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4 April 2017

UK TV's unlikely new hero

Have you ever seen University Challenge? It is a UK TV show which puts university teams up against each other to answer general knowledge questions.

This year's series has attracted attention because of two of the competitors are from different Cambridge colleges, Eric Monkman who captains the Wolfson College team, and Bobby Seagull from Emmanuel.

Both were Master's students (Monkman in economics, Seagull in education) but they are very different characters. Monkman is a Canadian, Seagull is a part-time student from East London. They have been rivals on screen, but became good friends during the filming of the series.

Both teams met each other last week for what Twitter called "the showdown of the century" which Wolfson won. The show's presenter said: "You are very, very clever and it was a pleasure to watch this match." Wolfson is in the final, which will be on TV on Monday 10 April.

Short sleeps are good for you, say researchers

People who have short sleeps during the day are happier than those who spend longer with their eyes shut.

Researchers at the UK University of Hertfordshire looked at people in three groups – those who did not sleep at all during the day, those who slept for 30 minutes or less, and those who slept for longer. Two thirds of the people who had short sleeps said they were happy, compared with around half of those who had longer sleeps and two thirds of those who did not sleep at all in the day.

UK people don't eat enough vegetables or exercise enough

In the UK we are advised to eat five portions of fruit or vegetables every day, and to do 150 minutes of exercise each week. We are not very good at doing this.

This week we found out that a quarter of adults do less than 30 minutes exercise each week, with women more likely to not be active. And only a quarter of adults eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

This is causing problems. Almost 60 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men are overweight or obese (very overweight), and the number of people who are dangerously overweight are also rising.

The row over politicians' legs

Last week, the British government started the process for the UK to leave the European Union (called Brexit). UK newspapers like headlines with word games in it, so there are lots of headlines at the moment which rhyme with Brexit.

This week the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, met the Scottish leader, Nicola Sturgeon, for a meeting about Brexit, and a photograph was taken of them sitting in similar blue suits. One newspaper ran this on the front page with the headline "Never Mind Brexit who won Legs-It!"

This was talked about a lot. Many people thought it was awful and very old-fashioned to focus on the legs of two politicians just because they were women. Others said it was just a joke.


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