Thursday 1 July 2010
The BBC is reported to have decided that Radio 5 Live needs a Men’s Hour programme. The government publishes the salaries of the top-earning quango bosses; David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, heads the list with a £395,000 wedge. The British Museum is to borrow some 200 objects from the National Museum of Afghanistan for an exhibition next year. A BBC commentator suggests that 16-year-old British tennis player Laura Robson is a bit fat. Charles Saatchi is offering his gallery and art works worth £25 million to the nation.

Friday 2 July
A report from the National Audit Office shows a widening gap between the life expectancy of the rich and the poor in the UK. Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers put their online content behind a pay wall, a move being watched very closely by The Leisure Review’s accounts department. Andy Murray goes out of Wimbers. The latest Social Trends report from the Office for National Statistics says that life expectancy is rising but 25% of Britons are technically obese. Beryl Bainbridge dies at the age of 75.

Saturday 3 July
Antony Gormley’s cast-iron figures are to be seen in the Austrian Alps as part of a 100-figure installation, Horizon Field. Scandal in the Japanese sumo halls continues as gambling and links to organised crime are revealed. Central London welcomes the annual Pride festival, attended this year by an estimated 500,000 people. American literary critic Lee Siegel tells readers of the New York Observer that fiction is dead. Serena Williams wins Wimbledon. The Tour de France starts with a full complement of Brits and a British-led team, of which Dave Brailsford says, “Success for us is… if in the next three weeks the team inspires more kids to get on their bikes.”

Sunday 4 July
The Treasury is reported to be ordering 40% cuts in departmental budgets from all arms of government. Forte dei Marmi, a Tuscan holiday resort, is planning to change local laws to favour local ownership of property and thwart the invasion of the oligarchs. Two plucky British lads win the boys’ doubles final at Wimbledon. There could be a cable car across the Thames to link Olympic sites if plans come to fruition. Changes to royalty payments could drive up music festival ticket prices, say festival organisers. Terry Wogan says that the BBC’s top performers should take a pay cut. An Italian publishing magnate has created the world’s biggest maze. Rafa Nadal wins Wimbledon.

Monday 5 July
The BBC Trust says it won’t be closing 6 Music after all but the Asian Network receives no reprieve. The Pope’s four-day visit to the UK is going to cost the taxpayer £12 million. The Grand Pier at Weston-Super-Mare is almost ready to reopen after a £51 million rebuild following the fire in 2008. The government halts the Building for Schools programme, which was scheduled to spend £55 billion on school facilities over the next 20 years. The Queen’s annual spending review suggests that a bit of belt-tightening will mean that the nation’s richest woman will have to put off repairs to Buckingham Palace. A report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that home internet access is now essential for getting jobs and discounts. IOC chief Jacques Rogge says that he has been assured that the athletics track will stay in the London Olympic stadium; London 2010 says he hasn’t.

Tuesday 6 July
The Queen visits New York and, seeing as its 34 years since she was last there, gives it a full five hours before heading home. Lord Foster, supposed champion of the public realm, is one of five peers who have resigned from the House of Lords so that they can keep their non-domicile tax status. Not coincidentally, Kazakhstan has officially opened the world’s largest tent, a 150m structure designed by the former Lord Foster. Meanwhile, in Belgium, a Welshman, one Geraint Thomas of Team British Cycling, is second in the Tour. Further south by about 6,000 miles, Caster Semenya is eventually cleared to resume her athletics career.

Wednesday 7 July
No regulation for big food companies in the Big Society if they pay for Department of Health campaigns; health campaigners are said to be “horror-struck”, but surely not surprised. The National Portrait Gallery launches a campaign to raise £100,000 needed (on top of the £430,000 in grants already secured) to keep the portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo in the UK. The education secretary apologises for making a cods of the announcement of all the schools that are to have their building plans scrapped; apparently he missed quite a few off the list.

Thursday 8 July
Howard Webb will referee the World Cup final. The Young Vic will celebrate its 40th anniversary this winter with a debut in English for French director Patrice Chereau. A metal detectorist in Somerset has uncovered the biggest haul of Roman coins yet found in Britain. What is former MP and firebrand George Galloway up to now? He’s written a musical about the life of Dusty Springfield. London 2012 will welcome 120 international heads of state, more than any other Games. The city of Milan is upset about being left off the Monopoly board and is taking official steps to protest against the slight. Mark Cavendish wins a stage of the Tour and blubs like you’ve never seen a sportsman blub before.

Friday 9 July
London 2012 has chosen MacDonald’s to recruit and train the 70,000 volunteers needed for the London Games. Michel Platini faints in a restaurant in Jo’burg, leaving his dinner companions, Gerard Houllier and Andy Roxburgh, the forgotten man of British football, to get him to hospital. Paul the Psychic Octopus tips Spain for the World Cup final. Cav wins again but no tears this time. The first part of the enquiry into the relationship between Team Sky and British Cycling is complete, according to UK Sport. Shelly-Ann Fraser, Jamaica’s 100m Olympic champion, fails a dope test, claiming a toothache-inspired painkiller mistake; she is the eighth Jamaican athlete to test positive this year.

Saturday 10 July
With a disappointing World Cup behind him, it seems that Cristiano Ronaldo wanted a baby so badly that he bought one. Research from the Warwick Business School suggests that contented employees are more productive. Michel Platini is released from hospital with an all-clear.

Sunday 11 July
Senior representatives of the medical profession call for a tax on junk food and appropriate health warnings on food packaging. A new trend among super-rich art collectors is to build your own museum to display your taste. Meanwhile, the owners of Britain’s stately homes are having lucrative car boot sales (or the South Kensington auction equivalent) of masterpieces to make ends meet. Paul was right: Spain wins the World Cup despite Holland demonstrating an anti-football that is the antithesis of their famed total football of the 1970s; the game is dubbed ‘the Filthy Final’ by some alliterative sub-editors (but no one else). The Lib Dem deputy leader, Simon Hughes, says that the cancellation of the school building programme was something he was “not entirely comfortable with”. Blistering. More legacy news: preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi include bulldozing charitable schools for the poor. Great Britain’s men’s heavyweight rowing team win a medal in every event at the final World Cup rowing regatta, bringing GB rowing’s biggest medal haul in a single regatta.

Monday 12 July
Tim Godwin, a senior police officer at the Met, argues that money should be taken from the criminal justice system to fund community-based schemes to cut reoffending. Extensive criticism of the education secretary, Michael Gove, for his swift – some say too swift – axing of the Building for Schools programme. British urban artists are now part of the mainstream US chart experience (think Leona Lewis and JLS) and urban music now accounts for 30% of UK music sales, says the BPI. England’s football team is ranked 13th of the 34 teams that took part in the World Cup. Musician Sugar Minott dies aged 54, as does comic book writer Harvey Pekar, aged 70.

Tuesday 13 July
Stella McCartney is going to design the Great Britain team kit for London 2012. In South Korea they estimate that some two million of their population is addicted to the internet. Visits abroad from the UK have fallen by 15%, says the Office of National Statistics, to about 58 million during 2009. Sports minister Hugh Robertson admits community sport will take “a major hit” in the forthcoming cuts, saying he’s doing everything to mitigate the impact of the reduction in sports funding.

Wednesday 14 July
VisitBritain says that almost two million tourists visit the UK to watch or take part in sport, generating about £1.3 billion in spending. David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, says that London 2012 venues will be finished early and under budget; there might be £850 million to spare. A beach hut on Chesil Beach is on the market for £300,000. The Arts and Humanities Research Council is investigating the impact of live variety performances at English seaside towns. The government warns the FA not to ignore the demands for reform of the governing (sic) body’s structure; start the clock.

Thursday 15 July
Caster Semenya runs – and wins – for the first time for almost a year. Robbie Williams is to rejoin Take That. Derry (or Londonderry, depending on your political propensities) is named as the city that will be the UK’s first capital of culture, in 2013. The Arts Council and other arts bodies have warned of the dire consequences of the planned funding cuts. Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, says that he is going to give half his $13.5 billion fortune to charity. The CCPR is officially rebranded as the Sport and Recreation Alliance after a vote at the AGM. Chris Hoy won’t be racing at the Commonwealth Games as a result of the new European cycling championships, which offers qualifying points of the Olympics, creating a diary clash. The FA strikes a blow for the future of its coaching system by asking Don Capello to put another Englishman in his coaching team so at least there is someone for the players to talk to when Stuart Pearce is away on under-21 duty.

Friday 16 July
The chief executive of Citigroup, John Gerspach, says that his bank would have to seriously consider leaving the UK if the taxes on banks and bankers gets too much. Start the clock.

