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Democratic party strategist who guided presidential candidates like Humphrey, McGovern and Mondale

Sport on TV: Brazen shyness and the well-groomed hangdog look

It seems only fair to begin with a minor clarification. Certain passages in last week's column - the ones which could conceivably have been headlined "Time for this Spineless Schmoozer to Shuffle Off Back to Radio" - might have led some readers to believe that John Inverdale had turned into the sporting equivalent of Richard Madeley. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth, as his interview with Will Carling on last Monday's edition of On Side (BBC1) fully demonstrated. Sport on TV welcomes this opportunity to set the record straight, and naturally regrets any confusion that may have been caused.

Television Review: Big Train

THE GROWTH in the freelance sector has wrought a revolution in daytime TV. Once the province of "at-home moms", as the parlance of the genre would have it, doleys and pre-schoolers, it now has to cater to at-home accountants, journalists and headhunters. The solution is Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake, Esther, Kilroy (BBC1) and Trisha (ITV). Trisha was brought in by Anglia to replace Vanessa when the latter's pay demands became absurd. But Vanessa was whipping Kilroy in the ratings, so the old pro has had to sharpen up his act.

The Ratings: Cable and Satellite

SKY 1

Can TV be trusted with real life?

Podium: Extract from the Huw Wheldon Lecture delivered by the leading comedy writer to the Royal Television Society

Film: Who's afraid of the big, bad box?

The Truman Show attacks TV for its insidious manipulation of the masses. But then TV-bashing is a Hollywood tradition

Feeling bad again? Have a Yom Kippur Lite

HOW ARE YOU feeling now? Cleansed? Relieved? Filled with new resolve? Somehow mysteriously lightened of the burden of the awful life you live?

Irritations of Modern Life: 16: Tampon Ads

THERE IS a phrase that, if I'm in the throes of PMT, makes me want to throw the nearest Yuppie coffee-table ornament through the TV screen. All you have to do to bring me out in a cold sweat is raise an arched eyebrow, put on a Scottish accent and say "You don't suppose using dry white wine was a bit of a cheat, do you?". Innocuous enough, I know, but when the actress delivering the line has just poured the contents of her glass into a sanitary towel, it's downright offensive. Look, dolly: wings are useful if you knock your wine glass over on your white sofa and don't have any kitchen paper, but that's not actually what they were designed for.

President In Crisis: Politics turns on the youth of America

WHEN MTV, the music channel, launched its "Get Out the Vote" drive in 1992, it was attempting the almost impossible: stirring America's youth out of its political inertia. The campus activism of the early Sixties may have vanished for good, was the reasoning, but at least let's get students talking about politics again.

Who are you calling trailer trash?

Mobile homes have an

Madly in love, or just mad...

'Romance is not dead, but perhaps it should be'

Edinburgh Festival: The simple bare necessities

A Family Outing; Krapp's Last Tape

Television: Read his lips: that's what television's for

Two stories dominated the news on television all week. One was tragic but uplifting; the other, essentially tawdry and dispiriting. Omagh is what television news does best: the Monica Lewinsky affair opens a vista of what television news could become if all goes wrong. Then, on Thursday, the news of America's revenge for the bombing of the Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam embassies. A coup de theatre: no wonder they say Bill Clinton is going to join Steven Spielberg on the board of Dream Works when he's through with the White House.

It's hard to swallow how trivial American politics has become

CONTEMPLATING AMERICA this week has been like watching a gigantic edition of The Jerry Springer Show. But instead of the usual procession of dysfunctional representatives of the US underclass, falling over their own blubber and ponytails in an attempt to knock five kinds of theatrical crap out of each other, we have - up on stage (a big hand folks!) - Bill, Monica, Ken Starr, Hillary, Linda Tripp and as many others as can be conceivably subpoenaed.

For Clinton, sorry seems to be the hardest word

All the spin doctors, legal counsels, advisors and voice trainers can't hide the fact of faking it
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there