubtedly contains the best and most powerful…

Rambo wannabe, Matthew VanDyke: ‘Everybody wants cool stuff they can show their friends on Facebook’

Arabian Motorcycle Adventures review: enthralling and constantly surprising

There were great numbers of young men who had never been in a war and were consequently far from unwilling…

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell

Foxcatcher: piercing, shattering, spellbinding

Foxcatcher is a crime drama (of sorts) that has already been dubbed ‘Oscarcatcher!’ as it barely puts a foot wrong.…

2012 Republican National Convention: Day 2

How America’s right wing is becoming a lot more like Britain’s

America’s right wing is becoming a lot more like Britain’s

Carrie's back: Clare Danes in Homeland

Hooray for Homeland - Carrie’s back blasting America’s enemies to pieces with drones

One of the more welcome and surprising things about television at the moment is that Homeland (Channel 4, Sunday) is…

Spectator letters: India’s forgotten soldiers, James Delingpole’s happy father, and a defence of public relations

Worth the candle Sir: I was saddened by Charles Moore’s account of the Westminster Abbey candlelit vigil marking the centenary…