Ohio State answered one big question Wednesday among several uncertainties about the upcoming 2011 football season: Who will coach while Jim Tressel is suspended? Luke Fickell. OSU announced Wednesday that co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach, Fickell, has been promoted to assistant head coach. Fickell will serve as interim head coach during Tressel’s five-game suspension to start the season. Fickell will retain his role as linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a press release. “I am humbled and excited about the opportunity,” Fickell said. “I’m truly proud to be able to stand up here and accept this role.” Fickell spoke to reporters, but offered few details on how the coaching roles would change for next year. “We coach by committee. It never has been, never will be about one person in particular,” Fickell said. “This is still Coach Tressel’s team.” Fickell spoke about the struggles that will come along with Tressel’s five-game absence. “It will be difficult,” Fickell said. “We have to know whose team it is. It’s our team. It’s the seniors’ team.” Tressel acknowledged that it will be hard. He said OSU deserves his time 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “This year,” he said, “it may be 24/6.” Fickell is a Columbus native and a 1997 graduate of OSU. He played nose guard for the Buckeyes from 1992–96. He redshirted his first year and started the remaining four. Fickell said he was honored to have this kind of opportunity at his alma mater. This is Fickell’s 10th year on staff at OSU, with his responsibilities ranging from overseeing the punt team to being co-defensive coordinator. “A final version of Fickell’s updated contract has not been completed,” the university said in a press release. The university suspended Tressel for five games for not reporting known NCAA violations to superiors. Terrelle Pryor and four other players received improper benefits by selling memorabilia and receiving discounted tattoos in 2009. Athletic department spokeswoman Shelly Poe said OSU is awaiting the results of an ongoing NCAA investigation, and no questions regarding the investigation could be answered. Poe also acknowledged that the university has become aware of allegations from an HBO “Real Sports” report that former recruit Anthony McClover said he received sexual favors while on an official team visit in 2003. Poe would not say whether OSU would be investigating this and that said the university will not comment on the matter until more information is known. Tressel took the opportunity at the spring practice press conference to again publicly apologize. “The largest regrets I’ve had, have been when I’ve disappointed people, when I’ve let people down,” Tressel said. “The mistakes I’ve made are very disappointing. Certainly, I‘m sorry for that. Tressel said he has received encouragement from many people throughout the ordeal. “The strongest inspiration I’ve gotten has been from our tremendous administration, our staff and most especially, our team,” Tressel said. OSU will begin spring football practice today, and Tressel said he is looking forward to how the new team is going to look. “We’re excited that spring begins tomorrow. We begin that focus on these 2011 Buckeyes,” he said. “It’s going to be a little different team; there are a lot of new faces.” read more

Redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan winds up for a shot during a match against Oklahoma on March 6 in Columbus. OSU lost, 4-3.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerThe Ohio State’s men’s tennis team has dominated the Big Ten for roughly a decade, but trips to Northwestern on Friday and Illinois on Sunday could be tests for the Buckeyes.“It’s going to be a very tough weekend. They’re big matches,” coach Ty Tucker said.The last time No. 11 Ohio State lost a Big Ten regular season matchup was on April 24, 2005, at Northwestern. This year, the No. 19 Wildcats are not only 8-1 at home but have won six of their last seven matches. The Buckeyes hit a rough patch with losses in two matches before entering Big Ten play for good, then swept the state of Michigan with wins over both the University of Michigan and Michigan State this past week. The wins serve as a nice reminder of what OSU can do, redshirt-senior Hunter Callahan said.“A win is always good, especially after two losses in a row,” he said. “Good just to get that feeling of winning back.”Even with the taste of winning back in the Buckeyes’ mouths, Tucker said he hasn’t forgotten their recent shortcomings.“Our math is a little bit short this year as far as getting to four (points), but we have to concentrate on Northwestern,” he said.Getting through Northwestern with a win is a feat in itself, but getting out of the state of Illinois without a loss will be another story. The Buckeyes became familiar with No. 3 Illinois at the ITA Indoor Team Championship this year when the Fighting Illini ended OSU’s run with a 4-2 win. “It is still Illinois … so there’s always going to be pressure no matter what,” he said.Tucker said he is extremely familiar with rivalry, saying it’s been a “battle” for the past 15 years with Illinois.Besides the streak of 96-straight conference wins that is on the line this weekend for OSU, Tucker said there is much more that can be lost.“Your goal at the beginning of the year is to win a Big Ten championship and host an NCAA regional. That’s definitely on the line this weekend,” he said.The Buckeyes are set to take on the Wildcats at 6 p.m. Friday in Evanston, Ill. read more

Ohio State senior tight end Marcus Baugh (85) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that would put Ohio State over Penn State in the game on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorIn one of the most dramatic, come-from-behind wins in recent memory for Ohio State, there are a lot of statistics to unpack. The No. 6 Buckeyes won 39-38 against No. 2 Penn State, holding the Nittany Lion offense to just 283 total yards and racking up 529 yards against one of the best defenses in the nation. Here are some important statistics from the game.16 – consecutive completed passes by J.T. Barrett to finish the game. From the final minutes of the third quarter through the entire fourth quarter, Barrett completed 16 straight passes, setting an Ohio State record. Just when he needed to be, Barrett was at his finest and systematically picked apart the Penn State secondary, completing three touchdown passes during that span and completing Ohio State’s comeback.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) throws a pass in the fourth quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe term “surgical precision” is often used to describe a quarterback fitting passes into tight windows. Such a term could be accurately linked to Barrett against Penn State, as the redshirt senior completed 33-of-39 total passes. His teammates said it could have been even more. “I don’t know his stats but we had four drops so those weren’t completely on him,” redshirt junior Terry McLaurin said. “We kind of left some plays on the field, but the way he played, that’s Heisman candidate right there.”41 – average starting field position by Penn State. Ohio State’s struggles with kickoffs has been well documented. It nearly cost them the game Saturday against Penn State. Right out of the gate, running back Saquon Barkley returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Later in the game, another Ohio State kickoff resulted in linebacker Koa Farmer taking the football to the Ohio State 23-yard line.Ohio State’s issues with flipping the field extended beyond the kickoff coverage, however. The Buckeyes had two turnovers, which put Penn State in Ohio State territory. The Nittany Lions also were the beneficiaries of a muffed punt that redshirt freshman punter Drue Chrisman dropped, then shanked before it rolled to the Penn State 38-yard line. Only two of those aforementioned issues did not see the Nittany Lions put up seven points. The special teams and overall sloppiness of Ohio State nearly cost the Buckeyes in the end. Given that a loss from this point forward ends the Buckeyes’ hopes of winning a championship, they cannot afford to have many more games littered with similar blunders.44 – rushing yards by Saquon Barkley. Ohio State has never fully stopped Barkley before. It allowed him to gain 99 yards on the ground last season. In 2015, he had 194 rushing yards. Saturday was a different story. Barkley had 21 carries and mustered only 44 yards in the midst of a season that has many clamoring for him to win the Heisman Trophy.Ohio State sophomore cornerback Kendall Sheffield (8) takes down Penn State’s Saquon Barkley in the third quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorPerhaps even more remarkable than the 44-rushing-yards statistic would be the fact 36 of those came on one carry. Remove that one carry and his 2.1 average yards per carry dips to 0.4. His lack of success was not necessarily due to him being ineffective, but rather the result of an Ohio State defensive line that simply bullied Penn State’s offensive line all game long. Barkley was on the receiving end of nine of Ohio State’s 13 tackles for a loss. Heading into the game, the Buckeyes needed to slow down Barkley if it had any chance of winning. They not only slowed him down, but they effectively stopped him. And they won.13 – carries by J.K. Dobbins. Penn State handed the football off to a running back who proved largely ineffective. Ohio State seemingly refused to hand the football off to a running back who was one of its most productive weapons. In the second quarter, Dobbins did not touch the football. In the fourth quarter, Dobbins rushed it once. Yet he finished the game with 88 rushing yards (6.8 yards per carry), including four rushes for 10-plus yards.This has become somewhat of a trend for Ohio State this season. Despite head coach Urban Meyer often stating his willingness to run the freshman running back into the ground with how often he is used, the coach has appeared reluctant to turn to his budding star. Perhaps the Buckeyes wish to save their prized talent for games later this season. Maybe they’re resting him for the next two seasons when he is counted on as their top offensive weapon. But after his fifth game with an average of more than six yards per carry and fewer than 15 carries, Ohio State fans have to wonder if Dobbins is being maximized to his full potential.Ohio State redshirt junior reciever Johnnie Dixon (1) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor9 – receptions by Ohio State players.This has been a statistic that has been featured plenty in this series of articles. However, it usually receives a qualifier that the primary reason for the high number of players to receive a catch was due to the blowout lead Ohio State had, and that many of the backups were in because the Buckeyes played against a weaker opponent.That wasn’t the case Saturday. Nine players made receptions in this game largely because that is just how Ohio State is going to play moving forward. The high number of players having an impact on the game might not be solely because Ohio State has played lesser opponents. Perhaps it is simply because it has a wide array of players capable of making plays.At the beginning of the year, many doubted the players and coaches who said all six wide receivers were good enough to start for Ohio State. Perhaps the players and coaches were right. Every week, someone new happens to step up and make plays for the Buckeyes. This week and last it was redshirt sophomore H-back K.J. Hill. Against Maryland, it was sophomore Binjimen Victor. Against Rutgers, it was redshirt junior Johnnie Dixon. Any game, against any opponent, any receiver might step up. Perhaps it’s time to stop doubting that and accept that the Buckeyes’ receiving corp might be championship-caliber. read more

first_imgWestern explorers settled in China more than 1,500 years earlier than experts had believed, new research has revealed, after archaeologists found the famous Terracotta Warriors could have been made with the help of the Greeks.The 8,000 statues, which guard the mausoleum of the First Emperor, are likely to have been made under the guidance of a European sculptor who worked with locals at the site and took influence from Ancient Greece.An extensive study of sites in Xinjiang Province, China, have revealed European-specific mitochondrial DNA, suggesting Westerners travelled, settled and died there before and during the time of the First Emperor: 1,500 years earlier than currently accepted. The full findings will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel in the US, and one BBC Two this Sunday.Rachel Morgan, commissioning editor for the BBC, said: “It is thrilling to think that these discoveries, using cutting technologies and the forensic techniques of the 21st century, have the potential to alter what we know about the origin and formation of one of the world’s most powerful countries today and the relationships forged between ancient civilizations.”Dan Snow, who presents the show, said: “It is extraordinary to think that history as we know it is changeable.”The Greatest Tomb on Earth, a one-hour special hosted by Dan Snow, Dr Alice Roberts and Dr Albert Lin will air on BBC Two on Sunday, October 16 at 8pm. The show is presented by Dr Alice Roberts, Dan Snow and Dr Albert LinCredit:BBC  Greatest Tomb on Earth I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the localsProf Lukas Nickel Dr Xiuzhen added: “We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art”.Prof Zhang Weixing, lead archaeologist at the tomb site, said: “The archaeological work undertaken here recently is more important than anything in the last 40 years. “By systematically examining the First Emperor’s main tomb and subsidiary burials we have discovered something more important even than the Terracotta Army.”Other findings from the site include the mutilated bones of young women, believed to be high ranking concubines, burie with precious jewellery made from pearls and gold.The skull of a young man, believed to be Prince Fu Su, the First Emperor’s eldest son, was also found with a crossbow bolt embedded in it.  Experts are particularly excited by the discovery of DNA suggesting Westerners lived in the area during the time of Qin Shi Huang, from 259 to 210 BC.Dr Li Xiuzhen, Senior Archaeologist at the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, said: “We now have evidence that close contact existed between the First Emperor’s China and the West before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought.”Evidence of that contact, experts believe, can be found in the style of the Terracotta Warriors, with “no tradition of building life-sized human statues” identified in China before then. Prof Lukas Nickel, chair of Asian Art History at the University of Vienna, believes the tomb of the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great.“I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals,” he said.  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. Achaeologists have looked at the links between China and GreeceCredit:BBC  The Terracotta Warriors draw visitors from around the worldCredit:Reuters Alice Roberts with skull of a worker  Terracotta Warriors The discoveries have been hailed as “more important than anything in the last 40 years” surpassing even the discovery of the Terracotta Army itself in significance. They are thought to be the first documented contact between Western and Chinese civilizations ever recorded.They came about during excavations across the site by Mausoleum archaeologists, which have now been documented for television by the National Geographic Channel and BBC.Key findings include evidence that treasures in the tomb of the First Emperor were created with the help of the West, with inspiration from the statues of Ancient Greece.The tomb complex itself was found to be “much bigger than first thought” – at 38 square miles, 200 times bigger than Egypt’s Valley of the Kings – with two roads out of it identified with drone technology. last_img read more

