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Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 05:00 GMT 06:00 UK
Papers mourn Match of the Day

The extent to which Match of the Day has worked its way into the national psyche is shown clearly by the massive coverage given to the BBC's loss of premier league television highlights to ITV.

Among the leading mourners are some of the Match of the Day team themselves.

Writing in The Mirror, Mark Lawrenson compares the loss of the programme to "a death in the family at the BBC".

In the Daily Express, Alan Hansen laments that "a national institution has been lost and everyone is gutted".

Echoing his famous commentary of England's match winning goal against Germany in 1966 , Kenneth Wolstenholme tell The Independent: "Oh dear. It really is all over isn't it?"

The Guardian observes that 36 years of history could not compete with a 21m shortfall in the BBC bid.

Saturdays will never be the same again and no matter how hard ITV tries, the paper doubts that the magic of Match of the Day can be recreated.

And it says that nothing ITV can offer will compensate for the loss of that famous theme tune.

Writing in The Times, Raymond Snoddy says that the biggest winners from the bidding war for the football television rights are the Premier League clubs, while the biggest losers are the satellite and cable viewers who will have to supply the cash to pay for the deal.

Knifeman

The Daily Mail is among several papers to report how the pregnant Conservative MP, Julie Kirkbride, woke up to find a knife-wielding burglar in her bedroom.

Describing the incident as "every woman's worst nightmare", she tells the paper that she pulled the sheets around herself and screamed until he ran out of her Westminster home.

Mugabe's next target

After seizing white-owned farms, the Independent says that Robert Mugabe's next target is to nationalise British and other foreign mining companies in Zimbabwe.

The paper prints an interview with the Zimbabwean president, and says that it shows his anachronistic anti-colonialism and rancid reverse racism.

The Times - in its leader column - accuses Mr Mugabe of abandoning any pretence that this month's elections will be free and fair.

School run

The Daily Telegraph highlights a study which suggests that parents using cars for the "school run" are being blamed unfairly for traffic congestion.

Researchers at the University of Westminster found that parents dropping off children accounted for only 8% of peak-time mileage, rather than the 20% attributed by the government.

Living longer

The Independent reports that by the year 2050, life expectancy in Britain is projected to rise to nearly 84, while in Japan it will be close to 91.

Researchers in America say that the trend towards living longer will mean that those in work will have to support a much larger elderly population.

Evolution reversed

But although we are expected to live longer, the Sun and the Mirror point out that modern life is giving us hunched, forward sloping shoulders and pot bellies.

A study of men by Nottingham Trent University found that 20 years of high-tech living has put evolution into reverse.

Now the upright posture characteristic of homo sapiens is beginning to change back to the stooped gait of our ape ancestors.

The papers say we spend too much time hunched over computers and slumped in front of the TV.

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