Paralympics London 2012

West Ham in row with London Stadium landlords over bid to increase capacity

West Ham and their London Stadium landlords are involved in a legal dispute over plans for 3,000 additional seats. West Ham are the lead tenants of the former Olympic Stadium on a £2.5million per year, 99-year lease. The Premier League club wish to add 9,000 seats to take the capacity of the arena to 66,000, Gerry Murphy, the acting chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation told the London Assembly on Wednesday. West Ham say their first wish is to add 3,000 seats to their present 57,000 capacity "to initially reach a capacity of 60,000, as was promised publicly to our supporters by all London Stadium stakeholders". The dispute with the LLDC centres on the operating costs of making the additional seats available for use - they are already in the arena - plus the revenue from those seats if they are made available. Murphy told a London Assembly Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee meeting: "There is a dispute with West Ham about what the contract says in terms of capacity. "West Ham have absolutely said that they want to increase the capacity to 60,000. And actually they want to further increase the capacity to 66,000. "LLDC and E20 (the landlords) disagrees with their interpretation of the contract. "We feel that actually if West Ham want to enjoy more seats then they should commensurately pay more. "And that's the gist of the disagreement between us and it is subject to legal proceedings." West Ham say they are already paying for a 60,000-seat stadium. That is the capacity the club announced in March 2016. A West Ham spokesperson said in a statement issued to Press Association Sport: "These seats are in London Stadium already, have always been there, and have already been paid for under the terms of our concession agreement. What is your favourite 'new' football stadium? "Having sought a resolution of this matter for many months, West Ham United are seeking a legal declaration." Murphy says the Hammers began to ask for the increased capacity at the start of 2017-18 season, their second after leaving Upton Park in May 2016. Asked who would benefit from the revenue from any additional seating, Murphy said: "West Ham's argument is they would receive all of the extra revenue from the extra seats. We would contend we should get a share of that." The Hammers argue all on the site would benefit from additional supporters attending matches. LLDC receives a flat fee from the tenancy agreement, plus a share of the catering revenue. Murphy admitted, under the current agreement made by her predecessors, LLDC makes an ongoing loss. "The matchday costs will continue at some level to exceed the revenue that we get," she said. Wednesday's meeting followed the publication of the Moore Stephens Olympic Stadium Review, which reported in November on the arena built for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and funded by tax payers. LLDC will actively seek a naming rights sponsor in 2018, bidding to raise £4m a year, after talks with telecoms giant Vodafone ended. "We have been close twice and I'm confident we'll find the right partner," Murphy said. There is a possibility of talks with West Ham over tying in the naming rights sponsor with the shirt sponsor. But LLDC hope the multiple uses of the stadium, which also hosts athletics, musical concerts and other sporting events will be attractive without that tie-in.    

Lottery funds for good causes fall 15pc as players turn their backs on draw-based games

National Lottery players are turning their backs on draw-based games, triggering a drop in income for charities and other good causes that receive funding support from the state-backed lottery scheme. According to the National Audit Office (NAO), the Government's spending watchdog, good causes income fell by 15pc to £1.63bn in the year to April. Returns for good causes are higher from sales of draw-based lottery games, which dropped 13pc, than for scratch cards and instant-win games, which fell by 2pc, NAO's report said. Around 34p per £1 spent on draw-based games bought online is given to good causes, compared to 5-10p for scratch cards. Camelot, which operates the National Lottery, told the NAO that scratch cards and instant-win games returned less to good causes due to the need to offer a higher proportion of proceeds as prizes to encourage consumers to participate. Lottery sales fell by 9pc to £6.93bn in the 2016-17 tax year, and Camelot predicts a further fall in sales and income for good causes in 2017-18. However, the report found that Camelot's profits had been proportionately greater than increases in both lottery sales and returns for good causes. Good causes income from the National Lottery funds a number of projects, including Olympic and Paralympic athletes Credit: Shutterstock Camelot’s accounts show that lottery sales rose 27pc to £6.9bn between 2009-10 and 2016-17. Over the same period, returns for good causes increased by 2pc to £1.5bn, and Camelot’s profit for its shareholders increased by 22pc to £71m. A Camelot spokesman said: "The NAO report restates what we publicly acknowledged back in June in relation to National Lottery sales and returns to good causes. Since then, we have carried out a wide-ranging strategic review of the business and announced strong plans to get the National Lottery back into growth next year and raising as much money as possible for good causes. "We continue to return around 95pc of all National Lottery revenue back to winners and society, one of the highest percentages in the world. In contrast, our profit after tax is around just 1pc of total revenue."

Lottery funds for good causes fall 15pc as players turn their backs on draw-based games

National Lottery players are turning their backs on draw-based games, triggering a drop in income for charities and other good causes that receive funding support from the state-backed lottery scheme. According to the National Audit Office (NAO), the Government's spending watchdog, good causes income fell by 15pc to £1.63bn in the year to April. Returns for good causes are higher from sales of draw-based lottery games, which dropped 13pc, than for scratch cards and instant-win games, which fell by 2pc, NAO's report said. Around 34p per £1 spent on draw-based games bought online is given to good causes, compared to 5-10p for scratch cards. Camelot, which operates the National Lottery, told the NAO that scratch cards and instant-win games returned less to good causes due to the need to offer a higher proportion of proceeds as prizes to encourage consumers to participate. Lottery sales fell by 9pc to £6.93bn in the 2016-17 tax year, and Camelot predicts a further fall in sales and income for good causes in 2017-18. However, the report found that Camelot's profits had been proportionately greater than increases in both lottery sales and returns for good causes. Good causes income from the National Lottery funds a number of projects, including Olympic and Paralympic athletes Credit: Shutterstock Camelot’s accounts show that lottery sales rose 27pc to £6.9bn between 2009-10 and 2016-17. Over the same period, returns for good causes increased by 2pc to £1.5bn, and Camelot’s profit for its shareholders increased by 22pc to £71m. A Camelot spokesman said: "The NAO report restates what we publicly acknowledged back in June in relation to National Lottery sales and returns to good causes. Since then, we have carried out a wide-ranging strategic review of the business and announced strong plans to get the National Lottery back into growth next year and raising as much money as possible for good causes. "We continue to return around 95pc of all National Lottery revenue back to winners and society, one of the highest percentages in the world. In contrast, our profit after tax is around just 1pc of total revenue."

FILE PHOTO: South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius leaving the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria

FILE PHOTO: South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius leaves the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, October 15, 2014. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Tokyo's 2020 mascots to be chosen by kids

Tokyo 2020 organizers have unveiled on Thursday (December 12) three pairs of candidate mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic games. They have also announced that elementary school students will be the ones to vote for the winning pair. Each class in all elementary schools across Japan will have one vote and will have until February 22, 2019 to send their ballot.   The official mascots will then be presented to the public on February 28, 2019 after counting.  The organizer's initiative is a bid to raise children's interest in the event. The selection committee said a total of 2,042 mascot ideas have been received since August, when the design competition began. The shortlisted candidates mostly feature cats, foxes and raccoon, animals which are believed to bring fortune according to Japanese culture. 

Tokyo's 2020 mascots to be chosen by kids

Tokyo 2020 organizers have unveiled on Thursday (December 12) three pairs of candidate mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic games. They have also announced that elementary school students will be the ones to vote for the winning pair. Each class in all elementary schools across Japan will have one vote and will have until February 22, 2019 to send their ballot.   The official mascots will then be presented to the public on February 28, 2019 after counting.  The organizer's initiative is a bid to raise children's interest in the event. The selection committee said a total of 2,042 mascot ideas have been received since August, when the design competition began. The shortlisted candidates mostly feature cats, foxes and raccoon, animals which are believed to bring fortune according to Japanese culture. 

Tokyo's 2020 mascots to be chosen by kids

Tokyo 2020 organizers have unveiled on Thursday (December 12) three pairs of candidate mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic games. They have also announced that elementary school students will be the ones to vote for the winning pair. Each class in all elementary schools across Japan will have one vote and will have until February 22, 2019 to send their ballot.   The official mascots will then be presented to the public on February 28, 2019 after counting.  The organizer's initiative is a bid to raise children's interest in the event. The selection committee said a total of 2,042 mascot ideas have been received since August, when the design competition began. The shortlisted candidates mostly feature cats, foxes and raccoon, animals which are believed to bring fortune according to Japanese culture. 

Tokyo's 2020 mascots to be chosen by kids

Tokyo 2020 organizers have unveiled on Thursday (December 12) three pairs of candidate mascots for the Olympic and Paralympic games. They have also announced that elementary school students will be the ones to vote for the winning pair. Each class in all elementary schools across Japan will have one vote and will have until February 22, 2019 to send their ballot.   The official mascots will then be presented to the public on February 28, 2019 after counting.  The organizer's initiative is a bid to raise children's interest in the event. The selection committee said a total of 2,042 mascot ideas have been received since August, when the design competition began. The shortlisted candidates mostly feature cats, foxes and raccoon, animals which are believed to bring fortune according to Japanese culture. 

Suspected Russian hoaxers target former IPC head Philip Craven

Sir Philip Craven resigned as IPC president last year but was responsible for banning Russia from the Paralympics in Rio.

Pippa Middleton leads campaign to promote disability snow sports ahead of the Paralympics in South Korea

Pippa Middleton leads campaign to promote disability snow sports ahead of the Paralympics in South Korea

Pippa Middleton leads campaign to promote disability snow sports ahead of the Paralympics in South Korea

Pippa Middleton leads campaign to promote disability snow sports ahead of the Paralympics in South Korea

Is this the ultimate resort for sports addicts?

Anyone for padel? No, I hadn’t heard of it either, and my spellcheck keeps trying to change it to paddle. But I do mean padel, a bat-and-ball game played across a net on a smaller version of a tennis court, with a glass back wall adding a soupçon of squash.  “It’s the most addictive sport in the world,” says Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, the upscale resort in the Algarve’s so-called Golden Triangle, near Faro. Padel may not have broken through over here, but from its birthplace in Mexico it has won many aficionados in the Hispanic world and even has its own pro tour, started in 2005. Moriarty has high hopes for it in his ambitious plan to reposition Quinta do Lago as more than a golf resort.  Half a century will soon have passed since a Brazilian property developer bought the 550-hectare estate and made a Shangri-La for the rich, with rolling fairways, lakes, aspirational garden villas and a footbridge to golden dunes and the ocean blue. “In the beginning this was the ideal place for wealthy people who loved golf to retire to,” says Moriarty. “Now their children and grandchildren want more things to do.” Quinta do Lago is repositioning itself to be more than a golf resort Credit: Getty What he likes about padel is how accessible it is. “An overweight and underskilled guy like me can take on athletic tennis players and beat them by being a bit canny,” he says. Padel is a doubles game that requires neither advanced fitness nor mastery of the great stumbling block in tennis, the overarm serve.    Spread across a hillside overlooking the sea, Quinta do Lago is a place of many roundabouts and no obvious centre. As a social hub, Koko Lane Café at the golf club’s practice ground now faces competition from The Campus, a multi-sports activity centre in the making, with padel and tennis courts – clay and acrylic – a restaurant, a cycling station and, at a cost of €1 million (£895,860), a training pitch designed to attract top football teams to Quinta do Lago during the summer preseason and Europe’s midwinter break. With a junior racquet academy, a football school and a gym equipped with everything the elite athlete needs for warm weather training and rehabilitation from injury, Quinta do Lago will have it all.  It comes as no surprise to learn that Quinta wants a piece of the cycling boom. “The Algarve is perfect for cycling,” says paracyclist Mark Rohan, a double Paralympic gold medallist in 2012 who moved to the area to be a fruit farmer, but now finds himself in charge of The Bike Shed, as the two-wheeled component of The Campus is known.  Procurement is his first task. Once the fleet of mountain bikes, e-bikes and racer-ready road bikes is in place, he will turn his attention to mapping trails and building a team of guides for group rides and personal training.  The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Froome and all the top professional teams to the area in February. There is serious hill climbing to be done in the Monchique range, as well as gentler discovery tours of Algarve villages and nature rambles along the Ria Formosa, a tidal inlet that lies between Quinta do Lago and the beach.  The logic of diversification is easy enough to understand. But does it imply a move away from golf? Will Quinta do Lago’s fairways be torn up and sold off at €1,000 per square foot for the construction of more villas and bike trails for enthusiasts in Lycra? Is padel – dumbed-down tennis, if you like – an example golf should follow?    The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Chris Froome and all the top professional cyclists to the area in February Credit: Getty On a warm, autumn morning, the scene at the golf club seems familiar enough: golfers hunched over their putts on the practice green and shaving the grass with furious practice swings; buggies stacked up behind the first tee. The South Course is as popular as ever, with its risk and reward lake holes on the back nine. The North is playing nicely now, after an expensive redesign to make it more forgiving off the tee, more interesting around the greens, and fairer. At Quinta do Lago’s third course, Laranjal, which lies off-property among undeveloped farmland, a stableford competition is oversubscribed.  “We’ve done well because of problems in other places,” says Brian Evans, director of golf. Turkey and Egypt are not so tempting, and this hurricane season hasn’t been the best promotion for trips to the Caribbean.   Algarve travel guide In the quest to match us up to the right set of clubs, the Paul McGinley teaching academy has every analytical tool going; and a secluded short-game practice area that can be reserved for VIPs. Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA, and Matt Fitzpatrick dropped in for a few days’ practice after his win in Switzerland in September.  The academy’s director Jose Ferreira is worried about the spate of career-threatening injuries, but not about golf itself. “Golf is difficult, but that’s why we love it,” he says. “I don’t believe in changing the game to make it easier. We just need to make it more fun, with a more relaxed ambience. We must be creative, but respecting golf’s traditions.” One project is to make a pitch and putt course where the old tennis courts used to be. “Juniors who aren’t ready for the full-length game don’t want to spend all their time on the practice ground,” he says; they want to compete and score.    “Six at Six” is another idea on Ferreira’s agenda. “After the beach and before going out for the evening, play the best six holes at Quinta – 10, 11 and 15 to 18 on the South course – in an hour. The course is empty then, so why not?”  A padel court at Quinta do Lago Credit: Getty Images/AWL Images RM With so much going on, it’s easy to overlook the natural beauty of Quinta do Lago’s setting on the Ria Formosa.   After a padel lesson, a round of golf and a swim in the Atlantic, I borrow one of Rohan’s bikes and a pair of binoculars and set off along the rough track that follows the muddy inlet, not dawdling as it takes me alongside the fairways of a neighbouring golf course, in the firing line of a sliced drive.   Top 10 | The cheapest European destinations Once that danger is past, the track follows embankments between reed beds, salt pans, mudflats and shallow pools full of fish: a wetland paradise that stretches all the way to Faro airport.  There is so much wildlife to watch, I soon cease to notice the roar of low-flying jets. Flamingoes, storks and kingfishers I can identify. But when it comes to the army of assorted stints and sandpipers I am out of my depth. What I need is binoculars with connectivity and a visual recognition app that tells me what I’m looking at. If sunglasses can receive emails, surely this isn’t too much to ask?  Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA Credit: Getty Essentials Adam Ruck was a guest of the Quinto do Lago resort (quintadolago.com). He stayed at the Magnolia Hotel (contact through the resort website) where rooms cost from €78 (£69) per night B&B. Green fees cost as follows: Laranjal course, €148 per round; South, €148, North €155. A one-hour padel lesson is €50 for one person, €60 for two (€30 each). For our full guide to the Algarve, including details of how to travel, see telegraph.co.uk/tt-algarve

Is this the ultimate resort for sports addicts?

