ONE of the country's leading actresses Imelda Staunton has urged a ban on eating and drinking in theatres.

The Guardian quotes an interview she gave to the listings magazine Radio Times in which she called on people to give the performance their full attention.

Staunton, who starred in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Vera Drake, added: “I don’t know why people can’t engage in just one thing. I don’t understand this obsession with having to eat or drink something at every moment of the day.”

Her comments follow those earlier in the year by theatre producer Richard Jordan who complained about theatregoers spending the whole performance eating loudly.

He said: “It was like listening to eating in Dolby Stereo, and sadly at the expense of being able to properly hear the lines being spoken on stage.”

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The Daily Express tells us that Eric McGarvey has blown the whistle on his time as a football referee at the grand old age of 81.

Eric, from Broadstairs in Kent, was Britain's oldest working referee and passed his exams in 1952.

He had been a referee for 64 years and had officiated at more than 3,000 games.

Eric, who is president of the Belmonte Thanet Sunday Football League, said: “You can't go on forever. Five weeks ago I was last on the pitch, but I've only done a few games this year.

“It's been my life. It's an enormous wrench to give it up, but I'm 81.”

He added: “I've refereed four generations of players. It's wonderful when someone tells me I refereed their father.”

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It seems that UK car parks are struggling to cope with the increase in size of many modern day vehicles.

An article in the Daily Mail says that Britain's biggest car park operator, National Car Parks, has been forced to redesign the size of its bays amid the country's growing obsession with modern SUVs.

The company commented that it had already made its spaces bigger in London, Manchester and Bournemouth to meet the rise in family cars and 4x4s.

They have estimated there has been a 35 per cent rise in parking accidents since 2014, so now it will be increasing the size of bays 'wherever possible'.

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There are some provocative comments in a Daily Telegraph story in which they say that parents have been urged to stop pretending Father Christmas is real in case the "lie" damages relations with their children.

Psychologist Professor Christopher Boyle and social scientist Dr Kathy McKay were writing in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry and commented: “If they (parents) are capable of lying about something so special and magical, can they be relied upon to continue as the guardians of wisdom and truth?"

They also suggest that parents may not be motivated by thoughts of their children but a selfish desire to re-live their own childhood.

Professor Boyle, from the University of Exeter, said: “The morality of making children believe in such myths has to be questioned.

“All children will eventually find out they've been consistently lied to for years, and this might make them wonder what other lies they've been told.”

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Reference list:

The Express (www.express.co.uk)

The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk)

Daily Mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)

Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph co.uk)