This week's UK news: 10 December 2010
10 December 2010

Former Beatle remembered

There are lots of events in the UK to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

John Lennon, who with Paul McCartney wrote most of The Beatles' greatest songs, was shot by a fan as he entered his apartment building in New York. Lennon had spent some time raising his young son Sean but was returning to his solo career.

Special events in the UK include many in Liverpool, which was the home city of The Beatles. There has been a special two month tribute to Lennon in the city, and a candlelit vigil.

Britain shivers in Arctic weather

UK weather can be very unpredictable. For the past two weeks we have had a weather system from the Arctic, which means parts of the UK have been colder than Moscow.

The North of England and Scotland have had deep snow and continuing snowfalls for almost three weeks and this has caused chaos. People have been trapped in their cars when bad weather has arrived suddenly. Cash machines have run out of money in some areas. In York, the river has frozen. It is the coldest and snowiest December for 40 years.

The UK does not cope very well with snow because it is quite unusual to get much of it, and so it is not usually worth spending lots of money to ensure services can run in the snow.

The problem is that our usual weather system, which brings warmer and wetter air from the South-West, has been replaced by one bringing very cold air from Greenland and Scandinavia.

It looks as if this very cold weather may continue until Christmas.

Legendary TV show celebrates 50th birthday

Coronation Street is a "soap opera" which has been shown at least twice a week every week since 1960. It is set in a few little streets in the northern English city of Manchester, which includes a pub called the Rovers' Return and a shop called the Kabin.

It was the first soap opera shown on British TV and was never very glamorous. The theme tune is played on a trumpet over credits showing a cat and some roofs in the rain. However, it has always contained some very unusual characters such as grumpy old lady Ena Sharples, who always wore hair curlers in public. Coronation Street fans think the show is funnier than its London-based rival, EastEnders.

To commemorate its 50th birthday, several well-known characters from the series will be killed in a tram crash.

Rarely-seen art on show

The British government owns 13,500 works of art which are almost never seen by the public. The pictures and drawings are there to hang on the walls of ministers' offices, and embassies and consulates around the world.

The collection started over a hundred years ago when parliament decided it was cheaper to buy big paintings to cover large walls than it was to redecorate. Since then British art has been bought regularly and new members of the Government can choose what they would like for their office walls. Pictures are also popular in overseas embassies.

For the first time, the government art will go on show to the public from next June. There will be five separate exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery in East London running for more than a year. Among those choosing art to display are the Prime Minister's wife, Samantha Cameron.


by Susan Young


  • This week's UK news: 3 December 2010
  • This week's UK news: 26 November 2010
  • This week's UK news: 19 November 2010
  • This week's UK news: 12 November 2010  

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