Anyone for padel? No, I hadn’t heard of it either, and my spellcheck keeps trying to change it to paddle. But I do mean padel, a bat-and-ball game played across a net on a smaller version of a tennis court, with a glass back wall adding a soupçon of squash.  “It’s the most addictive sport in the world,” says Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, the upscale resort in the Algarve’s so-called Golden Triangle, near Faro. Padel may not have broken through over here, but from its birthplace in Mexico it has won many aficionados in the Hispanic world and even has its own pro tour, started in 2005. Moriarty has high hopes for it in his ambitious plan to reposition Quinta do Lago as more than a golf resort.  Half a century will soon have passed since a Brazilian property developer bought the 550-hectare estate and made a Shangri-La for the rich, with rolling fairways, lakes, aspirational garden villas and a footbridge to golden dunes and the ocean blue. “In the beginning this was the ideal place for wealthy people who loved golf to retire to,” says Moriarty. “Now their children and grandchildren want more things to do.” Quinta do Lago is repositioning itself to be more than a golf resort Credit: Getty What he likes about padel is how accessible it is. “An overweight and underskilled guy like me can take on athletic tennis players and beat them by being a bit canny,” he says. Padel is a doubles game that requires neither advanced fitness nor mastery of the great stumbling block in tennis, the overarm serve.    Spread across a hillside overlooking the sea, Quinta do Lago is a place of many roundabouts and no obvious centre. As a social hub, Koko Lane Café at the golf club’s practice ground now faces competition from The Campus, a multi-sports activity centre in the making, with padel and tennis courts – clay and acrylic – a restaurant, a cycling station and, at a cost of €1 million (£895,860), a training pitch designed to attract top football teams to Quinta do Lago during the summer preseason and Europe’s midwinter break. With a junior racquet academy, a football school and a gym equipped with everything the elite athlete needs for warm weather training and rehabilitation from injury, Quinta do Lago will have it all.  It comes as no surprise to learn that Quinta wants a piece of the cycling boom. “The Algarve is perfect for cycling,” says paracyclist Mark Rohan, a double Paralympic gold medallist in 2012 who moved to the area to be a fruit farmer, but now finds himself in charge of The Bike Shed, as the two-wheeled component of The Campus is known.  Procurement is his first task. Once the fleet of mountain bikes, e-bikes and racer-ready road bikes is in place, he will turn his attention to mapping trails and building a team of guides for group rides and personal training.  The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Froome and all the top professional teams to the area in February. There is serious hill climbing to be done in the Monchique range, as well as gentler discovery tours of Algarve villages and nature rambles along the Ria Formosa, a tidal inlet that lies between Quinta do Lago and the beach.  The logic of diversification is easy enough to understand. But does it imply a move away from golf? Will Quinta do Lago’s fairways be torn up and sold off at €1,000 per square foot for the construction of more villas and bike trails for enthusiasts in Lycra? Is padel – dumbed-down tennis, if you like – an example golf should follow?    The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Chris Froome and all the top professional cyclists to the area in February Credit: Getty On a warm, autumn morning, the scene at the golf club seems familiar enough: golfers hunched over their putts on the practice green and shaving the grass with furious practice swings; buggies stacked up behind the first tee. The South Course is as popular as ever, with its risk and reward lake holes on the back nine. The North is playing nicely now, after an expensive redesign to make it more forgiving off the tee, more interesting around the greens, and fairer. At Quinta do Lago’s third course, Laranjal, which lies off-property among undeveloped farmland, a stableford competition is oversubscribed.  “We’ve done well because of problems in other places,” says Brian Evans, director of golf. Turkey and Egypt are not so tempting, and this hurricane season hasn’t been the best promotion for trips to the Caribbean.   Algarve travel guide In the quest to match us up to the right set of clubs, the Paul McGinley teaching academy has every analytical tool going; and a secluded short-game practice area that can be reserved for VIPs. Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA, and Matt Fitzpatrick dropped in for a few days’ practice after his win in Switzerland in September.  The academy’s director Jose Ferreira is worried about the spate of career-threatening injuries, but not about golf itself. “Golf is difficult, but that’s why we love it,” he says. “I don’t believe in changing the game to make it easier. We just need to make it more fun, with a more relaxed ambience. We must be creative, but respecting golf’s traditions.” One project is to make a pitch and putt course where the old tennis courts used to be. “Juniors who aren’t ready for the full-length game don’t want to spend all their time on the practice ground,” he says; they want to compete and score.    “Six at Six” is another idea on Ferreira’s agenda. “After the beach and before going out for the evening, play the best six holes at Quinta – 10, 11 and 15 to 18 on the South course – in an hour. The course is empty then, so why not?”  A padel court at Quinta do Lago Credit: Getty Images/AWL Images RM With so much going on, it’s easy to overlook the natural beauty of Quinta do Lago’s setting on the Ria Formosa.   After a padel lesson, a round of golf and a swim in the Atlantic, I borrow one of Rohan’s bikes and a pair of binoculars and set off along the rough track that follows the muddy inlet, not dawdling as it takes me alongside the fairways of a neighbouring golf course, in the firing line of a sliced drive.   Top 10 | The cheapest European destinations Once that danger is past, the track follows embankments between reed beds, salt pans, mudflats and shallow pools full of fish: a wetland paradise that stretches all the way to Faro airport.  There is so much wildlife to watch, I soon cease to notice the roar of low-flying jets. Flamingoes, storks and kingfishers I can identify. But when it comes to the army of assorted stints and sandpipers I am out of my depth. What I need is binoculars with connectivity and a visual recognition app that tells me what I’m looking at. If sunglasses can receive emails, surely this isn’t too much to ask?  Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA Credit: Getty Essentials Adam Ruck was a guest of the Quinto do Lago resort (quintadolago.com). He stayed at the Magnolia Hotel (contact through the resort website) where rooms cost from €78 (£69) per night B&B. Green fees cost as follows: Laranjal course, €148 per round; South, €148, North €155. A one-hour padel lesson is €50 for one person, €60 for two (€30 each). For our full guide to the Algarve, including details of how to travel, see telegraph.co.uk/tt-algarve

Is this the ultimate resort for sports addicts?

Anyone for padel? No, I hadn’t heard of it either, and my spellcheck keeps trying to change it to paddle. But I do mean padel, a bat-and-ball game played across a net on a smaller version of a tennis court, with a glass back wall adding a soupçon of squash.  “It’s the most addictive sport in the world,” says Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, the upscale resort in the Algarve’s so-called Golden Triangle, near Faro. Padel may not have broken through over here, but from its birthplace in Mexico it has won many aficionados in the Hispanic world and even has its own pro tour, started in 2005. Moriarty has high hopes for it in his ambitious plan to reposition Quinta do Lago as more than a golf resort.  Half a century will soon have passed since a Brazilian property developer bought the 550-hectare estate and made a Shangri-La for the rich, with rolling fairways, lakes, aspirational garden villas and a footbridge to golden dunes and the ocean blue. “In the beginning this was the ideal place for wealthy people who loved golf to retire to,” says Moriarty. “Now their children and grandchildren want more things to do.” Quinta do Lago is repositioning itself to be more than a golf resort Credit: Getty What he likes about padel is how accessible it is. “An overweight and underskilled guy like me can take on athletic tennis players and beat them by being a bit canny,” he says. Padel is a doubles game that requires neither advanced fitness nor mastery of the great stumbling block in tennis, the overarm serve.    Spread across a hillside overlooking the sea, Quinta do Lago is a place of many roundabouts and no obvious centre. As a social hub, Koko Lane Café at the golf club’s practice ground now faces competition from The Campus, a multi-sports activity centre in the making, with padel and tennis courts – clay and acrylic – a restaurant, a cycling station and, at a cost of €1 million (£895,860), a training pitch designed to attract top football teams to Quinta do Lago during the summer preseason and Europe’s midwinter break. With a junior racquet academy, a football school and a gym equipped with everything the elite athlete needs for warm weather training and rehabilitation from injury, Quinta do Lago will have it all.  It comes as no surprise to learn that Quinta wants a piece of the cycling boom. “The Algarve is perfect for cycling,” says paracyclist Mark Rohan, a double Paralympic gold medallist in 2012 who moved to the area to be a fruit farmer, but now finds himself in charge of The Bike Shed, as the two-wheeled component of The Campus is known.  Procurement is his first task. Once the fleet of mountain bikes, e-bikes and racer-ready road bikes is in place, he will turn his attention to mapping trails and building a team of guides for group rides and personal training.  The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Froome and all the top professional teams to the area in February. There is serious hill climbing to be done in the Monchique range, as well as gentler discovery tours of Algarve villages and nature rambles along the Ria Formosa, a tidal inlet that lies between Quinta do Lago and the beach.  The logic of diversification is easy enough to understand. But does it imply a move away from golf? Will Quinta do Lago’s fairways be torn up and sold off at €1,000 per square foot for the construction of more villas and bike trails for enthusiasts in Lycra? Is padel – dumbed-down tennis, if you like – an example golf should follow?    The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Chris Froome and all the top professional cyclists to the area in February Credit: Getty On a warm, autumn morning, the scene at the golf club seems familiar enough: golfers hunched over their putts on the practice green and shaving the grass with furious practice swings; buggies stacked up behind the first tee. The South Course is as popular as ever, with its risk and reward lake holes on the back nine. The North is playing nicely now, after an expensive redesign to make it more forgiving off the tee, more interesting around the greens, and fairer. At Quinta do Lago’s third course, Laranjal, which lies off-property among undeveloped farmland, a stableford competition is oversubscribed.  “We’ve done well because of problems in other places,” says Brian Evans, director of golf. Turkey and Egypt are not so tempting, and this hurricane season hasn’t been the best promotion for trips to the Caribbean.   Algarve travel guide In the quest to match us up to the right set of clubs, the Paul McGinley teaching academy has every analytical tool going; and a secluded short-game practice area that can be reserved for VIPs. Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA, and Matt Fitzpatrick dropped in for a few days’ practice after his win in Switzerland in September.  The academy’s director Jose Ferreira is worried about the spate of career-threatening injuries, but not about golf itself. “Golf is difficult, but that’s why we love it,” he says. “I don’t believe in changing the game to make it easier. We just need to make it more fun, with a more relaxed ambience. We must be creative, but respecting golf’s traditions.” One project is to make a pitch and putt course where the old tennis courts used to be. “Juniors who aren’t ready for the full-length game don’t want to spend all their time on the practice ground,” he says; they want to compete and score.    “Six at Six” is another idea on Ferreira’s agenda. “After the beach and before going out for the evening, play the best six holes at Quinta – 10, 11 and 15 to 18 on the South course – in an hour. The course is empty then, so why not?”  A padel court at Quinta do Lago Credit: Getty Images/AWL Images RM With so much going on, it’s easy to overlook the natural beauty of Quinta do Lago’s setting on the Ria Formosa.   After a padel lesson, a round of golf and a swim in the Atlantic, I borrow one of Rohan’s bikes and a pair of binoculars and set off along the rough track that follows the muddy inlet, not dawdling as it takes me alongside the fairways of a neighbouring golf course, in the firing line of a sliced drive.   Top 10 | The cheapest European destinations Once that danger is past, the track follows embankments between reed beds, salt pans, mudflats and shallow pools full of fish: a wetland paradise that stretches all the way to Faro airport.  There is so much wildlife to watch, I soon cease to notice the roar of low-flying jets. Flamingoes, storks and kingfishers I can identify. But when it comes to the army of assorted stints and sandpipers I am out of my depth. What I need is binoculars with connectivity and a visual recognition app that tells me what I’m looking at. If sunglasses can receive emails, surely this isn’t too much to ask?  Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA Credit: Getty Essentials Adam Ruck was a guest of the Quinto do Lago resort (quintadolago.com). He stayed at the Magnolia Hotel (contact through the resort website) where rooms cost from €78 (£69) per night B&B. Green fees cost as follows: Laranjal course, €148 per round; South, €148, North €155. A one-hour padel lesson is €50 for one person, €60 for two (€30 each). For our full guide to the Algarve, including details of how to travel, see telegraph.co.uk/tt-algarve

Is this the ultimate resort for sports addicts?

