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

Psychological study reveals how we feel about sportspeople

Fit to funk: Lycra sports gear is reclaiming its place in the world of the fitness fanatic. Sarah Lewis takes part in a sweaty night of clubland aerobics

It may have been cold outside but inside Camden's Electric Ballroom it was hot, hot, hot. The beat was hot, the moves were hot, the atmosphere torrid. Yet astonishingly for a packed nightclub there was no flirting or drunken snogging in sight.

Slimma thinking big with flotation

SLIMMA, a manufacturer of clothes for older women of above-average size, is coming to market. The flotation, another management buyout taking advantage of the buoyant stock market, is expected to raise pounds 11.35m, writes Diane Coyle.

Much too tight to mention: Brenda Polan finds the fabric which shaped the Eighties is losing its grip on us

'THERE she was, all Lycra'd up,' I recently overheard somebody gossip. You knew exactly what was meant: she was squeezed so tightly into her clothes she could hardly breathe. It wasn't intended as a compliment.

My Biggest Mistake: John Roskalns

MY BIGGEST mistake was being flattered by the idea of becoming a director without realising what responsibilities it entailed.

Letter: Bothered by bikers

Sir: Your article (10 August) on the health dangers of mountain biking fails to identify an important secondary effect: the sudden surge in blood pressure experienced by walkers when confronted by mud-spattered, Lycra- clad cycling fashion victims hurtling along paths and byways displaying a total disregard for the peaceful enjoyment of the countryside.

A supermodel is born, barring teenage acne

FIVE tiro models lined the start of the catwalk dressed in the tight, black, long line of the autumn. Proud parents broke into rapturous grins: this was the climax and the highlight of a child-model workshop by the agency Truly Scrumptious. Their offspring had been transformed in only two days.

This time round, there's no reason not to

THIS DRESS, it looks like a huge pyramid of rough brown cloth, as if a platoon of soldiers had pelted a woman with their shirts and they'd somehow stuck to her; it looks . . . fabulous. And this? It's a not-quite dress made from a sheet of dazzling orangey-brown fabric, wrapped around the woman's shoulders like a cape, with just - yes, indeed - underwear underneath, as if she's escaping from a fire in a bad-taste hotel, rushing out with just the bedspread to protect her modesty. But it wasn't this I was worried about. No, it wasn't this at all.

Fashion: Under cover of darkness (and Lycra): You don't have to be a supermodel to look good in these. Roger Tredre welcomes the return of swimwear cut to flatter

WHEN Burt Lancaster frolicked on the beach in Honolulu with Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity, cinema- goers were thrilled, although many thought the scene rather shocking. Remember this was 1953 (although the story itself was set in 1941). A decent chap just did not do that sort of thing, and certainly not with the wife of his commanding officer.

Trend-spotter extraordinaire: Mintel's research has launched a thousand stories. Roger Trapp reports

'ONE of the things that always surprises people is how small we are,' Paul Kelly, head of sales at Mintel, says.

Softer nylon wins fashion credibility

NYLON, a fibre which has been shunned by fashion designers since the Sixties, is enjoying a new lease of life.

London Show

A model wearing a Gossip studded leather waistcoat - with a retail price of pounds 180 - and a Lycra catsuit at the London Show, in the National Hall at Olympia. The fashion show, which began yesterday, ends on Wednesday.

Have you got this one in polyurethane, please?: Sixties 'kinky boots' were followed by Seventies 'bondage gear'. Now a full range of quaint clothing in unlikely materials is about to invade the fashion mainstream

FETISHIST clothing, once the preserve of the sex shop, is moving into the fashion mainstream. The boom in bondage clothing has been inspired by designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Pam Hogg, who experimented with rubber, leather, PVC and shiny Lycra in the Eighties.

Cheap thrills with the Lycra girls: Susan Marling tries to sleep to a disco beat when she takes a party train bound for Paris

IT IS 4pm and we are on the train to Paris. Groups of girls in Lycra are tripping through the carriages, looking for action, followed by thin boys in big jeans looking for tins of Kronenberg. As the hedgeless farmland of the Pas de Calais slips by, music thumps out of the PA system. Madonna is urging us to get into the groove.

If there's a will, there's a week

SOLICITORS will again be exhorting people to make wills in The Law Society's second Make a Will Week, writes Lucy Reese.
newsVideo for Yes campaign was meant to get women voting
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
i100'Geography can be tough'
Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
businessHow bosses are inventing unusual ways of making us work harder
REX/Eye Candy
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Career Services

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?