Saturday 17 July
Holiday operator Goldtrail goes bust, leaving tens of thousands of British holidaymakers abroad alone. Some 50,000 people gather in Hull to welcome home the 10 yachts in the Clipper Round the World Race. Rab Bennetts, designer of the new RSC theatre in Stratford, says that the new government funding cuts will adversely affect architecture in the UK. The Barmy Army says that the economic downturn will not stop people going to Australia for the Ashes.

Sunday 18 July
Tobacco companies are reported to be targeting music festivals in order to capture that essential youth market. In California the Surfing Heritage Foundation is hoping to collect the oral history of the sport from all the old riders still above the waves. A man called Ooshuizen wins the Open, suggesting that nice guys can come first sometimes. Westminster, and Hammersmith and Fulham are to merge their education departments to save costs. Hamas has banned women from smoking water pipes in public. “It is inappropriate,” says the interior minister. England women’s hockey team wins the bronze medal play off at the Champions Trophy in Nottingham.

Monday 19 July
The prime minister (still David Cameron) says that four local authorities will be piloting the Big Society concept: Liverpool, Eden Valley, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Cheam. Launching the whole Big Society idea, the PM says, “This is not about trying to save money, it is about trying to have a bigger, better society.” Sachin Tendulkar is contributing some of his blood to create a book about himself that will retail for about £50,000. Melvyn Bragg is taking the South Bank Show to the Sky Arts channel. LOCOG chief executive, Paul Deighton, says that 75% of tickets for the Games will be in a ballot available to the general public and will be affordable. “Of course, ‘affordable’ is a moveable feast,” he says, reassuring no one. Manuscripts by Franz Kafka have been retrieved from sealed safe deposit boxes in a Swiss bank as part of an ongoing legal case involving the writer’s heirs. Goal line technology is not on the agenda of this week’s FIFA meeting. The sports minister says that there may yet be further cuts to the London 2012 budget. Victoria Pendleton is also to miss the Commonwealth Games.

Tuesday 20 July
Secretary Hunt says that 50% of the DCMS staff are to be cut and the department is to move from its Cockspur Street offices. Amazon says its sales of electronic books have outstripped printed books. William Jacques is sentenced to three and a half years for stealing rare books from the Royal Horticultural Society library. French football star Frank Ribéry is facing trial on allegations of soliciting an underage prostitute, suggesting that he has all the right credentials for a move to the Premier League. It seems that the government will tear up the recommendations regarding free-to-air televised sport in return for governing bodies agreeing to spend 30% of their income on grassroots; expect brand new definitions of ‘grassroots’ to prevail. The Lawn Tennis Association has asked UK Sport for help in achieving excellence. West Ham could be in the running to make the Olympic Stadium its home and several UK clubs are to ban vuvuzelas for the coming season. Dwain Chambers says he has been accepted by his peers after his drugs ban.

Wednesday 21 July
Facebook now has 500 million users who have used the site in the last month, half of whom use the site every day and for an average of 34 minutes each visit. A primary school in Devon has banned children from playing football fearing the negative influence of on-field behaviour at the World Cup. British cinema records the best ever figures in terms of box office takings. Horse-racing is planning a Premier League-style TV overhaul and Bradley Wiggins is suffering in the Tour de France while Cav wins stages after a slow start.

Thursday 22 July
Nick Griffin is not allowed into a garden party. Government regional offices are to be abolished as part of the cost-cutting measures. The National Gallery is to stage one of the most ambitious Leonardo da Vinci exhibitions ever staged in the winter of 2011-12. The NHS reports a fall in the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco by children and RSPB Scotland reports a rise in the poisoning of birds of prey. Muttiah Muralitharan takes his 800th Test wicket in his last Test match.

Friday 23 July
Publishers Hodder announce that the works of Enid Blyton are to have their language revised “sensitively and carefully” to bring them up to date for modern readers. The National Trust is to open its first outdoors shop selling all the rucksacks, boots, etc that any aspiring (or actual) walker might need. The first all-female crew to row around the British Isles arrives in London. Lord Heseltine is to chair a panel tasked with investing £1 billion in regional economies. The Catherine Wheel in Goring-on-Thames, for many years the scene of pre-meeting plotting by members of the ILAM national council, is among a small number of pubs introducing a menu for dogs. David Bedford is to step down as race director for the London marathon.

Saturday 23 July
A group of Benedictine nuns in the south of France have signed a recording contract; it’s all about Gregorian chant these days. Fifteen people are killed in Duisberg, Germany during a crowd surge at a music festival. Snooker legend Alex Higgins dies at the age of 61.

