Features

Joan Collins: I’m an actress, not an actor. And yes, it matters

21 December 2019 9:00 am

I recently tried to put my profession down as ‘actress’ on Instagram, but the only option available from the drop-down…

The best Christmas gift you can give yourself is to learn some poetry by heart

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Every Christmas I find I am living in the past. I blame my father. He was born in 1910 —…

Comedy in the era of Twitter outrage: An interview with Ricky Gervais

21 December 2019 9:00 am

There’s a moment in Ricky Gervais’s 2018 Netflix stand-up show Humanity when he talks about buying a first-class air ticket,…

Andrew Marr: Twitter fooled everyone during this election

21 December 2019 9:00 am

It’s an unfashionable thought, but having spent many hours in the university sports hall where constituency votes for Boris Johnson…

Islam’s reformation: an Arab-Israeli alliance is taking shape in the Middle East

21 December 2019 9:00 am

When Benjamin Netanyahu visited Oman in 2018 in a gesture of goodwill to Israel’s neighbours, the welcome was not universal.…

‘I aspire to write for posterity’: An interview with Tom Stoppard

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Sir Tom Stoppard is Britain’s — perhaps the world’s — leading playwright. Born Tomas Straussler in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, in 1937,…

Corbyn’s problem was not that the media hated him – but that he hated the media

21 December 2019 9:00 am

On the morning of the election, we buried my lovely mum. I write this 24 hours later, now on a…

This year, I’m performing all 32 of Beethoven’s sonatas. Here’s why

21 December 2019 9:00 am

For the past several decades, little in my life as a professional pianist has been as constant as my relationship…

Words to live by from Saint John Henry Newman

21 December 2019 9:00 am

On 13 October, John Henry Newman, a distinguished and distinctive Englishman, was officially declared a Saint. A well-known saying of…

‘I’ve had two totally successful marriages’: Stanley Johnson interviewed

21 December 2019 9:00 am

If anything could make me feel sorry for Boris Johnson, it’s meeting his father, Stanley. Before we met, he sent…

What have you changed your mind about? A Spectator Christmas survey

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Grayson Perry In 1992 I created a graphic novel called Cycle of Violence. Reading it now, the initially striking thing…

Lady Hale’s Christmas diary (as told to Quentin Letts)

21 December 2019 9:00 am

They say I must retire next month when I turn 75. Irritating. I have been a member of the Supreme…

We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Let nobody tell you that the second decade of the 21st century has been a bad time. We are living…

Roger Scruton: A year in which much was lost – but more gained

21 December 2019 9:00 am

  January My 2018 ended with a hate storm, in response to my appointment as chair of the government’s Building…

‘I was a tortured, obviously brilliant child’: James Ellroy interviewed

21 December 2019 9:00 am

James Ellroy is occasionally quoted as saying he’s the greatest American crime novelist ever. The man sometimes called the ‘demon…

Anne Glenconner: My Christmas gift from Queen Mary

21 December 2019 9:00 am

At the age of 87 I find myself not just a first-time author, but a bestseller. I’ve always told stories,…

A soldier’s legacy: how a baby’s cry saved a family

21 December 2019 9:00 am

It was early evening on Sunday 6 August 1944. The Allies’ bloody struggle to liberate Normandy from the Nazis had…

Michael Moorcock: I feel I’ve been cheated by the British state

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Back to Texas to prepare for guests arriving for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once again we left our Paris home not…

History may hold the secrets of statecraft – but not the secrets of business leadership

21 December 2019 9:00 am

‘How can one person lead one hundred?’ That was one of the questions in my Cambridge entrance exams back in…

I was born to be a pantomime Dame (oh yes I was!)

21 December 2019 9:00 am

‘Flamenco, lambada/ But hip hop is harder/ We moonwalk the foxtrot/ Then polka the salsa…’ I’m sure you know those…

Eggs and hard liquor: Spectator writers on their favourite examples of meals in literature

21 December 2019 9:00 am

P.J. O’Rourke I love poems but hate poetasters, love wine but detest oenophiles, love food but can’t stand foodies. Therefore…

A.N. Wilson: The V&A’s Tristram Hunt is a modern Prince Albert

21 December 2019 9:00 am

We don’t have Thanksgiving in Britain, but this does not stop us giving thanks and Christmas is a good time…

The King of Christmas: A short story by Owen Matthews

21 December 2019 9:00 am

The Christmas King steps slowly from his house and sniffs the evening’s chill. His tread is dainty, for all his…

‘Cook it like a prayer’: Bip Ling’s Christmas curry

21 December 2019 9:00 am

This dish is refreshing and super yummy. It’s a recipe that Didas (my Indian grandmother) taught me. The zesty tomato…

Away from the manger: the holy relics of Bethlehem

21 December 2019 9:00 am

‘No crib for a bed,’ says ‘Away in a Manger’ rather puzzlingly, since a crib is a manger. ‘No one…