Tuesday 1 November
Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir are found guilty of conspiracy in the cricket spot-fixing trial. With 53 days to go until Christmas, four fifths of the Saturdays, “Britain’s most glamorous girl group”, meet the challenge of turning on the Oxford Street lights. Get your jumpers out: the second series of The Killing is back on UK television later this month. The Arts Council’s plans for £400 million of lottery funding over the next three years do not include investment in new galleries and arts buildings. The Chinese authorities have handed Ai Weiwei a £1.5 million tax bill. The Scottish FA is to put in place a code of conduct for players representing the country at all age levels.

Wednesday 2 November
It seems that the Occupy movement is spreading across the UK, with new camps in Bristol, Bath, Bradford and Birmingham as well as other towns not beginning with B. Martyn Thomas, acting chief exec of the RFU, is to stand down next month and sever all ties with rugby union’s governing body.

Thursday 3 November
Unison votes to back a strike on 30 November in response to proposed pension reforms. Meanwhile, the meltdown of the European economic union continues, with Greece on the brink of leaving the euro. The next Bond film will be called Skyfall and is to start filming straight after the press conference. Downton Abbey will have a third series, by which time enthusiasm for the lessons of noblesse oblige should have been sated. St Helena is to get its first airport, a £200-million project funded by the UK government, and the Met is to start charging film-makers £500 a day plus a profit share for any films depicting Inspector Knackers boys and girls in blue. The Private Equity Foundation reckons that some towns in England have one quarter of their 16- to 24-year-olds not in training, education or employment. Messrs Butt, Amir, Asif and Majeed are sentenced to jail terms for their part in cricket corruption. In Dortmund a cleaner at the Ostwall Museum has damaged a  sculpture by Martin Kippenberger valued at €800,000 by giving the bucket that is an integral part of the piece a good scrub to remove the patina; it seems the cleaner in question was employed by a company to whom the cleaning had been outsourced.

Friday 4 November
Ruth Davidson, a gay woman, is elected leader of the Scottish Conservative party. London 2012 unveils its posters for the Games and 1,000 events to mark the start of London’s Olympics. In Northern Ireland Boris Johnson unveils the first working prototype of the new London bus. Sir Alex Ferguson is celebrating 25 years in charge at Manchester United.

Saturday 5 November
In the US professional golf looks nervously at its two-tone shoes as Steve Williams, Tiger Woods’ former caddie, refers to his erstwhile as a “black arsehole” at an awards dinner and then wonders what all the fuss is about. In the UK while John Terry is facing allegations of racial abuse Fabio Capello says he has never seen racism within football in England. Leading names in the arts, including Kevin Spacey, Lord Puttnam and Nick Hornby, are campaigning against the government’s plans to focus the schools curriculum on “traditional subjects”. Sepp Blatter says he is going to name names in his anti-corruption drive at FIFA. However, there may still be some way to go as last month FIFA awarded two lucrative contracts to companies owned or part-owned by Sepp’s nephew Philippe.

Sunday 6 November
Wayne Kelly from Warrington wins the British national Scrabble championship. Taunton Rugby Club’s fireworks event is being investigated following a fatal crash on the M5 near the club’s ground; smoke is thought to have been a contributory fact in the incident. Lancashire County Cricket Club announces a £2.1-million loss for the 2010 financial year, the worst figures in the club’s history.

Monday 7 November
The Booker Prize seems to have turned a page after dipping into readability by appointing  Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement and a literary heavyweight. Ninety per cent of beaches in England and Wales meet EU standards and officials of Unesco are visiting Liverpool to see if development on the city’s waterfront have damaged its world heritage status. It seems the government has spent £750,000 on Olympic tickets, prompting the question of how they managed to be so lucky in the ticket application lottery. England’s football team will be staying at a city-centre hotel in Krakow during the next international championship, in contrast to the last one where they were kept well out of the way; nothing can go wrong this time. Still on Planet Football, Sandro Rosell, the president of Barcelona, decries the English Premier League in which foreign owners are enabled to buy and sell clubs. Squash has unveiled innovations in the game that will see it installed into the Olympic roster of sports; all-glass courts are central to the plan. Joe Frazier dies aged 67.

Tuesday 8 November
The body of Jimmy Savile begins a period of a Yorkshire-style lying in state. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s arts education charitable foundation is to give £3.5 million to Arts Educational Schools in west London. The Scottish FA is to spend £60 million on an elite development programme. The controversy over the bidding process for occupation of the Olympic stadium continues with the Met making an arrest. Meanwhile, respected stadium architect John Barrow says that standing areas could be a part of stadia in the UK.

Wednesday 9 November
Michael Sheen gives us his Hamlet at the Young Vic and the National Gallery’s Leonardo exhibition opens to queues and ‘sold out’ signs. France is set to become the world’s biggest wine producer once again, overtaking Italy, and England’s football team will be able to wear poppies on armbands in their friendly against Spain.

Thursday 10 November
The British Library unveils an exhibition of illustrated manuscripts from the royal collection. The centenary of the battle of Ypres will be marked in 2014 by a number of initiatives by the Flemish government, including a cycle route. The Royal Opera House has launched an opera-related game as an iPhone app. An appeal relating to Brent council’s closure of six libraries comes before a judge. Mike Ashley reckons that someone will pay millions for renaming rights of Newcastle’s St James’ Park. In South Africa Australia’s Test cricketers rally from 21 for 9 to be all out for 47.

Friday 11 November
London win the competition to host the 2017 world athletics championship, having matched Doha’s commitment to foot the $7.2 million prize fund. The Eurozone crisis continues and Britain’s prime minister reminds us that we’re all in this together by telling us to prepare for the worst. The RFU fines Mike Tindall £25,000 and removes him from the elite player squad. The Queen visits Margate to see the Turner Contemporary and is as surprised as anyone to find Tracey Emin, who had promised to leave the UK in protest at a 50% tax rate, welcoming her Madge to her home town. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England have calculated that enough brownfield sites exist to provide space for 1.5 million new homes. Toy makers Hornby have posted good results and expect a further boost from the London Olympics.

Saturday 12 November
Farewell then, Silvio Berlusconi; Italy’s culture may well be the richer. Back in the UK, 50% of Britons do not get enough sleep, according to a medical research organisation named, rather surprisingly, Sleepio. Nicholas Serota, director of Tate galleries, says that museums and galleries should save money and help the environment by turning down the heating in their buildings. On Planet Football Milan Mandaric and Harry Redknapp are to stand trial on tax evasion charges and, right at the other end of the scale of footballing probability, England beat world champions Spain at Wembley. There is continuing unease at the threat to Sure Start centres in the face of continuing cuts. Usain Bolt says that he is hoping to take four golds from London 2012, having added the 4x400m to his schedule.

Sunday 13 November
It seems that the Americans are not happy with the security arrangements for London 2012, not least the fact that LOCOG’s guess about how many security operatives will be required (they thought 10,000 would do) was out by about 110%. The trustees of Dartington Hall, a Devon-based arts and social justice charity, are having to defend their decision to sell off £1.6 million’s worth of art. Puma, the sportswear giant, reckon that they will be able to offer recyclable and compostable shoes soon. Wales RFU confirm that coach Shaun Edwards has accepted an offer of a new contract and over on Planet Football England are planning a Euro 2012 warm up against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, scene in 1995 of an abandoned match between the two nations. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s new cricket chief, Zaka Ashraf, says that Pakistan should be playing Test match cricket against India.

Monday 14 November
The government confirms that there are now 124 fewer Sure Start centres than there were last year. Football clubs Everton and Derby County are to start free schools with a focus on sport. The Ministry of Defence says that it’s found some ground-to-air missiles that could be used during the Olympics. In Russia the defence ministry is denying reports that they were planning to train soldiers using badminton. In Blackpool the council is investing £1 million in its libraries, an attractive alternative to the general approach elsewhere in the country.

Tuesday 15 November
London 2012 confirms that it is sticking by its decision to accept £7 million in sponsorship from the chemical company Dow, which bought the infamous Union Carbide company in 2001. The National Trust has raised £1 million to buy the Llyn Dinas farm in Wales, a legendary beauty spot, and the US embassy in London says that it is perfectly happy with security plans for the Olympics in London. The Republic of Ireland qualifies for Euro 2012. In Armenia they have put chess on the curriculum in primary schools. It seems Heinrich Himmler was a loving son, sending postcards to his mum of all the places the Nazis marched into in order to torture people. In the USA the police step into the debate about the upkeep of public parks, using considerable force to clear the greensward of Occupy protesters.

