Friday’s games mark the start of the quarterfinals and feature a UEFA vs. UEFA matchup in the morning followed by a CONMEBOL vs. CONMEBOL game in the afternoon. In the first match of the day, Germany has a 52.5 percent chance of defeating France and advancing to the semifinals, according to FiveThirtyEight’s World Cup predictions. In the second, however, Brazil is heavily favored to defeat Colombia (72 percent to 28 percent) and play the winner of Germany vs. France in the semifinal next week.France vs. Germany: 12 p.m. EDTBrazil vs. Colombia: 4 p.m. EDTIN BRIEFSee our World Cup predictions for the latest probabilities.IN DEPTHAll eight teams still in the tournament won their respective groups, so there are no true underdogs left. But if we go back to the beginning, Brazil and Germany both had very good chances of reaching this stage of the knockout rounds (80 percent and 68 percent) compared to Colombia and France (46 percent and 45 percent).France and Germany are old foes, having faced each other 25 times since 1930 (prior to 1990, Germany competed as West Germany). In those games France has been victorious 11 times compared to Germany’s eight. However, almost all of these games were friendlies. The last time these two teams met competitively was in the 1986 World Cup semifinals, and Germany edged France 2-0. ESPN’s Soccer Power Index rates France vs. Germany as the most evenly matched of all the quarterfinal games.Brazil vs. Colombia, on the other hand, is supposed to be anything but even. Strangely, these teams have also met 25 times, and Colombia has managed to win only twice. A Seleção have slaughtered Los Cafeteros on more than one occasion, 9-0 in 1959 and 6-2 in 1969, but this is a different Colombia team. Their last meeting with Brazil, a friendly in the U.S. in 2012, ended in a 1-1 draw.Brazil trumps Colombia in overall and offensive SPI ratings (90.6 and 3.1 to 89.4 and 2.6) but Colombia’s defense is slightly better, with an SPI rating of 0.4 average goals allowed to Brazil’s 0.5 (lower defensive scores are better). Brazil’s defense has something to worry about in James Rodriguez, this World Cup’s breakout star for Colombia, who has tallied five goals — the most of any player so far — including this beautiful chest-to-volley on the turn against Uruguay:But Brazil’s Neymar (and Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Germany’s Thomas Muller) are only one goal behind Rodriguez, so if Brazil clinches a win in this clash of the golden boys, Rodriguez may be out of the race for this year’s golden boot.OFF THE PITCHFrance and Germany are neighbors, and each has international power and its own distinct culture — berets and baguettes vs. lederhosen and bratwurst. So given the ease of travel between the countries, it’s not surprising that there’s a lot of cross-tourism. According to the French Ministry of Handicrafts, Trade and Tourism, there were about 6.3 million overnight stays in France from German tourists in 2012. Conversely, the German National Tourist Board reported that there were roughly 3.1 million, or half as many, overnight stays in Germany from French tourists in the same year. When adjusted for each country’s total population at the time, this means that about 8 percent of Germany’s 80.4 million people stayed overnight in France at least once in 2012, while about 5 percent of France’s 65.7 million people stayed overnight in Germany. They may not be the best of friends, but it looks like the old enemies have at least upgraded to a friendly rivalry — at least as far as tourism goes. — Hayley MunguiaFURTHER READINGWith the U.S. Out, Which World Cup Team Will Americans Root For?Tim Howard Lost, But He Just Had the Best Match of the World CupA Chart For Predicting Penalty-Shootout Odds in Real TimeCORRECTION (July 4, 10:57 a.m.): An earlier version of this post had the incorrect year of the last competitive meeting between France and Germany. While the two teams did face off in 1982, they also met in the 1986 World Cup semifinals.
