This week's English UK news: 21 January 2011
21 January 2011

Come and see the pandas

A pair of giant pandas have been given to Britain as a gift from China.

The pandas, called Tian Tian and Yang Guang, will be the first in Britain for 17 years. They will live at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland for ten years, and it is hoped they will breed in that time. There are only 1,500 pandas left in the wild.

It has not yet been announced when the pandas will arrive, but the zoo will have to create a special enclosure for them first. The gift of the pandas was announced as part of trade talks between the Chinese and UK governments.

Royal Wedding Updates

More details are being published about the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which takes place in April.

Guests will be asked to make a donation to a charity approved by the couple, rather than buying a present. Special tea-towels (special cloths for drying dishes) to celebrate the wedding were banned to start with, but now they can now be made and sold. However, photographs of the couple are not allowed on tea-towels.

Finally, it has been reported that the Government is thinking about changing the laws on inheritance in the Royal Family.

Currently, if Prince William and his wife had a girl and a boy, the boy would inherit the throne even if he was the youngest child. The idea is to change the law so that the oldest child would inherit, no matter whether it was male or female.

However, it is very complicated to do this and the law would have to be changed in all Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and Canada etc., for this to happen.

TV presenter wins legal case

An employment court has ruled that a 53-year-old television presenter was dropped from a programme because of her age.

Miriam O'Reilly was one of four female presenters in their 40s and older who were dropped from a programme called Countryfile when it moved from Sunday mornings to a high-profile evening slot.

The programme is on the BBC, which is the UK's public service broadcaster. Programme-makers will now remember this judgement when choosing presenters.

It's magic!

Paul Daniels is a TV magician who had his own regular show for more than 15 years. Now he has decided he needs a bit more space in his house. So he is selling lots of his old stage tricks on eBay.

Many of the tricks are very large. They include a trick where a toy tiger turns into a girl wearing a leopardskin outfit, and an "absolutely impossible" trick where the magician find a card in a box without being able to see it. Mr Daniels is also selling his old wig (hairpiece).

Mr Daniels is a member of the Magic Circle. Members who give away the secrets of how tricks are done to non-members can be expelled. It is not clear whether he is breaking any rules.


by Susan Young


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