This week's UK news: 5 June 2009
5 June 2009

TV in the news

Millions of Britons watched the final of a television talent contest. Britain's Got Talent attracted hundreds of contestants offering a variety of different acts.

Many were awful and some were very odd, such as farmers juggling wheelbarrows and an opera singer teamed with a flower arranger. There were also lots of child singers and dancers.

Part of the show's appeal is the panel of judges, who are often very rude to each other and sometimes to the contestants. The final vote goes to television viewers.

The surprise this year was that Susan Boyle, a singer whose first performance has been watched more than 100 million times on You Tube, did not win. She came second to a group of young dancers. She has had medical help after finding it hard to cope with all the attention.

As Britain's Got Talent ends another reality show starts. Big Brother, which puts strangers together in a camera-filled house, is now in its tenth series.

Jellyfish in fields

It is a British tradition than when summer comes jokers will make spectacular patterns in fields of crops. But for the last two years, the weather has been so bad that there were few attempts.

But now they are back. One of the most spectacular designs ever has just appeared in a field in Oxfordshire. It is of a jellyfish and is 250 metres long. The owners of the field say it has caused £600 worth of damage and have asked people to stay away and not tread on more of the crop.

A few people still believe that "crop circles" are made by aliens because they are so complicated. For most Britons the biggest mystery is people can make complicated patterns and designs without anybody noticing until they have finished.

Politics in meltdown

The Government's problems have got even worse this week. Several ministers resigned just before European and local elections and there were calls for the Prime Minister to resign.

Election results are due in the next few days. These are not expected to be good for the Government, and many experts think it will be a struggle for the Prime Minister to stay in office.

Twittering in the city

Birds which live in cities sing differently so that they can be heard above the traffic.

Research by a Welsh university found city birds songs were higher. They were also likelier to recognise the singing of other city birds, rather than the same birds living in the country.

This could apparently cause problems for birds if they move areas.


by Susan Young -


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