Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Hold The Back Page: 18/12/2010

It's a big weekend for...

Sue Barker & Gary Lineker

It's that time of year again – curl up on the sofa with a whisky mac and watch everyone's favourite TV auntie, Sue Barker, and Gary Lineker go head-to-head for the sports perma-tan of year award. Running alongside through the night will be some other two-bit gong called sports personality of the year, where racing's A P McCoy and dartist Phil Taylor try to persuade the world that dominating their sport – well, racing's a sport – for decades should at least count for something. The bookies reckon McCoy's going to gallop off with that one, but who will be this year's unsung sporting hero? Slap your money on Sue's make-up artist, there's no one more deserving.

We would have applauded you if...

...Morrisons had got real

Just as the fallout from England's failed World Cup bid has begun to die down, Morrisons, favoured supermarket of northern students everywhere, enters the fray, demanding Fifa "does the right thing and offers £1m to be invested in grass-roots football" because "the decision-making process was unfair". Chances of Sepp Blatter putting out his cigar to action that request? Zero. Without wanting to sound ungrateful for Morrisons' backing of the bid, it may well be that donating £1m from the £412m profit made in the first six months of this year would have obtained far better PR than the stunt of employing pricey Swiss lawyers to ask Fifa to cough up, which ain't ever going to happen.

And the stories you may have missed

Helmand or Bristol – your choice

Despite Lance Corporal David Wade's "pang of regret" the 27-year-old seam bowler has decided not to join his Army colleagues in Afghanistan in January on a six-month infantry patrol, and will take up the cushier option of a full-time contract with Gloucestershire instead. Who can blame him?


Channel 4 is, admirably, giving disabled sport more coverage. Heather Mills, always one to spot an opportunity (just ask Sir Paul McCartney), has won a trial place with the British disabled ski team with an eye on the 2014 Olympics.