Culture

Don’t reach for the stars

‘Meeting Kylie at her intimate gig,’ runs the Mastercard ad. ‘Priceless.’ Wrong: vaguely unfulfilling. And that’s at best. At worst…

20 Sep 2014
Left: Lod floor mosaic, late 3rd century. Centre: plaster bust of Alexander Pope by Louis-François Roubiliac, c. 1760. Right: Jewish embroideries c. 1700

Full house

At the heart of a turreted manor in Buckinghamshire, the young man sits alone, concentrating on building his house of cards.…

21 Jun 2014
Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Belle Fleur

Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s first glimpse of her character in the British film Belle came on a postcard. It was of a…

21 Jun 2014
Peaches Geldof

Peaches and me

One of the first things I told her was that I knew very little of her back story, and Peaches…

21 Jun 2014
nightclubs

Export strength

‘Nightclubs, if they are run badly, can attract the worst of the worst,’ says Guy Pelly sagely. Pelly became famous…

21 Jun 2014

Neighbourhood Watch

The terrific 1958 Peter Sellers skit ‘Balham, Gateway to the South’, written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden, has lost…

21 Jun 2014

Masters at work

The apprentice is back! No, not another series of the transatlantic TV show starring blowhards with bad hair, but the…

21 Jun 2014

Arcade games

Art dealer John Martin folds up his bicycle and puts it behind the desk of his Mayfair gallery, a haven…

21 Jun 2014

The Wish List

Clockwise from left: Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Titanio, £6,800, Panerai; Grande Seconde SW Acier, £11,600, Jaquet Droz; Annual…

21 Jun 2014

Angel blue

Angel Blue has got a sensational story. A lot of the people we feature on the South Bank Show are not…

21 Jun 2014

Man out of time

It’s probably my age, but weird things seem to be happening to time. For one thing, it seems to be…

21 Jun 2014

Any colour you like

Without bad taste there would be no good taste, so thank God we don’t all like the same thing. The…

21 Jun 2014

175 years of watchmaking expertise

A watch isn’t necessarily something that you think of as being a feat of engineering. But there is far more…

21 Jun 2014

Dancing on the edge

Mikhail Baryshnikov is annoyed with himself. When we meet, it’s at the world premiere of his play The Old Woman,…

30 Mar 2014

Hot Scots

Rose Leslie Though the housemaid she played in Downton Abbey left to become a secretary during the first series, Rose…

‘Sometimes I think I must have done a deal with the devil’

In Page Eight, the sophisticated 2011 spy drama written by David Hare, the MI5 agent Johnny Worricker — played by…

30 Mar 2014

Life cycle

‘As a heads up,’ says Sir Chris Hoy’s PR lady in that breezy-yet-bossy voice that is public relations, ‘Chris doesn’t…

30 Mar 2014

Bore street

I blame Tom Wolfe. Reading the Man in the White Suit’s epic 1980s boom-and-bust novel The Bonfire of the Vanities…

30 Mar 2014

Oscar and the oppressors

As the host Ellen DeGeneres joked at the Academy Awards, there were two outcomes that night: ‘Possibility number one: 12…

30 Mar 2014

Family cases

Many men really can only communicate through sport. It provides a ritualised way to argue, to become passionate and to…

30 Mar 2014

One to Watch: Nickolas Butler

I took Shotgun Lovesongs with me to Florida after the Oscars last year, with no intention of actually reading it.…

30 Mar 2014

At sea in the world

OK, fair enough: most actors are narcissistic, insecure, frivolous and a bit camp. But they are not stupid. And while…

30 Nov 2013

Yes, no, yes…

Given that smartphones have encroached on every other aspect of our lives, it was only a matter of time before…

30 Nov 2013

Knickers for the lady

Often when a relationship is over we are left with little tangible to remember it by. Few young people I…

30 Nov 2013

One to Watch: Lara Pulver

I first met Lara on video, and Mark Gatiss thought she was naked. It sounds worse than it was. This…

30 Nov 2013

The art of war

In November 1943, when it looked like London was going to be subjected to a new aerial barrage from Nazi…

30 Nov 2013