Sport Chris Tremlett, James Anderson and Stuart Broad train as rain prevents any play again in Hobart

England’s elaborate dietary demands in pursuit of the Ashes cooked up a hugely entertaining media storm. But they could not quite disguise the fact that the complete world stocks of pumpkin seed and goji berry bars or buckwheat pancake with probiotic yogurt and fresh berries – merely two of the tourists’ extensive list equating to a foodie’s heaven – will be unable to help if they cannot get on the park.

Focus: When Delia says do this...

... aspiring cooks everywhere obey. But some argue her links with Sainsbury's have compromised her role as taste tutor to the nation

Sport on TV: Grumpy exits, flash entrances and furrowed brows

They say it's grim up north. It seemed to get pretty murky out west as well, especially when the camera team from The Rugby Club (BBC2) were around. The documentary following the fortunes of Bath Rugby Club is now into its fifth week, and the only smiling faces to be found belong to the musicians of the Pump House Trio whose discreet trillings accompany the examination of the wreckage at The Rec.

Media: They'll be Two Rich Ladies

Britain's Two Fat Ladies have served up suet pudding in the land of the clinically obese and the diet-obsessive. US fans have taken our telly tubbies to their hearts and a revolt against fat-free living has begun, says Paul McCann.

For most of us, the River is another country

"You're probably sick of this by now," said our hostess as she served up soup to us one day in London last year.

Comment: Fine start, but could do better

In all the places where senior civil servants choose to holiday this August the collective sighs of relief will be loud and long. Ever since 1 May and the arrival of new Labour masters and mistresses they have been working at breakneck speed, rushing through policy initiatives like there was no tomorrow. They are exhausted.

Ermine for captains of industry ... but only regrets for Lamont

Labour's friendship with big business is renewed today with four captains of industry created Labour life peers by the Prime Minister in a working list of 47 new peerages.

Auntie goes for gold

Sophia Chauchard-Stuart logs on to Beeb, the BBC's new commercial online service

One tomato, and the scare is rolling

"Did you see Delia Smith on television this week? It was absolutely revolting. But I saw it with my own eyes. Dear old Delia came on the screen, picked up a tomato and said to the TV audience, 'What you do is cut the top out of the tomato, like this', and then she cut the top out of the tomato, and then she said, 'What you do next is put it on your nose' - and she put it on her nose, and grinned! I couldn't believe my eyes. It was quite awful."

Top books? You're kidding

Waterstones' 'best books' survey shows that the nation is hidebound by GCSE syllabuses, says Ann Barnes

Britain's real reading list

Give them credit. Whoever dreamt up Waterstones' greatest 100 books of the century pulled off the neatest marketing wheeze since Prima persuaded Cherie Blair to edit their mag. Neat, because yesterday everyone who had any interest whatever in books found themselves unable to avoid discussing the merits and demerits of their list.

No Sartre, no Lessing, no Mailer: Frodo the hobbit beats them all

JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is the greatest book written this century, according to a poll of more than 25,000 people conducted by the book chain Waterstone's and Channel 4's Book Choice.

Managerial patter cannot disguise pitiful show

Phil Shaw watches a strong defensive unit hold their mundane visitors at bay

Last Resort: Walsall

Think "illuminations" and a northern resort with a tower is most likely to come to mind, rather than a not-very-famous town on the edge of the Black Country. If Walsall is known for anything, it is the leather industry, its market, its Balti houses (which were selling Baltis well before they were trendy and where they still only cost around pounds 3.50), and having its local council expelled from the Labour Party for being too left-wing.

COOKS ON SCREEN

A hi-tech answer to Mrs Beeton or a totally flawed concept? Our panel goes on line in the kitchen

Last week Thomas Sutcliffe tried to work up an appetite for TV cookery programmes

How sad do you have to be to want to consume TV cookery programmes? If ever there was evidence that we are a nation of watchers rather than doers then it is the news that we are to have more cookery programmes rammed down our throats.
Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
world cup 2014
Sport
Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £259pp Find out more
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?