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The Daily Telegraph's chief theatre critic Charles Spencer has announced that he is retiring after 25 years working for the paper. Speaking to the press, Spencer said he had decided to step back because "critics shouldn’t go on too long".
Throughout his career Spencer has established himself as a respected theatre reviewer, covering London and the UK across multiple genres. He will be remembered for coining the phrase "pure theatrical Viagra", which he used to describe a production of 'The Blue Room' starring Nicole Kidman, as well as an altercation with Dame Judi Dench, who called him an "absolute S---".
In a statement today, the 59 year old said: "I have loved my job, but critics shouldn’t go on too long. I feel I’ve had my say and it’s time to stop and put my feet up".
Spencer joined the staff of the Daily Telegraph in 1988 and was appointed their chief theatre critic in 1991. He has twice been named critic of the year at the British Press Awards.
Sarah Crompton, Arts Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Telegraph said: "Charles Spencer’s honesty – both about the play in front of him and his own life – and the way he speaks so directly to his readers have made him the critic people turn to when they want to know what a play is really like. He has always said exactly what he thinks, and that is why people have come to trust him so much. We will all miss reading his reviews."
The paper's theatre coverage will continue with a team of reviewers led by Dominic Cavendish, who has worked as Spencer's deputy since 2000.