Saturday 1 May
The Photographic Youth Music Culture Archive website is launched. The National Trust unveils a partnership with Mills and Boon to promote romantic stories set in some of their most romantic properties. Speculation in Senegal that internationally acclaimed musician Youssou N’Dour could run for office.

Sunday 2 May
John Higgins, the world’s number one snooker player, is suspended following allegations of match-fixing. The summer season at the Royal Opera House will include short contemporary pieces, football chants mixing it with opera singers and audience competitions on Twitter. Researchers at the University of Exeter say that exercising outdoors is much better for mood and self-esteem. Visitors to the Lake District from Japan are being asked to contribute £5 to help fund sustainable tourism. Former England manager Steve McClaren takes FC Twente to the Dutch title. Beth Tweddle wins two golds at the European artistic gymnastics championships and gains a few column inches in the sports pages.

Monday 3 May
A series of independent festivals in the UK are “twinning” with events in Norway to deliver more bands for your bucks. The Football Supporters Federation will be setting up ‘embassies’ for fans in South Africa for the World Cup. Roman Polanski says he only wants to be treated fairly. David Cameron, an Aston Villa supporter (see World of Leisure passim), says that Chelsea are his “second team”. Everton beat Arsenal in the FA Women’s cup final. Lynn Redgrave dies at the age of 67.

Tuesday 4 May
A traffic protest in a Dorset village proves hugely effective at creating huge tailbacks via the simple device of pushing the button on a pelican crossing. Banksy fails to make the Turner Prize short list, despite some high-profile lobbying on his behalf. Spielberg has bought options on War Horse, the play that has been one of London’s biggest recent hits. The Crown Prosecution Service drops its plans to include the wearing of low-slung jeans and a hooded top within the application for an anti-social behaviour order against Ellis Drummond, aged 18. Nominations for the Menier Chocolate Factory and the Donmar Warehouse in the Tony theatre awards. France agrees to return sixteen Maori warrior heads to New Zealand. “You do not build a culture on trafficking,” says culture minister, Frédéric Mitterand. “You build a culture on respect and on exchange.” In Athens protesters storm the Acropolis. UK sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe pleads with the electorate not to let the Tories wreck sport again. Hugh Robertson, the Tories’ culture feller, says that his party has undergone “a sea change” since those days.

Wednesday 5 May
Legal wranglings for auctioneer Christie’s over a painting that it managed to sell for a client for a very reasonable £11,400; the only problem is that it was later attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci and is now insured for $150 million. Adding insult to financial injury is the news that Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust has sold at Christie’s in New York for more than $106 million, a world record for art sold at auction. National Express won’t be renewing its sponsorship of the Football Association, putting a multi-million pound hole in football’s governing (sic) body’s coffers. Christopher Martin-Jenkins is to take up the post of president of the MCC in October. Freak waves in Cannes cause problems on the seafront before the film festival arrives in town.

Thursday 6 May
The British electorate goes to the polls and seems to enjoy its temporary and fleeting flirtation with parliamentary democracy. British Airways crews warn of 20 days of strikes. Cornwall council’s licensing committee finds itself forced to defend a “fact-finding mission” to a lap-dancing club, likely to be in somewhere like Plymouth. Still in Cornwall, there’s gold in them there tin mines; well, one of them. Up the road in Devon the mayor of Bideford is trying to establish that the USA was settled by people leaving from his port 30 years before the Pilgrim Fathers. Still further up the road heading east, the Co-op is to plant grape vines in the Cotswolds. A blow for Britain’s medal hopes in London 2012 as the UCI, cycling’s international governing body, says that each country will only be allowed to enter one competitor into each event.

Friday 7 May
A bird egg thief and smuggler, Andrew Seed (no, really) of Durham, whose collection of 2,000 included examples of osprey eggs, avoids a custodial sentence, much to the disgust of the RSPB. Among the many paintings in the vaults of a small provincial museum in Italy is a work by Raphael, estimated value some £25 million. The walking wounded, both physically and emotionally, of England’s World Cup squad are set to be bolstered by some previously vocal retirees from the international stage, cajoled back into the Game by an outwardly serene (perhaps vacant) but inwardly troubled Fabio Capello. Liverpool FC’s accounts show the club to be £250 million in the hole, a hole made £55 million bigger last year, the biggest loss in the club’s history.

