William Cook

Guild houses in the Grote Markt, Antwerp

Antwerp: the compact, charming capital of a country that doesn’t quite exist yet

23 May 2015 9:00 am

Napoleon didn’t think much of Antwerp. ‘Scarcely a European city at all,’ he scoffed. If only he could see it…

Incline your upper body slightly forward and place your feet on a low foot rest. Then all the angles are correct

Digesting all the facts — without getting bogged down

16 May 2015 9:00 am

Funnily enough, after my editor sent me these three books to read, my guts started playing up. Suddenly, food seemed…

Bigger mouths and longer legs—all the better to bite you with, and run away

Bigger, better bedbugs bite back with a vengeance

25 April 2015 9:00 am

‘Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite,’ my mother used to say when she tucked me in at…

The guilty man: Johann Strauss

Vienna is a crossroads of the world again – but something’s missing

21 March 2015 9:00 am

People get the wrong idea about Vienna and I blame Johann Strauss. His plinky-plonky waltzes have become the soundtrack to…

Staying power: Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut’

How Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, Blade Runner, foresaw the way we live today

7 March 2015 9:00 am

How Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, made 33 years ago, foresaw the way we live today, by 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