• Times Column 22/01/05 Horse racing is the sport of kings, football the beautiful game.  In Australia and New Zealand, in a phrase less often heard over here, rugby is ‘the game they play in heaven’.  It’s also the game they play in Chile and Pakistan, and the best way to keep up to speed with rugby in the Moroccan championship, or the Nigerian national squad, is via heavensgame.com. This non-profit making website was set up in 2002 with the brilliantly simple idea, not yet on the IRB’s agenda, of treating each rugby nation equally.  A 6-Nations clash between England and France was deemed no more important than a review of the second round of the Spanish Cup.  Each story as

    Jan 22,
  • Questions for David Mitchell on the novel Ghostwritten by David Gaston, Zoe Fen Koh, Maki Komatsu, Maria Lebed, Nobuhiko Matsusaka, Jun Ohashi, Erika Yamauchi Tokyo University 12/01/2005 In Ghostwritten, we can’t agree which of your narrators is either the most or least successful. What do you think? And in a third category, which is your favourite? Maybe written characters are similar to acted characters: if you can forget that the illusion that this character on a page (or a movie screen) isn't a 'real' person, then it is successful. I think the most successful characters in GHOSTWRITTEN are those who are culturally closest to me. These are Neil Brose in Hong Kong and Marco in London. The furthest from me,

    Jan 12,
  • Times Column 8/01/05 The New Year in the Zurich Premiership kicked off with a sell-out.  At Worcester, Bath, Gloucester, Northampton, Harlequins and Newcastle, 64,000 supporters watched live club rugby on January 1st and 2nd.  This followed excellent attendances in Christmas week, when Leeds Tykes doubled a previous record crowd to over 14,000 for their clash with Jonny Wilkinson.  Jonny won, with three penalties and a drop goal, but Leeds are getting closer to that impressive Headingley capacity of 18,000.  To help get them there, it can’t hurt that later this month the England team will be training with the Tykes’ sister club and current Super League Champions, the Rhinos.  So it’s all aboard the England charabanc to Leeds, because if Andy

    Jan 08,