Sochi GB gold and Simon Cowell's baby dash in papers

  • 15 February 2014
Lizzy Yarnold celebrates after winning Gold in the Women's Skeleton Final at the Sochi Winter Olympics Image copyright PA

Pictures of a triumphant Lizzy Yarnold feature on the front pages of almost all of Saturday's newspapers after she claimed Great Britain's first gold of the Sochi Winter Olympics in the women's skeleton.

Pop mogul Simon Cowell's transatlantic "dash" to be at the birth of his son in New York also generates headlines in the tabloids.

And as a fresh storm front batters the south coast of England, the weather continues to garner widespread coverage.

The Times highlights the way the royal family, big business and thousands of volunteers have rallied around Britain's flood victims .

Reviewing the papers on the BBC News Channel, journalist Eva Simpson said the report was a "really nice take" on the story.

"It talks about all the positive aspects," she said. "It's an uplifting story after days and weeks of seeing all the misery."

But broadcaster Alice Arnold added: "My worry is help like that doesn't always last and the people who have been flooded will be victims for months and months.

"They won't be able to get back into their houses until long after we have forgotten about the floods and the bad winter."

Meanwhile, the Independent's Jamie Merrill visits a pub in Burrowbridge, Somerset, that has become the heart of relief efforts in the area.

The locals are members of a new army of volunteers rescuing homeowners, laying down sandbags, delivering supplies and even building new paths through the flood waters, he writes.

Last blast?

Image copyright Getty Images

According to the Daily Express, the "storm misery" is coming to an end.

But the paper says "we are not quite out of the woods yet" with one more low pressure due to sweep in and homes at the risk of further flooding for at least another week amid rising river levels.

The Daily Telegraph also suggests the flooding has the potential to continue into next month, noting that it may be another week before the knock-on effects of this weekend's storm are felt downstream in major rivers.

Princes William and Harry are widely pictured helping the Army to build flood barriers in Datchet, Berkshire.

The Guardian claims credit for first spotting the royal pair working "incongruously without their usual heavy security detail and throng of onlookers".

"They didn't seem entirely pleased to be discovered in their work," it adds.

'Thumping rejection'

Labour's victory in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election is somewhat overshadowed by an exploration of what UKIP beating the Tories in to second place means for David Cameron.

Image copyright PA

The Daily Mirror describes it as a by-election kicking for the Tories.

In an editorial the Mirror describes it as "another thumping rejection for Mr Cameron's party" and a sign of why the Tories will struggle to win in 2015.

According to the Daily Mail, UKIP has "continued its march into Labour's heartlands" with a result that piled pressure on both Ed Miliband and David Cameron to take a tougher line on Europe and immigration.

The Times says the Tories are at war over the party's failure to attract blue collar workers.

It says the Tory high command has been accused by local members of "abandoning" working class supporters in an embarrassing campaign which focused on things like dog fouling instead of issues of national concern such as crime or immigration.

According to an editorial in the Times, the by-election is a microcosm of the most important trends in British politics; the left is uniting by default and the right is splitting.

The Independent's leader suggests the result "was not the anti-politics triumph UKIP wanted". However, the paper says that while the party "will not shake up politics by winning much itself... it still very might well tip the scales towards Labour".

Clinging on

A deep divide has opened among Britain's high earners, and an "uber-middle elite" of doctors barristers and London's financial service workers is reaping the rewards of globalisation.

That's according to analysis conducted by the Financial Times of almost 40 years of salaries data.

It's a tale of a "tale of two middle classes", the FT adds, which has seen millions of "cling-on" professionals working in teaching, engineering, and science struggling to maintain their lifestyles.

The Independent highlights what it calls "an immigration crisis on Britain's doorstep". Cahal Milmo reports from Calais where he says hundreds of refugees from Syria, Egypt and other war-torn countries hoping to get to Britain are being left to rot in fetid camps.

The Daily Telegraph carries an interview with the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols, in which he describes the government's welfare reform a "disgrace" for leaving people facing "destitution".

He also expresses concern that no political leader appears prepared to speak in "moderate terms" about the "beneficial effects" of immigration.

According to the Daily Mail, the NHS in England is losing the files of almost 2,000 patients every day.

The paper says there have been more than two million serious data breaches since the start of 2011.

Medical records have reportedly been mistakenly sold on eBay, dumped in landfill sites, dropped in the street and left in grocery stores.

The figures have been obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office and come as the NHS starts harvesting personal data from confidential medical files, to be stored on a national computer database and used to analyse trends.

'Wizzy Lizzy'

Lizzy Yarnold's performance at the Sochi Winter Olympics - Team GB's first gold medal of the Games - is widely applauded.

The Sun is among the papers to report how she handed her cheering boyfriend a Valentine's card minutes after crossing the line in the women's skeleton, as she had not seen him all day.

It is a moment alluded to by the Daily Telegraph, which headlines its front page picture of a beaming Yarnold, "Valentine's Day gold for Lizzy".

Inside the paper, Jonathan Liew in Sochi says Yarnold "cemented Britain's love affair with the Olympics 30 years to the day after Torvill and Dean struck gold in Sarajevo.

The Guardian is among the papers to note that the win "continued a remarkable streak of success" in a sport which Britain has won a medal every time it has been included in the Winter Olympics.

The Times reports that Britain's dry ski slopes are welcoming a "new flurry" of children inspired by Britain's exploits at Sochi.

Parents have been booking snowboarding lessons for children as young as five since Jenny Jones won GB's first medal on snow in the Games's history, it says.

Making people click

Daily Telegraph: Has permissive Sweden given birth to a generation of monsters?

The Times: Men and infidelity: why they cheat

The Guardian: Tom Finney, former England and Preston footballer, dies aged 91

Financial Times: Six things to know about Viber

Daily Mail: Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman welcome their baby son on Valentine's Day..