Anyone for padel? No, I hadn’t heard of it either, and my spellcheck keeps trying to change it to paddle. But I do mean padel, a bat-and-ball game played across a net on a smaller version of a tennis court, with a glass back wall adding a soupçon of squash.  “It’s the most addictive sport in the world,” says Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, the upscale resort in the Algarve’s so-called Golden Triangle, near Faro. Padel may not have broken through over here, but from its birthplace in Mexico it has won many aficionados in the Hispanic world and even has its own pro tour, started in 2005. Moriarty has high hopes for it in his ambitious plan to reposition Quinta do Lago as more than a golf resort.  Half a century will soon have passed since a Brazilian property developer bought the 550-hectare estate and made a Shangri-La for the rich, with rolling fairways, lakes, aspirational garden villas and a footbridge to golden dunes and the ocean blue. “In the beginning this was the ideal place for wealthy people who loved golf to retire to,” says Moriarty. “Now their children and grandchildren want more things to do.” Quinta do Lago is repositioning itself to be more than a golf resort Credit: Getty What he likes about padel is how accessible it is. “An overweight and underskilled guy like me can take on athletic tennis players and beat them by being a bit canny,” he says. Padel is a doubles game that requires neither advanced fitness nor mastery of the great stumbling block in tennis, the overarm serve.    Spread across a hillside overlooking the sea, Quinta do Lago is a place of many roundabouts and no obvious centre. As a social hub, Koko Lane Café at the golf club’s practice ground now faces competition from The Campus, a multi-sports activity centre in the making, with padel and tennis courts – clay and acrylic – a restaurant, a cycling station and, at a cost of €1 million (£895,860), a training pitch designed to attract top football teams to Quinta do Lago during the summer preseason and Europe’s midwinter break. With a junior racquet academy, a football school and a gym equipped with everything the elite athlete needs for warm weather training and rehabilitation from injury, Quinta do Lago will have it all.  It comes as no surprise to learn that Quinta wants a piece of the cycling boom. “The Algarve is perfect for cycling,” says paracyclist Mark Rohan, a double Paralympic gold medallist in 2012 who moved to the area to be a fruit farmer, but now finds himself in charge of The Bike Shed, as the two-wheeled component of The Campus is known.  Procurement is his first task. Once the fleet of mountain bikes, e-bikes and racer-ready road bikes is in place, he will turn his attention to mapping trails and building a team of guides for group rides and personal training.  The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Froome and all the top professional teams to the area in February. There is serious hill climbing to be done in the Monchique range, as well as gentler discovery tours of Algarve villages and nature rambles along the Ria Formosa, a tidal inlet that lies between Quinta do Lago and the beach.  The logic of diversification is easy enough to understand. But does it imply a move away from golf? Will Quinta do Lago’s fairways be torn up and sold off at €1,000 per square foot for the construction of more villas and bike trails for enthusiasts in Lycra? Is padel – dumbed-down tennis, if you like – an example golf should follow?    The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Chris Froome and all the top professional cyclists to the area in February Credit: Getty On a warm, autumn morning, the scene at the golf club seems familiar enough: golfers hunched over their putts on the practice green and shaving the grass with furious practice swings; buggies stacked up behind the first tee. The South Course is as popular as ever, with its risk and reward lake holes on the back nine. The North is playing nicely now, after an expensive redesign to make it more forgiving off the tee, more interesting around the greens, and fairer. At Quinta do Lago’s third course, Laranjal, which lies off-property among undeveloped farmland, a stableford competition is oversubscribed.  “We’ve done well because of problems in other places,” says Brian Evans, director of golf. Turkey and Egypt are not so tempting, and this hurricane season hasn’t been the best promotion for trips to the Caribbean.   Algarve travel guide In the quest to match us up to the right set of clubs, the Paul McGinley teaching academy has every analytical tool going; and a secluded short-game practice area that can be reserved for VIPs. Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA, and Matt Fitzpatrick dropped in for a few days’ practice after his win in Switzerland in September.  The academy’s director Jose Ferreira is worried about the spate of career-threatening injuries, but not about golf itself. “Golf is difficult, but that’s why we love it,” he says. “I don’t believe in changing the game to make it easier. We just need to make it more fun, with a more relaxed ambience. We must be creative, but respecting golf’s traditions.” One project is to make a pitch and putt course where the old tennis courts used to be. “Juniors who aren’t ready for the full-length game don’t want to spend all their time on the practice ground,” he says; they want to compete and score.    “Six at Six” is another idea on Ferreira’s agenda. “After the beach and before going out for the evening, play the best six holes at Quinta – 10, 11 and 15 to 18 on the South course – in an hour. The course is empty then, so why not?”  A padel court at Quinta do Lago Credit: Getty Images/AWL Images RM With so much going on, it’s easy to overlook the natural beauty of Quinta do Lago’s setting on the Ria Formosa.   After a padel lesson, a round of golf and a swim in the Atlantic, I borrow one of Rohan’s bikes and a pair of binoculars and set off along the rough track that follows the muddy inlet, not dawdling as it takes me alongside the fairways of a neighbouring golf course, in the firing line of a sliced drive.   Top 10 | The cheapest European destinations Once that danger is past, the track follows embankments between reed beds, salt pans, mudflats and shallow pools full of fish: a wetland paradise that stretches all the way to Faro airport.  There is so much wildlife to watch, I soon cease to notice the roar of low-flying jets. Flamingoes, storks and kingfishers I can identify. But when it comes to the army of assorted stints and sandpipers I am out of my depth. What I need is binoculars with connectivity and a visual recognition app that tells me what I’m looking at. If sunglasses can receive emails, surely this isn’t too much to ask?  Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA Credit: Getty Essentials Adam Ruck was a guest of the Quinto do Lago resort (quintadolago.com). He stayed at the Magnolia Hotel (contact through the resort website) where rooms cost from €78 (£69) per night B&B. Green fees cost as follows: Laranjal course, €148 per round; South, €148, North €155. A one-hour padel lesson is €50 for one person, €60 for two (€30 each). For our full guide to the Algarve, including details of how to travel, see telegraph.co.uk/tt-algarve

Is this the ultimate resort for sports addicts?

