Of all the subjects for a thrilling tale of espionage, war and diplomacy, ping-pong seems an unlikely contender. All the more intriguing then is the story behind a détente between America and China in 1971, which occurred seemingly out of the blue after 22 years of hostility.
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Tuesday 29 March 2011
Lloyds Action Now, the pressure group that wants compensation for shareholders who have lost out due to the bank's takeover of HBOS, got a few headlines yesterday with its announcement of test cases against the Bank of England and the Treasury. But the Diary thought Adrian Lithgow, the group's spokesman, looked familiar. We were right: he is the same Adrian Lithgow who was forced to resign as head of communications for the UK Independence Party four years ago after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment and threatening behaviour. Lithgow got into a row with railway staff at Victoria Station in London, with a Yugoslavian member of staff suffering some particularly unpleasant abuse.
Tuesday 29 March 2011
When he was asked to photograph the great tenor saxophonist Lester Young in New York City in 1958, Herb Snitzer was just a young man with a camera.
Tuesday 22 March 2011
Friday 18 March 2011
Funny, fast-moving and astounding, this biography goes way beyond what would be considered feasible in fiction.
Sunday 27 February 2011
Saturday 19 February 2011
My parents are... Jack, a sheet-metal worker and Mary, a dinner lady, then a cleaner. He's 91 and she's 85. We Dyers are tenacious.
Friday 18 February 2011
Some of Bettina von Kameke's images of male prisoners in Wormwood Scrubs jail could have been taken for a prison prospectus. A tidy cell is complete with a TV, desk and photos on the walls; an inmate relaxes on a comfy black sofa in a communal social area with pool tables; prisoners pump weights in the prison gym; others are playing a board game. But perhaps sadder is the face of an inmate peering through the small glass window of his closed cell door, watching other inmates playing ping pong.
Thursday 20 January 2011
New Bolton signing David Wheater has been tipped by manager Owen Coyle to win back a place in the England squad.
Sunday 16 January 2011
Sunday 16 January 2011
The ubiquitous Barry Hearn, having scored heavily with darts and given snooker the kiss of life, now has a new sporting squeeze on his arm.
Sunday 02 January 2011
If ever there was a sport that combined seasonal drinking with inclement weather conditions, it has to be table-sledging. This new sport was apparently dreamed up by a group of drunk students who became stuck in deep snow in a cabin in the Austrian Alps and decided that their only way out was to turn a table upside down and bomb down the slopes on it. Legend has it that when they got to the bottom, they turned it back over and carried on drinking. Now the Austrian ski resort of Kühtai has just staged the inaugural three-day Table-Sledging Championships. It's not known if the Bolton Mountain Rescue team are intending to enter the event next year but one of their members, Matthew Hailwood, had to be rescued by the North West Air Ambulance on Boxing Day after they had spent the day sledging on Rivington Pike. He sustained serious bruising and had been carried to the bottom of the hill on a stretcher, which came in handy since it was the stretcher that they had been using as a sledge.
Sunday 26 December 2010
Saturday 23 October 2010
Exit, pursued by a camera: Backstage portraits offer a unique glimpse of stars relaxing at the Old Vic
Thursday 21 October 2010
Aformer stage hand at London's Old Vic theatre, Matt Humphrey, took advantage of his position backstage and asked the actors if he could photograph them in their dressing rooms and behind the scenes. His atmospheric shots of life backstage include a ghoulish-looking Rebecca Hall, as Hermione in The Winter's Tale, standing in the theatre's corridor, while Jessica Hynes holds her leg in a yoga pose in her dressing room before a performance of The Norman Conquests.
Saturday 09 October 2010
2.30pm England in table tennis final
Paul Drinkhall was the hero for England in yesterday's thrilling semi-final victory against India. They now face a strong Singapore team in today's final.
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- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair