Arts and Entertainment The 1863 Football Association Minute Book contains the 13 original laws of football

The handwritten book by Ebenezer Cobb Morley contains the 13 original laws of football

Just a minute, am I repeating myself?

The other day I was in the foyer of Broadcasting House in London's Upper Regent Street, headquarters of BBC radio, and I picked up a blue piece of paper that said: "Funny You Should Say That. A new panel game all about the use of language. Chairman, Alan Coren, with panellists Barry Cryer, Willie Rushton, Kevin Day and Lorelei King. Monday 18 March, 1996. For FREE tickets send SAE to ..."

Richard D North

Over recent weeks, Melvyn Bragg has had a couple of bruising encounters with feminists. He was quietly robust with Shere Hite, and then with Marilyn French. The basis of his complaint is that each in her Amnesty lecture in Oxford had lumped too many different sorts of women's experience into one. Most obviously, they conflated Western and "Third World" experiences so as to seem to make women everywhere the victims of equivalent patriarchies.

RADIO: Q: why do so few R4 quizzes work?

FIRST she was handed the orb; then they got the ring jammed on the wrong finger; then the Bishop of Bath and Wells turned over two pages at once and sent her back to King Edward's Chapel far too early; then they gave her the orb, again. No wonder the little pages yanked at her train and sniggered throughout: Queen Victoria's coronation was a shambles. A page at the coronation of Victoria's great-great-granddaughter was Barry St John Nevill, who grew up to become a contestant on Battling With the Past (R4) - he was this week's winner, in fact, though it was not he who supplied all those details.

Man about the House - a zany new sitcom

I didn't watch the first episode of The House, the BBC's behind- the-scenes look at what really goes on at the Royal Opera House. I had imagined that it would be about opera, a dead art form I am, sadly, congenitally unable to enjoy.

John Walsh

Longtemps je me suis couche a Maida Vale ... I popped a head round the door of a west London recording studio last weekend and found myself in the middle of Proust's fictional village of Combray. The BBC Drama department was kicking off rehearsals of one of the year's big events: putting A La Recherche du Temps Perdu - or at least Harold Pinter's screenplay of the 12-volume masterpiece - on the radio.

Bragg claims Channel 4 has lost the plot claims Bragg

War on the box: Broadcasters' anger boils over in advertising subsidy row

Mysteries of the morning shower

Science is not just about the big things, like evolution, the Big Bang, genetics, being called Dawkins or Hawking and going on Start the Week to talk to Melvyn Bragg about the big things like evolution, the Big Bang, genetics, etc. It's also about the small things in life, like bathrooms.

A new leaf as Muslims put Rushdie on the spot

DAVID LISTER

LETTER : Effects of television ban

From Mr Peter Smalley

LETTER : TV violence: case studies and role models in the visual media

From Mr Mervyn Benford

LETTER : You can blame violence on the box, Mr Bragg

From Mr G. A. Lloyd

A doctored life of Johnson

I have been offered the serialisation rights of a new book called Boswell's Life of Paul Johnson, and I am in two minds as to whether readers would actually want to read any of it.

Radio / Departing from the book

CRITICS are an unpredictable lot. Sometimes, all you can be sure of is that they're wrong. It is quite possible that readers of this page only stay with us for the pleasure of disagreeing: trust her to like that rubbish, you say, or to fail to appreciate true greatness - don't you? Such dissent can make arresting radio. Twice this week, nice amiable presenters have found themselves facing studio critics who have detested the books they had been asked to review, and said so, with a gusto that made hardened listeners gasp.

An ansaphone to your prayers; RADIO

Must Confess / Devil's Advocate Radio 4;

By any other Name

LETTERS FROM LONDON:1990-1995 by Julian Barnes, Picador £6.99
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