This week's UK news: 21 September 2012
21 September 2012

See the biggest onion in the world

Peter Glazebrook became famous this week for winning several prizes in a giant vegetable competition.
Mr Glazebrook's onion weighed 18lbs 1oz (8.16kg) and was larger than his head. It broke the record for the world's biggest onion, also held by Mr Glazebrook.
That was not the only winner grown by Mr Glazebrook in the competition at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show in Yorkshire. He won six first places in the competition, including one for this giant marrow, which weighed 119lbs and 12oz (54.3kg).
His other winners were an 81lb cabbage, a 3lb 3oz potato, and a 3lb 11oz tomato. He also grew the longest runner bean and the longest cucumber.

British apples much smaller this year

September is the time of year when British apples are ready to pick. Most old British apple varieties have a sharp flavour and are very tasty.
But the bad weather this year has also affected the crop. The cold rainy summer stopped bees from flying and meant fruit was not created. It is likely to be the worst crop of apples for 15 years.

Olympic winners on popular reality TV show

Strictly Come Dancing is a reality show where the contestants have to take part in a ballroom dancing competition every week. Each couple has one celebrity and one professional dancer, and each week someone is voted out.
The programme is shown on Saturday nights in the autumn and is always very popular. This year there are two UK Olympic gold medallists taking part, gymnast Louis Smith and cyclist Victoria Pendleton. Other contestants include one of Mick Jagger's ex-wives, Jerry Hall, and a man who used to present maths programmes on children's television.

The world's greatest living explorer announces his next trip

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is a 68 year old explorer. He has survived cancer, heart surgery, and most of his fingertips on one hand have been removed because of damage from extreme cold (He removed the diseased fingertips himself with a special saw.) He was the first to cross the Arctic without support, the first to cross both polar ice caps, the first to travel around the world from pole to pole and the oldest person to climb Everest, at the age of 65. The Guinness Book of Records says he is the world's greatest living explorer.
But Sir Ranulph has no plans for an easy life. He is planning to spend six months walking across the south pole in the winter. This means his journey will be in the dark, and it may be as cold as -90C.
Nobody before has attempted to cross the north pole in the winter. Sir Ranulph has said it is his greatest challenge ever. A journalist asked why he wanted to do this. Sir Ranulph said: "It's what I do."

The man who thinks a half marathon isn't challenging enough

This week the Great North Run half marathon was on in Newcastle. This is the UK's largest race, and lots of people take part to raise money for charity. Wilson Kipsang and Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia won the races, but there was lots of publicity for a man called Tony Phoenix-Morrison
Mr Phoenix-Morrison, who is 48, has taken part in the Great North Run 16 times, but he decided to do it differently this year. So he ran the course every day for 30 days before the race, finishing with the race itself. And he did all of those runs -- 390 miles in total -- with a fridge strapped to his back. Even with the fridge, it only took him around 2 hours 40 to run the course each time.
He was raising money for a cancer research charity.


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