Steve Morris

Join the Royal British Legion!

One of the things I really regret is that I didn’t spend more time down the British Legion with my dad. I was a bit snooty about it, I suppose. All those ex-squaddies talking about the army and playing darts and having a pint or two.I was an indie-kid, heading to university to read English.

The problem with vets

A year or so ago my mum, 90, took her cat to the vet. She left an hour later, relieved of nearly £800. Her aged cat it appeared needed tests, a scan and various medicines. My mum lives in a poor area of London and is on a state pension. She has little spare money, but

I miss Christmas in the old East End

My family is from Canning Town in London’s East End. One thing’s for sure, we never curated Christmas, never had it with bells on and we looked forward to the next one the moment it was over. There were essential elements: winkles on Christmas Eve, with my dad rather solemnly getting out the winkle pins.

Bed bugs invaded my mind!

It isn’t just the Paris Metro. Even the very best hotels are not immune from bed bugs. I was blissfully unaware of this fact until a trip to New York a few years ago when a nightmare struck. We had booked a really top place, but within days of getting home, we discovered little red

Theatre of war

34 min listen

In this week’s episode: What is the next act in Putin’s theatre of war? For this week’s cover story, James Forsyth writes about Putin’s dangerous dramatics on the Russian-Ukrainian border and where they might lead. James joins the podcast along with Paul Wood, who writes in this week’s magazine that Putin’s bluff may be backfiring.

The rise and fall of whistling

There was, at least until recently, an old sign round the back of the Savoy banning whistling by staff or tradesmen. Whistling, it seems, can wind up some people. Winston Churchill hated the practice. Posters were put up in the War Rooms forbidding it. One day, on his way to Downing Street, he heard a

Is Christianity about to end in the place it began?

Janine di Giovanni’s book begins in a Paris apartment during the first lockdown. She’s at a friend’s home, which she leaves for the odd shopping trip wearing a homemade mask and rubber kitchen gloves. Covid has made her anxious and she worries that we may lose things about our way of life forever. They need

Cop out: Boris’s battle to save the climate summit

32 min listen

In this week’s episode: Can Cop26 deliver on its grand promises? In our cover story this week, Fraser Nelson assesses the state of the upcoming Cop26 summit in Glasgow and questions their very effectiveness in dealing with climate change in a world of global players with very different priorities. He is joined on the podcast

‘My voice is a curse’: Gary Numan interviewed

Reading the opening chapter of Gary Numan’s recent autobiography, (R)evolution, I start to get the odd feeling that I could just as well be reading about my own early life. Like Numan, I grew up near Heathrow and found the aircraft that flew over our house beautiful and magical. My parents were working class and

Winkles

For the first time in 30-odd years, many Brits have started eating winkles again. Unable to holiday abroad this summer, we headed to the British seaside and rediscovered the winkle stalls that were once part of everyday life. Winkle recipes — similar to snail recipes — are suddenly popping up, and October is the perfect

Bring back the great British holiday camp

By the 1980s, after decades of immense popularity, the great British holiday camp was in terminal decline. The huge camps founded by Billy Butlin and Fred Pontin — the chalets, the dining hall, the redcoats (Butlin’s) and bluecoats (Pontins) — were becoming passé. Now the few that remain have been rebranded as holiday villages. But

‘I’ve started talking to myself’: Tamsin Greig interviewed

C4’s Friday Night Dinner was the nation’s stop off point for feeling a bit better about ourselves. It featured the Goodman family. Every week the Goodman’s two sons returned to their parents’ home for Shabbat dinner. Every week, things didn’t go to plan. Of course, the chaotic Goodmans stand in for all our chaotic families in

Everyman

Toby Jones shuffles into the café in Clapham where we are meeting. He’s wearing a duffle coat and a hat and carrying a rucksack. He looks just like one of those unsung characters that he specialises in, the kind of person you don’t take much notice of unless you have to. Today we are talking

‘I wished Jimmy Porter would just shut up’

Gary Raymond must have been wondering if it was the end of a promising career — curtains. He was starring in The Rat Patrol, a wartime adventure series. Co-star Justin Tarr had managed to roll the jeep Raymond and fellow actor Christopher George were travelling in. Raymond escaped with a badly broken ankle (he tells