Anyone for padel? No, I hadn’t heard of it either, and my spellcheck keeps trying to change it to paddle. But I do mean padel, a bat-and-ball game played across a net on a smaller version of a tennis court, with a glass back wall adding a soupçon of squash.  “It’s the most addictive sport in the world,” says Sean Moriarty, CEO of Quinta do Lago, the upscale resort in the Algarve’s so-called Golden Triangle, near Faro. Padel may not have broken through over here, but from its birthplace in Mexico it has won many aficionados in the Hispanic world and even has its own pro tour, started in 2005. Moriarty has high hopes for it in his ambitious plan to reposition Quinta do Lago as more than a golf resort.  Half a century will soon have passed since a Brazilian property developer bought the 550-hectare estate and made a Shangri-La for the rich, with rolling fairways, lakes, aspirational garden villas and a footbridge to golden dunes and the ocean blue. “In the beginning this was the ideal place for wealthy people who loved golf to retire to,” says Moriarty. “Now their children and grandchildren want more things to do.” Quinta do Lago is repositioning itself to be more than a golf resort Credit: Getty What he likes about padel is how accessible it is. “An overweight and underskilled guy like me can take on athletic tennis players and beat them by being a bit canny,” he says. Padel is a doubles game that requires neither advanced fitness nor mastery of the great stumbling block in tennis, the overarm serve.    Spread across a hillside overlooking the sea, Quinta do Lago is a place of many roundabouts and no obvious centre. As a social hub, Koko Lane Café at the golf club’s practice ground now faces competition from The Campus, a multi-sports activity centre in the making, with padel and tennis courts – clay and acrylic – a restaurant, a cycling station and, at a cost of €1 million (£895,860), a training pitch designed to attract top football teams to Quinta do Lago during the summer preseason and Europe’s midwinter break. With a junior racquet academy, a football school and a gym equipped with everything the elite athlete needs for warm weather training and rehabilitation from injury, Quinta do Lago will have it all.  It comes as no surprise to learn that Quinta wants a piece of the cycling boom. “The Algarve is perfect for cycling,” says paracyclist Mark Rohan, a double Paralympic gold medallist in 2012 who moved to the area to be a fruit farmer, but now finds himself in charge of The Bike Shed, as the two-wheeled component of The Campus is known.  Procurement is his first task. Once the fleet of mountain bikes, e-bikes and racer-ready road bikes is in place, he will turn his attention to mapping trails and building a team of guides for group rides and personal training.  The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Froome and all the top professional teams to the area in February. There is serious hill climbing to be done in the Monchique range, as well as gentler discovery tours of Algarve villages and nature rambles along the Ria Formosa, a tidal inlet that lies between Quinta do Lago and the beach.  The logic of diversification is easy enough to understand. But does it imply a move away from golf? Will Quinta do Lago’s fairways be torn up and sold off at €1,000 per square foot for the construction of more villas and bike trails for enthusiasts in Lycra? Is padel – dumbed-down tennis, if you like – an example golf should follow?    The Volta ao Algarve road race brings Chris Froome and all the top professional cyclists to the area in February Credit: Getty On a warm, autumn morning, the scene at the golf club seems familiar enough: golfers hunched over their putts on the practice green and shaving the grass with furious practice swings; buggies stacked up behind the first tee. The South Course is as popular as ever, with its risk and reward lake holes on the back nine. The North is playing nicely now, after an expensive redesign to make it more forgiving off the tee, more interesting around the greens, and fairer. At Quinta do Lago’s third course, Laranjal, which lies off-property among undeveloped farmland, a stableford competition is oversubscribed.  “We’ve done well because of problems in other places,” says Brian Evans, director of golf. Turkey and Egypt are not so tempting, and this hurricane season hasn’t been the best promotion for trips to the Caribbean.   Algarve travel guide In the quest to match us up to the right set of clubs, the Paul McGinley teaching academy has every analytical tool going; and a secluded short-game practice area that can be reserved for VIPs. Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA, and Matt Fitzpatrick dropped in for a few days’ practice after his win in Switzerland in September.  The academy’s director Jose Ferreira is worried about the spate of career-threatening injuries, but not about golf itself. “Golf is difficult, but that’s why we love it,” he says. “I don’t believe in changing the game to make it easier. We just need to make it more fun, with a more relaxed ambience. We must be creative, but respecting golf’s traditions.” One project is to make a pitch and putt course where the old tennis courts used to be. “Juniors who aren’t ready for the full-length game don’t want to spend all their time on the practice ground,” he says; they want to compete and score.    “Six at Six” is another idea on Ferreira’s agenda. “After the beach and before going out for the evening, play the best six holes at Quinta – 10, 11 and 15 to 18 on the South course – in an hour. The course is empty then, so why not?”  A padel court at Quinta do Lago Credit: Getty Images/AWL Images RM With so much going on, it’s easy to overlook the natural beauty of Quinta do Lago’s setting on the Ria Formosa.   After a padel lesson, a round of golf and a swim in the Atlantic, I borrow one of Rohan’s bikes and a pair of binoculars and set off along the rough track that follows the muddy inlet, not dawdling as it takes me alongside the fairways of a neighbouring golf course, in the firing line of a sliced drive.   Top 10 | The cheapest European destinations Once that danger is past, the track follows embankments between reed beds, salt pans, mudflats and shallow pools full of fish: a wetland paradise that stretches all the way to Faro airport.  There is so much wildlife to watch, I soon cease to notice the roar of low-flying jets. Flamingoes, storks and kingfishers I can identify. But when it comes to the army of assorted stints and sandpipers I am out of my depth. What I need is binoculars with connectivity and a visual recognition app that tells me what I’m looking at. If sunglasses can receive emails, surely this isn’t too much to ask?  Rory McIlroy chose Quinta do Lago during his lay-off before the US PGA Credit: Getty Essentials Adam Ruck was a guest of the Quinto do Lago resort (quintadolago.com). He stayed at the Magnolia Hotel (contact through the resort website) where rooms cost from €78 (£69) per night B&B. Green fees cost as follows: Laranjal course, €148 per round; South, €148, North €155. A one-hour padel lesson is €50 for one person, €60 for two (€30 each). For our full guide to the Algarve, including details of how to travel, see telegraph.co.uk/tt-algarve

Russia Winter Olympic ban Q&A: How long has the scandal dragged on and what happens next?

When was the Russian doping scandal exposed? Russia was first accused of covering up positive drugs tests in the summer of 2013, but it was not until almost a year and a half later that a German broadcaster aired an explosive documentary which prompted the World Anti-Doping Agency to announce an independent investigation into the matter. In November 2015, that found the country guilty of “state-sponsored doping” and of having “sabotaged” London 2012. A second investigation led by Professor Richard McLaren was launched when, six months later, the director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory confessed the Sochi Olympics had been similarly compromised by an FSB-assisted urine-swapping scheme. That was found to have been the case following a probe that also estimated more than 1,000 athletes benefitted from a state-supported doping programme. How did the programme work? According to lab director turned whistle-blower Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, he created a cocktail of anabolic steroids which could go undetected after being dissolved in alcohol - Chivas whiskey for men and Martini vermouth for women - during the build-up to London 2012. He said a dead-of-night spy-novel-style sample-swapping scheme was then introduced for the Sochi Games after the FSB developed a way of opening and closing what were meant to be tamper-proof bottles of urine. The scam saw suspected dirty samples passed through a hand-sized hole in a wall in the lab and replaced with clean ones. Rodchenkov said this was all done with the approval of sports minister Vitaly Mutko. What was the fallout from the revelations? The publication of the first independent report saw the Russian Anti-Doping Agency declared non-compliant with the Wada Code and the accreditation of the Moscow lab revoked. The International Association of Athletics Federations also suspended Russia’s athletics federation (RusAF), permitting only demonstrably-clean Russian athletes based outside the country to compete - and even then as neutrals. The publication of the McLaren report saw the International Paralympic Committee throw Russia out of last year’s Paralympics but the International Olympic Committee controversially refused to follow suit, deferring a decision on the status of individual athletes to international federations, many of which did not impose bans. Vitaly Mutko was said to have been complicit in the swapping of urine samples Credit: PA What has changed since then? Despite refusing to ban Russia, the IOC appointed two independent commissions to investigate the findings of Wada’s earlier inquiries. As these progressed, the evidence against the country became overwhelming, and it finally accepted systematic doping to have been proven. Wada also confirmed last month it had obtained a database corroborating the findings of the McLaren report, with the emergence of Rodchenkov’s contemporaneous diaries last week the final damning confirmation of what had taken place. Russia’s stubborn refusal to admit its guilt compounded what is unarguably the biggest doping scandal in history. What happens next? Russia has threatened to order its athletes to boycott Pyeongchang 2018, which would put pressure on them not to compete in February under a neutral flag. As it stands, the IAAF and IPC bans will remain in force until Russia owns up to state-sponsored doping, although any IOC sanction is unlikely to be imposed indefinitely. If Russia does refuse to confess then all three bodies will have no choice anyway but to lift their bans if they want to bring it in from the cold. Mutko, meanwhile, is still head of the World Cup organising committee and his life Olympic ban could lead to calls for him to be replaced.

Russia Winter Olympic ban Q&A: How long has the scandal dragged on and what happens next?

