Willy van Rysel: Long-distance swimming pioneer

During an interview for Swimming Times magazine in 2003, Willy van Rysel announced matter-of-factly: "I came to Britain in 1948 and was pursued by the paparazzi every day." The paparazzi? Sensing my scepticism, she produced the evidence – a sheaf of press pictures including one showing a gaggle of photographers snapping the would-be Channel swimmer as she left her hotel at Dover.

More headlines

Diary: Rupert facing a holy war?

While I was taught from an early age to show proper respect to the confused and the elderly, the sight of a beaming Rupert Murdoch proudly clad in his shorts this week made me think more Mr Burns from The Simpsons than all-powerful head of a morally bankrupt media empire.