Saturday 8 May
Mo Fayed sells Harrods for £1.5 billion; he’s keeping Fulham FC, though. In Amsterdam Bradley Wiggins wins the prologue of the Giro d’Italia and takes the leader’s maglia rosa for Team British Cycling. Still (or rather eventually) in Italy, the Italian government says it won’t be taking part in the Cannes film festival because one of the films to be shown mocks Silvio Berlusconi, who is still Italy’s prime minister.

Sunday 9 May
The BPI says that sales of pop records have shown strong sales in the last year. Snooker player John Higgins says that he will clear his name of the match-fixing allegations. The Bowes Museum in County Durham puts Landseer’s The Otter Speared, usually regarded as too blood-thirsty for public display, at the centre of its latest exhibition. Alain de Botton, philosopher and thinker of this parish, is working on a holiday lettings business built upon great modern architecture. Chelsea win the league. British Cycling and UK Sport have commissioned an independent report on the link between British Cycling and Team Sky.

Monday 10 May
Gordon Brown leaves Downing Street to spend more time following Raith Rovers. BBC 6 Music and the Asian Network win coveted prizes at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. Uncertainty over who is actually prime minister won’t affect the FA’s 2018 World Cup bid, says FA president, Lord Triesman. Hollywood legend Lena Horne dies at the age of 92.

Tuesday 11 May
David ‘Dave’ Cameron moves into Downing Street, bringing Nick Clegg with him, sort of. Meanwhile, the Whitehall II survey, a health study established in 1985 based on Whitehall civil servants, says that working three hours a day overtime can have serious implications for one’s health, and not in a good way. South Korea says it won’t be broadcasting the World Cup to North Korea’s football fans. The FA tells Fabio Capello that his plan to make some additional money via a computer player ratings system is probably not a good idea. Bradford marks the 25th anniversary of the fire at the Valley Parade ground, a tragedy that arguably changed the nature of professional football. Russell Crowe tells Mark Lawson that Mr Lawson, Radio 4’s Mister Culture, has “dead ears” before huffing off before the end of the interview.

Wednesday 12 May
A new government and Jeremy Hunt is in with the culture, media, sport and Olympics brief. Three golden eagles have been found dead on the Skibo estate in the Highlands, prompting a police investigation. Keep Britain Tidy announce 150 blue flag beaches. The chair of the Independent Schools Association says that middle-class children are left with no time to “mooch about” thanks to the constant round of activities, events and technology. Michael Sheen, one of the UK’s most celebrated actors, is going to Hamlet at the Young Vic next year. Still up this end of the cultural spectrum, the BBC announces a series of programmes to introduce opera to new audiences. Lambeth Palace is to open its library to the public for the first time over the next few months; books will feature heavily in the exhibition but Charles I’s gloves are also there. BBC 6 Music’s audience has soared to more than one million listeners, many of them online.

Thursday 13 May
A new cabinet meets in Whitehall with spending cuts on the agenda and the new culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, says that the Olympic budget may not escape unscathed. However, no news yet on the new sports minister; Hugh Robertson was the Tory shadow. PRS for Music says that revenue from live performances is up 4%, suggesting the live music is in good health in the UK. Mr Capello says it will be a failure for him if England do not reach the World Cup final; if you have tears, Fabio, prepare to shed them.

