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NOW, here’s an interesting way to celebrate the World Snooker Championship arriving in Sheffield next month.

Former Diary stars the FridayNightRiders – this is the group which does a monthly bike ride round some themed route – are to do a ‘snooker table circuit’.

That means, after meeting – where else? – at the Crucible, they’ll take in various coloured venues including The White Lion (Chesterfield Road, Heeley), The Red Deer (Pitt Street, city centre), The Big Yellow Self Storage Company (Queens Road, Lowfield), the Green Room (Devonshire Street, city centre), the Brown Bear (Norfolk Street, city centre), Old Blue Ball (Bradfield Road, Hillsborough), In The Pink jewellery shop (Ecclesall Road, Sharrow) and the Penny Black (Pond Street, city centre).

Then they’ll round things off by going to the Gardeners Rest (Neepsend Lane, Neepsend). That’s ‘rest’ as in snooker accessory.

Genius.

Takes place May 4.

STRANGE. According to the BBC calculator, this year’s budget has left me £120 a year better off. And yet I still think George Osborne is a muppet.

Ehh, there’s no pleasing some people.

UTILITY companies, hey?

I’ve long since numbed to their behaviour. It gets to the point where you can’t even be bothered to be shocked anymore by inflation-busting price hikes and substandard service?

So you have to hand it to Sheffield City Council for managing to make such firms look positively restrained.

The authority has whacked up heating bills for former tenants by up to 75 per cent, as revealed in Friday’s Star.

One 86-year-old will have to pay £965 in 2012 compared with £553 in 2011.

Frankly, absolutely outrageous doesn’t even come close to covering it.

If council leader Julie Dore doesn’t step in immediately, she – and her collagues in the Labour party – should be ashamed.