M. FellainiBelgium+0.31-0.03+0.28-0.24 J. VertonghenBelgium2.78.2+5.5 The biggest changes in share of team productionWorld Cup players with the biggest increase from share of club team’s expected goals and assists to share of national team’s expected goals and assists, 2014-18 L. ModricCroatia+0.28+0.05+0.33+0.17 R. LewandowskiPoland+0.25+0.01+0.26-1.35 Share of team exp. goals + assists G. SigurdssonIceland+0.38-0.22+0.16+0.20 C. EriksenDenmark+0.53-0.13+0.39+0.29 PlayerCountryGOALsassistsGoals + AssistsExp. Goals + Assists L. PiszczekPoland10.017.1+7.1 E. HazardBelgium+0.30+0.68+0.98+0.45 J. MikelNigeria+0.39+0.41+0.80+0.44 J. KimmichGermany-0.02+0.33+0.31+0.24 T. SilvaBrazil+0.31-0.03+0.27+0.19 The leaderboard is peppered with players who have made a difference in Russia: Swiss mainstays Blerim Dzemaili and Xherdan Shaqiri led their team to the round of 16, while Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric have been the backbone of the Croatian attack. Another quick and crafty midfielder — this one from Colombia — has been very good for both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich over the past four seasons, but he’s been downright marvelous for Los Cafeteros: From 2014 to 2018, James Rodriguez scored nearly half a goal more per 90 minutes while wearing the yellow Colombia kit than while donning club colors. In our sample, his difference in expected goals plus assists from club to country is second to only Dzemaili, who plays for Bologna in Italy. It’s no surprise then that Colombia was eliminated by England in the round of 16 when a calf injury sidelined James.Hazard and James are built to wear their national team jerseys. But there are others — two of whom are often invoked in the GOAT conversation — who seem to perform a little worse, or at least score with less frequency, on the international stage. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the two best players in the world,4They’ve each won five of the past 10 Ballon d’Or awards, given to the best soccer player in the world. but both have underwhelmed a bit while representing their countries. M. RojoArgentina+0.19+0.12+0.31+0.22 DIfference between club and national team T. MeunierBelgium16.324.9+8.6 When we think of the best soccer players in history, we rarely think about the relatively inconsequential goals they scored for their club teams in midseason matches against their middle-of-the-pack competition. Instead we think about how they played for their national teams, and especially how they performed at major international tournaments like the World Cup. We think of a 17-year-old named Pelé delivering Brazil its first title in 1958; we think of Diego Maradona ripping through England’s defenses (and famously getting a little handsy with the ball in the box) in 1986; we think of the French maestro Zinedine Zidane scoring twice on home soil to topple Ronaldo and Brazil in 1998.Some players just seem built to wear their national team’s jersey.We wanted to know if there are certain players who play well for their club but disappear when playing for their national team — and certain players who raise their production when playing for country. So we looked at the tallies of expected goals and assists per 90 minutes for every player at the World Cup and compared the difference between club stats1Big five European leagues only. and country2Including World Cup, World Cup qualifiers and each confederation’s tournament. since 2014. We also looked at each player’s share of his entire team’s expected goals plus assists.Among the remaining stars at the 2018 World Cup, the best example of one who thrives while representing his country is Belgium’s Eden Hazard — at least based on raw production. The quick and crafty man from Wallonia has a knack for playing his best soccer when the world is watching. From 2014 to 2018, Hazard scored 0.30 more goals per 90 minutes and provided 0.68 more assists per 90 minutes while wearing a Belgium jersey than while repping Chelsea blue — while his expected goals plus assists are 0.45 better for Belgium.Hazard’s exceptional international form has carried over into this World Cup: In three games played, he contributed two goals and two assists — one of which tied the match against Japan after Belgium had gone down 2-0. The diminutive Belgian danced at the left corner of the penalty area, shrugging off a pursuant Yuya Osako before delivering an inch-perfect cross with his left foot to the edge of the 6-yard box and onto Marouane Fellaini’s