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Best of the Spectator

Home to the Spectator's best podcasts on everything from politics to religion, literature to food and drink, and more. A new podcast every day from writers worth listening to.

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Recent Episodes of Best of the Spectator


Americano: what will the Democrats do next?

Americano: what will the Democrats do next?

As speculation over whether Biden will remain in the presidential race continues, Freddy Gray speaks to journalist and founder of News Items John Ellis about what could happen next. How did Democrats end up in this situation and who holds the most power in influencing Biden's decision? They also look ahead to next week's Republican National Convention and discuss who is in the running to be Trump's VP.

Produced by Natasha Feroze and Patrick Gibbons.

Episode 14 July 2024 28m and 52s


Spectator Out Loud: James Heale, Svitlana Morenets, Philip Hensher, Francis Beckett and Rupert Christiansen

Spectator Out Loud: James Heale, Svitlana Morenets, Philip Hensher, Francis Beckett and Rupert Christiansen

On this week’s Spectator Out Loud: James Heale analyses the state of the Conservative leadership race (1:09); Svitlana Morenets reports from the site of the Kyiv children’s hospital bombed this week (5:56); Philip Hensher examines the ‘Cool Queer Life’ of Thom Gunn (12:13); Francis Beckett reviews ‘The Assault on the State’ arguing in favour of bureaucracy (21:20); and, Rupert Christiansen reveals why he has fallen out of love with Wagner (27:05). 
 
Presented by Patrick Gibbons.  

Episode 13 July 2024 37m and 57s


Americano: Eric Kaufmann on DEI, the contagion effect and free speech

Americano: Eric Kaufmann on DEI, the contagion effect and free speech

The Spectator’s Freddy Gray sits down with author and professor of politics Eric Kaufmann. They discuss the dangers of DEI, why Eric blames the bleeding heart liberals for the woke contagion and why it is possible much worst than originally thought.

You can also watch this episode on SpectatorTV. 

Episode 12 July 2024 52m and 19s


The Edition: Keir's reformation

The Edition: Keir's reformation

This week: Keir’s reformation. A week on from Labour’s victory in the UK general election, our cover piece looks ahead to the urgent issues facing Keir Starmer. If he acts fast, he can take advantage of having both a large majority and a unified party. The NHS, prisons, planning… the list goes on. But what challenges could he face and how should he manage his party? The Spectator’s political editor Katy Balls joins the podcast, alongside Lord Falconer, Labour peer and former cabinet minister under Tony Blair (2:53).

Next: have smartphones revolutionised home working for women? Our very...

Episode 11 July 2024 48m and 21s


The Book Club: Thom Gunn's Cool Queer Life

The Book Club: Thom Gunn's Cool Queer Life

My guest on this week's Book Club podcast is Michael Nott, author of the new biography Thom Gunn: A Cool Queer Life. He tells me about the poet's early trauma, his transatlantic identity, his unconventional family and his compartmentalised life, part teaching and writing, part sex, drugs and rock and roll. 

Episode 10 July 2024 29m and 2s


Chinese Whispers: How China's electric cars dominated the world

Chinese Whispers: How China's electric cars dominated the world

The EU and US are turning up the pressure on Chinese made electric cars, as Cindy Yu discussed with her guest Finbarr Bermingham on the last episode. 

This episode is a closer look at how China has come to dominate the global electric car market. Chinese EVs make up 60 per cent of worldwide sales, and a third of global exports. Its leading brand, BYD, now regularly gives Tesla a run for its money in terms of number of cars sold. 

How much of a role do subsidies play, versus other factors like its control of rare ea...

Episode 8 July 2024 34m and


Americano: Elbridge Colby on why America must pivot from Ukraine to Taiwan

Americano: Elbridge Colby on why America must pivot from Ukraine to Taiwan

The war in Ukraine is only bogging America down, says Elbridge Colby, a former national security adviser to the Trump administration. On this episode of Americano, Colby tells host Freddy Gray why the US should – and likely will – reduce its support to Ukraine and Europe, to focus on the increasing threat China poses over Taiwan. Europe, he says, can pick up the slack on its own continent. Colby has been tipped to become Trump's national security adviser should he win in November this year.

Produced by Cindy Yu and Joe Bedell-Brill.

Episode 7 July 2024 29m and 23s


Spectator Out Loud: Freddy Gray, Angus Colwell, Matthew Parris, Flora Watkins and Rory Sutherland

Spectator Out Loud: Freddy Gray, Angus Colwell, Matthew Parris, Flora Watkins and Rory Sutherland

On this week’s Spectator Out Loud: after President Biden’s debate disaster, Freddy Gray profiles the one woman who could persuade him to step down, his wife Jill (1:05); Angus Colwell reports from Israel, where escalation of war seems a very real possibility (9:02); Matthew Parris attempts to reappraise the past 14 years of Conservative government (14:16); Flora Watkins reveals the reasons why canned gin and tonics are so popular (21:24); and, Rory Sutherland asks who could possibly make a better Bond villain than Elon Musk? (25:00). 
 
Presented by Patrick Gibbons.  

Episode 6 July 2024 29m and 46s


Women With Balls: Sophie Winkleman

Women With Balls: Sophie Winkleman

Actress Sophie Winkleman was born in London, educated at Cambridge, and has appeared in television and film roles across both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps best known for her roles as Big Suze in Peep Show and Zoey in Two and a Half Men, she is now patron to several children's charities. 

On the episode, Katy Balls talks to Sophie about how she got into acting, whether she has ever dated a Jez or a Mark, and why she believes in the comfort of strangers. Sophie also talks about her campaign to reduce smart phone use and technology e...

Episode 5 July 2024 28m and


The Edition: the reckoning

The Edition: the reckoning

This week: the reckoning. Our cover piece brings together the political turmoil facing the West this week: Rishi Sunak, Emmanuel Macron, and Joe Biden all face tough tests with their voters. But what’s driving this instability? The Spectator’s economics editor Kate Andrews argues it is less to do with left and right, and more a problem of incumbency, but how did this situation arise? Kate joined the podcast to discuss her argument, alongside former Cambridge Professor, John Keiger, who writes in the magazine about the consequences that France’s election could have on geopolitics (2:32).

Next: what role d...

Episode 4 July 2024 38m and 18s

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