This week's UK news: 15 October 2010
15 October 2010

Teddy bears for sale

One of the world's most valuable collections of teddy bears is being sold in London this week.

The collection includes more than 1,300 soft bear toys and is expected to raise at least GBP 1.2 million. One bear is likely to be sold for more than GBP 80,000. The bears are being sold by auction to the highest bidder, so prices could even be higher. Collectors are flying in to London from as far away as the US and Asia.

The collection includes a large number of bears made by the German company Stieff. One is the only remaining Harlequin, a multicoloured bear made in 1925. The collection belongs to an American banker who admitted fraud last year.

Comedian now allowed to tell jokes about his marriage

A man who tells jokes for a living has spent more than a year fighting for the right to talk about his marriage on stage.

Stephen Grant is planning to tell the first jokes at the Brighton Comedy Festival this week, but he says he is still nervous about going too far.

His ex-wife's lawyers asked Mr Grant not to embarrass her in his act, as part of their divorce proceedings. Mr Grant's legal team then used European law and the Human Rights Act to argue that he should be able to tell jokes about the relationship and divorce. "This is the most honest work I have done," said Mr Grant. His former wife said Mr Grant was using the divorce to publicise his show.

Prize for doctor who helped couples have a baby

Professor Robert Edwards, who created the world's first "test tube baby" - a child whose life started outside its mother - has been given a Nobel Prize for medicine.

Louise Brown made history when she was born in 1978. Her parents had been unable to make a baby naturally and were delighted when Professor Edwards successfully created Louise in his laboratory and transplanted her to grow in her mother for the rest of the pregnancy.

Since then more than 4.3 million people around the world have been born as a result of Professor Edwards'’ work. Louise Brown, who now has a child of her own, said she and her mother were "thrilled".

100 million seeds in art gallery's latest work

Tate Modern, the London art gallery housed in an old power station, is famous for its dramatic exhibitions.

One of its galleries is the enormous Turbine Hall. It is so huge that artists are specially commissioned to create works for the space, and there have been some very dramatic ones in the past.

The new exhibition, by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, has covered more than 1,000 square metres of the floor with hand painted sunflower seeds made of porcelain china. It has taken two years to make the seeds, which visitors can walk on and play with.

Each seed has been fired twice, and they lie in a thick layer on the ground. The seeds have been used because they are a popular Chinese snack, and because Chinese citizens were depicted as sunflowers turning to Chairman Mao in the past.

Visitors are being asked not to take the seeds away.


by Susan Young


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