You’d have to be mad to swim in Britain’s murky rivers now

‘Wild swimming’ used to be something that old ladies in rubber hats did. They didn’t call it that — it was just swimming, in the same way that horse riding was just riding — but they did it none the... Read more

A useful reminder of China’s true nature

Before yesterday, it was hard to imagine Westminster gripped by any topic bar the fate of the Prime Minister. Then came the revelation that Parliament had been infiltrated by a Chinese spy, Christine Lee, who has channelled hundreds of thousands... Read more

Sajid Javid met his match in the Commons – even right down to the jackets

It was positively surreal. Hearing the party of “Lockdown early and often” and “If in doubt, self-isolate in the airing cupboard until further notice” suddenly bewailing the snail-like pace of relaxation felt uncanny somehow; like watching a dog walk on... Read more

The regicidal Tories won’t oust Boris until a successor steps up

The Conservatives have long been the natural party of regicide which is, right now, what is keeping Boris Johnson in place. A more impulsive party might have thrown him out, simply as an act of rage. Regicide experts know that... Read more

This is what America gets wrong about Britons from watching TV

It’s more than just the wonderful quality of writing and acting in British dramas that makes us Americans wobble at the knees. With neither an aristocracy nor a Queen of our own – instead, an uncouth raft of pop stars... Read more

Sleaze, sexism, and Scream: how Neve Campbell survived Hollywood with her dignity intact

It was partly true – in 1997, Campbell’s cameo in the disco drama 54, revolving around the intersecting lives of visitors, employees and proprietors of the iconic Studio 54 nightclub, was beefed up during reshoots orchestrated by Harvey Weinstein. The... Read more

Willard White interview: ‘I thought no real man would go on stage and sing’

Nature certainly had fun creating Willard White’s voice box. A combination of treacle and granite, its sweet and hard sonorities cannot be muffled even by Zoom. It’s such a famous instrument that, earlier on today, before our conversation, the person... Read more

Ronnie Spector in 2019: ‘MeToo is now, but I’ve been living it my whole life’

All those years I went through hell only made me stronger,” says Ronnie Spector. The lead singer of The Ronettes, who lived through a frightening, controlling marriage to producer Phil Spector and came out the other side, is now 75.... Read more

BBC says statue by paedophile artist will remain in place at Broadcasting House

Critics of the decision raised fears the verdict would embolden activists to target controversial statues over matters of conscience. The 10ft-tall Ariel and Prospero sculpture, depicting characters from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, became controversial for its depiction of a young... Read more

TS Eliot Prize-winner Joelle Taylor: ‘The internet has killed off our subculture’

Joelle Taylor cuts a sharp figure as she walks through Soho: three-piece suit, burgundy tie, oxblood brogues and what she calls a “tsunami quiff”. For the poet and playwright – and the fellow lesbian “butches and studs” she celebrates in... Read more

Teen utopia or capitalist commune? Netflix’s Hype House is the most depressing show on TV

Jake Paul, one of the internet’s most famous social media stars, has inspired plenty of controversy, and no less for Team 10, his own collaborator house. Last year, members of the house alleged that they were “exploited” by Paul, who... Read more

Why comedians love to hate Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais is getting cancelled again. Albeit, as usual, he’s cancelling himself. The third series of After Life – his Netflix comedy about a grieving husband taking out his frustration and fury on the world – launches this week and... Read more

Unless it fires Lord Sugar, The Apprentice is destined for the scrapheap

From the excruciating bungles to the boss’s belligerent reaction, it could have all come from any series over the past 17 years. Bar Sugar’s pre-scripted put-downs, which made a few token references to Covid – “I’ve got natural immunity to... Read more

What’s on TV tonight: Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific, Andy Warhol’s America and more

Hidden AssetsBBC Four, 9pm and 9.50pmOne of the Irish republic’s more imaginative laws allows the state, via the police force’s Criminal Assets Bureau, to seize property (everything from houses to cars and jewellery) and bank accounts belonging to suspected criminals;... Read more

Memoria, review: Tilda Swinton stars in a mesmerising cosmic mystery

Many films have been made about things that go bump in the night, but Memoria may be the first about the actual bump itself – a dense, round, metallic thud that reverberates through a bedroom in Bogotá, Colombia, just before... Read more

Ascension, review: from sex dolls to duck carcasses – a hypnotic study of what it is to work in China

A graveyard for black-and-yellow rental bikes, seen from above in the remarkable Ascension, is like an Andreas Gursky photograph come to life – one of his godlike, hyperreal visions of consumerism. The shot floats back to show hundreds of nested... Read more

Cow, review: Who’d have thought a Kent-based cow could seem so alien?

Would it be fair to describe Andrea Arnold’s new film as a mooed piece? The director of Fish Tank and American Honey has spent the past four years in the field, and the barn, shooting and compiling this poetic documentary... Read more

Why every arts company needs a Tamara Rojo

Of course, she is not the first performer to take up a managerial role. In fact, the artist who becomes a manager is particularly common in the dance world – Carlos Acosta is currently heading up Birmingham Royal Ballet and... Read more

The BBC’s Eric Gill statue is hard to defend

It still remains unclear what precisely the statue represents. Gill was rather bemused by his commission, never quite understanding what precisely Prospero and Ariel had to do with broadcasting: “[Ariel’s] very name has affinity with the apparatus of radio broadcasting”,... Read more

Timeline: All the government parties during lockdown and what restrictions were in force at the time

A picture emerged in December 2021 showing the Prime Minister, his wife and about 15 members of staff enjoying wine and cheese in the garden of Downing Street. Number 10, Mr Johnson and Dominic Raab all claimed this was a... Read more

Brexiteer becomes fifth Tory MP this week to submit Boris Johnson no confidence letter

Mr Bridgen said he and many others “will always be grateful for what Boris has achieved and his legacy should be cemented by a dignified exit from politics which would allow him to retain a place in the affection of... Read more

Police will only investigate Downing Street parties if report finds criminal wrongdoing

But in a statement on Thursday night, Scotland Yard said it did not routinely investigate breaches of the Covid regulations retrospectively and would only do so in this case if “significant evidence” emerged. A spokesman said: “The Metropolitan Police Service... Read more

Liz Truss targets Northern Ireland Protocol deal by end of March

The Telegraph understands that the Northern Ireland elections are a definite factor in the Foreign Office’s thinking. Officials have yet to agree on the length of the “purdah” period before they take place on May 5. Brussels has also signalled... Read more

Keir Starmer branded an ‘absolute hypocrite’ for drinking with staff during lockdown

“Keir was in the workplace, meeting a local MP in her constituency office and participating in an online Labour Party event,” the statement from the time said. “They paused for dinner as the meeting was during the evening.” It came... Read more

Labour MP Barry Gardiner accepted £425,000 in donations from Chinese spy

A Labour MP accepted more than £425,000 in donations from a Chinese spy, it emerged on Thursday, prompting demands for an urgent probe into her links with Westminster. MI5 issued an interference alert to MPs about the activities of Christine... Read more