Friday 14 May
The mysteries of British culture are laid bare on the Strand in London as Ken Clarke walks to the Royal Courts of Justice to take up the post of secretary of state for justice and Lord Chancellor dressed as a pantomime dame. Gym operator Holmes Place is fined £233,000 following health and safety breaches that resulted in the death of one of its customers in a faulty lift at its Broadgate site in the City of London. In France the rise of the apéro géant, an impromptu mass gathering of young people to partake of an apéro, the genial aperitif so loved by France and its visitors, generates concerns that France is succumbing to the British trait of binge drinking. The publication of a picture in the Wall Street Journal (prop. Mr R Murdoch) of a young Elena Kagan, now solicitor general and nominee for the US supreme court but then a college student, playing baseball prompts speculation and debate regarding her sexuality. The FA hands its bid document for the 2018 World Cup to FIFA president and well known moral equivocator, Sepp Blatter, saying the competition in England would generate £3.2 billion in revenue. David Beckham takes the opportunity to mention that he will be joining the England coaching team in South Africa following Mr Capello’s invitation to play “a role” in proceedings. Meanwhile, Preston North End receive a winding-up order from HMRC.

Saturday 15 May
A study of school pupils’ eating habits in 16 London boroughs has prompted calls for pupils to be prevented from leaving school grounds at lunch time to keep them away from junk food. Ca Commence par la Fin is deemed too raunchy for exhibition at the Cannes film festival. Australian Jessica Watson, aged 16, claims the title of youngest solo circumnavigator on her return to Sydney after seven months at sea. Chelsea win the FA Cup and John Terry waits until after the final whistle to decry the pitch as the worst his team have played on this season.

Sunday 16 May
Newquay police say they will be clamping down on teenage rowdiness as post-exam parties hit full speed over the coming weeks. Lord Triesman appears on the front of the Mail on Sunday and subsequently resigns from his post as chairman of the FA and chairman of the England 2018 World Cup bid. Film director Sophie Fiennes says that it is impossible for women film-makers to get funding in the UK. England win the Twenty20 world cup in Barbados. In Manchester Tyson Gay breaks the world record for the seldom-run straight 200m. Ronnie James Dio goes to heavy metal heaven at the age of 67.

Monday 17 May
It seems that at the age of 22 Bonita Norris has become the youngest British woman to summit Everest. Mayor Boris unveils the winner of the competition to design a new bus for London, a design which includes an open platform at the rear. You can now take a Joy Division-themed walking tour of Macclesfield. In Rio the retired football legend Romario is planning to stand for parliament. FIFA is to hold an inquiry into Lord Triesman’s gossip regarding plans to carve up the World Cup bid and bribe referees. Mark Cavendish wins a stage of the Tour of California but keeps his hands in his pockets as he crosses the line.

Tuesday 18 May
Some city types have run the World Cup through their computer and come up with an England win but, given that the same city types were unable to spot fraudulent trading on a massive scale or its likely implications for the global economy, no one pays them any attention. Gary Lineker discovers rather later than most that the Mail on Sunday, who published the Lord Triesman scam and, until now, Mr Lineker’s own column, is a paper of dubious ethical standing and decides to stop trousering their cash in protest. Experts at Kew Gardens have grown the world’s smallest water lily, saving it from extinction. The British Library announces that 40 million pages of its newspaper archives are to be made available digitally. Awards for two British wine growers, Camel Valley and Nyetimber, at the International Wine Challenge. The All England Club appoints an official poet for the Wimbledon championships and Elvis Costello says he won’t be performing in Israel in light of the occupation of Palestinian territory. The French government is to put 200 classics of French cinema online to encourage access by school film clubs. “We teach literature, music and theatre at school,” said Costa Gravas, president of the Paris Cinématheque, “and we believe it is essential that cinema be taught as well”. An alleged al-Qaida operative currently in custody says that his plans for bombing the World Cup in South Africa were “just an idea”. Greece reports the cancellation of more than 20,000 hotel bookings as the economic crisis continues; tourism accounts for nearly a fifth of the country’s economy. The 20 clubs of the Premier League had a combined turnover of £1.9 billion last year, a figure matched almost to the figure, give or take a few tens of millions, by the total of loans and investments from club owners. Greg Searle is named in the GB rowing squad at the age of 38, raising his hopes of an Olympic seat at the age of 40.

