This England: The Newsreel! 16th August 2019

And in the news this week . . . a hairy situation for the RAF, plus Steve Coogan’s close shave!


Out of the picture

As reported in The Times this week, a survey of the Great British Wedding in 2019 brings some troubling news: apparently more than half of couples are ditching the page boys and flower girls, once a staple of all wedding ceremonies.

The suspicion is that this purge on cherubic children is owing to the fact they’re not so angelic at all – are the bride and groom worried that ‘snaps of little Lily picking her nose or young Jack scratching his bottom will spoil their all-important social media postings?’ ask The Times.

Instagram-minded couples couldn’t be more wrong. ‘Such innocently priceless images do not detract from a wedding’s charm, they make it’. We couldn’t agree more.


Disturber of the peace?

Poor Alan Jamieson from Sunderland has had a rough week.

The award-winning Scottish bagpiper has been called a ‘public nuisance’ by his neighbours in an anonymous letter demanding that he cease playing in his garden. His piping was likened to a cat squealing and described as ‘a pathetic attempt at playing your so-called instrument’.

Mr Jamieson was clearly hurt by the ‘cowardly’ missive. ‘It was a really disparaging and horrible letter to send’, he said.

His outdoor practice sessions are a recent development after more friendly neighbours suggested he start playing outside. Talk about mixed messages!


Golden touch

Queen Victoria’s extravagant gold piano is to be played at the BBC Proms this week – the first time it has ever been played outside of Buckingham Palace. Leading pianist Stephen Hough will take to the stage to play it in a programme featuring music composed by Prince Albert.


The piano, which used to be played by Albert and Victoria themselves to while away an evening, is gilded in gold leaf and festooned with depictions of monkeys and cherubs playing musical instruments. Talking to i news, ‘It is’, the Director of the BBC Proms admits, ‘an impressive bit of bling.’



Hairy situation

The RAF is to allow all airmen to grow a bread for the first time in its 101-year history.

The change, which will take effect from September 1, will be subject to some strict rules however.

Beards must be ‘trimmed and neat’ and cover the full jawline – so that means no goatees then – and moustaches, which have never been subject to a ban, must not extend below the edge of the mouth.

It’s not just wings that can be clipped!


Jammie dodger 

Steve Coogan has escaped a 6 month driving ban after successfully arguing it would mean cancelling a new series of Alan Partridge which is currently being filmed.

As reported in the Guardian, the actor said that his Partridge character, who in one series drove barefoot to Dundee after gorging on Toblerone and owned a Lexus he described as “the Japanese Mercedes”, was inherently wedded to the road.

“You couldn’t put him on a train because that not who he is. It’s part of his character that he drives.”

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