head. Fellaini scored, but Hazard’s brilliance was responsible.Hazard’s form and contributions are expected. Thomas Meunier’s form and contributions, on the other hand, are a bit of a surprise. The right back has been perfectly competent for Paris Saint-Germain, but he’s been an outright world beater on the international stage: Since 2014, he’s scored 0.32 more goals per 90 minutes and provided 0.73 more assists per 90 minutes while playing for Belgium than for his clubs. The biggest of his 10 international assists was the one he provided to Nacer Chadli to knock off Japan on Monday. Both Meunier and Hazard are among the top seven players at the World Cup when it comes to expected goals plus assists for country versus club. But based on actual goals and actual assists, both Belgians are in the top three.3Only Poland/Wolfsburg winger Jakub Blaszczykowski has them both beat. From 2014 to 2018, Messi notched 0.61 fewer expected goals plus assists per 90 minutes while draped in the vertical blue and white stripes of Argentina. Ronaldo has found it more difficult to score for Portugal: Over the same span, he scored an entire goal per 90 minutes fewer with Portugal than he did with Real Madrid, and he averaged 1.53 fewer expected goals plus assists. And Uruguay’s superstar striker Edinson Cavani has had it even worse: He averaged 2.04 fewer expected goals plus assists per 90 minutes with La Celeste than he with Paris Saint-Germain.The outlook gets brighter for Messi and Ronaldo (but not for Cavani) when you consider their contributions as a percentage of their national team’s expected goals plus assists versus their club team’s since 2014: Messi was responsible for 57.5 percent of Barcelona’s expected output and 63.3 percent of Argentina’s, while Ronaldo accounted for 54.6 percent of Real Madrid’s expected output and 59.4 percent of Portugal’s. They’re not in James or Rakitic territory, but they’re not in the red either. IscoSpain+0.13-0.38-0.25-0.29 B. DzemailiSwitzerland23.431.0+7.6 A. IniestaSpain13.319.1+5.8 J. MikelNigeria5.227.9+22.7 A. GriezmannFrance-0.30+0.12-0.17+0.28 Only players who played 1,000 minutes for a major European team since 2014; national team data is only major tournaments.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group J. BlaszczykowskiPoland+0.52+0.58+1.10+0.50 S. RamosSpain9.615.9+6.3 PlayerCountryGOALsAssistsGoals + AssistsExp. Goals + Assists C. EriksenDenmark36.548.8+12.3 X. ShaqiriSwitzerland42.848.1+5.3 I. RakiticCroatia-0.02+0.30+0.28+0.39 D. MertensBelgium-0.63+0.38-0.25-0.84 J. RodriguezColombia+0.49+0.03+0.52+0.53 M. RojoArgentina7.113.9+6.8 L. MessiArgentina57.563.3+5.8 J. RodriguezColombia34.5%58.5%+24.0 KokeSpain-0.21-0.23-0.44-0.27 C. RonaldoPortugal54.659.4+4.8 Only players who played 1,000 minutes for a major European team since 2014; national team data includes only major tournaments.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group E. CavaniUruguay-1.48-0.33-1.81-2.04 D. CarvajalSpain9.714.5+4.8 The club team heroesWorld Cup players with the biggest drop-off in expected goals plus assists per 90 minutes between national team and club team, 2014-18 NeymarBrazil45.658.4+12.8 L. MessiArgentina-0.67+0.11-0.56-0.61 PlayerCountryClubNationalDifference E. BanegaArgentina-0.21+0.06-0.15-0.37 I. GundoganGermany17.332.4+15.1 The national team heroesWorld Cup players with the biggest discrepancy in expected goals plus assists per 90 minutes between club team and national team, 2014-18 Messi and Ronaldo probably only appear to be underperforming on the international level because they’ve spent the past decade thrashing defenses in Spain’s La Liga while playing for two clubs that are lousy with all-world talent. Scoring at a pace of roughly a goal per game is difficult to sustain over the course of a single season; Messi and Ronaldo have been doing it for 10. They’re not performing terribly for their national teams, they’ve just set the bar too high for themselves.But then there’s Neymar, the other greatest player in the world. He has set his bar pretty high during his time with Barcelona and now with Paris Saint-Germain. But unlike the two legends lording over him, Neymar has been able to vault over it — he scores at roughly the same rate for Brazil as he does for his club, and he provides more assists. And Neymar has increased his share of the team’s expected goals plus assists by 12.8 percentage points from club team to national team.Argentina is done; Portugal is done; Brazil and Belgium meet tomorrow in Kazan to decide who gets a spot in the semifinals. So it will be Hazard and Neymar trying to become the next Pelé, Maradona or Zidane.