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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game