This week's UK news: 1 March 2013
1 March 2013

How does the Queen keep her Palace warm?

A photograph of The Queen greeting a guest in Buckingham Palace this week was a bit surprising for lots of people in the UK. The photograph was taken in the room where the Queen meets the Prime Minister every week. It is called the Audience Room, and is one of 775 in the Palace.

The room had the things you might expect to find in a palace, including paintings worth around GBP 7m and furniture worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. But in the fireplace was a small, electric, two-bar heater which looked nearly as old as the furniture. It appeared to be the only source of heat in the room, and looked very out of place. Newspapers helpfully told us that similar heaters could be bought in electrical shops for around GBP 30, and that the Royal Family does not worry about the cold. Visitors to Balmoral, the Queen's palace in Scotland, often complain about cold winds in the rooms.

Honour for Britain's first curry chef

The UK loves eating Indian curry. It is one of our favourite meals to eat out in restaurants, or to have as a take-away at home. Indian ready-meals are also best-sellers in supermarkets, and many people cook them at home.

But it is surprising to find out for how long we've enjoyed curries. The first curry house in the UK was opened in London in 1810 by a man called Sake Dean Mahomed. Mahomed then moved to Brighton, where he opened a special bath house which became very popular. People thought it helped their health, and Mahomed was known as Dr Brighton. Now a group want to put a blue sign up on the wall of the house where Mahomed used to live, to tell more people about his history. His name is already on a Brighton bus.

Dalek creator dies

The Daleks are some of the scariest monsters on British TV. They are aliens from the planet Skaros, who regularly appear on the TV series Dr Who.

Dr Who has been running for more than 50 years, and the Daleks first appeared as the villains on the show in 1963. They immediately terrified child viewers, and many older people remember hiding behind the sofa when the Daleks came on screen.

Daleks have a very distinctive look - they move on wheels, appear to be made of metal, and are a similar shape to pepper pots. Raymond Cusick, the man who created the way they looked, used a pepperpot in the TV studio's canteen to show other people the way they should move.

Over the years the Daleks have been responsible for the popularity of Dr Who. But they were made very cheaply - the broadcaster would not pay for bulbs on the Daleks shells so that they would light up. Mr Cusick, who has just died at the age of 84, was paid just GBP 100 for his creation.

UK's Oscars triumph

It was a good year for the UK at the Oscars. British actor Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for his role in Lincoln, about the American president. Day-Lewis is the first male actor to win three times. Adele also won for the best song, Skyfall, and Les Miserables, a British production, won three awards including one for actress Anne Hathaway.


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