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. P. PogbaFrance-0.11-0.39-0.50-0.26 C. VelaMexico-0.03+0.35+0.31+0.18 B. SilvaPortugal-0.60+0.04-0.56-0.45 A. Di MariaArgentina+0.04-0.50-0.46-0.34 B. DzemailiSwitzerland-0.05+0.20+0.15+0.72 I. RakiticCroatia15.835.2+19.4 E. ForsbergSweden+0.27-1.44-1.17-0.49 CasemiroBrazil-0.26-0.13-0.39-0.24 L. ModricCroatia12.925.4+12.5 S. RudyGermany-0.07-0.21-0.29-0.33 PaulinhoBrazil+0.33+0.18+0.50+0.32 Only players who played 1,000 minutes for a major European team since 2014; national team data includes only major tournaments.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group J. VertonghenBelgium+0.20+0.05+0.25+0.18 Y. CarrascoBelgium-0.19-0.43-0.62-0.46 DIfference between club and national team P. CoutinhoBrazil+0.27-0.23+0.04-0.23 PaulinhoBrazil24.530.7+6.2 T. MeunierBelgium+0.32+0.73+1.04+0.50 J. KimmichGermany13.119.2+6.1 J. BlaszczykowskiPolad13.723.9+10.2 C. RonaldoPortugal-1.09-0.57-1.67-1.53 A. KolarovSerbia15.320.6+5.3 X. ShaqiriSwitzerland+0.09+0.02+0.11+0.46 J. Dos SantosMexico-0.14+0.06-0.08-0.24 I. GundoganGermany+0.13+0.00+0.13+0.51 A. GuardadoMexico+0.53-0.24+0.29+0.29 Joao MarioPortugal-0.26-0.23-0.49-0.44
With less than six minutes to go, and No. 2 Ohio State up just five on unranked Michigan State, an errant Spartan pass flew into the backcourt and nine of the 10 players on the floor seemed content to let it roll out of bounds. OSU freshman point guard Aaron Craft wouldn’t allow it. Craft chased the ball down. As the Spartans tried to recover, he went up and under the rim for a layup, drew a foul and converted the three-point play. The freshman’s only field goal of the night gave OSU (25-1, 12-1 Big Ten) an eight-point lead and propelled the Buckeyes to a 71-61 victory. “That’s a heck of a play right there,” senior guard Jon Diebler said after the game. “That’s just someone wanting the win and Aaron is a guy who, he does the little things and that just shows the type of player that he is. That was a huge play.” The Spartans played most of the game like the team they were projected to be when they entered the season at No. 2. Outscoring the Buckeyes off the bench, 21-1, MSU shot 63 percent from the field in the first half. With freshman forward Jared Sullinger on the bench in foul trouble, MSU matched the Buckeyes shot-for-shot all half. A basket from senior point guard Kalin Lucas gave MSU a 34-32 lead with 1:30 left in the half, but Buford responded with a 3-pointer, giving OSU the lead, one of 11 lead changes in the first 20 minutes. OSU took that 35-34 lead to halftime, and Buford’s 14 first-half points put him ahead of all scorers. “We didn’t bring it in the first half,” Buford said. “Our defense wasn’t there and we weren’t together as a team. For the second half we had to pick up the intensity.” The lead changed hands four more times early in the second half, and a fifth time when a three-point play from fifth-year senior forward David Lighty gave OSU a 45-44 lead. That was the game’s final lead change. Lighty sparked a 10-2 run, opening up a six-point OSU lead, 52-46. An off-balance, end-of-the-shot-clock 3-pointer from junior forward Draymond Green ended the run, and after a Sullinger free throw, a layup from Lucas cut the lead to two. Five quick points from Buford gave OSU a 58-51 lead, its biggest to that point, with 8:30 to play. Minutes later, Craft made the play that ignited the sellout crowd at the Schottenstein Center. “Aaron is like a spark plug for this team,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “I think guys are looking and saying, ‘If he’s going to give that (effort), then I’m going to give that.’” The Spartans got as close as four down the stretch, but a pair of Sullinger free throws and three from Craft gave OSU an insurmountable 10-point lead with less than two minutes left. Buford led all scorers with 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting, 3-for-4 from beyond the 3-point line. Sullinger scored 11 points and grabbed a season-low two rebounds. Lighty and Diebler had 12 points each. Lucas led MSU with 14 points, and although the team shot 57 percent from the floor and outrebounded OSU, its 19 turnovers swung the game in OSU’s favor. After falling at Wisconsin on Saturday, OSU relinquished the No. 1 rank to Kansas, who lost at Kansas State, 84-68, Monday night. OSU plays again at 1 p.m. Sunday at No. 11 Purdue.
