Brian Viner

Brian Viner swapped London for the Herefordshire countryside, and his column ‘Country Life’ documents his attempts to chase the rural idyll. Chiefly a sports writer, he pens a weekly sports column and interview for the paper. He is the author of 'Ali, Pele, Lillee and Me: A Personal Odyssey Through the Sporting Seventies'.

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Watching the Open needs a plan of military precision

This is the first time in 21 years that an Open Championship at St Andrews has unfolded without your columnist treading the hallowed turf either as a spectator or a hack, a matter of some personal regret. However, the regret is mitigated by the awareness that television affords the golf fan an infinitely better perspective on the goings-on at an Open, especially an Open at St Andrews, which is bereft of the towering dunes that provide natural viewing stations at other venues, such as Royal Birkdale and Royal St George's.

Hit the rewind and return to a time when the Australians were still merely mortal

Last Monday, to paraphrase Rolf Harris, 11 chaps had a mishap. By the end of the Twenty20 match at the Rose Bowl, Australia's cricketers, who had arrived at the ground in the morning as bouncy as Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, had utterly lost the spring in their collective step. It was all rather disorientating, as if Crocodile Dundee had come out as gay and Germaine Greer had offered to do my ironing. And if I can think of any more appropriate Antipodean imagery, be sure I will find room for it.

Charlie George: Highbury's local hero keeps the flame alive

As Arsenal head for another Cup final, the scorer of one of the grand occasion's greatest goals is still close to the heart of the club he has loved and served for over three decades

Kevin Pietersen: One-day wonder prepares for test of staying power

England's latest batting sensation survived a baptism of fire in his native South Africa, but faces a more daunting burden of expectation in the build-up to the Ashes series

Alan Stubbs: 'As a fan I wanted Wayne to stay, but he had to do the best for himself'

Everton's veteran centre-half was Rooney's best friend at Goodison, but a man who has twice beaten cancer is never going to shy away from difficult decisions

Bernie Ecclestone: The goblin driving a hard bargain with the future

The 74-year-old billionaire behind the commercial success of Formula One is battling for control of its complex empire as he faces the threat of a breakaway world championship

David Morgan: England's man of steel proves master of the sticky wicket

Australia are on their way and questions about tours and TV deals show no sign of ceasing, but the ECB's chairman sees blue sky ahead for all levels of cricket
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Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?