first_imgShe added: “Throughout it all there was that feeling of ‘what if nobody comes?’“I just kept feeling guilty for my family back in Stockton, in case I didn’t come back.”Jon Bonfiglio, who was leading the expedition, said the group had no idea what they were getting into when they set out.”We were not naive idiots going over a cliff edge,” he said.“We sat down with locals and talked to them about the river, but people told us there was only one waterfall, even the local people didn’t know of all the waterfalls or the perils. I had no inkling of what we were getting into.”Gibraltan Jon had to spend the entire five days in his underpants, having stripped off to jump into the water and help another member of the group into a boat after their capsized.He said: “I was virtually naked throughout the whole thing, I lost all my clothes and had to stay in my underpants.”It was like all the best horror films, it started beautifully, the river was meant to be placid and gentle, no one mentioned the rapids and waterfall.”They were eventually rescued by a man named “John of the Gods” who took them to a nearby home where they showered and rested. “My legs were all cut from the palm leaves and I had bruising on my bum from sleeping on a branch,” said Rachel who also had an eye infection but did not need to be hospitalised.“We ended up being a very close group,” added Jon. “No one shouted at each other but there was the unspoken, ‘What happens if they don’t find us today? What happens if they don’t find us tomorrow?’” A group of conservation workers have revealed how they spent five days stranded in a Mexican jungle, surviving on a handful of peanuts and raw fish after their boat capsized.A British member of the group, Rachel Bradley, 31, said to keep from starving they used mosquito nets to catch tiny fish and swallowed them whole after removing the heads.The group of four were on a river expedition through the Yucatan Peninsula in south eastern Mexico when their adventure went wrong. Rachel said they were eventually rescued by a man called “John of the Gods” Jon Bonfiglio is the director of the Clipperton Project which takes explorers through some of the world’s most remote areasCredit:KTD Media Rachel said they were eventually rescued by a man called “John of the Gods” Credit:KTD Media Jon Bonfiglio is the director of the Clipperton Project which takes explorers through some of the world's most remote areas Rachel said: “I had a couple of bags of peanuts left and we were forced to ration them to five peanuts a day.“We were forced to use mosquito nets to catch little fish that were no bigger than your thumb. We had to bite their heads off and swallow them whole.”Without basic supplies, they were forced to sip dirty river water and with the jungle submerged at that time of year, sleeping arrangements were made in tree branches.Rachel said: “We realised the best way of being found was just to stay still.“Lying in a tree for a couple of days wasn’t the plan when we went out, but we thought the safest place was just staying put and hoping someone could find us.” After hurtling over waterfalls and emerging each time covered in leeches, the explorers found themselves being pushed further and further into the heart of the 1.9million hectare jungle.“The water just kept flowing faster and faster,” said Rachel, from Stockton in Teesside. “But at this point it was too late to go back.”When two of the four boats flipped over and were lost, their food, first aid equipment and GPS navigation system also vanished.The group anchored the remaining boats together using vines to stop them floating off and examined the food they had left. 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.last_img read more

first_imgMinisters want to sign a “statement of intent” deal with Donald Trump within months to work on reducing trade US-UK barriers, The Sunday Telegraph understands. Government figures hope to fly to America early next year for talks with a view to issue a joint agreement promising to boost trade between the countries. It will be seen as Theresa May’s Government pushing ahead with its promise to boost trade with the rest of the world as the UK prepares to leave the EU. Crucially it would not break EU rules that forbid Britain signing fully trade deals until it has formally left the block, currently expected to be 2019.  Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader British breweries looking to sell into America have to contest with different labelling rules in each of the states, Mr Shanker said. Likewise insurance regulation is decided on a state level. So-called “behind the border” trade barriers like this are having one of the most “pernicious” effects on exporting across the world, according to Mr Shanker. They would likely be targeted in any UK-US talks on trade. Despite the opportunities on offer from Mr Trump’s victory, figures at the Department for International Trade are understood to be wary of pursing a deal too aggressively. There is a determination that talks cannot begin in earnest with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP] – a trade deal between the US and EU – still on the table.“While TTIP is under negotiation, Britain will use all our weight to get successful result for the EU,” a Whitehall source said. However Mr Trump is expected to pull his support for the deal soon.  