Wednesday 1 June
Sepp Blatter thanks the “football family” for his re-election as FIFA president. Some of the stars of cultural firmament add their names to calls for a major reassessment of the so-called “war on drugs”. Music videos are to receive age-appropriate parental warnings online, according to the BPI, the music industry body. The American pavilion at the Venice Biennale includes a piece featuring an upturned military tank with a running machine – complete with a runner – perched on top. The UK’s green spaces are worth at least £30 billion a year in health and welfare benefits, according to a report published by Defra. The purchasing managers’ index suggests that the chancellor’s claims for economic growth are misguided.

Thursday 2 June
A growing international trade in ‘Almost Dali’ sculptures since the artist’s death in 1989 is being investigated by the Dali Foundation. Plans to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee next year are revealed and include a river pageant in London and street parties. Oxfordshire County Council is to put the big society to the test by inviting volunteers to run half its libraries. In the US the Arctic Monkeys’ new album title, Suck It and See, has prompted a ban by a supermarket chain. The Royal Academy has elected Ai Weiwei to membership on the eve of the summer exhibition. The FA’s new advice document for professional players is in the format of a cartoon strip. Meanwhile Italian football is facing yet another match-fixing scandal after the arrest of 16 individuals by the police.

Friday 3 June
At Sadler’s Wells Dave St-Pierre’s dance work, Un Peu de Tendresse Bordel de Merde!, which features extensive male nudity on and off stage, is the latest artistic cause celebre. Motorsport’s international governing body, the FIA, gives the go-ahead for the Bahrain grand prix to be staged later in the year. A study of cycling habits in the UK commissioned from a group of universities reveals that most people do not think of cycling as a form of transport, more a pastime for children. Prada’s latest venture is a display of the fashion company’s art collection in a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. Back in the UK Betfred is named as the preferred bidder for the Tote and the Broadgate development is recommended for listed status by English Heritage. Welshman Geraint Thomas, star of British Cycling and Team Sky, wins the Tour of Bavaria.

Saturday 4 June
Hugh Hefner is in London to open a new Playboy club. In Venice there is disquiet about Roman Abramovich parking his enormous yacht in St Mark’s Basin, spoiling the view and putting noses out of joint. A group of origami artists are suing British artist Sarah Morris, whose work is displayed in the Tate, claiming she has pinched their designs within her work. Li Na becomes the first Chinese winner of one of the tennis grand slam events.

Sunday 5 June
A number of the UK’s leading economists warn the chancellor that the economy is too fragile to survive the extensive cuts to public services upon which his heart seems set. At Cern the boffins in charge of the particle accelerator announce they have managed to capture antimatter for more than a thousand seconds, long enough to study it. Fabio Capello, the most senior (and expensive) coach employed by the Football Association, admits that he has no idea why his England squad is unable to perform with the controls stuck at any other setting than pedestrian.

Monday 6 June
Dover Castle opens a new collection of public displays telling the story of the Dunkirk operation. A government white paper suggests that England needs 12 new areas of wilderness to protect the natural environment. Sepp Blatter adds Placido Domingo to the FIFA “council of wisdom” that will apparently sort out the ethical minefield that the world governing body has become.

Tuesday 7 June
Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, is appointed to the post of children’s laureate. The BBC announces that it is to make its Wimbledon coverage available in 3D. A jury finds Daniel Halpin, a noted graffiti tagger, guilty of criminal damage, ignoring his defence that affixing his tag ‘Tox’ to every available flat surface was art. The ICA celebrates the “start of a new era” with a new exhibition by Pablo Bronstein.

Wednesday 8 June
The Olympic torch for 2012 in unveiled; attention is drawn to its 8,000 holes by the Games organisers and to its lack of environmental credentials by critics. Also unveiled is the Olympic basketball venue, a £42-million temporary structure, which may end up in Brazil for Rio 2016. On the subject of the great 2012 ticket hunt, the Little Baron is obliged once again to defend the ticketing allocation policy. The London Wildlife Trust has found that the capital is losing some 3,000 hectares – the equivalent of two and a half Hyde Parks – every year through the loss of domestic gardens. Téa Obreht’s novel The Tiger’s Wife wins the Orange prize for fiction, making her, at 25, the prize’s youngest recipient. In New York the second phase of the High Line, the aerial park built on an old elevated railway, is officially opened; the city’s investment of $110 million has brought an estimated $2 billion of private investment into the area.

