Archives - Entertainment





The Whig Interpretation of Cricket

Review: The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team (Amazon Prime Video, released 12th March 2020) A chest infection sparked my interest in cricket. Prostrate on the sofa on a hot afternoon last August, I was enthralled by the...



Podcasts are a vital tool for understanding – and bearing – our new world

Like most people, my state-mandated exercise regime under lockdown is very simple. Every few days, it’s off on the bike for a dart around the hinterlands of East Norfolk – invariably taking a liberal attitude to the one-hour time...



Why we must stay cheerful amid the coronavirus lockdown

As we enter the bleak realm of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s remarkable to consider how quickly the barometers of life have shifted. Just three weeks ago I remember enjoying the dividends from a £25 pub quiz bar tab on a...



Bercow, Djokovic, Bloomberg… and Alexa: my 22nd February diary

Home Alone with Michael Scott Perhaps foolishly, my parents have entrusted me with the defence of the family home this week as they take off for a half-term jaunt. I’ve not encountered any incompetent criminals and spooky old men...



The world of entertainment has saved a bleak January

January 2020 has set an ominous benchmark for the new decade. Almost beginning with World War Three, it ended simultaneously with Britain exiting the European Union and President Trump’s acquittal in impeachment proceedings which...



From one blog to another: my response to Dominic Cummings

Dominic Cummings, Number 10 strategist and professional book swallower, has set out his invitation: from data scientists and economists to researchers and oddballs, he needs a cognitively diverse army to join his operation to...



An emotionally bereft sovereign leads The Crown into a new realm of mediocrity

For two series, Netflix’s The Crown provided a lavish, sensational admission to the private world of the planet’s most famous family from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Mighty personalities, anaemic premiers and profligate...



Nick Kyrgios needs a suspension from tennis – and professional help

Is Nick Kyrgios crying out for an escape? Will he ever fulfil his limitless potential? Does he even like tennis? As he continues to grab headlines for almost always the wrong reasons, fans, commentators and umpires alike have been...



Johnson is Sideshow Boris – it’ll be Prime Minister Farage by Christmas

We are witnessing the collapse of the post-war political order in the UK. The Brexit conundrum has destroyed long-standing class and regional loyalties. The Labour party’s traditional coalition has frayed under Jeremy Corbyn’s...



The long queue waiting to buy tickets for the tennis

Second-degree burns, a dangerous sleeping bag and a great line up: A Day at the Championships

It seems only right that an excursion to the most famous British sporting tournament should be defined by the activity we perform best: standing in line, for hours on end. The Championships at Wimbledon annually produce a meticulous...



Federer and Nadal posing on the court

Age is just a number: Roger Federer and longevity in tennis

The unpredictability of life isn’t all bad. When I consigned Roger Federer to parentheses when discussing the likely trajectory of the 2017 tennis season last December, not even the man himself could envisage his...



The interior of a large tropical Center Parcs swimming pool

If You Go Down to the Woods Today: A Return to Center Parcs

For a small, perilously flat country of 16 million people, the Netherlands has proven incredibly resourceful in its history. Many of the inventions central to our lives are, unexpectedly, Dutch: the Compact Disc, the eye test, the...



A parody of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

2016: My annus mirabilis; Earth’s annus horribilis

A year ravaged by war, demagoguery, fear, lies, and anger which make any progressive question the basic decency of mankind? Or a brilliant year of excitement and success, albeit one in which I peaked in my excessive consumption on New...



The Queen wearing all white

The Perfect Christmas (Serves 6+)

Roll out the snow on a flat surface. Knead until it becomes soft and warm; add the caviar to create texture for the more sophisticated palate. Empty the stuffing, potatoes and Bucks Fizz into a bowl and mash until light and creamy....



Andy Murray posing in front of a trophy

Andy, Champion of the World

In some ways, it seems ironic that tennis world No. 1 Andy Murray should win his third Sports “Personality” of the Year award. Unfortunately for the dour Scot, he makes Courtney Wood (Sunday’s Apprentice runner-up) – or, for...



Cambridge College Bar Guide: Part I (image)

Cambridge College Bar Guide: Part I

Practically since I was in the womb, I have always loved listing and counting things – American states, the number of differently-coloured cars on the motorway, all those banal yet crucial objects detailed in innumerable I Spy...



A house covered in Christmas lights

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - there's still eight weeks to go!

It’s official – Christmas has become as perpetual as the DFS sale. We had not even seen off Hallowe’en on Monday (which, coincidentally, begins in July) when I was angered to find a considerable stack of mince pies on sale...



Famous tennis players in a lineup

Sport: the ultimate procrastination?

Sport seems to be a bizarre international obsession. As a populace we are engrossed by people who throw things, kick things, drive things, hit things, and move quickly in the direction of things for a living. We revere most the...



Ed Balls and Katya Jones dancing on Strictly Come Dancing

Glitterballs and fears for the direction of British politics

I wonder how Craig Revel Horwood might react to the Labour Party’s re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader? ‘Pedestrian’, he might lament, ‘better luck next time, darling’. At least, that was his comment on Ed Balls’ first...