The move – which could include launching a working group to begin identifying possible reforms – is a stepping stone to a fully blown trade deal after Brexit. Trade officials will target reducing non-tariff barriers, such as ironing out differences in regulation in the two countries to help exporters. “Donald Trump’s victory opens up new options that weren’t there under the current administration. We are optimistic and waiting to hear what his trading position will look like,” a senior Whitehall source said. The drive comes amid new hope within Government that Mr Trump’s victory can boost Britain’s chances of flourishing economically after leaving the EU. Mr Trump praised the Brexit vote during his campaign while his advisers said Britain would not be at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal – as Barack Obama had said before the EU referendum.  Britain is barred from signing any trade deal while remaining in the EU, meaning Liam Fox and his International Trade Department is limited in what they can agree before Brexit. However the rules do not forbid scoping talks, initial agreements and working groups from seeing how two countries can reduce trade barriers. Theresa May is hoping to fly out for a face-to-face  meeting with Mr Trump in January and would likely take senior trade figures as well – as she did on her recent trip to India. The trip has been marked by Whitehall figures as the earliest possible moment to agree a pro-trade “statement of intent” between the two countries. America is Britain’s single biggest export market and there is a belief boosting trade by just half a per cent could be of huge financial benefit to UK companies. Unlike trade deals being scoped out with companies like India, a less expansive agreement with America is being targeted because eth economies are more aligned. Instead British trade officials will be looking at options for “widening and deepening” links with America, especially including reducing non-tariff barriers. Shanker Singham, the chairman of Legatum Institute’s special trade commission who advised Mitt Romney during his two US presidential bids, believes there is much scope for improvement .“There is no particular standard way of doing a trade agreement. Generally, first year or so is essentially a stock taking exercise,” he told this newspaper. “Like pulling weeds, you need to know what the actual barriers are before drawing up a deal. Different firms will have different views on whether something is a barrier or not.“They would ask what is preventing UK firms from having market access [in America] and market contestability, which means allowing them to be successful.” America’s network of regulations is especially complex because there are often different rules for each of the 50 states, making it harder for British firms to export.  Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leaderCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Donald Trump Donald TrumpCredit:AP Photo/ Evan Vucci In a separate development, Jeremy Corbyn has launched his strongest attack against Mr Trump since his unexpected US election victory earlier this month. In a marked contrast to the tone adopted by Theresa May, the Labour leader accused Mr Trump of being a “climate denier” who will not defend the world’s environment.Mr Corbyn also suggested Mr Trump has jumped on the “understandable cynicism” of voters in the face of globalisation to stoke anger against minorities.“We can see the choice taken by politicians on the hard right – to whip up division against migrants, Muslims, Mexicans, women, LGBT people, people with disabilities,” he said in a speech on Saturday.“The fake anti-elitism of rich white men like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. It’s farcical at one level, but in reality it’s no joke.” 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.last_img read more

first_imgWhen Sonia Friedman began her career as a theatre producer, sexism was so rife that she was accused of getting the job because she wore a short skirt.That was a long time ago. Now a super-producer behind some of the West End’s greatest hits, she has capped her success by being named theatreland’s most powerful figure in a list traditionally dominated by men.Friedman heads The Stage magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the industry, the first woman to do so in her own right for nearly 20 years. Since 1999, the top spot has been passed between just four entrants: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cameron Mackintosh, David Ian, and the husband-and-wife theatre owners Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire.The 51-year-old producer is known for her Midas touch, with shows ranging from Jerusalem and Wolf Hall to Bend It Like Beckham and Legally Blonde. She brought the record-breaking Book of Mormon to the West End, and Benedict Cumberbatch to the Barbican as Hamlet. 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. The Stage 100 list, 20171 Sonia Friedman2 Andrew Lloyd Webber3 Cameron Mackintosh and Nicholas Allott4 Mark Cornell and Adam Kenwright (ATG)5 Rufus Norris, Lisa Burger and Ben Power (National Theatre)6 Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer (Nimax Theatres)7 Gregory Doran, Catherine Mallyon, Erican Whyman (RSC)8 David Lan and Lucy Woollatt (Young Vic)9 Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham (Donmar Warehouse)10 Emma Rice and Neil Constable (Shakespeare’s Globe)See the full list at www.thestage.co.uk/thestage100 Friedman is only the second woman to top The Stage’s List, and the first in 19 years. The only other woman was Janet Holmes à Court, then boss of Stoll Moss Theatres, who was placed first in 1998.“I find that being a woman has not stopped me – obviously – but it has certainly made me feel I have to work that bit harder to prove that I’m good at my job, and that I can be trusted to do my job well,” Friedman said.”I think I’ve got to the point where I don’t think of myself in gender terms, although I’m acutely aware of the responsibility of being a woman doing this job hopefully being an inspiration for other women.”But there’s no question that I’ve had to make sacrifices along the way. I wouldn’t say I’ve had a conventional lifestyle in any way, shape or form, in order to have got to this point.”I don’t have children, and not having to bring up a family has meant I can dedicate myself 24 hours a day to what is an incredibly intense job.”In the past, she has described being subjected to sexism throughout her career, once saying of her early years at the National Theatre: “It is a man’s world, without question… People said I only got the job because I was pretty, I only got the job because I wore a mini skirt.”She said in a 2009 interview: “I am accused all the time of having affairs with men who are very powerful and successful in this business… being one of the few women in this industry, it comes at me a lot.”Although women make up only 34 per cent of the top 100, the number of women in the top 10 has jumped 50 per cent since 2016. They include Josie Rourke and Kate Pakenham at the Donmar, and the Nimax Theatre boss Nica Burns. Noma Dumezweni and Emma Watson backstage at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child While “very proud” to be representing women in the list, Friedman said she was most delighted to be the first winner who is solely a producer, and not an owner or operator of a West End theatre.“Audiences come and see the work, they don’t come to see buildings,” she said.“It’s not about real estate, it’s not about buildings, it’s not about assets. No one ever likes to admit they’re pleased to be No 1, or that they’ve got awards or whatever.”But I’m very proud of myself, actually, and of the team around me, that for the first time it’s the work that is being acknowledged.”As for the future of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, plans are afoot to open on Broadway in 2018. Friedman said she hoped the show would go on “forever! There is no end date in sight. My job on Harry Potter is to make sure it outlives me.” Cursed Child Harry Potter Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has also catapulted other talents on to The Stage’s list, including Noma Dumezweni, who is the highest-placed actor at No 22.Dumezweni plays Hermione Granger, a role made famous on film by Emma Watson. Internet trolls were critical of Dumezweni’s casting, claiming that a black actress was wrong for the role.Rowling dismissed them as a “bunch of racists”, and Friedman said: “I’m really proud to work with Noma. She is a trailblazer and she is an extraordinary force of nature. She has kept her head held so high through quite a lot of nonsense. It’s all about her talent, frankly, and not her colour.”Other women in the top 100 include Sheridan Smith, who starred in Funny Girl, and Glenda Jackson, who made a long-awaited return to the stage in King Lear at the Old Vic. Sheridan Smith Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened at the Palace Theatre in June, came to life after Friedman approached JK Rowling with the idea of a play exploring Harry’s adult years.The fan response was ecstatic, the reviews were glorious, and tickets sold out so fast that an extra 250,000 seats were made available and snapped up within hours.Explaining why Friedman has finally topped the list after so many years, Alistair Smith, print editor of The Stage, said: “Sonia Friedman has enjoyed a number of notable hits in recent years, but in 2016, she went stratospheric.“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was always likely to be a licence to print money. What has made it really special was that Friedman and her fellow creatives resisted the temptation to treat the production as a cash cow and created something truly magical, original and – above all – theatrical.”Friedman, 51, told The Telegraph: “Harry Potter was one of the highlights of my life and career, but every year to me has felt extraordinary.“I don’t want to be defined by Harry. Because of the nature of Harry Potter and how high profile it is, I think people perhaps noticed me a bit more. But I’d been pretty busy before that and I will continue to be so afterwards.” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened to rave reviewsCredit:Charlie Gray Sheridan Smith also makes the list for her performance in Funny GirlCredit:Menier Chocolate Factorylast_img read more

