Sport Wiggins wins Sports Personality award after his Tour de France and Olympic triumphs

Psychological study reveals how we feel about sportspeople

Partying isn't everything - a night in would be something to celebrate

Ladies und gentlemen, and those who can't make up their minds, I have in my hand a piece of paper, a press release to be precise, inviting me to pop along to the Lancaster Road, London and - let me check this again - "celebrate my sexuality". Yes, that's what it says, "celebrate my sexuality" with - who's that sniggering at the back? - "a magician, bingo and a raffle". Now, I can see how the magician might be useful, but bingo and a raffle? Unless, of course, there's some almost cosmic connection that I'm simply missing, between the uncontrollable urge to stand up in public and belt out a brassy rendition of 'I Am What I Am' (a litre of Malibu and pineapple and I think we've all been there) and games of chance and destiny.

Six of the best swimsuits

1Black and white belted bikini, pounds 29.99. The thick heavy-duty Lycra is reminiscent of wet-suit material, making it the perfect choice for Ursula Andress types. If you don't feel up to baring your bod in a bikini, or strapping a knife to your thigh, this smart design is also available as a swim suit. Knickerbox: call 0171-284 1858 for nearest branch.

OBITUARY:Bernard Phillips

Bernard Phillips was for more than a generation a doyen of the insolvency profession.

Circus Saltimbanco / Cirque du Soleil Royal Albert Hall

'It isn't a freak show, though sometimes it verges on it'

The Welsh borders have been invaded by a rush of young people in Lycra

You go mountain-biking with Jerry Gissop at your peril. He may be 48, and have a studious look about him; but not only does he ride regularly around Welsh border country, he also, when the spirit takes him, goes on ferocious bashes overseas. Thus he once rode - or, to be accurate, carried - his bike over the flanks of Mount El'brus, in the Caucasus, reaching 13,000ft. He has also powered home through the Pyrenees, along the northern coast of California and up through the Outer Hebrides.

six of the best party dresses

1 Next, pounds 59.99 Black shiny corset dress in 100 per cent polyester. Also available in full length. A strong fashion look that harps back to past collections from Gucci and Prada. This is a lovely dress, although the shape is not suitable for all body shapes: the waist and hips can look a bit thick. From branches of Next and Christmas mail order. Enquiries on 01162 849424

Gear freaks / The cyclist

Also known as: ruff stuffer (mountain bike cyclist), roadie (competitive cyclist), tourer (recreational cyclist), commuter (cyclist who cycles to work), cycle courier (cyclist who cycles for work).

buy me: warehouse zebra dress

This autumn, the op-art clothing made famous by Courreges in the Sixties has been resurrected. The look swept through the designer collections, from Anna Sui to Versace, and fashion stories from the glossy magazines have dedicated pages to the virtues of the monochrome palette.

TRIED & TESTED: BODY OF EVIDENCE

Where once there were white T-shirts, now there are bodies - but the no-nonsense one-piece is not without flaws

Buy me: TOGA DRESS

Long ago in ancient Rome when men and women dressed the same, things were simpler, but a lot less fun. The toga may have been a design classic, but it was a dodgy item to wear. What with the constant threat of exposure because of a bad fit around the shoulders, it's no wonder fashion evolved.

Television: Please sit. I'd like to appeal on behalf of The Choir

This week I'd like to appeal on behalf of The Choir. Now, I don't doubt that there will be some among the congregation who will bridle at this suggestion. Is it really a deserving cause, they will ask. Some among you, no doubt, will point to the audience figures, which, while not exactly luxurious could scarcely be depicted as requiring charitable relief. Is it our responsibility, they will say, if this series has got ideas above its station? Why did it not have the common sense to stay on BBC2, where 6 million viewers would have given it more than respectable life, indeed pre-eminence in that select community? To those questions I have no answer.

OPERA / Give up the boos: Die Walkure - Royal Opera House

With the chorus of disapproval still echoing from last Thursday's Das Rheingold, conductor Bernard Haitink barely paused for applause before pitching us precipitately into the teeth of the stormy prelude to Die Walkure. On stage, the lone figure of Sieglinde darted to and fro, her body convulsing violently as if the electric current of the music were passing through it, as if she and not her twin Siegmund were in flight from Hunding's dogs. In a starting coup de theatre, she reached into the fire, and the flames offered up Siegmund into her arms. For a moment they were one.

In Thing: Morma Kamali Omo Gym

Very LA, very exercise bimbo, are Norma Kamali's new gym kit range. Made from the latest hi-tech fabrics - read mountaineering gortex - Kamali's togs are this season's hottest sellers at Harvey Nicks. We're not sure why. Flesh-gripping industrial lycra with nifty spangled motifs aren't the most comfortable things to wear when the heat is on and the sweat is pouring. But models with perfect figures must have looked great in these on the catwalk. For club dweebs, really, not the dedicated exercise freak.

Footsteps in the sand: Lycra-clad enthusiasts in sunglasses are playing the Copacabana's favourite game in rain-sodden Britain. Richard Simpson wonders why

The Jamaican bobsleigh team is a shining example of how to cheat on nature. The island has not seen snow in living memory, and yet their four-man team slipped down Lillehammer's slopes like true virtuosos at this year's Winter Olympics. So there's no reason why Britain should not be a serious contender for the beach volleyball title.

REVIEW / Is that a gun, or are you just pleased to see me?

BY ONE of those odd coincidences - call it Zeitgeist, call it spooky, call Arthur Koestler - the title sequence for Men of the Month (BBC 2), a drama about images of masculinity, was strikingly similar to that for Men Only (C4, Monday), a new series in which women directors look at men. The latter is rather ingenious - a slow track past a series of tasteful monochrome portraits of men in which you can glimpse dim reflections of their female observers. Well, not that ingenious, I suppose, but stylishly done and promising. (A correspondent recently ticked me off for writing about a title sequence but I am unrepentant - they are the way a series chooses to dress itself before going out, and when you know how much the clothes cost you don't lightly dismiss them as a mere incidental.)
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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home