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At 8.30am on 13 July, the colliery bands of Durham began their march towards the city's market place. The miners' banners went with them, signposts to the past, a visible display of pride in the region's history. From there followed a slow march towards the County Hotel on Old Elvet. The bands played, the march went on to the racecourse, and the banners were strapped to the surrounding fences.

Last Night's TV: The Untold Invasion of Britain, Channel 4<br />Big Meets Bigger, BBC3<btr />Gareth Malone Goes to Glyndebourne, BBC2

The Untold Invasion of Britain is a terrific idea. In fact, so is the whole of the Bloody Foreigners series. Each episode looks at a separate point in our history when people from abroad have played a pivotal role. It's a neat way to dispel any little islandism, and an enjoyable learning curve to boot. It's just a shame it has been so hammily done. Simply told, the story would have been interesting enough. Septimius Severus, the Libyan leader of a Roman military division, marches to Rome to seize power from the traitorous Praetorian Guard after their assassination of the incumbent emperor, then decides to expand north of Hadrian's Wall. Once there, he finds a population of surprisingly civilised savages putting up a jolly good fight against the mighty Romans. Well, who could resist that? Severus even had to contend with familial treachery: not only did his son disobey him but – just for good measure – tried to stab him, too. This, surely, is a soap-writer's idea of heaven.

Taxi driver avoids prison over teenager's death

A taxi driver who was convicted of causing the death of a teenager by careless driving after the 18-year-old jumped from his moving cab was spared jail today.

Matthew Norman: Liz Jones, poster girl for Big Society

In the most startling reinvention this industry has known in decades, the Daily Mail shrugs off its reactionary stereotype to host an intriguingly hybrid social experiment. The pit canary here is the magnificently prolific Liz Jones, who single-handedly spearheads two major breakthroughs – the first recorded case of Mr Cameron's Big Society in action, and the inaugural deployment of a newspaper column as care in the community. As many of you will know, Liz likes to keep the readership minutely informed of life, latterly dwelling on the £150,000 debt she says has depressed her even more than her rejection by the Somerset neighbours who took mystifying umbrage at being depicted as toothless imbeciles. "Being in debt," wrote Liz, "is worse than anything I have experienced." Given what Liz has experienced – and short of alien abduction, bless her, what has she not? – that's going some. "When you have no money people assume it's because you are lazy or profligate." The rank injustice. The very idea that a woman who spent £26,000 on a bat sanctuary, and lavishes more than £1,000 a year on mineral water, tends towards the wasteful!

Miliband bans Labour's poisonous briefing wars

David Miliband has attempted to head off a rift with his brother, Ed, as they compete to become Labour's next leader by banning the unattributable and negative media briefings which divided the party during years of infighting under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

David Miliband begins leadership bid with 'idealism' rallying cry

David Miliband launched his bid to lead the Labour Party today and called his brother and rival for the post "a huge talent".

David Miliband enters Labour leadership race

David Miliband announced today that he would be standing for the Labour leadership, saying the task for the party was to present itself again as "an alternative government".

Taxi driver 'responsible for fatal fall by passenger'

A taxi driver killed a teenager when he drove off with his cab door open, a court heard today.

Generosity abounds on the great wall of fire

On 13 March, a line of light will blaze along Hadrian's Wall from coast to coast, Adrian Mourby and his son walked the route

Online teachers: the million-scholar video stars

Forget night school or correspondence courses. If you want to learn an instrument or improve your Italian, the web is the place to go. Rhodri Marsden on the success of the hi-tech teachers

Albert Booth: Principled Labour MP who served as Secretary of State under James Callaghan

If I had to choose the most principled politician of my time in the House of Commons – I don't say the best, because he would neither claim to be that, nor was he – it would have to be Albert Booth.

Brains and brawn in the line of fire

England's fledgling prop David Wilson faces the toughest task of his career against a mighty Welsh pack. He tells Chris Hewett why he's ready for the challenge

McElderry joy at clinching No 1 spot

Joe McElderry spoke of his delight after bouncing back from his Christmas charts heartache to clinch the New Year No 1.

Is Miliband set to desert sinking ship?

EU officials are backing the Foreign Secretary for the No 2 job in Brussels &ndash; and his flirtation with the post augurs badly for Labour

Asian visitor's debut sparks twitching tizzy

A tiny bit of China which turned up on Tyneside put British birdwatchers in a twitching tizzy today. They flocked in their hundreds to South Shields to try to catch a glimpse of an eastern crowned warbler, a bird never seen in Britain before.

Jim Blance: Inspirational schoolteacher and scholar of the uses of literacy

Jim Blance was an inspirational teacher who will be remembered by many former pupils in South Shields and Haydon Bridge. He always said that inspired teachers depended on inspiring pupils, but the real point was that there was a certain gaiety in his classes where everyone got taken seriously. You knew when he was up for it when you found him leaning back in his chair like a sheriff in a John Ford movie, feet up on table, hands behind head, counting you in with a sideways, slightly toothy grin. After warm-up encounters where everyone was given the chance, as it were, to play themselves in, classroom sessions went anywhere he fancied. This morning's editorial in The Times? What some bloke said to him in The Vigilant? Or perhaps the relationship between Jean Paul Sartre and a film he'd seen at The Regent cinema the night before? Blance was showing us that life and learning was one and the same if only you had eyes to see.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

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From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?