News Round Up

by Patrick O'Connor


A troupe of dancing drummers performing outside a London theatre were stunned when they got a dressing down from – the Queen.

However, reports the Daily Telegraph, it was actually top actress Dame Helen Mirren who was dressed in full stage gear for her role as the monarch in The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre.

The drummers were promoting London's As One In The Park gay music festival but Dame Helen got fed up with the 'incessant thudding' whilst on stage so during the interval she stormed outside.

Dame Helen told the paper: “I’m afraid there were a few 'thespian’ words used. They got a very stern royal ticking off but I have to say they were very sweet and they stopped immediately.

“I felt rotten but on the other hand they were destroying our performance so something had to be done. The drumming just slowly got louder and louder and then settled right outside the stage door.”

It seems that female train staff employed by Sir Richard Branson aren't too happy with their blouses, claiming that they are too short and so flimsy that passengers will see if they are wearing dark bras.

The Daily Mirror says that Virgin Trains' business support department is now offering them a £20 voucher for new underwear after delaying the uniform by three weeks.

Business support director, Andy Cross, said on the Virgin staff website: “It’s important that our people feel comfortable and so we will be issuing vouchers in the next few days for ladies to buy undergarments to wear under their blouses. Female employees concerned about the new blouse will be offered a £20 voucher to buy suitable undergarments.

Make your own mind up on this one...

The Daily Telegraph tells us that Cambridge University students have cancelled their annual jelly wrestling contest between bikini-clad girls after a petition condemning it as “sexist” received more than 1,000 signatures.

The petition branded the competition at the Wyverns drinking society's end of exams garden party, as "misogynistic" and inappropriate in the modern age and the all-male drinking society has now cancelled the event.

Cambridge University Students' Union Women's Campaign described the decision as “wonderful news”.

Choosing names for a newborn is often quite a gruelling exercise for new parents. They trawl through endless books or decide which great-great grandmother or father will be honoured.

But Corin Stokes and her husband Paul, from Royston in Hertfordshire, did not have to look far for inspiration, says the Daily Mail.

For their new child was given the middle name of Zafira after the Vauxhall people carrier which she was born in.

Corin gave birth to Lyla May Zafira Stokes on her way to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, in the early hours of the morning. She delivered the baby herself in the back seat as her husband drove.

The mum-of-three added: “We were driving through Harston and my husband just kept going because he thought we had a bit of time left. We'd already decided on May and Paul wanted to add Zafira after what happened. It'll certainly be a good story to tell her when she's older.”

Is this political correctness gone mad?

The Daily Mail reports that a 10 year old girl was told she could be arrested for causing criminal damage – for playing hopscotch.

Apparently an officer told Lilly-May Allen, who was playing with a friend on a grid she had chalked on the pavement in front of her home, that using chalk on the pavement was criminal damage.

Her father, Bob Allen, from Ramsgate in Kent, said: “I rang up the police and asked if chalking up a hopscotch grid was an offence and they wouldn’t say yes or no and said it was a grey area.”

A Kent Police spokesman  said: “We are trying to trace the officers who are reported to have made this comment. From the circumstances described, it would not appear to have been necessary to advise the young girl that chalking a hopscotch grid may be criminal damage and illegal.”


Reference lists:


Daily Mail (

Daily Mirror ((

Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph