ONE man who is always very happy this time of the year is Noddy Holder, lead singer with the pop group Slade.

A Daily Mail article reveals that Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody has already earned more than £500,000 in royalties for 2013 alone.

Analysts have put estimates on the earnings gained by the most popular Christmas tracks by combining radio, internet and TV data with statistics on royalties from the Performing Rights Society, which collects fees when music is played everywhere from Radio 1 to jukeboxes and shops.

Holder holds the rights to his band's 1973 hit and once commented that this was “like winning the lottery every December 25 for the rest of your life”. Merry Xmas Everybody is thought by the PRS to be the most heard song in the world.

Not so happy was Trevor Hempell from Spondon in Derby. who got so tired of his wife's insistence

on putting so many Christmas lights on their home that he sent her a spoof letter from East Midlands Airport warning they were a danger to air navigation

The newspaper quotes Sandra Hempell as saying: “It said it was from East Midlands Airport. It said I had to take down my lights because they were disrupting the planes.”

Her husband later admitted the prank but Sandra commented: “He is always a bit ‘bah humbug’ but I think secretly he likes them.”

Asked to picked the brainiest place in the UK, most people would plump for Oxford or Cambridge but the Daily Mail tells us that Wandsworth, in South-West London, has collected the accolade.

The paper says that according to the Office for National Statistics, 54 per cent of people living there have a university degree.

That puts it ahead of Cambridge (47 per cent) and Oxford (42.6 per cent). The second brainiest borough is another London area, Kensington and Chelsea, where 53 per cent of adults have a degree.

The newspapers are always on the look out for joyful seasonal stories this time of the year and the Daily Mirror reports on the fact that a five-year-old girl who wrote a letter of apology to department store John Lewis after she broke a bauble has been tracked down after her gesture went viral.

The girl, who signed her name as Faith, sent the letter after she accidentally broke the decoration and subsequently branch manager Dominic Joyce launched a bid to find the girl on Twitter to say thank-you.

The letter read: “To John Lewis Cambridge. I'm sorry I broke a Christmas bauble on Saturday. It cost two pounds. Here is the money for it. Sorry again, Faith, aged 5.”

Now John Lewis have confirmed that the girl's parents had been in touch this morning but had indicated that no further thanks was needed.

Simba the parrot is becoming a bit of nuisance for owners Iain and Michelle Cassie, from Newmachar, Aberdeenshire – by mimicking building site sounds.

The Daily Mirror says the bird is able to recreate beeping lorries, heavy drilling and grinding from construction work on a new community centre near their home.

Michelle moaned: “She makes grinding noises, truck noises and the beeping noise the cherrypicker makes when it’s reversing. Putting up with the day-to-day sounds is hard enough without Simba copying them. We just hope she stops when it’s finished in January.”

Bon appetit – it seems that the traditional British Christmas dinner is the fattiest and unhealthiest in Europe.

The Daily Mail reports on a survey by health app Lifesum which revealed that the average Brit is set to consume 7,000 calories on Christmas day.

Apparently our typical festive lunch on December 25 contains 69g fat and 211g of carbohydrates, that's 42 per cent saturated fat and 30 per cent sugar.

France tops the healthy league table with its menu full of unprocessed foods.

A spokesperson for Lifesum said: “We hope that some people might be inspired by how their European cousins celebrate the day, and consider incorporating some healthy international food options within their own family meals.”

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Daily Mail (

Daily Mirror ((

Derby Telegraph (