Newspaper review: Migration and more Nigella in papers

There's no respite for Nigella Lawson as she appears on several front pages once again.

The Mail on Sunday claims to have the only post-trial interview with her, while the Sunday Telegraph says that the police do intend to look into her admissions of drug use - despite saying earlier she was not facing potential prosecution.

Elsewhere, stories relating to the imminent lifting of immigration restrictions on Bulgaria and Romania lead both the Observer and the Sunday Times.

Finally, the Sunday Express says some members of the Royal Family "will have to sleep in cramped servants' quarters" at Sandringham because the Queen has invited so many to celebrate Prince George's first Christmas.

Image caption The pleasure and the pain of football: the back pages are split between the triumph and tribulations of Luis Suarez and Malky Mackay respectively

Discussing the papers for the BBC News Channel, broadcaster Shyama Perera commented on the Observer's lead interview with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, who urges the UK to be more welcoming to his people.

"Some might say it's a bit rich, given the treatment in Bulgaria of the Roma and of all minority groups," she said. "On the other hand, one could say they're looking to us for leadership on tolerance and equality of opportunity."

"Of course we can lead in that way," said Martin Bentham, home editor of the London Evening Standard - but added that it did not mean there shouldn't be a debate on whether to welcome more immigration.

'Voice of sport'

Image caption David Coleman presented programmes such as Grandstand, A Question of Sport and Come Dancing

Every paper pays tribute to David Coleman, a giant of sports broadcasting, who has died at the age of 87.

They hail his boundless knowledge and enthusiasm for his craft - but also his tendency to make a blunder - a Colemanball as he himself labelled it - which became the subject of a Private Eye column.

The Daily Star Sunday's leader says he might have been "gaffe-prone" but in fact, he was a pioneer of live sports broadcasting.

With his "excited, high-pitched commentaries", he was "admired for his ability to convey the thrill of live sport to people watching from the comfort of their sofas", says the Sunday Express.

"He appeared to be the enthusiastic amateur, the mad-keen fan," agrees the Sunday Mirror. "No-one got more excited, which was why he sometimes said some strange things."

"The attention paid to such mistakes infuriated him at first," notes the Independent on Sunday. "In later years, however, he mellowed and was able to see the funny side of his notoriety."

As well as shows like Grandstand and Question of Sport, the People points out that Coleman was "a consummate all-rounder, commentating on non-sports programmes from Come Dancing to royal weddings."

The feeling that Coleman belonged to another age of broadcasting is common to many tributes. In one, Patrick Collins, in the Mail on Sunday, writes: "He was the product of an era when sports presentation demanded rather more than a few international caps and an ability to read an autocue."

Victims remembered

Image caption Twenty-five years after the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, the people of Lockerbie - along with dignitaries like Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond - honoured the 270 dead

Tide turning?

Shortly after Nigella Lawson's courtroom admission of past drug taking earlier this month there appeared to be almost universal support for her in the papers. However, there are a few voices of dissent in this Sunday's offerings.

Columnist Carole Malone, writing in the Sunday Mirror, says her drug taking is irrelevant to most people, but "what's been really shocking is seeing the profligate, extravagant, disgustingly decadent", way that the cook and her ex-husband lived.

The Sunday Telegraph agrees that some "surreal decadence" has been revealed, but more importantly, it argues that some action must be taken after Nigella's drug admission because "the alternative is that we accept a worrying double standard". It goes on: "After all, our prisons are full to bursting with poor and vulnerable people who have been driven to narcotics."

Barbara Ellen, in the Observer, takes the opposite view on that point, arguing that to prosecute Lawson would mean she had been "targeted for being famous and posh - the very reason some people are complaining that she's being let off."

But the Observer's own leader does take issue with complaints made by the star about her treatment in the witness box. It says "justice has to be seen to be done" and while "fairness for witnesses matters... so too does fairness for the defendant".

One source of support for Nigella is her brother, Dominic Lawson. In his Sunday Times column, he says "the unchecked destructive licence given to the defence and the equal and opposite lack of protection afforded by the CPS" would lead to him to give one piece of advice to anyone else "in a similar position and with a public reputation worth a damn: you'd be mad to do your civic duty".

Merriment or mayhem

Black Eye Friday - the traditional big night out for many people before Christmas - features in many papers in all its glory, or horror, depending on your view.

The Daily Star Sunday says "most newspapers... will be raging about boozy, broken Britain", but it wants to offer a different perspective. "Life is tough right now and a night out to forget your worries is not a bad idea," its leader argues. "We know it means a hell of a time for ambulance, hospital and police staff. But we've always enjoyed a drink and no amount of hand-wringing is going to change that."

The Independent on Sunday though, spent the night at the coal face, riding along with paramedics. For them, "Christmas is a byword for chaos". The paper refers to pub kicking-out time as "witching hour" when emergency services are inundated "with reports of assaults, people passed out on pavements, and sundry other misadventures".

Food for thought

The Observer says Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is "refusing to meet" the leaders of a Christian charity responsible for setting up more than 400 food banks across the UK. It says the "snub" will "fuel a growing row over food poverty" which sees church leaders and the Labour Party up against the government.

Bishop of Jarrow Mark Bryant, writing in the Sunday Express, says "food banks have become part of life" in the North East, but it is heartening to see there is "a lot of compassion" being shown by those giving to them. "People's sympathies are being broadened and that's what makes me happy," he adds.

'Doing God'

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander says the growing persecution of Christians in places like the Middle East is a "story that goes largely untold" and politicians must speak out more about it. The paper's editorial says it hopes the comments "mark the end of a politically correct culture that made Alastair Campbell instruct Tony Blair to drop references to God". It adds: "A new consensus appears to be emerging that freedom of religious expression for everyone, including Christians, is worth fighting for."

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday bemoans the lack of observance of most Christian festivals in the UK these days and worries that before too long, Christmas Day itself will also simply be "turned into an excuse for more shopping". It criticises the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishop of London for not criticising that trend, adding: "There is a hunger in our country for more than electronic goods and payday loans. If the Church of England does not want to satisfy that desire, something else will."

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