This week's UK news: 1 April 2016
1 April 2016

Harry Potter author shares her rejection letters, motorcyclist breaks world record, boat almost sinks in famous race and punk band's house gets protected.

Every week, we summarise the UK news to give you some insight into what is happening in Britain, and what people are talking about.

Harry Potter shares her rejection letter

When JK Rowling first wrote her adult crime novel, she sent them to publishers under a false name. The novel, called The Cuckoo's Calling, was rejected by different publishers. Rowling says one publisher was the first to reject both The Cuckoo's Calling and Harry Potter, and sent her the rudest rejection for her adult book, by email.

She has also shared one of the letters she got. It suggested that the author should go on a writing course.

The first two adult books written by JK Rowling have now solved more than 1.5 million copies.


"Wall of Death" attempt on TV

A "Wall of Death" is a fairground attraction where someone rides a motorcycle on a track which is on the inside of a cylinder. This means the rider is horizontal to the ground. It looks very dangerous, and if the rider goes too fast they may black out and crash because of "G-forces".

This week a famous UK motorcyclist broke the world speed record for a wall of death, doing almost 80 miles per hour in a specially-built track and and doing it at a G-force of 5.2.


Boat almost sinks in famous race

Every year, teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities take part in a rowing race on the Thames. This year's race took place in very high winds as a big storm struck the UK. The Cambridge women's boat filled with water because the river had such big waves, but they made it to the finish line with the help of a pump which helped to get rid of some of the water. 


Punk rockers' home gets protected

Punk rock was a music movement which began in the UK in the 1970s. One of the best-known punk bands were the Sex Pistols, who liked to be shocking. 

Now the house where they lived in central London has been given special protection by the Government, which means it cannot be changed without special permission. 

One room of the house still has cartoons drawn on the wall by the lead singer, Johnny Rotten, of his band mates. The band also did early recordings of some of their hits there. The building has been given protection for other reasons too: it is in an area which has been famous for music for a long time, and it has lots of old features.


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