This week's UK news: 14 October 2016
14 October 2016

Practise your English and find out what's going on in the UK with our weekly news roundup...

This week, we find out about spaghetti and paella wars, what Oxford university asks in interviews, how you can travel like James Bond, and why Marmite is in the news.


UK version of spaghetti and paella criticised

Students who come to the UK are often surprised by how varied UK food is. Not many people here only eat "traditional" UK food - we like dishes from all over the world. But sometimes we change them, and that's got us into trouble recently.

Last week Jamie Oliver, who's a famous chef with his own TV show, put his version of paella on his website. He tweeted: "Good Spanish food doesn't get much better than paella. My version contains chicken thighs and chorizo [a type of dried spicy sausage]." Spanish readers were not keen. "That thing ain't paella," was one of the politer comments. 

Another said: "My version of fish and chips combines aubergines with duck."

This week, an Italian chef who works in the UK complained about our version of Spaghetti Bolognese, which is a popular family meal here. He said he was shocked when he first came to London and ate the dish in an Italian restaurant. 

He said spaghetti bolognese doesn't exist in Italy. 

In Italy, the dish the dish is made with tagliatelle, a different type of long pasta to spaghetti. And it does not contain any herbs, unlike the UK version. 


Oxford university reveals its tricky interview questions

Students applying to Oxford are often worried about its difficult interview questions. This week the university released sample questions which applicants can use to test their skills.

The university is doing this to help more students apply, and stop them getting the wrong idea about what they need to do to get a place.

You can try the sample questions in each subject for yourself on this website.


Travel like James Bond

James Bond has lots of ways to get around quickly, but the jetpack which let him fly away in the film Thunderbolt was the most spectacular. 

Soon anyone will be able to do the same as Bond. A UK company tested its prototype jetpack in London this week. It can fly for ten minutes at up to 60 miles per hour. Now the company is hoping to run JetPack Top Gun experiences in the UK from next summer, letting ordinary people take short flights. 

At the same time, Daniel Craig has hinted that he will return to play Bond in the next film. Last year, just after ending filming on Spectre, he said he did not want to do another Bond movie. Now he says "I've got the best job in the world doing Bond. I love this job. I get a massive kick out of it."


Marmite in the middle of a Brexit row

If you're already studying in the UK, you probably know about Marmite. If you don't, it's a very salty brown spread which is put on toast or in sandwiches. Some people love it - and some people hate it. It is a very British food.

This week one of our main supermarkets has stopped selling Marmite on its website, with other products made by a company called Unilever. This is because Unilever want to put up the price of food and toiletries in the UK by 10 per cent, because the value of the £ has dropped so much. 

previous entry << >> next entry