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26 January 2017

Harry Potter street at risk

Diagon Alley is one of the most famous locations in Harry Potter films. You may not know that it was inspired by a place in the City of London, called Leadenhall Market. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone filmed in the market, using an optician's shop as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron pub.

The market is very unusual: it is full of small shops and pubs, with a cobbled pavement and a glass roof. There are plans to build a 36-floor building nearby. Some people say this would ruin the Market and they are protesting against it.

You can see Leadenhall Market and lots of other Harry Potter locations if you study English in the UK.

Vegetables disappear from UK shops

Here in the UK we enjoy a wide variety of vegetables all year round. Lots are grown in the UK. But lots are grown in southern Spain – and there is a problem.

Spain has had unusual winter weather, with flooding, frost and snow. That means that many vegetables have either been damaged by the weather, or cannot be moved from farms because of the snow.

Lots of vegetables, like onions, carrots and cabbages, are grown in the UK, and are not affected by this problem. The problem is with more delicate vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes and courgettes, aubergines and broccoli. There are still some in the shops, but prices have risen a lot.

The most miserable day of the year?

Have you ever heard of Blue Monday? It is supposed to be the most miserable day of the year. The idea came from Dr Cliff Arnall, an academic who looked at weather, money problems and the time since Christmas. He decided that the third Monday in January was the year's most unhappy day, because the effect of Christmas holidays has worn off and there are lots of bills to pay.

Dr Arnall said this Blue Monday could be the most depressing ever. He said people were worried about Donald Trump's election and felt more anxious about death after so many well-known people died last year.

Blue Monday is now over so we should all be feeling much happier!

Meet the UK's most unusual family

When baby Finley Mellor was born in December, he made his family unique. He is the youngest member of the only family in the UK to have six surviving generations.

Finlay has 43 family members. More unusually, he has a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, a great-great-grandmother and a great-great-great grandmother.

Finley's great-great-great-grandmother, Hilda Hanson, is 103. She met the baby at a special event just after he was born.

Have we seen the last of Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock is one of the UK's most popular programmes worldwide. The updated story of the detective and his friend, Dr Watson, has attracted lots of fans and viewers, even though only 13 episodes have been made.

The show has had four series and the latest one has just finished. Nobody knows if there will be another one – but the writers have said that everybody wants it to happen. The two main actors, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, are both very busy with Hollywood films, and the writers are also very busy.

The last series puzzled lots of people, too, who thought it was more like James Bond than Sherlock Holmes. There were lots of explosions and chases, unlike in earlier shows.


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