Wednesday 19 May
God help us: Wenlock and Mandeville, the London 2012 mascots, are unleashed on a bemused world. At least they make the logo look good. The late JG Farrell’s novel Troubles wins the Lost Booker award. The RIBA prize list includes a slew of cultural buildings, including an electricity substation on the London Olympics site. The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, makes his first speech, promising that “culture will not be singled out as a soft target”. Good news at last for the FA: in Spain La Liga’s clubs are €3.5 billion in debt. Personne or personnes unknown enter the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris under the cover of darkness and have it away with five paintings worth an estimated €500 million.

Thursday 20 May
Waking up to the enormity of last night’s art heist, Christophe Girard, deputy culture secretary, says, “This is a serious attack on the heritage of humanity.” Lily Allen wins three Ivor Novello awards for her songwriting. Devon wants its version of the cream tea to be recognised by the EU as worthy of protected designation of origin. Art Founders, 150-year-old company that has cast the works of almost every significant British sculptor of the last century, has gone into receivership. Floyd Landis surprises almost no one with a confession of long-term doping and allegations that others in the world of professional cycling are up to it as well; his former team mate Lance Armstrong sticks to his “I’ve never failed a drugs test” mantra. Lord Condon says that match fixing could spread through cricket like a rash if the cricket authorities don’t keep an eye on things.

Friday 21 May
Flashmobs are said to be organising in support of the BBC Asian Network. The Cycling Tourists Club says that women are disproportionately at risk from serious injury and death in road accidents, particularly in those accidents involving HGVs. The Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck (no, really), says that UEFA regulations requiring clubs to meet financial solvency standards, scheduled for introduction in 2012, will affect this summer’s contract negotiations.

Saturday 22 May
Hold on, it seems Bonita Norris was hauled off the mountain close to death by sherpas (cf Sir Edmund Hilary, who is said to have said of Everest, “Any idiot can get to the top. It’s getting down alive that’s the tricky bit”). David Beckham is in Afghanistan playing with guns. World Cup officials in South Africa revise overseas visitor numbers from a predicted 750,000 to a likely 200,000. More art theft in France; this time a Picasso is lifted from a private collection in Marseilles. Tehran’s prosecutor general asks the Islamic revolutionary court to reconsider the detention of film-maker Jafar Panahi. Blackpool FC are off to the Premiership. Meanwhile, in the professional peloton there are claims that some riders are using small motors in their bikes.

Sunday 23 May
Not many good words for Wenlock and Mandeville; sorry, lads (or, er, rather, ‘things’). Thai film director Apichatpong Weerasethakul wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes. A property website reckons that Inverness is the most popular place in the UK to which to relocate. The Champs Elysées almost lives up to its name when Paris’s most famous boulevard is turned into a massive farmers’ market. BBC Worldwide showed profits of £140 million last year, due in no small part to the Doctor Who effect. Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who scored for Blackpool in yesterday’s play-off final, says that he injured his ankle on the Wembley pitch and warns that it could cost someone a World Cup place when England play on it tomorrow. Emma Pooley wins the 10-day Tour d’Aude in France, the first Briton to win one of France’s most prestigious bike races.

Monday 24 May
The DCMS announces that there will be a 3% spending cut for almost all their budgets; an exception is being made for Arts Council England, who will have to find a 4% saving. Mayor Boris gushes in a public school fourth form history lesson sort of way about Yinka Shonibare’s HMS Victory in a bottle, which becomes the latest work to sit on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth. The Mental Health Foundation says that one in ten people in the UK feel lonely with young people the most likely to worry about isolation. No England player injures anything on the Wembley pitch, which means it’s probably time to dig it up again.

Tuesday 25 May
Bono’s back injury rules U2 out of Glastonbury and Ronnie Wood reckons the Faces are going to reform for gigs with Mick Hucknall replacing Rod on microphone duties. The Office for National Statistics finds that people in rural areas live longer and Vienna is ranked number one for cities with the best quality of life in a survey by someone. The BBC Television Centre will be turned into a creative quarter for London when the BBC sends its staff to Manchester and beyond, and Newcastle’s Waygood Gallery is labelled “an obscene waste” of money, having had its 2005 opening date continually delayed. Jafar Panahi, the Iranian film-maker, is released on bail. UEFA’s new rule for financial fair play would currently rule one third of the English Premier League clubs out of European competition.