Wednesday 16 November
Scientists at Ohio State University suggest that people who are happy have brains tuned to notice and recognise positive aspects of life. The splendours of Manchester’s town hall are now available to visitors taking the official tour and the high court decides that the decision by councils in Gloucestershire and Somerset to shut libraries was unlawful. In Liverpool the successful and celebrated Mathew Street music festival is threatened by spending cuts. Martin Johnson stands down as England rugby “team manager” and offers no reason for his decision. Sepp Blatter says that racist abuse on the football pitch should be forgotten about after the game by the players involved.

Thursday 17 November
It seems that the Ministry of Defence has managed to spend more than £600 million on consultants and advisers with no apparent thought or concern for value for money. Meanwhile, the treasury has quietly sold Northern Rock to Virgin at a cool £400 million loss to the tax payer. In the UK some 41.6 million adults now have access to the internet, according to the Office for National Statistics. Who would have thought it: Sepp Blatter’s views on racism unleash a storm of protest but Blatter stands by his idiotic outpourings and resists calls for his resignation. Hilary Mantel, the third-best writer in Glossop, is planning two sequels to her hugely celebrated historical novel Wolf Hall.

Friday 18 November
In a fine example of nominative determinism a communities secretary called Pickles is planning to set up a school for curry chefs, part of plans to undermine the immigration applications of non-British curry cooks. Sepp Blatter issues an apology for being an ignorant arse but says it would be unfair to expect him to resign. In China Ai Weiwei is now being investigated on charges of pornography following photographic works depicting nudes. In Manchester, City reveal an operating loss of £197 million, the biggest loss in English football history.

Saturday 19 November
Get your jumpers out: The Killing is back on BBC2. BOA chairman Lord Moynihan says that the opportunity for London 2012 legacy has been squandered. In Manchester scholars are sifting through a new archive of the late Anthony Burgess’s papers in preparation for next year’s fiftieth anniversary of the publication of A Clockwork Orange and Mark Cavendish brings the rainbow jersey of the world champion to the Manchester velodrome, the first time a British professional world road race champion has raced at home for 45 years. The UK prison population has exceeded 88,000 for the first time. Basil D’Oliveira, focal point of cricket’s boycott of apartheid-era South Africa, dies at the age of 80.

Sunday 20 November
The leads in the National Theatre’s Frankenstein – Messrs Cumberbatch and Miller – win the best actor gong between them in the Evening Standard theatre awards on the grounds that they alternate the roles of Frankenstein (first name Victor) and his creation on a daily basis. Staff at the National Gallery have voted to go on strike and the British Olympic Association is to appeal against the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that the BOA must fall into line with the CAS rules on banned athletes’ access to the Olympics.

Monday 21 November
The Duchy of Cornwall is to charge for licences for metal detectorists on its land. Liz McColgan is found not guilty of assaulting her husband. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls reckons the Antiques Roadshow makes him cry, which means his name is either highly appropriate or highly inappropriate, depending on your interpretation of his motivation. Tate Britain is to hold a retrospective of Damien Hirst next year and the Heritage Lottery Fund has allocated £3 million for the project to restore Margate’s seaside funfair, which will become a park dedicated to historic rides. David Beckham lifts the MLS Cup amid speculation over the next club to be graced by his increasingly stationary midfield expertise. In Twickenham the RFU announces a profit of £8.7 million, a record result for the organisation. Playwright Shelagh Delaney, author of A Taste of Honey, dies aged 71.

Tuesday 22 November
Tour operator Thomas Cook is in negotiations with funding partners to stay in business. UK talent is dominant in the Emmys, America’s most prestigious television awards. The Hayward in London is to stage its own retrospective next year, of the work of David Shrigley. The uniforms for staff at the London 2012 Olympics are revealed, prompting The Leisure Review’s style correspondent to curly an obligatory lip: “Thoroughly underwhelming in their dullness” was the offical TLR verdict. The Muppets are coming back to prime time television and Sly Stallone is to unleash a musical version of Rock on an unsuspecting and no doubt unprepared world. In Italy Silvio Berlusconi is to release an album of love songs and in New Zealand Graham Henry says he won’t be taking the England rugby job on the grounds that he’s “got enough problems”. Hurdler Dai Greene says that he hopes the football competition will not overshadow the rest of the London Olympics given the British obsession with the game, and that football shouldn’t even be in the Olympics anyway.

Wednesday 23 November
Robert Redford is to host a Sundance London film festival next April. The National Gallery is exploring how to tackle ticket touts targeting the Leonardo exhibition and Unesco are warning Liverpool that proposed tower blocks along its waterfront will jeopardise the city’s world heritage status. In Oxford the Ashmolean opens its new Egyptian galleries, while in Twickenham a leaked report that includes the England players’ confidential views on the World Cup campaign causes further uproar.