Thursday 9 June
The Edinburgh festival fringe is to provide a dedicated space for cabaret for the first time. A YouGov poll suggests that up to 20 million Britons are cutting back on their spending, all just in time for the chancellor’s economic ‘recovery’. More grief at Twickenham as Investec announce that they will not be continuing their sponsorship, an association with the RFU that began in 1998.

Friday 10 June
In the Queen’s birthday honours list Bruce Forsyth is knighted, along with plenty of others willing to enter their names on the establishment’s list of the great, the good and the also-rans. Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver the BBC Radio 4 Reith lecture later this year. Plans for a pound-a-night bed tax on visitors to Cornwall to raise £26 million a year is not popular with members of the county’s tourism businesses. The English National Ballet is to stage a catwalk show of tutus by leading designers to raise funds for the company. Cosmos, the once-corruscating name of North American soccer, announces that the club is to play Manchester United at Old Trafford in August as part of Paul Scholes’s testimonial. RFU chief executive John Steele is sacked following the hilarity over whether Clive “Sir Clive” Woodward is or is not just the man for some sort of job at rugby union HQ.

Saturday 11 June
Salman Rushdie reckons that television drama has taken over from the literary novel as a way of communicating ideas, although the fact that he has just been commissioned to write a TV series might have coloured his views. In the States playwright David Mamet says the British literary establishment, from Trollope to the present day, is riddled with antisemitism. The RFU announces a right old inquiry into what on earth it thinks it is up to. Rushden and Diamonds FC have been expelled from the Blue Square Bet Premier in light of the club’s financial position. Meanwhile, the Premier League withdraws its funding for Supporters Direct, which has promoted fans’ involvement on club boards for more than a decade, following some indiscreet tweeting by the Supporters Direct chief exec, Dave Boyle.

Sunday 12 June
The chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, says that he is committed to protecting the World Service. The Federation of Entertainment Unions is to monitor the impact of funding cuts on the arts in a project called Lost Arts. After 27 years the site of Liverpool’s garden festival is being restored with a public reopening scheduled for July. It seems that Manchester United could be floated on the Hong Kong stock exchange to provide some profit for its owners. Bradley Wiggins wins the six-day Critérium de Dauphiné, the biggest win of his road career to date.

Monday 13 June
Belgium marks the first anniversary of its status as a nation without a government. The BBC announces that it is to sell the Television Centre in west London. It seems Facebook continues to experience a drop in numbers in the UK, the US, Canada and Norway. The RFU is expected to make a £6.5 million profit this year but expects the fixture list, which includes a world cup, to deliver a £10 million next year. The Labour Party is urging the Premier League to safeguard the future of Supporters Direct, which had its funding cancelled by the Premier League after some Twitter-related unpleasantness [see WoL passim].

Tuesday 14 June
The BP-sponsored portrait prize is won by Dutch artist Wim Heldens. Kennin O’Hare is to be the new head of the Royal Ballet, replacing Dame Monica Mason after her retirement. Tullie House museum in Carlisle is to display the Nijmegen helmet, loaned by the Het Valkhof museum in the Netherlands. With the Wimbledon fortnight imminent Roger Draper, everyone’s favourite national governing body leader, is on call to defend the LTA’s player development strategy, telling everyone to stop being so negative about how the LTA spends its £58 million a year; apparently local authorities should be investing more in tennis facilities, according to Rog.

Wednesday 15 June
Last year the good people of Britain spent £13 billion on hairdressing and cosmetics. Tickets will not be sent to the Libyan Olympic committee just yet, according the UK government, and apparently no one linked to the Gaddafi regime will be allowed into the country. The British Museum’s 100 objects series wins the £100,000 Arts Fund museum prize. The Broadgate Centre in the City of London is denied listed status in contradiction of advice from English Heritage; its owners will now be free to redevelop the site.