first_imgBut in women there was no significant variation.Researchers called on doctors to advice male patients at risk of heart disease to have more sex.In a report on their findings they said: “This is the first study of its kind to evaluate the correlation between sexual frequency and homocysteine levels.”A good quality sex life, frequent sex and libido are all related to health in the middle-aged and elderly.”Increased sexual frequency could have a protective effect on general health and quality of life – especially in men – so doctors should support patients’ sexual activity.’Dr Mike Knapton from the British Heart Foundation said the study produced an “interesting result” but did not prove regular sex reduced homocysteine levels.He said: “A relationship does exist between sex and heart disease risk.”Checking your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as keeping active and not smoking, remain the best ways to ensure a healthy future.”A major review of scientific data in 2015 found raised homocysteine levels increased the risk of death from heart disease by 66 per cent. Doctors have long suspected  that frequent sex can reduce the risks, but the latest findings, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, are the first to show it works by driving down homocysteine levels.The chemical is a vital building block of proteins and occurs naturally in the body.But excess levels, which can be caused by poor diet, are thought to damage blood vessels supplying the heart – raising the risk of a deadly clot forming.Researchers from the National Defence Medical Centre in Taiwan tracked more than 2,000 men and women, aged from 20 to 59.They analysed blood samples to measure levels of homocysteine and matched the results up with volunteers’ sexual activity. And last year experts at Boston University discovered the chances of a stroke jumped by almost a third in those with high readings.It has also been linked with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. 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. The results showed the lowest traces of the chemical were found in men claiming to have sex at least twice a week, while the highest readings were found in those restricted to less than once a month.center_img Show more Sex is good for the heart because it reduces the levels of a harmful chemical in the blood, scientists believe – but the effect is only seen in men.Having sex several times a week can cut lead to better circulation and healthier blood vessels in men, which researchers say is crucial for preventing a build-up of the chemical homocysteine.But scientists say women benefit much less because sexual arousal is less dependent on having a healthy blood flow, which is a key factor in keeping homocysteine under control.Heart disease is the biggest killer in Britain.  Increased sexual frequency could have a protective effect on general health and quality of life – especially in men – so doctors should support patients’ sexual activitylast_img read more

first_imgBritish success at Wimbledon has made it a record year for bookies, with bets on the tournament up by 50 per cent on 2016.With Johanna Konta becoming the first British woman to make it through to the semi finals since Virginia Wade in 1978 and Andy Murray looking to defend his title, the total number of wagers on the tournament is expected to reach £1.4bn, according to analysis.British interest has massively increased in the last few days as British number one Konta defied expectations.This year, 25 per cent more bets were placed on Konta to win compared to last year, when there was less than five per cent, making a record the sum for this tournament.Alex Kostin, a betting expert at bet-bonuscode.co.uk, said: “We expect to see £1.4billion of bets placed which is a record amount.”While one reason is the absence of a football tournament this summer, the other, he said, is the “Konta effect”.  Despite being the bookies’ second favourite to win after Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, Konta has attracted the largest number of bets, with 52 per cent of bets on the three favourites placed on her to win.  The figures – which analysed betting trends across Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill and Bet 365 – found the number of bets on Konta has increased by 25 per cent on 2016, when she was knocked out in the second round.Bookmakers have ranked Konta as second most likely to win, with Muguruza first and Venus Williams third.Meanwhile in the men’s final, Federer is the bookies favourite, followed by Djokovic and Murray in third place.”Bookies lost last year on Wimbledon because no one predicted Murray winning,” said Kostin.But bets have increased this year with pundits split on who is likely to win.“Wimbledon is wide open tournament this year – normally there’s one sure favourite,” according to Kostin. “This year Federer, Murray and Djokovic all have a chance.”  “The trend is clear and it has been like this for the three previous days – Konta is winning in bets placed, primarily from the London area,” said analyst Kostin. However, for the first time since 2011, neither Murray nor Djokovic are the favourites among pundits to win, with 38 per cent of bets placed on Federer winning in the men’s final. Kostin said: “We think a really important factor in [the increase in bets] is because there’s no football tournament is.”He added: “Konta generates a lot of attention. The main factor is Konta – she’s a new star. “She’s doing great but we know that it’s difficult to predict. As we see neither book makers nor punters bet on Williams to win it and psychologically knowing she’s the favourite can play a role. center_img “But I hope her coaches and trainers protect her from the information so she doesn’t feel the pressure – I hope bookmakers and punters don’t spoil it for Konta.”   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.last_img read more