When was the Russian doping scandal exposed? Russia was first accused of covering up positive drugs tests in the summer of 2013, but it was not until almost a year and a half later that a German broadcaster aired an explosive documentary which prompted the World Anti-Doping Agency to announce an independent investigation into the matter. In November 2015, that found the country guilty of “state-sponsored doping” and of having “sabotaged” London 2012. A second investigation led by Professor Richard McLaren was launched when, six months later, the director of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory confessed the Sochi Olympics had been similarly compromised by an FSB-assisted urine-swapping scheme. That was found to have been the case following a probe that also estimated more than 1,000 athletes benefitted from a state-supported doping programme. How did the programme work? According to lab director turned whistle-blower Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, he created a cocktail of anabolic steroids which could go undetected after being dissolved in alcohol - Chivas whiskey for men and Martini vermouth for women - during the build-up to London 2012. He said a dead-of-night spy-novel-style sample-swapping scheme was then introduced for the Sochi Games after the FSB developed a way of opening and closing what were meant to be tamper-proof bottles of urine. The scam saw suspected dirty samples passed through a hand-sized hole in a wall in the lab and replaced with clean ones. Rodchenkov said this was all done with the approval of sports minister Vitaly Mutko. What was the fallout from the revelations? The publication of the first independent report saw the Russian Anti-Doping Agency declared non-compliant with the Wada Code and the accreditation of the Moscow lab revoked. The International Association of Athletics Federations also suspended Russia’s athletics federation (RusAF), permitting only demonstrably-clean Russian athletes based outside the country to compete - and even then as neutrals. The publication of the McLaren report saw the International Paralympic Committee throw Russia out of last year’s Paralympics but the International Olympic Committee controversially refused to follow suit, deferring a decision on the status of individual athletes to international federations, many of which did not impose bans. Vitaly Mutko was said to have been complicit in the swapping of urine samples Credit: PA What has changed since then? Despite refusing to ban Russia, the IOC appointed two independent commissions to investigate the findings of Wada’s earlier inquiries. As these progressed, the evidence against the country became overwhelming, and it finally accepted systematic doping to have been proven. Wada also confirmed last month it had obtained a database corroborating the findings of the McLaren report, with the emergence of Rodchenkov’s contemporaneous diaries last week the final damning confirmation of what had taken place. Russia’s stubborn refusal to admit its guilt compounded what is unarguably the biggest doping scandal in history. What happens next? Russia has threatened to order its athletes to boycott Pyeongchang 2018, which would put pressure on them not to compete in February under a neutral flag. As it stands, the IAAF and IPC bans will remain in force until Russia owns up to state-sponsored doping, although any IOC sanction is unlikely to be imposed indefinitely. If Russia does refuse to confess then all three bodies will have no choice anyway but to lift their bans if they want to bring it in from the cold. Mutko, meanwhile, is still head of the World Cup organising committee and his life Olympic ban could lead to calls for him to be replaced.

Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft fears a future of unemployment when she retires from wheelchair racing

Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft fears a future of unemployment when she retires from wheelchair racing

Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft fears a future of unemployment when she retires from wheelchair racing

Jonnie Peacock (Paralympics)

The sprinter returned to the London Stadium five years after he became one of the faces of the 2012 Paralympic Games to regain the T44 100m at the World Para Athletics Championships in the summer, a title he last won in 2013. He recently appeared on BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing.

Strictly Come Dancing 2017, week 10, Saturday live show: Joe McFadden tops scoreboard but Susan Calman stuck at bottom