Thursday 16 June
Panini, the football sticker company, announces that it has had to have a swift reprint of the stickers for the women’s World Cup after 4.5 million packets sell out in a fortnight. The 18-month, £40-million restoration of St Paul’s cathedral is complete. Nine out of ten UK beaches are given a thumbs up on their water quality but 16 fail to meet the EU standards; recent heavy rain has been blamed for poor readings. In Vancouver the Canucks’ loss in the Stanley Cup prompts street riots in which 150 people are arrested. The FA Cup is to be sponsored by Budweiser, the American reimagination of what beer might be like if it all its flavour was removed. Rumours in the pro peloton suggest that Mark Cavendish could be heading to Team British Cycling next year; his contract with HTC is up at the end of this season.

Friday 17 June
Two thirds of those who applied for London 2012 tickets have been disappointed so far. In Cornwall someone has spotted a shark. Rory McIroy is leading the US Open.

Saturday 18 June
Michael Eavis reckons that the political soul of Glastonbury is coming back. ResPublica, the Tory-leaning thinktank, is the latest to question the efficacy and validity of the big society project. The FA is to take steps to address the issue of young players born between May and August getting left behind in the development process; research has provided evidence of the calendar-related bias. The government’s public services reform white paper, aka the big society bill, is to include more powers for parish councils, including the management of parks. A painting of Saint Augustine in a private collection has been claimed as a new Caravaggio. Rory is still leading the US Open.

Sunday 19 June
Ivan Lewis MP, the shadow culture spokesman, says that those among the BBC staff resisting a move to Manchester should drop their “outdated prejudices” against the north of the country. The Lady Blunt Stradivarius, one of the best-preserved examples of Stradivarius violins in the world, is to be auctioned to raise funds for the Japanese tsunami and earthquake relief fund; it is expected to fetch around £6 million. The Watts Gallery, a small museum dedicated to the work of George Frederic Watts located in Compton in Surrey, reopens to the public. The dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch is auctioned, fetching $4.6 million. Rory McIlroy wins the US Open by eight shots, having led from start to finish; a new sporting star is born, according to the press. Clarence Clemons, sax player in the E Street Band, dies at the age of 69.

Monday 20 June
Wimbledon fortnight kicks off with a couple or three British players winning, some more finding interesting ways to lose and much talk of the struggle to find players able to perform at the top level; this last topic is a concern not just for the LTA but also for the tennis authorities in America and Australia. Tracey Emin, Chris Ofili and Rachel Whiteread are among the dozen artists commissioned to produce posters for London 2012. The British Library is to put 250,000 out-of-copyright books online in association with Google. Donald Trump, entrepreneur, golf-lover and internationally acclaimed idiot, says that his controversial golf course near Aberdeen will open next year but the full £750 million scheme of hotels, apartments and hairdressers will have to wait for a better financial climate. Jack Warner, vice-president of FIFA, resigns and thus thwarts any investigation into corruption allegations. The FA offers Stuart Pearce a new contract in his post as manager of the England under-21 squad, which has just failed to rise above the determinedly pedestrian in their European championships.

Tuesday 21 June
The justice secretary’s plans for reform of the criminal justice system is scaled down – some say binned – by the prime minister. David Cornwell – some say John LeCarré – is awarded the Goethe medal, one of Germany’s most celebrated cultural awards. The Lady Blunt Stradivarius [see WoL passim] is sold for £9.8 million and an estimated 18,000 people attend the solstice celebrations at Stonehenge. Marc Bolan fans are heading to Tate Liverpool in their droves to see The Sixteenth of September, one of the works in the Magritte exhibition; apparently the surrealist depiction of a tree has particular significance for Bolanologists (as no one calls them). Whitbread report profits up on the strength of Britain’s coffee culture; they own Costa Coffee. Outrage in Wales and Scotland as plans for a British footy team in the London Games are unveiled. Sky retains rights to rugby league’s Super League until 2016, paying some £90 million.

Wednesday 22 June
Ai Weiwei is released on bail by Chinese authorities. A study by the University of Heidelberg suggests that living in the city has a measurable impact on mental health. JK Rowling is taking Harry Potter online and a manuscript by Charlie Chaplin of a planned talkie is revealed. Sport England figures show that only athletics, netball, table tennis and mountaineering have increased their participation figures between since 2007; golf and rugby league are among those sports to have their funding cut as a result.