Sunday 24 July
Alberto Contador wins the Tour de France (his third) and Mark Cavendish wins the final stage in Paris (his fifteenth stage win) by a comparative street (about two bike lengths). The BBC is to take Verdi’s Rigoletto to various locations in Mantua for a live two-day broadcast. Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt says the BBC’s website needs “clearer red lines” to protect its competitors. The equalities minister (it’s Lynne Featherstone) is to have discussions with the fashion industry on how to turn the tide against the use of airbrushed ‘size zero’ models; start the clock. Fitness chain Virgin Active is in talks with private equity groups over a possible £1 billion sale.

Monday 25 July
Two years to go to the London Olympics and half of Britain’s Olympic sports are preparing for funding cuts; GB women’s volleyball players are doing a sponsored bike ride. Sport England and UK Sport are also going to be merged. Meanwhile, the sports minister (it’s Hugh Robertson) says that the legacy of participation will not be derailed by cuts: “Look how much physical activity our volleyball players are getting and the Games haven’t even started,” he should have said (but, we must emphasise, didn’t). The UK Film Council and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council are axed by Secretary Hunt in the name of budgetary machismo. Gavin Grant, former Wycombe Wanderers (among other clubs) player, is jailed for life having been found guilty of murder. Paris is finding that balls – the dancing variety rather than the sporting variety – are making a come back among young people, who just want to dance with each other; whatever next? Capello’s guide to coaching: give Paul Scholes two hours to decide whether he wants to end his international retirement and go the World Cup; and make sure you get someone else to make the phone call for you.

Tuesday 27 July
Wyclef Jean, ex-Fugees music-maker, is to stand for election as president of Haiti. Being sociable is good for your health, according to a study from Brigham Young University (draw your own conclusions). Laura Dekker, the 14-year-old Dutch sailor, has her plans to sail round the world endorsed by a Dutch court. Franco Zefferelli’s former home on the Amalfi coast is to open as a €5,000-a-night hotel. Two golds for Great Britain in the European athletics championships in Barcelona. Chris Hoy and Boris Johnson take to a bike (same bike, separate goes) round the oval of the 2012 Olympic velodrome. Andy Murray sacks his coach, Miles Maclagan.

Wednesday 28 July
In Bristol it seems a beach-style windbreak constitutes a semi-permanent structure and therefore contravenes planning regulations. The Catalonian parliament votes to ban bullfighting in the region, meaning an end to the corrida in Barcelona. The complete Churchill archive is to be made available online following a deal with the Churchill Archive Trust and the publisher Bloomsbury. Health minister (it’s Anne Milton) says we should stop calling fat people obese and call them fat; apparently this will help. More medals for GB in the European athletics championships.

Thursday 29 July
Education secretary Michael Gove is struggling with the academies plan: he says more than 1,000 schools had applied for academy status; only 153 actually have. London 2012 announces that more than 60 miles of roads in the capital will be exclusive to “the Olympic family”, a family which, along with criminals, charlatans and ne’er-do-wells, will include 25,000 “marketing partners”. Sir Derek Jacobi’s King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse is to be screened live to 300 cinemas. England’s footballers finally give us something to celebrate with a comfortable victory and qualification for the play-offs for the World Cup finals; Rachel Yankey starts the scoring in a 3-nil win over Turkey. More gold for GB athletes in Barcelona.

Friday 30 July
London’s hire bike scheme – our answer to Paris’s Velib – is launched. Penguin celebrates its 75th anniversary. Old-school coach Tom McNab writes to the papers to say good riddance to Sport England and to call for sport and the arts to be statutory requirements of local authorities. A few columns along culture secretary Jeremy Hunt says that the government is committed to public funding for the arts. More gold in Barcelona.

Saturday 31 July
Hyde Park in London hosts its first Sleepover, an all-night arts event for grown-ups. Cabaret rather than comedy is this year’s hot ticket at the Edinburgh Fringe. Britain’s culture of long hours at work is said to be returning in the recession, according the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Jessica Ennis wins more gold.



the world of leisure
July 2010

"Friday 2 July:
The latest Social Trends report from the Office for National Statistics says that life expectancy is rising but 25% of Britons are technically obese.




Wednesday 7 July:
No regulation for big food companies in the Big Society if they pay for Department of Health campaigns; health campaigners are said to be “horror-struck”, but surely not surprised.




Sunday 11 July:
The Lib Dem deputy leader, Simon Hughes, says that the cancellation of the school building programme was something he was “not entirely comfortable with”. Blistering.

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