Joe McFadden tops leaderboard after routine scores are combined with points from paso dobla-thon Debbie McGee in second place after stunning Argentine tango Susan Calman rock bottom. Could it be time for her to go? Gemma Atkinson and Mollie King also in dance-off danger  Strictly came back from Blackpool to the familiar Elstree Studios ballroom, where we had leaderboard upsets and paso doble carnage. Here's all the talking points and social media reaction from Saturday night's show...  Joe McFadden springs a scoreboard surprise The Holby City actor has consistently been in the upper reaches of the leaderboard all series but tonight he snuck to the summit. Cleverly choreographed by partner Katya Jones, their retro construction-themed quickstep was cute, kicky, flicky and as frothy as a well-whipped cappuccino.  Joe was initially tied at the top of the leaderboard with Debbie McGee - a double Mac attack - but he pulled clear by virtue of second place in the paso doblathon, when his knee-walks caught the judges' eyes, just like they did five weeks ago when he notched his first perfect 10s. With only two men left standing, Joe's looking the best hope for a male to reach the grand final. Could he even be a dark horse for the glitterball trophy? Come on guys, vote for @mrjoemcfadden and @Mrs_katjones Would be great to see another #holbycity win!!#Strictly— Chizzy (@chizzyakudolu) November 25, 2017 Well done Joe for getting to the top of the leadboard least it’s someone different for a change. #SCD2017#strictlycomedancing2017#strictly2017— Adam Grant (@popboy84) November 25, 2017 Oh my goodness �� @Mrs_katjones does the best routines! Joe and Katya to win, 10sssssss ������ #StrictlyComeDancing2017— jess (@jrthornton_) November 25, 2017 Wow wow wow fab-u-lous, routine from @mrjoemcfadden & @Mrs_katjones - one of my favourites of anyone throughout this series ❤️❤️❤️ #Strictly#SCD2017— Allison Green (@alligatoruk) November 25, 2017 I think Joe might end up winning this competition. I would be so chuffed if he did. #StrictlyComeDancing#StrictlyComeDancing2017#Strictly#Strictly2017#SCD#SCD2017— Diane ☣ (@Brassylassy) November 25, 2017 Exhaustingly over-themed. Joe did well considering #strictly#scd2017— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) November 25, 2017 It’s taken a while but I think I’ve settled on my faves and Joe & Katya are it #Strictly— Sid (@StrictlySid) November 25, 2017 Joe and Katya's quickstep It's time for Susan Calman to go Scottish comedian Susan Calman has been on this year's most loveable Strictly journey, thanks to her sweet relationship with pro partner Kevin Clifton and her infectiously joyous routines. Tonight, though, the gulf in ability became glaringly apparent.  The couple's cruise ship-themed American smooth had charm but was technically more of an American lumpy, with Susan walking around while Kevin frantically covered her inadequacies. The adorable pair also came bottom in the paso doblathon, leaving Susan cast adrift at the foot of the leaderboard by a six-point margin. Her huge popularity could yet secure enough viewer votes to lift her clear of the bottom two but the time is surely right for Susan to bow out, before she eliminates another far superior dancer.  Susan and Kevin's American smooth I have loved watching Susan and Kevin on #SCD but I think it's time to say goodbye.— Rainy (@rainy101) November 25, 2017   Susan and Kevin might not be judges best but their paso doble-thon was the one I was trying to follow because it was making me smile. We should all be like @SusanCalman#Strictly2017— Karen Lynch (@kalynch11) November 25, 2017 Susan is now the least technical dancer left in the competition, but hard to beat in terms of sheer joy. #SCD— Scott Matthewman, theatre critic & developer (@scottm) November 25, 2017 I adore Susan, but it's all getting a bit more serious now and I think it's time to go. #Strictly— Sue (@Sue_Pook) November 25, 2017 Susan They were both my favourites the first 5 weeks but for me brings nothing anymore Predictable... all she does is walk around, no shaping, feet terrible, doesn't look like she's actually dancing and nearly fell of the bench She hasn't improved at all from week 1 Time to go— James Jordan (@The_JamesJordan) November 25, 2017 #strictly well done Kevin - a whole dance with Susan barely moving ��������‍♂️— Andy Barton (@Auchepis) November 25, 2017 The judges want Susan out. Hope not, she is trying 100% & she is dancing her heart out. Shame the judges have their favs.#Strictly— Peter H Todd (@Peter_H_Todd) November 25, 2017 I think this was my favourite @SusanCalman moment on #Strictly tonight. pic.twitter.com/UJoHMTAesu— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) November 25, 2017 Gemma and Mollie in dance-off danger It was a spectacular fall from glitterball grace for soap actress Gemma Atkinson, who went from scoring her first 10s last week and second place on the Blackpool leaderboard to finishing second from bottom here. The samba is difficult enough without being further hobbled by a bafflingly random sleep theme. Gemma and partner Alijaz Skorjanec are one of the most likeable pairings in the competition but could now find themselves in their first dreaded dance-off. Let's hope it's not goodnight, sweetheart. I adore Gemma and Aljaz, but dear lord, that routine was basically the Debbie/Spice Girls of this week.— Kat Brown (@katbrown) November 25, 2017 I love Gemma but I didn't like that samba at all. Ploddy - no real spirit. Bad music choice? #strictly— Sue (@Sue_Pook) November 25, 2017 This was never going to be a triumph, but Gemma had the makings of a decent samba action there. BLOODY THEMING #strictly#scd2017— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) November 25, 2017 Toothy popstrel Mollie King has survived two dance-offs already. However, hard work and huge improvement in the past fortnight has seen her survive longer than many expected. Now she could be at risk again. Mollie's brolly-themed quickstep flagged a tad towards the end but was, for the most part, impressively light and bright. A chant of "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" up on the Clauditorium was amusingly playground-ish but did it hint at a showmance between sheepish Mollie and her pro partner AJ Pritchard? Either way, second from bottom in the paso doblathon saw them stranded in the bottom three overall. If Susan Calman and Gemma get enough viewer votes, Mollie might find it's third time unlucky.  Mollie and AJ's quickstep The scoring to @bbcstrictly has been all over the place this year !! Mollie & AJ deserves a better score #StrictlyComeDancing#strictly— Julie Loving (@juleslov1) November 25, 2017 Oooh @MollieKing's best dance I think! Frame definitely improved - shoulders still doing slightly odd things out of hold but I thought overall it was neat, charming & frothy (that's a good thing in Quickstep!). #Strictly— Alice Stainer (@AliceStainer) November 25, 2017 Well, that was a bit weirdly awkward...what was with the 'kiss, kiss, kiss'? Are actually dating? �� #Strictly— Danielle St Leon �� (@QuixoticDream) November 25, 2017 Debbie McGee bounced back in spectacular style The oldest remaining contestant suffered her first setback of the series with a shock appearance in last week's Blackpool dance-off. Together with a lingering back injury and all-round exhaustion, it left the inspirational 59-year-old at a low ebb this week. However, Debbie McGee gritted her teeth, trained hard towards the end of this week and came out fighting.  Dancing only the second Argentine tango this year, she was full of fast footwork, flicky leg extensions, stunning lifts and flexible splits. Combined with a solid performance in the paso doblathon, it meant La McGee finished just a single point behind leaderboard-topper Joe McFadden.  Let's hope last weekend's brush with danger spurs viewers into voting for her again. Debbie deserves a place in the final, let alone the quarters.  Debbie and Giovanni's Argentine tango That was the best Argentine tango I've seen on @bbcstrictly ever!— Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) November 25, 2017 Massively cheered up by @bbcstrictly Just love @thedebbiemcgee The best dancer on the show. A total joy to watch! Wipes the dancefloor with the competition. And those legs!!! ��⭐️�� #Strictly2017#Strictly#StrictlyComeDancing2017— Cat Davies (@KittyCointreau) November 25, 2017 I don't want #debbiemcgee to win #Strictly , just don't think she's a worthy winner with her dance background ������ ������ #SCD— Michelle Torres (@Michelle_xx_oo) November 25, 2017 Paso doblathon was TV chaos but may have saved Alexandra Burke Strictly's first ever "paso doblathon" saw all seven couples take to the floor simultaneously for a matador mash-up in colour-coded costumes. With 14 people striking Spanish poses all at once, it was sheer Pamplona pandemonium. It looked fiendishly difficult to film, hence it became a confusing mess rather than a spectacular special event on-screen.  This extra challenge might just have saved Alexandra Burke from the dreaded dance-off, though. After her rumba was picked apart by the judges, Alexandra and her pro partner Gorka Marquez were left exactly halfway up the leaderboard - which, thanks to the "curse of the middle", is often a dangerous place to be. First place in the paso doblathon, however, saw Alexandra notch seven extra points and move up a place, quite possibly to safety. You can't beat a bit of bull-fighting. Olé!  Alexandra and Gorka in the paso doblathon #strictly I got the grading exactly right. I knew Alexandra would get top marks to keep her safe from the Dance Off. I would prefer a proper dance each then we can see what the judges are basing their marks on, as this was more than usual, very subjective— bookfan2 (@Borderbabe1) November 25, 2017 Paso Doble-Thon definitely marked along lines of favouritism then? #Strictly— Barbara Taylor (@BarbsieTaylor) November 25, 2017 The paso doblethon is as rigged as the Pan-Pacific grand prix #scd#Strictly2017#StrictlyComeDancing2017— Neil Jeffery (@SirBlimelyWindy) November 25, 2017 Just heard the word 'pasodoblethon' from the living room. I'm assuming some kind of prehistoric magafauna?— Colgers (@stevyncolgan) November 25, 2017 Shirley Ballas (or was it Arlene?) lost sight of Saturday night audience Given the difficult job of stepping into Len Goodman's dancing shoes, head judge Shirley Ballas has acquitted herself well overall during her debut series. Here she had an off-night, though. Her critiques of the likes of Gemma Atkinson and Alexandra Burke were far too detailed and technical, coming across like a choreographic stream of consciousness. Shirley sometimes seems too keen to show off her formidable expertise and forgets the casual viewers at home. Luckily, she later made up for it by getting endearingly emotional about Debbie McGee's poised Argentine tango ("Shirley Balance", anyone?), then being firm and decisive during the chaotic paso doblathon. The Queen Of Latin just needs to strike a balance between authoritative and accessible. It's never too early for improvement from Shirley. Extra awkwardness ensued when Alexandra seemed to accidentally call her "Arlene" by mistake. Well, we suppose La Ballas and former judge Arlene Phillips do bear a certain brunette resemblance.  When Shirley speaks ���� #Strictly#Strictly2017pic.twitter.com/p8XDIgBjMs— MrsJ (@MJ311014) November 25, 2017 I'm not a dancer in any way, but I do love to watch dancers. I appreciate Shirley's detailed and technical criticisms because I can learn something. She explains what is supposed to happen, why, and what she noticed. That's her job, no? #Strictly2017— Wazza (@Wazzock_Square) November 25, 2017 Scores on Strictly are so predictable. It's possible to get an idea of what the final score will be by just looking at Craig's score because Bruno always copies Shirley and Darcy will either give the same or one more than Craig! #Strictly#Strictly2017— MD (@Maverick2718) November 25, 2017 Pretty certain that Alexandra Burke just called Shirley ‘Arlene’ �� #StrictlyComeDancing— Christian �� (@1983cpp) November 25, 2017 Shirley's comments bore me rigid. #strictly#scd— Wood Green Andy (@WoodGreenAndy) November 25, 2017 9:26PM Saturday night's action in full Here's your routine-by-routine recap... 8:07PM Voting lines are open As they recap the routines and roll the credits on-screen, please stay with us for analysis and social media reaction.  8:06PM Joe McFadden now top of the standings And Susan Calman is still bottom,  8:06PM Scores are in Last place and one point for Susan Calman. Two points for Mollie King, Three points for Gemma Atkinson. Four points for Davood Ghadami. Five points for Debbie McGee. Six points for Joe McFadden. And Alexandra Burke wins, landing seven points.  8:04PM Judges have their say Bruno says "it was like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, a little jam here and there, but no accidents - well done".  