Thursday 23 June
Glastonbury, which opens its doors today, will not be testing its sewage outflow for traces of illegal drugs, thank you very much for asking. We’re all in this together department: bombing Libya has to date cost the UK taxpayer £260 million, says the defence secretary, Liam Fox, who will probably be found to have had his fingers crossed; with every Brimstone missile costing £800,000 and every Tomahawk £500,000 it soon mounts up. The Public Catalogue Foundation and the BBC launch Your Paintings, a scheme to identify each of the 200,000 paintings in the national collection. The latest government department to be cut is the Central Office of Information. Bradley Wiggins says his new coaching team has helped him back into top form for the start of the Tour next week.

Friday 24 June
More London 2012 tickets go on sale at 6am, prompting huge demand and plenty of complaints. Aung San Suu Kyi says that listening to Dave Lee Travis on the World Service helped her during her period of captivity and FIFA reckons that there are no stadia or airport in Brazil and there probably won’t be by 2014, which is when the World Cup is supposed to land.

Saturday 25 June
The Folkestone Triennial festival of contemporary art opens for a three-week run. Picasso’s Buste de Femme (1943) becomes the first masterpiece to be displayed in the Palestinian territories. Art Uncut, the direct action group, is upset by the heavy-handed approach to security at Glasto when they try to suggest that U2 should pay some taxes in their native Ireland. It seems salmon are beginning to return to British rivers but no one is quite sure why. Hard times at Barcelona, where the football club’s finances have required the bodyguards to be made redundant and the photocopier make only black and white copies.

Sunday 26 June
Plans for the Olympic tennis competition at Wimbledon next year demonstrate that the 2012 organisers are at pains to draw a distinction with the All England championships; cue fanfares and coloured clothing. Alan Ayckbourn’s archive is to be put online following an arrangement with the University of York and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, among others.

Monday 27 June
The eleventh Serpentine Gallery pavilion, designed by Peter Zumthor, is opened in Hyde Park. Both Williams sisters depart Wimbledon in the fourth round on the same day.
In Argentina River Plate, one of the nation’s most celebrated football clubs, is relegated from the top flight for the first time in the club’s 110-year history.

Tuesday 28 June
Dire news from the retail sector as numerous national chains announce job losses and store closures. Morrissey says he hasn’t got a record deal and that he didn’t enjoy Glastonbury in the rain. Hearts player Craig Thomson is finally suspended by the club after being put on the sex offenders register; the club only took action when a sponsor pulled out of its agreement in light of Thomson’s continuing association with the club. Grayson Perry has been commissioned by the British Museum to create a series of works inspired by the museum’s collection. Ai Weiwei has been told he owes the Chinese government £1 million in tax. Wimbledon says that it might consider a roof on Court One and the RFU is to start looking for a chief executive to work on a temporary basis.

Wednesday 29 June
The London Borough of Wandsworth has decided not to charge children £2.50 a time to use the playground in Battersea Park. Brighton Pier has been put up for sale and Sir Terence Conran is to give £17.5 million to the Design Museum to aid its relocation across London. Could Betfair be struggling? It’s bought back £50 million of shares only a few months after its flotation.

Thursday 30 June
It seems that a reorganisation of fire service control centres in England has wasted some £469 million with no clear improvements in sight. News Corp is given the green light by Culture Secretary Hunt to take over all of Sky and take up a position of unprecedented power in British media. The Royal Shakespeare Company is to recreate a full-sized replica of its Stratford home stage in New York for a six-week residency. Andy Murray reckons he had a dream he was holding a grand slam trophy but he’s still two games away from picking one up at Wimbledon.



the world of leisure
June 2011

Friday 3 June:
At Sadler’s Wells Dave St-Pierre’s dance work, Un Peu de Tendresse Bordel de Merde!, which features extensive male nudity on and off stage, is the latest artistic cause celebre.




Wednesday 8 June:
The Olympic torch for 2012 in unveiled; attention is drawn to its 8,000 holes by the Games organisers and to its lack of environmental credentials by critics. Also unveiled is the Olympic basketball venue, a £42-million temporary structure, which may end up in Brazil for Rio 2016.


last month


other news


an independent view for the leisure industry

front page


back issues





about us

contact us

back page