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24 February 2017

New story from Golden Compass author

Most people have heard of Harry Potter. Another very popular children's series in the UK was written by Phillip Pullman about Lyra Belaqua. She lives in a world where every character has an animal "daemon". His Dark Materials series was translated into more than 40 languages, sold over 17 million copies, and was filmed as The Golden Compass with Nicole Kidman.

Seventeen years later, and Philip Pullman is publishing a new series about Lyra and other characters from His Dark Materials. The new series is called The Book of Dust, and it is set at around the same time as the other books. Pullman says he was so keen to get it written that he decided not to cut his hair until he had finished writing. "It was the stupidest thing I've ever done," he said.

Sherlock is the UK's favourite TV character worldwide

People from countries all around the world were asked to name their favourite TV characters from the BBC (our public service broadcaster). Top of the list was Sherlock, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

In second place was the time-traveller Dr Who, followed by another detective character, Luther, at number three.

Who else was on the list? Basil Fawlty, the awful hotel owner from Fawlty Towers, was in fourth place and mysterious racing driver The Stig (from Top Gear) at number five.

At number six was Patsy Stone (always seen with a glass of champagne in one hand) from the comedy Absolutely Fabulous, with Blackadder at number seven. Two more female comedy characters follow: they are Hyacinth Bucket and The Vicar of Dibley. In final place are The Daleks, the scary aliens from Dr Who.

The characters were chosen by more than 7,000 people from Germany, France, India, Japan and Mexico as well as Australia and the USA. They were also asked about their favourite moments in TV shows. Sherlock came top in this question, too, with the scene where he seemed to fall off the top of a building. The second favourite was a comedy about a dead parrot from the Monty Python show.

The people who eat the same lunch every day

What do you like to eat for lunch? Do you choose the same thing every day? A survey of 2,000 people in the UK has found that one in six have eaten the same thing every day for two years.

The most common repeat lunch is a ham sandwich, followed by cheese, chicken or egg sandwiches. Pasta, salad and baked potatoes were also popular, as were prawn sandwiches.

People told the researcher that they ate the same thing regularly because they wanted to save money, or couldn't think of anything different.

One person had eaten a ham sandwich and a piece of fruit every day since they started work 20 years ago.

Princess Diana's style goes on show

In the 1980s and 1990s, Princess Diana was the most famous member of the UK Royal Family. The mother of Princes William and Harry was young and glamorous, and she liked to dress well. Her clothes and her hairstyles made news.

Now an exhibition about her clothes and style is about to open in the London palace where she lived. Lots of her famous dresses are on show, and it explains how much thought went into making each one. Many were designed by Catherine Walker, who with the Princess would look at where the dress would be worn, and what it would do.

They thought about Royal history, and whether the dress would look good in photographs, and where it was going to be worn. They also thought about colours – Diana, like the Queen, liked to wear bright colours so that people who were waiting in crowds to see her would get a good view.


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