This week's UK news: 2 November 2012
2 November 2012

Queen kept quiet about her Olympic stunt

The Queen's family were as surprised as everyone else when she apparently arrived at the Olympic opening ceremony by parachuting into the stadium.

It has been revealed this week when her son and grandsons were watching the film, where James Bond actor collects the Queen at Buckingham Palace, they expected to see an actress. When the Queen turned around and said "Good evening, Mr Bond," they were surprised and began laughing. Olympic organiser Seb Coe says that her grandsons were shouting "Go, Granny," as the film got to the parachute jump.

Lord Coe also revealed that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, asked the Queen if she would be willing to take part in the film, which was a highlight of the Olympic opening ceremony.

It has also been revealed this week that the Olympic closing ceremony was the most watched British TV programme in the last 30 years. Almost 25 million people watched it.

Devon town fights off coffee chain

Coffee shops have become very popular in the UK in the past few years, with chains such as Starbucks and Costa opening in most towns and cities.

When Costa coffee, which is Britain's largest cafe chain, announced plans to open in Totnes in Devon in May, most people expected that this is what would happen. But there was a lot of local opposition, as Totnes has lots of independent cafes and shops
The company was given planning permission to open, but Totnes residents set up a website called, and many people signed a petition objecting to the plan. Finally, Costa's bosses came to the town to meet local people. They have now decided not to open in the town which has surprised and pleased people there.

First UK City of Culture ready to party

Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland is the UK's first city of culture and has a GBP 16m budget for a year of events. Plans include performances by the Royal Ballet, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the first time the Turner Arts Prize has been outside England.

The city has also been named as the Lonely Planet Guide's fourth best city to visit in 2013, after San Francisco, Amsterdam and Hyderabad. The fifth is Beijing.

Shot schoolgirl from Pakistan recovering in UK hospital

Malala Yousafzai is recovering in hospital in Birmingham after being shot on a school bus in Pakistan on 9 October. Malala, 14, had campaigned for the rights of girls to have an education and the Pakistani Taliban said they attacked her because she was "promoting secularism". They meant that she was in some way not supporting religion.

Malala's father is at her bedside. She has been visited by Pakistan minister Rehman Malik and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, with United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed. Mr Malik said: "The whole Pakistani nation stands behind Malala and her cause."


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