Thursday 24 November
One in five 16- to 24-year-olds are now not in work, education or training, some 1.16 million individuals. Elbow are to write the BBC’s Olympic theme tune and in Paris there is understated elation as Marks and Spencer returns to the French capital.

Friday 25 November
Jack Kerouac’s first novel, The Sea is my Brother, is published after a 70-year wait. The BBC’s consultation on how to spend its slashed budget has prompted the Corporation to rethink its proposed cuts to local radio. The Mousetrap, the world’s longest-running play, is to mark its 60th anniversary with a UK tour and overseas productions. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery reopens with 60% more display space than when it closed. Australia announces plans to create the world’s biggest marine park to protect the Coral Sea off its north-east coast.

Saturday 26 November
Unease in the world of classics as Professor Edith Hall, an expert on Homer, resigns her post at the University of London in protest at budget cuts. Lots of local authorities are apparently deciding not to invest in Christmas lights. In Paris Oscar Wilde’s tomb is to be cleaned and protected from graffiti. In Jerusalem the Kolben Dance Company is at the centre of a religious row over recent performances and rehearsals that have been visible to the public. Back in London, is the RFU about to pay enormous bonuses to its leading lights in recognition of a record-breaking financial performance amidst the chaos? Meanwhile England’s women rugby players beat New Zealand at Twickenham.

Sunday 27 November
As predicted by The Leisure Review some time ago, the chancellor has decided that, having slashed public spending to save the economy, it is now time to increase public spending to save the economy. Environmental Protection UK, the UK’s oldest environmental NGO, is to close following a drop in its income, which follows the cuts to local authority budgets. It seems of the 62 apartments in One Hyde Park, London’s latest must-have address, only nine contain occupants that actually pay tax on their enormous earnings. Ken Livingstone reckons that the proposed Dow sponsorship of the Olympic stadium represents a “crisis of legitimacy”. Gary Speed, footballer and coach, dies at the age of 42.

Monday 28 November
The pandas are coming to Edinburgh zoo. The RFU cuts Mike Tindall’s fine and reinstates him to the elite rugby squad. The BBC unveil a shortlist for their sports personality of the year competition that comprises only men. Next year’s county cricket championship will start on 5 April, the earliest start ever. In Senegal Youssou N’Dour is to put his music career on hold to enter politics. British film-making legend Ken Russell dies at the age of 84.

Tuesday 29 November
The chancellor predicts an additional six additional years of austerity but announces an apparent £6 billion to be spent on road and rail projects. In London the gangway to HMS Belfast collapses, injuring two contractors. The British Museum acquires a set of Picasso prints funded by a donation from Hamish Parker, a City financier. Sesame Street is to arrive in Afghanistan soon and Lilian Thuram, former member of the French national football squad, opens an exhibition he has curated in Paris examining the history of racist. Portsmouth FC is back in administration. The outcry over the BBC’s all-male list of sports personalities begins; stand well back.

Wednesday 30 November
The public sector goes on strike, threatening the very fabric of the country or making very little impact, depending to which one of the prime minister’s faces one happens to be listening. A public appeal is launched to raise funds to buy the Victory in a bottle that is currently on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square; it will look good at the National Maritime Museum, apparently. The Royal Shakespeare Company appoints Mark Ravenhill as writer in residence and London’s transport commissioner, Peter Hendy, reckons that the London Olympics will cause some serious congestion; no one is shocked. The Dulwich Picture Gallery is to host an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work. Sunderland sacks its manager, Steve Bruce, and the RFU announce a major restructuring, which will rule out the return of Clive Woodward to Twickenham. FIFA is invited to consider a set of proposals for reform of the organisation’s governance. The BBC says that it will look into how the shortlist for its sports personality competition is drawn up and the MCC says that it has decided to go ahead with a gradual upgrading of Lord’s rather than a full-scale radical rebuild.


the world of leisure
November 2011

Thursday 3 November:
Downton Abbey will have a third series, by which time enthusiasm for the lessons of noblesse oblige should have been sated.

Saturday 5 November:
Sepp Blatter says he is going to name names in his anti-corruption drive at FIFA. However, there may still be some way to go as last month FIFA awarded two lucrative contracts to companies owned or part-owned by Sepp’s nephew Philippe.




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