Senior attackman Katie Chase (11) handles the ball during a game against Northwestern March 9 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 11-10.Courtesy of OSU AthleticsFrom the first drop of the ball, Katie Chase had one thing on her mind: scoring goals.The senior attackman for the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team turned in a career-high seven goals on her way to eight points as the No. 18 Buckeyes topped Oregon, 13-9, Wednesday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.High winds wreaked havoc on play throughout the entirety of the game, leading OSU coach Alexis Venechanos to attribute much of the team’s success against the Ducks (4-4, 1-0) to Chase’s work on and off the ball.Venechanos described Chase as a “special player” that had a “really strong game.”“She took over parts of that game in the draw control,” Venechanos said after the game. “Her teammates looked for her and she shot phenomenally.”The Buckeyes (7-4, 1-1) got off to a quick start, gaining possession of the ball off the game’s first draw. Chase set the pace for the match early by scoring the game’s first goal 23 seconds into the game.“We always want to score first,” Venechanos said. “That was important to start like that.”Chase said setting the tone early is a goal OSU has every game, and she felt they were able to do that with a quick goal from the start.“It gets the beat up for our attack and gets us in the flow of things,” Chase said after the win.The momentum from Chase’s quick strike didn’t continue, however, as the Ducks responded with two goals in just less than five minutes to take a 2-1 lead.But OSU, lead by Chase — who completed a hat trick before the half ended — struck back to take a 4-2 lead before Oregon evened the count with 11:06 left in the first half.OSU senior attackman Cara Facchina tallied her third goal of the season at the 2:29 mark in the first, though, to give the Buckeyes a one-goal advantage heading into the break.“They would answer, then we would answer,” junior goalie Tori DeScenza said on the first half. “But we really (hunkered) down knowing that they were going to swing the ball pretty fast.”Along with hard work on the offense, the Buckeyes gained their success with the defensive mentality around the field forcing numerous turnovers from Oregon’s strong attack.“We haven’t seen an attack like them,” Venechanos said. “We really had trouble with it.”The Ducks’ strong attack tested the OSU defense, but the Buckeyes maintained composure and were able to gain more possessions to help secure the victory.Part of that defense was DeScenza, who fought hard in the net all throughout the game and ended the game with 10 saves.The game was the first ever between the two programs.DeScenza credits Oregon with its good stick skills but was proud of how hard the defense worked to combat them.“It was a hard battle all the way to the final whistle,” DeScenza said.The Buckeyes head back to work to prepare for a match against William and Mary set for noon Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Chris Holtmann, the 14th coach in Ohio State men’s basketball history, speaks at introductory press conference Monday morning | Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterDressed in a gray suit, white dress shirt and scarlet-striped tie, holding the hands of his wife, Lori, and his daughter, Nora; Chris Holtmann, alongside Ohio State Athletics Director Gene Smith, was formally introduced as Ohio State men’s basketball’s 14th head coach in program history in a press conference Monday on the court of the Schottenstein Center.Rumored to be a candidate at several job openings such as North Carolina State, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Tennessee over the past three offseasons, Holtmann said the Big Ten program in Columbus was the only one he seriously considered.“This was a decision I had to work through,” Holtmann said. “Gene was aggressive and persistent in his approach and I really appreciated that.”Holtmann, 45, spent the past three seasons at Butler and made the NCAA Tournament each year, reaching the Sweet 16 this past season. After that run, Holtmann signed a contract extension with Butler through the 2024-25 season. But when the Ohio State job became available and he was offered an eight-year deal worth approximately $3 million annually, he couldn’t let that opportunity slip by him.Holtmann said the combination of a university with world-class education, a thriving athletic department with some of the best programs in their respective sports in the country, the tradition of the program, a talent-rich recruiting area and a passionate fan base sold him on the position.“I had left a special program and special guys,” he said. “That was emotional for me. But I’m telling you, it was the vision that (Smith) had and what he was looking for and this place. I’m extremely excited.”The search for the replacement to 13-year head coach Thad Matta began the afternoon of June 5, coming just after it was announced Matta would be exiting. Smith met with former collegiate basketball coach Eddie Fogler to begin the process of searching for candidates and conducting background checks on any names that arose in the discussions.Smith said the search for a new head coach began and ended with the same name at the top of their list.“(Holtmann) was my target from the beginning,” Smith said.Holtmann discusses the importance of recruiting well in the state of Ohio at his introductory press conference Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThough Holtmann was offered the job on Tuesday, Smith said Holtmann was reluctant at first to sign on the dotted line. The contract originally put on the table was a seven-year offer, but Smith said he tacked on an additional year to create a more enticing offer.Then, on Thursday morning, Smith said he and his wife traveled to meet the Holtmanns in Dayton and get to know one another. By the time the discussion had ended, Ohio State had its next head coach.Smith called Fogler and told him the search was over. They got their guy.“We sought a high-intensity individual with an emphasis on academics, someone who is relentless in recruiting with great ties to the great state of Ohio and the contiguous states,” Smith said. “We found a proven winner who’s a community engager and bottom line fits our culture.”During Holtmann’s introductory speech, he emphasized the importance of recruiting the state of Ohio, highlighting his 20 years of experience recruiting the Buckeye state. He said that locking down the state’s best prospects would be paramount to the program’s long-term success.“This region … is a tremendous area for talented, smart and tough players,” Holtmann said. “We’re going to work extremely hard as a staff to close the borders and dominate the state of Ohio in recruiting. It will be an every-day focus for us.”Holtmann, who is leaving the highest-ranked recruiting class in Butler history, said that he began calling recruits immediately Friday after he signed the appropriate paperwork with the compliance department.As far as the rest of the coaching staff is concerned, Holtmann said there are “some wheels in motion” on naming the rest of his staff, but would not expound on that notion.The past four seasons, the Ohio State program has been on the decline, which has been exemplified in scoring struggles and defensive letdowns. Holtmann gave an indication of how that play might change under his leadership.“Aggressive, attacking. We want to be physical and tough and tough minded,” he said. “But we want to play aggressive, attacking style and we want our guys to play with freedom. We want them to go out there and cut loose and play. I think that’s what people will see when they watch our team.”
