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.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor