William Cook

The Heckler: how funny really was Spitting Image?

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Hold the front page! Spitting Image is back! Well, sort of. A new six-part series, from (some of) the team…

Where Van Gogh learned to paint

14 February 2015 9:00 am

William Cook reports from the sooty netherworld that made an artist of Vincent Van Gogh

The tragic tale of the Two Roberts is a story of two artists cut off in their prime

10 January 2015 9:00 am

In 1933, two new students met on their first day at Glasgow School of Art. From then on they were…

Cockfighting: the last, hidden link to Bali’s warlike past

3 January 2015 9:00 am

William Cook goes in search of an island tradition hidden from tourists

Europeans no longer fear Germany. But do the Germans still fear themselves?

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Germans are beginning to recognise that they will not always be able to stay out of military conflicts

The undiscovered country: ‘Germany? Where is it?’, asked Goethe and Schiller in a collaborative poem. ‘I don’t know where to find such a place.’ Above: ‘Goethe in the Roman Campagna’, 1787, by Johann Tischbein, currently on show at the British Museum

German history is uniquely awful: that’s what makes it so engrossing

13 December 2014 9:00 am

As I grew up half German in England in the 1970s, my German heritage was confined to the few curios…

Fortune tellers, pound shops and Orville: why I love Blackpool

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Fortune tellers, pound shops and Orville: it’s easy to take the piss out of Blackpool, but William Cook loves it

Quiet, quaint and understated: Cobblers Cove

Chasing the shadows of slavery in Barbados

18 October 2014 9:00 am

Driving up the west coast, from Bridge-town to Speightstown, you soon see why people around here call this the Platinum…

Tate Modern’s latest show feels like it’s from another planet

18 October 2014 9:00 am

‘Some day we shall no longer need pictures: we shall just be happy.’ — Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, 1966…

Herculean feat: hauling a steamship over a mountain for ‘Fitzcarraldo’

The enigma of Werner Herzog

30 August 2014 9:00 am

William Cook watches a new box set from the BFI that reveals the full extent of the German director’s genius – and insanity

Switzerland’s loveliest lake lies before you

The loveliness of Lucerne

26 July 2014 9:00 am

When Queen Victoria came here for her summer holidays, Lucerne was already a bustling tourist destination. Today it’s just as…

How Napoleon won at Waterloo

5 July 2014 9:00 am

If you visit Waterloo today, there’s no question which general comes out on top

More than just a pretty place: Salzburg

Salzburg – more than just a ridiculously pretty place

14 June 2014 8:00 am

Salzburg is so ridiculously pretty, it’s sometimes hard to take it seriously. Standing on the ramparts of its knights-in-armour castle,…

Bill Forsyth interview: ‘If we hadn’t made a go of it, my plan was just to disappear.’

31 May 2014 9:00 am

Award-winner Bill Forsyth tells William Cook why he was happy to walk away from film-making

Notes on… Eastern Germany

26 April 2014 9:00 am

Ever since the Berlin Wall came down, I’ve been pottering around eastern Germany, where my father’s family came from, and…

Today Crimea, tomorrow Estonia?

8 March 2014 9:00 am

For eastern Europeans, the Crimean crisis feels very close to home

The Ikon Gallery's greatest hits

1 March 2014 9:00 am

In a crowded storeroom at Ikon, Birmingham’s contemporary art gallery, its director Jonathan Watkins is unwrapping the pictures for his…

Is it a good idea to splash money on European cities of culture?

8 February 2014 9:00 am

Could splashing public money on city of culture initiatives make good business sense? William Cook reports

The best thing to come out of Davos

18 January 2014 9:00 am

William Cook visits the Kirchner Museum in Davos, the Alpine town where the German Expressionist found refuge and inspiration

Interview David Chipperfield: It is better to be fond of architecture than amazed by it

7 December 2013 9:00 am

William Cook talks to the architect David Chipperfield, whose work has made him a star in Germany

Tangier: Hidden treasure

16 November 2013 9:00 am

William Cook finds magic in the alleys of the medina

Slow Train to Switzerland, by Diccon Bewes - review

9 November 2013 9:00 am

In 1863, the pioneering travel agent Thomas Cook took a group of British tourists on the first package holiday to…

Notes on … Christmas shopping in Bruges

2 November 2013 9:00 am

Most Belgians of my acquaintance tend to be rather disparaging about Bruges. It’s a theme park, they say, a Flemish…

The false paradise of Metroland

5 October 2013 9:00 am

William Cook has moved to Metroland. He contemplates John Betjeman’s vision of it

Henry van de Velde — the man who invented modernism

28 September 2013 9:00 am

In the Musée du Cinquantenaire, a grand gallery on the green edge of Brussels, those bureaucratic Belgians are welcoming home…