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11 / 11 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twentieth race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Just one race to go - Abu Dhabi in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 23rd November.

28 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth race in Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Only two races to go - next race is Brazil in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 9th November.

22 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race in Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND! Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th October.

You can still enter a new team for the final three races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

07 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race in Japan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 19th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

*** Some of the weightings have been tweaked *** for the final four races - check the league page for details.

02 / 10 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race in Russia are in! (Sorry for the delay - moving house!) Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Japan (Suzuka) THIS WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 5th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

16 / 09 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Singapore are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Russia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 28th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

02 / 09 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 08 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Spa are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 31st August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

29 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. We're into the summer break now, the next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

22 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race at Hockenheim are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

08 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hockenheim in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 20th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

01 / 07 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

24 / 06 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighth race at Paul Ricard are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 29th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

10 / 06 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Canada are in, including the travesty that is Danny Ric not getting fastest lap. Sigh. Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Paul Ricard in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 22nd June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going. Oh and by the way, half of us are being beaten by my girlfriend. So we might need to up our game a little.

29 / 05 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
Sorry for the delay! The results from the sixth race in Monaco are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 8th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

13 / 05 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

29 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 11th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the previous races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

15 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in China are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

08 / 04 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is China NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 13th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going. It's worth doing - if you'd missed Australia and then picked the perfect team for Bahrain, you'd be in the overall lead now! Special congratulations to The Big G, who jumped from plum last to 3rd place, largely due to the inspired choice of Pierre Gasly.

Note the Williams weightings have been increased due to them being shite.

25 / 03 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Australia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Bahrain in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first race - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 03 / 2018
Fantasy F1:
The 2018 season is now open for entries! You can change your team as often as you like so you might as well pick a team now while you're thinking about it. You can always read the rules later! You have until midnight GMT on Friday night (23rd) to qualify for the first race in Australia.

26 / 11 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
It's all over! The results from the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi are in! Check the results or see where your team finished and see who won the championship!

That's the lot for 2017, come back in 2018 just before the real season starts and we'll do it all over again!

12 / 11 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the nineteenth and penultimate race in Brazil are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Abu Dhabi in two weeks, which is the final race of the season. Nobody's going to catch Bunch of Wasters in the lead, but it's all to play for underneath. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 24th November.

29 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eighteenth race at Mexico are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Brazil in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 10th November.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

22 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventeenth race at Austin are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Mexico NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 27th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

08 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixteenth race at Suzuka are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austin in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 20th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

If you have Carlos Sainz on your team, you'll keep him at Renault. If you have Jolyon Palmer then you'll score for Sainz who replaces him.

01 / 10 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifteenth race at Malaysia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Suzuka NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 6th October.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

17 / 09 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourteenth race at Singapore are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Malaysia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 29th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

03 / 09 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the thirteenth race at Monza are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Singapore in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 15th September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

30 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the twelfth race at Spa are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monza NEXT WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 1st September.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

30 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the eleventh race in Hungary are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Spa in four weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 25th August.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

16 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the tenth race at Silverstone are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Hungary in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 28th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

11 / 07 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the ninth race in Austria are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Silverstone THIS WEEKEND. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

25 / 06 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fantastic eighth race in Azerbaijan are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Austria in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th July.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

12 / 06 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the seventh race in Canada are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Azerbaijan in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 23rd June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

30 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the sixth race in Monaco are (finally) in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Canada in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 9th June.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

18 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
If you want Jenson Button on your team for Monaco, pick Fernando Alonso as JB is his replacement at McLaren for this race.

14 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fifth race in Barcelona are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Monaco in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 26th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

01 / 05 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the fourth race in Russia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Barcelona in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 12th May.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed all the races so far - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

17 / 04 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the third race in Bahrain are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Next race is Russia in two weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 28th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first three races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

09 / 04 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the second race in China are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is Bahrain next week. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 14th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first two races - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

26 / 03 / 2017
Fantasy F1:
The results from the first race in Australia are in! Check the results or see where your team finished. Second race is China in 2 weeks. Cutoff for edits is midnight GMT on the night of Friday 7th April.

You can still enter a new team even if you missed the first race - you'll get a late starter bonus to help you get going.

 

 

The History Boys

The History Boys

Cast: Dominic Cooper, Samuel Barnett, Richard Griffiths, Stephen Campbell Moore, Frances de la Tour, Clive Merrison.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner, adapted from Alan Bennett's stage play.

