This week's UK news: 11 April 2014
11 April 2014

Half marathon chaos

There was chaos in the Northern city of Sheffield at the weekend, caused by the half marathon. Around 5,000 runners, who had trained for months for the 13 mile run, were ready to set off. But then the organisers announced that the race would not go ahead as water supplies for the runners had not arrived.

Many of the runners, angry at the late cancellation, started running anyway. They were followed by lots of other runners who had not heard the official announcement that the race was cancelled.

Police tried to stop the runners with road blocks but decided it was safer to let the race carry on. Spectators, who heard that there was no water for the runners, bought bottles in nearby shops and gave them to runners as they went past, and coffee shops handed out cups of water.

Later, the organisers agreed that anyone who completed the race wearing their race number would be given a finishing time.

Royal family arrive in New Zealand

The papers in the UK have been full of pictures of Prince George, the royal baby, as he takes part in an official tour of New Zealand with his parents. George does not appear in public very often so the baby pictures are rare.

This week he was photographed arriving on a plane at the airport, and then met other babies and their parents at a Government building in New Zealand.

George was described as being bigger than the other babies, and grabbing toys he liked. The clothes he wore that day, made by a London company, sold out within minutes of the event.

86 year old man leaves TV show

Sir Bruce Forsyth has been appearing on UK TV for more than 40 years. He is an old-fashioned performer, who was trained to sing, dance and tell jokes. He has usually presented shows, like game shows, where he talks to contestants and the audience.

Ten years ago, Sir Bruce agreed to present a new Saturday night show called Strictly Come Dancing. He was then 76, and nobody knew how the show would do. It is a competition, running over several months, where well-known people have to learn ballroom dancing with a professional partner and are judged each week.

The show became one of the most popular on UK TV, and Sir Bruce had carried on presenting it. However, during the past year he has missed more episodes and has now announced that he is retiring as the show's host. He will be doing special shows, like the Christmas one.

The biggest news stories of the week

The stories that took up most space in the newspapers, and that people talked about most, are a bit difficult to explain in detail. Here is an outline of both of them.

The first was a political story, about a Government minister who had to apologise in Parliament for claiming expenses wrongly for a house. Critics said that she had not apologised enough and that a committee of MPs who looked at her case had not asked her to repay enough money. It became more complicated because the minister had been responsible for a law allowing same-sex marriage (which is very unpopular with some of her own party) and because she has been involved to regulate newspapers. The minister finally resigned after nearly a week of headlines.

The second story was the sudden death of a young mother at her home in Kent. The young mother was Peaches Geldof, who came from the UK's first "celebrity family". Her father was a pop star, Bob Geldof, who organised the Live Aid concerts to raise money for Ethiopia in 1985, and her mother was a TV presenter, Paula Yates.

The pair had three children, all with unusual names (Fifi Trixiebelle, Peaches, and Pixie) and Miss Yates wrote lots of books and articles about being a parent. But it all went horribly wrong when she left Geldof for INXS musician Michael Hutchence and had another baby (Tiger Lily). Michael Hutchence died in a hotel room in Australia, and not long after Miss Yates died of an accidental drug overdose.

Bob Geldof brought up all the girls, but Peaches said how badly the loss of her mother had affected her. Recently she has written about her happiness in have two babies. The sudden and unexplained death of Peaches at the age of 25 has added another twist to a tragic family story, and so has been talked about a lot in newspapers and on Twitter.


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