Women are being told by their bosses to put on more make-up, and wear high heels and short skirts to work, research has found.One in five women said they felt that their bosses paid more attention to their appearance than they did to their male colleagues, a survey by law firm Slater and Gordon found.Seven per cent of women said their bosses had urged them to wear high heels in the office or with clients because it made them “more appealing”, while eight per cent were told to wear more make-up so they “looked prettier”. It comes after one receptionist said she was sent home from her job at an accountancy firm for wearing flat shoes. The survey asked 2,000 employees about how they felt their appearance was judged in the workplace.Nearly half of men said their dress code was more clearly defined than women’s and less likely to draw comment. The survey claimed 28 per cent of women reported they had been advised that changing their appearance would be “better for business” while 13 per cent said they had decided to flaunt more flesh at work after suggestions by more senior employees to vamp up their appearance.In contrast over half of men said they had never received comments about their appearance and just three per cent had occasionally been told to dress smarter by their senior colleagues.Current UK employment law states a dress code can be used but this is usually imposed for health and safety reasons, or to promote a particular image, for example, of smartness and efficiency. Nicola Thorp said she was sent home for not wearing heels when working as a receptionistCredit:Adam Gray /SWNS
Show more Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. He’s back! https://t.co/SpdbGd6Tqe— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) December 31, 2016 Blackburn will also present an hour-long Radio 2 show at 7pm on Fridays, starting later in January.In the New Year’s Eve show, running from 8pm to 11pm, he will play classic tracks from the likes of Michael Jackson, The Temptations and Dionne Warwick. The BBC said it stood by its decision to take Blackburn off the air, but added that he would be returning.Blackburn has strenuously denied suggestions that he “seduced” Claire McAlpine – who later took her own life – after inviting her back to his flat following a recording of Top Of The Pops in the 1970s.The DJ, who first broadcast on Radio 1, denied in evidence that he had ever been made aware by the BBC of the complaint against him, even though the corporation told the Dame Janet Smith inquiry he had been. Tony Blackburn returned to the BBC airwaves announcing “Good Lord, I’m back”, 10 months after being sacked over evidence he gave to the Jimmy Savile inquiry.The 73-year-old broadcaster presented a three-hour live show, Soul Party, on Radio 2 for New Year’s Eve and opened with the Gloria Gaynor classic I Will Survive.He said as his slot began: “It’s New Year’s Eve, it’s BBC Radio 2 and what do you know? Good Lord, I’m back.”Blackburn was welcomed back by Sir Roger Moore who tweeted about his return. The DJ said: “I’ve just had a tweet from Sir Roger Moore, ‘He’s back!’ Fantastic.”He also said: “One or two people are saying where have you been for the last eight months? Well, I went for a long walk and got lost. Somebody found me yesterday.”Blackburn’s return to the corporation was announced in October, with the I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! winner saying he “can’t wait” to get started.The DJ had threatened to sue the BBC and claimed he had been made a “scapegoat” after being taken off air in February.Later, announcing his comeback, he said: “I have had a difficult year personally, but I’m pleased to be returning to the BBC and can’t wait to get behind the mic again.”
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A look at the Hillsborough victims’ families’ fight for justice after the 1989 stadium disaster that claimed the lives of 96.
Clooney, who is a friend of the Sussexes and attended their wedding in May, said history is repeating itself and warned: “We’ve seen how that ends”. Saying the Duchess is getting a “raw deal” after the publication of a letter written to her now-estranged father, Clooney said he has been “sort of surprised” by coverage of the breakdown of the Markles’ relationship. The Duchess of Sussex is being “pursued, vilified and chased”, the actor George Clooney has said, as he compares her experience in the Royal Family to that of Diana, Princess of Wales. The actor and his wife Amal are known to be friends with the Duke and Duchess, reportedly spending time together at the Clooneys’ Lake Como retreat last…