Wednesday 26 May
Don’t panic: Damon Albarn’s Gorrilaz step into Bono’s built-up shoes for Glasto. With the plans for a third runway at Heathrow officially shelved (for now), protestors against Donald ‘The Donald’ Trump’s golf resort plans are to use the mass land purchase approach employed at Heathrow. Nelson McCausland, Northern Ireland’s culture minister, has urged the Ulster Museum to reflect creationism within its exhibitions. Three Premier League players – Dave Kitson, Jack Collison and Curtis Davies – call for more money to be invested in non-league youth development. Exeter Chiefs are promoted to the top tier of English rugby. Shiphiwo Ntshebe, the 34-year-old South African tenor who had been asked to sing at the World Cup opening ceremony, dies suddenly from meningitis.

Thursday 27 May
Lord Puttnam adds his name to the anti-Trump card. American novelist Jeffrey Deaver is to write further ‘official’ James Bond novels with the blessing of the Fleming estate. The Eurovision contest has been hit by a number of countries withdrawing on the grounds of cost. Alex Horne has been appointed to the post of general secretary of the Football Association. Sports minister Hugh Robertson says that the London 2012 budget will not be ring-fenced.

Friday 28 May
Ian McEwan asks where are all the novels about climate change and Jonathan Trappe travels across the Channel hanging from a load of helium balloons. Rhossil Bay on the Gower is voted Britain’s best picnic spot and Mayor Boris launches the capital’s bicycle hire scheme. The French region of Normandy is preparing for a four-month celebration of the Impressionists and Greg Searle wins a gold medal in the rowing world cup series in Slovenia as part of the GB eight.

Saturday 29 May
Novelist Dave Eggers adds his support to plans for literacy drop-in centres for children and young people in London. Researchers at Staffordshire University say that gay footballers would have nothing to fear from fans’ reactions if they came out (the footballers rather than the fans). The Aga Khan is said to be in discussions about funding a £2 billion arts centre in King’s Cross, London. Bill Bryson says he won’t be taking the UK citizenship test but he will be cheering for England when they play the USA in the World Cup. Actor and general legend Dennis Hopper dies at the age of 74.

Sunday 30 May
The Queen will be too busy to attend the Commonwealth Games in October, says the Palace. The Children’s Food Campaign calls for new investment in public water fountains, a staple of Victorian health improvement, to persuade children to abandon sugary drinks. Ninety-seven percent of British beaches reach the European water standard ‘excellence’ level, according to the Environment Agency. England’s under-17 footballers win the European championship for their age group, beating Spain in the final in Liechtenstein.

Monday 31 May
Bank holiday Monday brings snow in the Cairngorms, rounding off an excellent season for Scotland’s ski resorts, which have seen a 20% rise in business. Charles Hill, formerly Knacker of the Yard’s man in charge of art and antiquities, says that nothing is being done to protect Britain’s cultural sites in case of attack during the Olympics. A partial ban on smoking in public buildings in Greece has been widely flouted so a complete ban will be introduced from September. The comedy venue chain Jongleurs announces that it is to open six new sites. UEFA data shows that there are 2,769 English coaches holding its Pro, A and B badges, compared with Italy’s almost 29,000, Spain’s 24,000m, Germany’s 35,000 and France’s 17,500; any questions? Crystal Palace are a day away from liquidation, says its administrator.




the world of leisure
May 2010

Sunday 2 May:
Researchers at the University of Exeter say that exercising outdoors is much better for mood and self-esteem. Visitors to the Lake District from Japan are being asked to contribute £5 to help fund sustainable tourism.




Tuesday 4 May:
France agrees to return sixteen Maori warrior heads to New Zealand. “You do not build a culture on trafficking,” says culture minister, Frédéric Mitterand. “You build a culture on respect and on exchange.”






Wednesday 5 May:
Legal wranglings for auctioneer Christie’s over a painting that it managed to sell for a client for a very reasonable £11,400; the only problem is that it was later attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci and is now insured for $150 million.

last month


other news


an independent view for the leisure industry








about us

contact us