The London 2012 Olympic stadium has been at the centre of a long-running saga over its future

BBC1 shunts flagship shows to BBC2 in favour of wall-to-wall Olympics

In every conceivable sense, Stratford is a long way from the foot of South Africa's Table Mountain. But when Gary Lineker tucks his famous toes under the coffee table at the BBC's Olympics studio on the East London site in a few months' time, he might experience more than a little déjà vu.

The corporation has defended the costs of deploying 765 staff to cover the Games

From 6am to 1am, daily: BBC1 runs into Olympic overload

Schedules cleared for 2,500 hours of coverage – and 'glass box' World Cup studio will be used again

Eddie Izzard plans Nelson Mandela tribute

In a tribute to the 27 years former South African President Nelson Mandela spent in prison for his fight against apartheid, the comedian and actor Eddie Izzard is to run 27 marathons in 27 consecutive days.

<b>29 March 2012</b><br/>
The RFU announce Stuart Lancaster as the permanent head coach of the England rugby team. A more experienced man such as Nick Mallett had previously been favourite for the job but Lancaster impressed as interim coach during the Six Nations and landed himself the job.

England confirm mid-week fixtures during tour of South Africa

England's three-Test summer tour of South Africa will include midweek matches in Kimblerley and Potchefstroom against SA Barbarians teams, it was confirmed today.

Organisers stressed the event was more about advocacy than abdominals

Mr Gay World contest goes ahead in Johannesburg despite threats

African participants in the world's biggest gay beauty pageant faced violence and intimidation ahead of yesterday's final, with Zimbabwe's representative forced to withdraw after his family received death threats.

Intersecting public and private passions: Nadine Gordimer

No Time Like The Present, By Nadine Gordimer

Something of a teenage prodigy, Nadine Gordimer published her first story in a Johannesburg magazine before the Second World War. Her debut collection, Face to Face, appeared in 1949, just after apartheid became state policy in South Africa but before its cornerstones were laid. Now, aged 88, after 14 novels, ten volumes of stories, multiple book-bannings by the apartheid state and scores of landmark essays (not to mention the Nobel and Booker prizes), she returns with an impassioned family saga of post-liberation dreams, shocks and fears, as alert and nuanced – tormented, even – as any of her works. You would need to go back to the 19th century, and the career of a Victor Hugo, to find another example of a major writer who has listened so closely, for so long, to a nation's beating heart.

No Time Like The Present, By Nadine Gordimer

Something of a teenage prodigy, Nadine Gordimer published her first story in a Johannesburg magazine before the Second World War. Her debut collection, Face to Face, appeared in 1949, just after apartheid became state policy in South Africa but before its cornerstones were laid. Now, aged 88, after 14 novels, ten volumes of stories, multiple book-bannings by the apartheid state and scores of landmark essays (not to mention the Nobel and Booker prizes), she returns with an impassioned family saga of post-liberation dreams, shocks and fears, as alert and nuanced – tormented, even – as any of her works. You would need to go back to the 19th century, and the career of a Victor Hugo, to find another example of a major writer who has listened so closely, for so long, to a nation's beating heart.

Johan Cruyff in his prime for the Netherlands

James Lawton: Beware the heirs of Cruyff and Bergkamp

The Dutch can wake up in the morning disliking the hotel decor and go on strike

Lioness kills zoo keeper at South African farm

A zoo keeper was killed when a lioness pounced on him after security gates at Johannesburg Zoo's conservation farm were apparently left open.

Zulu king alleged to have made anti-gay slurs

South Africa's government human rights agency is investigating whether the Zulu king made comments that could increase anti-homosexual sentiment in a country where gays face discrimination despite liberal laws being in place to protect them.

Amazing Grace lands two from two to match Couples

Ernie Els and Retief Goosen did battle at Fancourt again yesterday, but this time found themselves out-gunned by the new star of South African golf.

Bert Van Marwijk, the Netherlands coach

Van Marwijk extends Netherlands contract

Coach Bert van Marwijk has extended his contract with the Netherlands until 2016.

Deals of the week: Cornwall, Bormio, Netflights

Cornish charm

The Roseland peninsula on Cornwall's southern shore offers quiet coves and craggy cliffs to explore. Here, in the tiny fishing village of Portloe, you'll find the Lugger Hotel, which currently has a winter offer of two nights with breakfast, a champagne cream tea and one dinner for £138 per person. The deal is valid for stays until the end of March (though with the exception of the half-term week, 10-19 February), but you'll have to book by this Friday to take advantage. Luggerhotel.co.uk

The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, is once again under pressure but global reaction has not been uniform

'Sorry' keeps Blatter safe as quit calls fall on deaf ears

Fifa president apologises for 'unfortunate words' but critics in England maintain he should go

Joe Mogotsi: Singer and songwriter who expressed the soulful cry of township jazz

Joe Mogotsi was beyond doubt one of South Africa's greatest composers of song and vocal harmony – perhaps the defining aspect of an enormous talent never fully recognised. His ever-cheerful and humorous manner belied a determined spirit whose power was felt in the way he produced an amazingly high volume (as anyone who ever had a phone conversation with him will testify). His voice expressed the distinctive soulful cry of township jazz, informed by a variety of sources – from indigenous folk music to church choral singing; from marabi and mbaqanga to the close-harmony tradition of The Ink Spots.

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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
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The wars that come back to haunt us

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A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
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‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
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You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

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