Diaries

Alan Duncan rants about ‘idiot’ parliamentary colleagues and Britain’s waning influence

24 April 2021 9:00 am

As a budding political apparatchik, my first job out of university was as a junior parliamentary assistant to Alan Duncan…

Chips Channon’s diaries can read like a drunken round of Consequences

6 March 2021 9:00 am

Chips Channon was conceited, snobbish, disloyal, voyeuristic and wrongheaded – all qualities most helpful to a great diarist, says Craig Brown

The strangeness of voting in the Lords from my bed

14 November 2020 9:00 am

Having only recently entered the House of Lords, I must tread with caution, but I had always understood that it…

Lionel Barber leaves the pink ’un in the pink

7 November 2020 9:00 am

As Lionel Barber recounts unrolling his pitch to replace me as editor of the Financial Times to the newspaper’s proprietor…

Beauty and the beast: Jane Birkin’s love affair with Serge Gainsbourg

22 August 2020 9:00 am

I met Jane Birkin’s parents, who flit across these pages. Her mother, Judy Campbell, was an actress in Noël Coward…

More juicy gossip from Kenneth ‘Climbing’ Rose

14 December 2019 9:00 am

When this second volume of diaries begins in 1979, Kenneth Rose is 54 and well established as the author of…

Portrait of Pepys, after John Hayls. The Diary for 17 March 1666 reads: ‘This day I begin to sit [for Hayls], and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture.... I sit to have it full of shadows, and do almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by.’

The joy of an unexpurgated Pepys — without the bother of reading it oneself

22 August 2015 9:00 am

We all know about Samuel Pepys witnessing the Great Fire in his Diaries, but how many have read the definitive…

Hugo Rifkind's My Week reminds me why it's worth getting up on Saturdays

7 December 2013 9:00 am

‘Nothing’s funny any more’ has become the daily mantra of this magazine’s cartoon editor, Michael Heath. Thanks to Leveson, political…