This week's UK news: 22 January 2015
22 January 2015

What people in the UK are drinking (or not drinking)

In the UK it is popular to stop drinking alcohol in January. Lots of people do "Dry January" after Christmas, when there are lots of parties. It is also popular to exercise more and eat less in January.

But one alcoholic drink is becoming much more popular here. We like to drink prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine. Sales rose by 75 per cent last year in shops and bars. The drink is called an "everyday treat". It is much cheaper than champagne.


Children in the news

A baby's pushchair for sale on Ebay has had bids of more than GBP150,000. This is because the seller has been very funny about the green "buggy" which has been used by all of his children.

Joel Andresier said it was a "green monster" and had ruined his child-free life. "I shall be pleased to see it leave," he wrote. He said the pushchair was not clean and  nothing used by small children could be clean. His wife said Mr Andresier was a good husband and father.

In another story a six-year-old girl has written to a railway company to complain that her father is always late home. "I miss him very much. He always used to tuck me into bed. Please get him home on time," wrote Ella Pointer. 

A five year old's birthday party has also been in the news. This is because one child did not go to the party and his parents were asked to pay the cost. The parents found a letter in the boy's school bag asking for payment. "I thought it was a joke," said the dad.

This week we found out that it costs around GBP229,000 to raise a child to the age of 21. Ten per cent of parents said they had delayed having a second child because of the cost. Others could not afford more than one child.


TV actress dies

The UK has TV dramas which have been shown every week for years. We call them "soap operas," or "soaps". Our best-known soap opera is Coronation Street, which is set in the Northern city of Manchester, in an old-fashioned street.

Coronation Street has been on TV for over 50 years, and its best-known names are Ken and Deirdre Barlow. They have had a busy life, marrying and splitting up, and falling in love with other people. Deirdre, who was famous for her large glasses and her voice, even went to prison.

This week we heard that the actress who has played Deirdre for more than 40 years has died. Anne Kirkbride, who was 60, had joined the cast as a very young woman.

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