Story: Boys learn history and get felt up by their teacher.

Running Time: 1hr 49 minutes.

UK Certificate 15.

 

The History Boys is a sticky pudding. I was hugely disappointed, but there are many of you out there who will appreciate it far more than I did - my job is to help you decide which camp you'll be in before you get there.

A much underrated skill in grammar school is the ability to lean outwards for a photo without falling over. Camp is indeed the word. Homosexuality is bandied around with gay abandon, as it were, in The History Boys. Maybe 1983 Yorkshire was like this in grammar schools - I'm too young, too common and too southerly to comment - but I struggle to see any band of boys, no matter how enlightened, being able to muse aloud and at length about their brown leanings in any school without getting their head flushed down the loo at break time. Furthermore, when it's revealed that Richard Griffiths regularly plays pocket billiards with the boys under his tutelage, no-one seems remotely appalled, except Clive Merrison as the most overacted headmaster since the days of St Trinian's. And his objection becomes somewhat muted when his hypocrisy is revealed - so the bollock-fondling is viewed as something of a minor eccentricity. Did I miss the curriculum change? Aren't we still supposed to be nailing these kiddy-fiddlers to the wall? Are we to believe that this actually goes on and, far more worringly, is condoned by colleagues and even the fondlees themselves? I'm beginning to realise quite how sheltered a life I've led. Quite glad about it, too.

Reservoir ponces. Although I found this aspect of the movie heavily disturbing, I shall set it aside for the moment. The majority of the story is about the boys' path to the hallowed realms of Oxbridge and learning the cunning ways of making the examiners think that they're smarter than they actually are. There's an ingrained sense of superiority, of smugness, that accompanies this journey that personally I find knee-jerkingly irksome. This is, perhaps, my own personal prejudice - and all the more annoying because I feel it infecting me. I've already rubbed out and rewritten several sentences in this review that sounded poncey - it's as if I'm trying to prove myself against this self-absorbed rabble. Must resist.

Let's get all the negativity out of the way while I'm still feeling dirty. Being adapted from a play and using the same cast, the movie inevitably feels stagey. The classroom scenes are particularly at fault here - the lines are delivered too rapidly in succession and they're too loud, as if they're directed at the balcony. The discussions that occur in this environment don't feel spontaneous, they feel rehearsed (funny that) and the rhythm is all wrong. In one of the exterior scenes, the sound man's microphone even popped into to the top of the shot, for heaven's sake. I haven't seen that in a proper movie since I was knee high to a jockey.

Richard Griffiths in the stage show.  He's felt more balls than Seaman. OK, enough barracking. There is plenty to be complimented about The History Boys. Richard Griffiths, the man who swallowed a space hopper without letting it down first, is a delight to watch and he effortlessly steals every scene he's in. Frances de la Tour, who I always thought was rather weak in Rising Damp, shows a subtlety I would never have imagined she was capable of and the script is genuinely amusing in places. There is a degree of cleverness, too, particularly in the French lesson, where almost the entire scene is conducted in French, but in such a way that the non-Gauloise in the audience can still understand what's going on. The intricacy of the script can at times go too far, with the kids spouting dialogue as if they were the most gifted improvisational poets ever to walk the face of the earth - that's just indulgence from scribe Alan Bennett. Dammit, I've drifted back into it again - WRITER, not scribe. This movie's turned me into a ponce.

Time for me to shut up and sum up. In some ways, The History Boys is similar to Sideways inasmuch as it's prime dinner party conversation. However, Sideways had the major advantage of being a damn fine movie to boot, whereas this doesn't. If you prefer highbrow movies, I recommend it to you unhesitatingly, because you need to be able to talk about it, and to say that you've seen it. If that sentence seems daft to you, then you'll be better off with pretty much anything else. Imagine if Laurence Olivier was alive - what movie would he be talking about this week? If your answer wasn't, "who cares?" then give The History Boys a shot.

I enjoyed this film: 3/5

I think the average moviegoer will enjoy it: 4/5 - I know this high mark contradicts much that I've said above, but I think that most people who go and see this movie will be the right kind of people to enjoy it.

Testosterone Satisfaction Rating: 0/5

To enjoy this film you should be: able to transcend the technical issues and be absorbed in the story.

 

The History Boys was released in the UK on 12th October.