THE days of a family gathering around the living room TV to watch the latest hit show are becoming a thing of the past, according to latest research.

An article in The Guardian reports on figures by media watchdog Ofcom which shows that more and more people are binge-watching strings of episodes.

Forty five per cent of people now watch a programme or film alone every day while nine in 10 watch alone every week and a third of Britons say members of their household sit together in the same room watching different programmes on different devices.

This change is because of the number of devices – such as televisions, tablets and smartphones – in homes, increasing internet speeds, and the growth of on-demand streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Eight in 10 adults in the UK – 40m people – say they use catch-up technology such as BBC iPlayer or subscription services such as Netflix to watch more than one episode of a programme such as Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things or Game of Thrones.

The UK is getting a new £5 coin and the Daily Mirror tells us that it will feature a portrait of the only person to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice during the First World War.

Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse will feature on one of the Royal Mint’s new six precious metal coins which tell the story of the First World War 100 years on.

He was awarded his medals for bravery at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and a year later at Passchendaele, where he lost his life.

Anne Jessopp, The Royal Mint’s director of consumer business said: “The Royal Mint has a long association with the military, having made medals for military campaigns since 1815.

“The Royal Mint will have made Captain Noel Chavasse’s Military Cross, for example, so we are honoured this year to be reflecting on his bravery, and other poignant First World War themes from 1917, 100 years on.”

Grandmother Gill Burch, from Newthorpe in Nottinghamshire, is giving up her beloved teddy bear of 65 years to help raise money for a hospice, reports the Daily Express.

The paper says that Gill was given 'John David Martin' as a first birthday present by her grandmother. But she has now handed the teddy over to celebrity auctioneer Charles Hanson from BBC's Bargain Hunt and Flog It who will auction it off later this month.

Gill (66) commented: “He is the only toy I had kept all my life. I loved him. I never liked dolls so always played with him.

“I called him John David Martin as I liked the names and I wanted a brother. I was an only child.” Gill was attending a charity event for Nottinghamshire Hospice when she came across Mr Hanson.

How trainee priests who walked into a bar for a drink were asked to leave because staff thought they were on a stag dog.

The Daily Mirror article says that the trainee priests, included the Reverend Robert James, had gone into The City Arms in Cardiff, where drinks include local brew Rev James!

They were celebrating a colleague's ordination but apparently bar staff were wary of potential 'high jinks' from groups of men on stag dos wearing fancy dress.

Father Michael Doyle, a friend of the party, said: “On arrival, the bartender informed them that it was policy not to grant entry to fancy dress parties or stag 'dos'.

“The seminarians thought that this was a joke until it became clear that this was not the case and he was in fact serious.”

Fortunately as they were leaving an assistant manager approached to double-check their credentials and they were allowed to stay.

The Independent tells us that a little known network of tunnels caused a sinkhole in the car park of a Primary store in Thanet, Kent and a local history group reckon they date back to the Second World War.

Thanet Hidden History Facebook group claims it is the second time in three years that the ground has sunk because of the tunnels.

However, when the company that owns the shopping centre submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Defence asking for details of the tunnels and their previous usage, the Government said it held “no information” on the issue.

Reference list:
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Daily Mirror (