This week's UK news: 18 March 2011
18 March 2011

Public row over TV detective show

Midsomer Murders is a television detective drama which is now in its 14th season. Until now it has been famous only for the astonishing number of murders which apparently take place in the old-fashioned English village of Midsomer. There have been around 200 since 1997, making it one of the world's most dangerous places.

But now the programme is in the news. And the man who created it is in trouble with his bosses. Brian True-May told a magazine that one of the reasons Midsomer Murders was so successful was that there were "no ethnic minorities" in it. In other words, everyone in Midsomer (which doesn't actually exist) is white and British.

"We're the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way," he said. The UK now has a very mixed population, with people of all racial backgrounds living alongside each other, so Mr True-May's comments alarmed his bosses. He has been told to stay at home while they decide what action to take.

History was wrong

Here in the UK we still use roads which were first created more than 2000 years ago when the Romans invaded. Children learn at school that the benefits brought to the country by the invasion include straight roads (needed for the Roman soldiers to march on) and civilisation.

But now an ancient road has been discovered which was laid a hundred years before the Romans arrived. The road, which is six metres wide, was unearthed at a quarry in the county of Shropshire. It has deep clay foundations, layers of wood and stone, and could have taken heavy traffic. Historians will now examine other roads previously believed to have been created by Romans to see if they too were built by iron-age Britons.

Olympic Games tickets go on sale

More than 6.6m tickets for the London 2012 Olympics went on sale this week. People have been urged to be patient about getting on to the website, which will be open for sales until April 26. Everyone who applies will have the same chance of getting tickets, whether they request tickets early or in the last few hours.

There will be a ballot if too many people want tickets for a particular event. It will cost GBP 2012 to see the opening ceremony, and GBP 725 for the 100 metres final, but 2.5m tickets will cost GBP 20 or less.

Countdown clocks for the Olympics started on Tuesday as well, with 500 days to go. Ticket sales are at

Royal Wedding update

Keen fans of the Royal family can now knit themselves a woolly wedding party. Knit Your Own Royal Wedding has gone to the top of the UK Amazon best seller list. It includes patterns for Prince William and his bride, the Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury who will conduct the marriage and even the royal dogs.

And the publishers have even created a short animated film of the knitted characters.


by Susan Young (


  • This week's UK news: 11 March 2011
  • This week's UK news: 4 March 2011
  • This week's UK news: 25 February 2011
  • This week's UK news: 18 February 2011

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