I left the office on Friday night a week-and-a-half ago leaving the paper in your hands and look what happens. I suppose it serves me right for taking time off! In all seriousness, I’m sure you will continue to give Oly the welcome he deserves – I must extend my thanks to him for letting me fill this slot today.
But you’ll have to try harder than that to get rid of me – I’m very happy to say that I’ll be at his side as his deputy, and also answering to you. Oly has been a colleague for a number of years now, and I am looking forward to working with him more closely – I know that the paper you love is very safe in his hands. So this definitely isn’t a Stefano-style goodbye, more of a see you later.
At least I’ll have more time on my hands to concentrate on my other passions – watching the British and Irish Lions destroy Australia in the remaining two Tests, and England crushing Australia twice in back-to-back Ashes series. Laura Robson got her quest to beat an Australian in the last 16 at Wimbledon off to a great start yesterday by beating the 10th seed, but Andy Murray can’t face any antipodeans until the quarter-finals, although a certain Roger Federer (and possibly one or two other players) might want to have a say in that first!
It is more with surprise that I am singling out the Australians – they have dominated many world sports for so long now (I’d know, as a Welsh rugby-playing cricket fan), I can’t resist giving them a gentle ribbing.
So with that, I’m sure you’ll join me in getting behind Laura and Andy in their Wimbledon quests. Murray may be our biggest hope for a first British singles winner since Virginia Wade in 1977, but watch everyone call him Scottish if he doesn’t win the title…