Melanie McDonagh

Melanie McDonagh is a leaderwriter for the Evening Standard and Spectator contributor. Irish, living in London.

Do we really need more diversity on Gardener’s World?

18 November 2023 5:00 pm

Boo. Monty Don is retiring in a couple of years as presenter of Gardener’s World, because it’s getting to be…

Should Kyiv really ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church?

17 November 2023 9:14 pm

The war in Ukraine, which was until 7 October the only foreign news we could think about, is no longer centre…

The best of this year’s children’s books

11 November 2023 9:00 am

Among many delights, the Greco-Persian wars are brought to thrilling new life and a truly bizarre Alaskan folk tale is retold

Why did this brilliant Irish artist fall off the radar?

28 October 2023 9:00 am

Sir John Lavery has always had a place in Irish affections. His depiction of his wife, Hazel, as the mythical…

There’s nothing conservative about Sunak’s smoking ban

5 October 2023 10:03 pm

Is Rishi Sunak the least Tory Tory PM ever? He’s fundamentally Californian at heart: witness his terrible policy to ban…

Parent trap: the relentless rise of children’s speaker Yoto

23 September 2023 9:00 am

Yoto, the technological babysitter


26 August 2023 9:00 am

Manchester United failed Mason Greenwood

22 August 2023 6:58 pm

So, the Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood has not been found guilty of the offences of attempted rape and coercive…

Why does the Beano want to cancel itself?

29 July 2023 9:00 am

The drive for inclusivity in children’s publishing

Alan Titchmarsh speaks sense about the ‘rewilding’ craze

18 July 2023 11:29 pm

Is rewilding, where nature is allowed to take its course, all it’s cracked up to be? Alan Titchmarsh, the nation’s…


15 July 2023 9:00 am

Free, noisy, fun: Young V&A reviewed

8 July 2023 9:00 am

One of the annoying things about too many contemporary museums is that, having ditched old-fashioned closely typed descriptive labels and…

In praise of Leo Varadkar

20 June 2023 3:01 am

The number of abortions taking place in Ireland is more than 8,000 a year, up from the memorable figure of…

Carla Foster’s case isn’t a miscarriage of justice

14 June 2023 3:57 am

What’s the difference between infanticide and an abortion at eight months’ gestation? This is one of the difficult questions thrown…

How Ireland lost its craic

3 June 2023 9:00 am

When did the Irish lose their sense of humour?


27 May 2023 9:00 am

Just Stop Oil’s Chelsea Flower Show protest is a new low

25 May 2023 8:55 pm

You have to sink low, very low, to target the Chelsea Flower show for an environmental protest. But the boys…

The Georgian fashion revolution

20 May 2023 9:00 am

Normally, when you look at portraits you feel obliged to focus on the sitter. But quite often you’re thinking, ‘Ooh,…

Danny Kruger is right: marriage is the bedrock of society

17 May 2023 5:56 pm

It didn’t take long for Danny Kruger to get jumped on for stating the obvious. His observation yesterday that ‘The…

The muddle of the King’s coronation oath

2 May 2023 9:51 pm

There’s been an interesting discussion about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s addition to the coronation service, but has anyone actually tried…

Why should gardeners learn to love weeds?

26 April 2023 1:28 am

Dirt, is, as the anthropologist Mary Douglas famously put it, ‘matter out of place’. For her, ‘there is no such…

The trouble with censoring Jeeves and Wooster

17 April 2023 5:37 pm

It would take longer than I’ve got to comb through copies of Thank you, Jeeves and Right Ho, Jeeves, to…

The BBC has ruined Great Expectations

27 March 2023 8:37 pm

The insanely irritating advertisements for BBC Sounds – 30 seconds to make the spirits sink – have recently included one…

Euthanasia has become a backdoor to capital punishment in Belgium

5 March 2023 9:00 pm

Those who back assisted dying/euthanasia/assisted suicide – and no doubt Prue Leith on her nationwide tour will be returning to her…