Sport The French father and son pairing of Pascal (left) and son Alexis Loison became the first doublehanded winners in the 45th Rolex Fastnet Race in Plymouth in one of the smallest boats, the 33-foot Night and Day

A father and son team from Cherbourg has won the top prize in the Rolex Fastnet Race, and the French have been climbing all over the top honours. Sailing two-handed, Pascal and Alexis Loison beat off the threat from bigger, more powerful, and vastly more expensive rivals to take their 33-foot Night and Day to the best corrected time out of 336 starters in the 611-mile race which started from Cowes on Sunday.

Music: Begin the Beguine again

As the dazzling sophistication of Cole Porter comes to London, David Benedict speaks to the conductor, John McGlynn, below, while opposite, Edward Seckerson meets the singer McGlynn will be conducting at the Palace Theatre on Sunday night, Kim Criswell

Leading Article: Secret of Sinatra

AFTER John Humphrys announced the death of Frank Sinatra on BBC radio's Today programme (can you remember what you were doing when you heard the news?) his co-presenter, Anna Ford, remarked that she thought we would all be hearing an awful lot of My Way from now on. Ms Ford was right.

Preview: Singalong Broadway melodies

Sashay along to the Barbican today, where an all-singing, all-dancing double-bill of On the Town and Top Hat launches a two-week celebration of screen musicals. All the great composers are represented, from Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter to George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and, of course, Busby Berkeley.

Review: A pilgrimage through myth leading nowhere

Theatre: Vagabondage Young Vic Studio, London

Classical Review: A star - of the second rank

Music on Radio 3

Obituary: J. G. Links

Joseph Gluckstein Links, art historian: born London 13 December 1904; OBE 1946; married 1945 Mary Lutyens (one stepdaughter); died London 1 October 1997.

Lipstick on her collar

Jill Gomez has been getting her mouth around Ades's new opera.

classical music ROBERT MAYCOCK

Here we are, half-way through the 20th century in the South Bank's dash towards the millennium. "The Forties: War and Peace" is the latest series, and as usual Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO are in the front line. In this year's instalment Bartk and Stravinsky continue their domination of the mid-century's music, while Tippett and Messaien are the fresh-faced newcomers. Now listen on...

Obituary: Ian Board

AS PIANIST in Muriel Belcher's Colony Room from 1958 to 1960, I had daily contact with Ian Board, writes Malcolm Williamson (further to the obituary by Christopher Howse, 28 June). While I dispensed Gershwin, Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers, he ran the bar.

BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: The Chatto Book of Love Poetry - ed John Fuller, pounds 8.99

An anthology for the better end of the Valentine's Day market: from Marvell and Donne to Graves, Gershwin and Cole Porter. The book is arranged by love's chronology, not Eng Lit's - from lonely pining through flirting and wooing ('Come live with mee and bee my love'), to consummation ('I was lowering my body onto yours / When . . .'), separation and despair. To make the point that love is the great, universal-but-anonymous emotion, authors' names do not appear alongside the poems, but only at the back. As the editor says, 'a prompt- book of emotional understanding, corroboration and provocation'.

Sorry Cole, you aren't the top

CHALLENGED at a party to find a rhyme for 'conundrum', Cole Porter sat down at a piano and, within seconds, produced a charming little song in which a Mrs S Beach Fitch asks her husband, Mr S Beach Fitch, what the difference is between a riddle and three elephants sitting on a bun. (Enthusiasts of Mr Evelyn Waugh may remember that the novelist had earlier based two characters on this couple in Vile Bodies.)

I Confess: D M Thomas on a love of show tunes and Zulu

I HAD a long depression several years ago, during which I couldn't read or write. I simply couldn't. What kept me going was my South Pacific album. I'd play it every day - every day without fail - and sing along. Everyone thought I was mad, which I almost certainly was. But I was responding to the cheery optimism of the classic pre-War / post-War American musical. In my imagination I was transformed into John Hanson, singing in the desert. Singing brings out the sentimental and romantic in me.

Letter: Prepared to stand up for a duchess

Sir: I am pleased, proud and moved that your writer Stephen Ward realised exactly what I hoped to convey by my music during the funeral service for Margaret Argyll ('Penniless duchess buried to frail echoes of a dazzling era', 4 August). I hope that the many people entertained by Margaret Argyll during her lifetime but who couldn't bring themselves to attend the service will have read his words.

THEATRE / Last one out, turn off the lights: Rhoda Koenig on a Big Night Out at Nottingham Playhouse

IMAGINE that, like Sandi Toksvig, you are an actress who also writes plays. What sort of part are you likely to write for yourself? A charmer who says what she thinks, does what she likes, and is admired and envied by all? Or perhaps your vanity takes a more idealistic form. You might decide to portray someone who fights injustice or sacrifices herself for a loved one. Toksvig, however, plays an overall-clad usherette in a decrepit seaside cinema. She is timid, often apologetic, and is constantly upstaged by a glamorous, dynamic woman whose material is more pleasing to the audience.
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