Mollie and AJ in the paso doblathon 8:03PM Paso doblathon  Right, let's do this. It's choreographic chaos out there. Susan's just swishing her cape around. Joe's spending most of the time on his knees, doing those knee-walks. Davood, Gemma and Mollie looking good but Alexandra steals the show.  Gemma and Alijaz in the paso doblathon 7:59PM Rules and regulations Time for the delights of Strictly's first ever "paso doblathon", as all seven couples take to the floor simultaneously. With 14 people, out there and a big, expressive dance, it could get hectic.  Classic Spanish matador music. All the girls are in identically styled frocks in different colours, while the boys are in traditional jackets. No lifts allowed, all travelling anti-clockwise, proper technique preferred please.  7:57PM Four minute changeover While the couples nip off to get changed into their paso doblathon outfits, head judge Shirley Ballas-athon gives us a rundown of the rules-athon.  7:53PM Susan and Kevin's American smooth Classic Fred ’n’ Ginger routine with a nautical theme. It's set on the deck of a ship, with Kevin as the captain and Susan as a passenger. Will it be smooth sailing? Lovely retro vibe and some bench-ography to start. Takes too long to get into hold but then some spectacular spinning lifts - Susan's first since week two's charleston. Wobbly on her feet but spirited storytelling and a cute kiss. Too much walking around. A nice lift to finish.  Music:  Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin Judges’ verdict: Craig says "gapping, feet never closed, plonky and lost timing but it was quite sweet". Darcey says "charming, a glimmer of Hollywood films, needed more sweeping lines". Shirley says "cheekiness and entertainment factor outstanding but needed much more technique". Bruno concludes '`beyond the sea and beyond belief, iceberg ahead but you didn't go down, saved by the bench, you were like a bouncing ball (stop talking soon please, Bruno) - lovely to watch but technically not there". Sixes? Judges' scores: 4 (boo!), 6, 5, 6 for a total of 21 points. Bottom of the leaderboard, unsurprisingly.  7:45PM Debbie and Giovanni's Argentine tango Last week's dance-off survivors perform what's only the second Argentine tango of the series. Giovanni’s never danced one before, so former Strictly pro and world champion Vincent Simone has helped choreograph this routine. Debbie looking fab in sparkly black. Traditional music, elegant and sensual moves with lots of trademark "Flexy McGee" leg flicks and extensions. Sharp kicks and tricks, spins and sweeping legs. Lost the timing a tad in the middle section but got it back with some spectacular spinning lifts and a double drop into the splits. Fireworks to finish. Bravissimo.  Music:  Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel and Alfredo Le Peray   Judges’ verdict: Bruno says "the queen of Buenos Aires, mistress of Argentina, you used the dancefloor like a canvas and your legs were a paintbrush, drawing beautiful pictures". Craig says "wow wow wow, you truly amaze me, I wish I could dance like you, my darling - but your leg action is a little too placed". Darcey says "outstanding legs and balance, but hold frame in the lift". Shirley says "I found the whole thing quite emotional, I've never seen balance like that - outstanding". Nines and tens? Judges' scores: 9, 9, 10, 10 for a total of 38 points - joint top with Joe.  Debbie and Giovanni's Argentine tango 7:38PM Davood and Nadiya's waltz He's been on a roll with scores of 35 points or more for the last three weeks. Can Davood keep it up?  After last week's Bond-themed, sheer-topped Blackpool gimmickry, it's a classic, no-frills waltz to this Seventies Motown duet. And he's put his man-boobs away beneath classic black tie and tails. It's slow and exposing, so he needs to stay controlled. Romantic mood, graceful spins and all very classy. He holds positions well as sparks fly, both literal and metaphorical. Sweet and all-round lovely.  Music:  With You I’m Born Again by Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright   Judges’ verdict: Shirley says "you've delivered again, you took me back in time, a fantastic stripped back version of a classic waltz". Bruno says "you look like movie stars. Stylish, gorgeous, extremely elegant, simple but effective and I was totally charmed". Craig says "it only needed more swing and away but beautiful". Darcey concludes "effortless, care in hold, control, an air of romance - my kind of waltz". Nines a-coming? Judges' scores: 8, 9, 9, 9 for a total of 35 points. Same as last week and second on the scoreboard so far. His lucky socks have done their job.  Davood and Nadiya's waltz Gosh it's almost as though tail suits and appropriate music help elevate ballroom dances #strictly#scd2017— Marianka Swain (@mkmswain) November 25, 2017 so glad the judges are finally giving davood the scores he deserves !!!���� #Strictly— orla♡ (@love_kellieb) November 25, 2017 I really liked that waltz by Davood. I think he is underrated and keeps putting in consistently good performances. I am still annoyed about how is Rhumba was scored - though it was fab. Hope he get's the right score here #strictly— Nikki-Dee (@nikkidh80) November 25, 2017 That was a lovely, simple, traditional waltz. Loved it. I just wish Davood would shut his mouth when he's dancing because it makes him look a wee bit gormless #Strictly— Bevis Musson (@bevismusson) November 25, 2017 7:29PM Mollie and AJ's quickstep Bookies are predicting that she'll be in the dance-off with Susan tomorrow night. Can Mollie prove them wrong? A sped-up rockabilly version of Rihanna's hit song and Mollie's got a brolly. Lots of messin' abaht to start, then into some cheekily jazzy charleston steps. Skipping brightly around the floor in a lovely frock. Gapping and synchronisation issues at times but spins, smiles and storytelling keep it light and entertaining. A drop to finish. That was fun, if technically flawed. Music:  The Baseballs’ version of Umbrella by Rihanna Judges’ verdict: Darcey says "very good, confident and assured, complex footwork but you kept it clean and crisp, energy flagged and shoulders rose in second half, yes?". Shirley says "no flagging, no sagging, you've made humungous (always a treat to hear that word) strides with your frame but ran out of stamina". Bruno says "a bright, lively, clear quickstep - you've improved so much, keep going". Craig concludes "I'm seeing footwork effort in your topline, jolty runs and a mistake at the end but you are making so much progress which is wonderful to see". Sevens and eights? Judges' scores: 7, 7, 8, 9 (her first) for a total of 31 points - her highest yet. 7:19PM Gemma and Alijaz's samba They joined the 10s club last week in Blackpool. Now can Gemma maintain the high standard? The samba is difficult for female celebs, as Debbie discovered last week. They start the routine in bed, then rip off their pyjamas to reveal hot red outfits. Samba rolls and runs, shadow rolls too. Fast footwork but enough bounce and hip action? They finish back in bed. Cute routine, although it was a way from a Rio carnival.  Music:  The River of Dreams by Billy Joel Judges’ verdict: Craig said "haphazard arms, hands like soup ladles, awkward, lumpy and exposed your weaknesses". Darcey says "it was too sleepy and never really woke up, that free arm wasn't directed, not your dance". Shirley says "I quite liked the bedroom scene, nice voltas but it needed more flow". Bruno says "it was a samba with a hangover, I've done that myself quite a few times. Clever interpretation but it stopped the continuous rhythm flowing through your body". Sevens, maybe sixes? Judges' scores: 6, 6, 6, 7 for a total of 25 points. Lowest so far tonight. Dance-off danger? Gemma and Alijaz's samba 7:11PM Alexandra and Gorka's rumba They've been top of the leaderboard for the last two weeks but now it's the notoriously tricky rumba. Alexandra did a duet  with Beyoncé on The X Factor a decade ago. Now she's dancing to Ms Knowles' angelic ballad - but will it be suitably heavenly? Romantic and passionate mood. Hesitant footwork at times and not entirely sure she's got the grounded hip action and leg-straightening, but great spins and drops. Strong finish as confetti falls. Not her best.  Music:  Halo by Beyoncé Judges’ verdict: Bruno says "a drama set to music, intriguing performance but extend the lines more". Craig says "needed straighter legs in rumba walks and lacked connection and chemistry". Darcey says "nice accents but not as musically expressive as usual, needed more caress and resistance in legs and feet - you're very good but I expect more". Shirley concludes "nice emotion but needed moments of stillness". Eights en route? Judges' scores: 7, 8, 8, 9 for a total of 32 points. Her lowest for five weeks.  Alexandra and Gorka's rumba 7:02PM Joe and Katya's quickstep After last week's rave salsa, it's back to ballroom for the first time in four weeks. A vintage construction worker theme - sort of Bob The Builder meets Village People via 1930s New York.  Nice Charleston solo sections to start and then into hold for a light, bright skip around the dancefloor. Fitting swing revival soundtrack, a little flat-footed and faltering down below but lots of fun up top. Handles the changes of pace well and stays in sync. Jazzy, jumpy, jaunty - and jolly good.  Music:  Jumpin’ Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Judges’ verdict: Shirley says "You're on your way to next week, that unbelievable. Loads of steps, great posture, superb." Bruno says: "Excellent workmanship, solid technique, beautiful detail, spot-on - you can come and build my extension anytime." Craig says: "Holding a little tension in your topline but exceptional phrasing - stupendous, darling". Darcey concludes: "Gorgeous, quick, spirited, wonderful moves." Nines a-coming? Judges' scores: 9, 9, 10, 10 for a total of 38 points. His best yet. 6:58PM Time to meet our Strictly stars First look at our seven surviving couples. A lot less fancy-dressed than last week. Classy and restrained, almost, apart from some nautical and olde worlde construction-themed garb for Susan Calman and Joe McFadden respectively.  6:56PM Frockwatch Time for our traditional comparison of the co-presenters' gowns. Tess Daly's in hot pink with strange drapey, capey sleeves. Claudia Winkleman's in full-length sparkly black. Claudia wins it. Tess’s outfit a bit Melania this week #scd— Sarah (@sbl1976) November 25, 2017 6:53PM And we're off! Roll Blackpool recap and tension-building montage!  6:48PM See ya, Celebrity Pointless Last chance to look in awe at quiz host Alexander Armstrong's ample ears on BBC One right now. Mere minutes until we head glitterballwards... 6:45PM Can Susan Calman defy the odds? The vertically challenged Scottish comedian is bookies' hot favourite for elimination this weekend. She and pro partner Kevin Clifton are dancing a nautical-themed American Smooth. Can Susan Calman get enough points and viewer votes to upset the odds and survive one more week? Five minutes until showtime... 6:41PM First ever paso doblathon We've had a jive-athon and a charleston-athon in Strictlys past but tonight we get the show's first paso doblathon. After performing their regular routines, all seven couples will hit the floor at once to bust some Latin bullfighting moves and compete for extra points. It promises to be choreographic chaos. Ten minutes to wait... 6:35PM R'n'b divas on the Saturday night playlist Tonight's musical selection includes both Beyonce and Rihanna. But don't worry if that's not your bag, baby. There's also Billy Joel and Bobby Darin. Fifteen minutes until that ba-ba-da theme tune... 6:29PM Only two men left standing Last week's elimination of Paralympic sprinter Jonnie Peacock means seven celebrities remain - and only two of them are male. Can Davood Ghadami and Joe McFadden prevent Strictly 2017 being entirely female-dominated? Twenty minutes 'til showtime... 6:23PM Blackpool illuminations have faded - but who'll light up the dancefloor? It's the tenth weekend of Strictly 2017, with our remaining seven pro-celebrity pairs returning from last week's jaunt up north to the Tower Ballroom and back on familiar Elstree Studios turf, bidding to get through to next week's quarter-final.  We go live to the ballroom at 6.50pm on BBC One. Can pace-setter Alexandra Burke continue her leaderboard-topping form? Can Debbie McGee bounce back from last week's dance-off shocker? And can the bookies' favourites for elimination this weekend, Mollie King and Susan Calman, defy the odds again? I'm Michael, the Telegraph's glitter and galumphing correspondent, and I'll be liveblogging from 6.20pm, providing build-up, rolling coverage, analysis and mild sarcasm, so do join me and watch along with this blog.  And please join in too - you can email me on michael.hogan@ telegraph.co.uk, tweet me on @michaelhogan or leave comments at the bottom of this blog. I'll keep an eye on them all and report the highlights here.  Nearly time to staaaaart back-from-the-seaside dancing!

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