‘I wouldn’t admit I was from Luton’

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFormer England cricketer Monty Panesar tells 5 Live he wants people to stop criticising his hometown of Luton “When I used to play cricket and people would ask me where I was from, I’d say Bedford.” Growing up, former England cricketer Monty Panesar would not always admit he came from Luton. “I was literally thinking I need to get out of Luton; it’s dull, it’s grey, nothing is there apart from the Vauxhall plant and the airport,” he said. Panesar’s feelings towards Luton were echoed in the media. The town has twice been voted the worst place to live – once in a 2004 poll for The Idler magazine, and again in …

Frank Turner excavates history’s forgotten women

When he first started making music with hardcore punk band Million Dead, Frank Turner refused to join the nightly ritual of tour bus debauchery. “I have a vivid memory of being in Belgium,” he recalls. “People were drinking anything that wasn’t nailed to the floor and I was sat on my bunk, reading my notes.” It’s not that the singer had a puritanical streak – far from it – but the tour clashed with a deadline for Turner’s history degree, so every night, he’d hunker down to research the British-Bulgarian tobacco trade in the 1930s. The paper eventually earned him a first-class honour – but his subsequent decision to quit and pursue music left his tutor unimpressed. Image copyright Getty …

Horrible Histories author ‘a fish out of water’

So you might assume that after writing more than 60 Horrible Histories books and seeing them adapted into West End shows, a Bafta-winning TV series, a major film and an art exhibition, Deary would firmly consider himself part of the literary elite. He doesn’t. “In the publishing industry, I’m a fish out of water,” he says. “I don’t do literary festivals. And I don’t mix with the literati.” Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The cast of Horrible Histories: The Movie at its premiere last month The new stage show, Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain – Part Four, opens at London’s Apollo Theatre this week and runs until the end of the month – perfectly timed to catch the English school …

Drill rapper jailed for chicken shop murder

Image copyright Met Police Image caption The court was told Jay Hughes had no gang affiliation and had been “just standing on the street” The court heard Jay had been standing in the street with a friend when Jean-Baptiste jumped out of a car and stabbed him in the chest in a “brutal and ruthless attack”. Image copyright PA Image caption Customers in the chicken shop gave Jay first aid but he was later pronounced dead in hospital Police raided a house where he had been staying where they found “a collection of knives and masks”, the court was told. The 18-year-old was handed an additional four-month sentence after admitting possession of a knife in Gravesend on 10 December. In …

Living with the paramilitaries next door

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionEmma Vardy reports from Derry’s Creggan Estate In the area of Londonderry known as Creggan, normality belies an undercurrent of violence. This mainly Catholic housing estate is one of Northern Ireland’s last hotbeds from where the New IRA try to advance their diminishing cause. It feels a world apart. Forgotten. Challenging the political voice of the New IRA Two Saoradh activists ‘in New IRA leadership’ Pro-IRA graffiti marks many walls. Some has been painted over, but the most prominent remain. “The police will forget about you, we won’t”. Image copyright AFP Image caption Lyra McKee was shot dead by the New IRA during attacks on police in Derry Fr Joe Gormley knows …

Only six Love Island contestants actually applied

Image copyright ITV Image caption The programme will return next year with two series ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said: “The production team continuously looks for people who would be right for Love Island in terms of being able to be in the villa and the personality that they are required to have.” Image copyright Shutterstock Image caption Tommy Fury and Molly Mae came second in this year’s final When asked if contestants are often selected from a small pool of people who know each other, Dame Carolyn said: “I do not think they just look in that pond. I think they keep it quite open. “There are some people who go on Love Island who have never achieved …

Gaslighting to girl code: How Love Island reflects society

It’s by no means a done deal, however. Amber is widely regarded as having gone on the biggest journey, and Ovie also has a strong fan following. But it barely even matters which couple wins. The prize money will be a fraction of how much the finalists will be able to earn in the next six months from brand deals, sponsored Instagram posts and nightclub appearances. Image copyright Global Image caption Contestants, such as Lucie Donlan, do a whirlwind media tour upon leaving the villa And that doesn’t take into account those who watch short clips from the show online. This year’s most viewed video was seen by 1.5 million on YouTube alone. So who is watching Love Island? The …

Edinburgh bus driver strike ‘risks public safety’

This included bringing in external experts to assist management and the workforce. Lothian Buses managing director Richard Hall told BBC Scotland: “It’s hugely disappointing that Unite have brought this action at a time when Edinburgh is celebrating one of the largest festivals in the world. “It brings huge risk to the business, the city and indeed Scotland. Its reputation on public safety is absolutely key critical for us.” ‘Too little too late’ Unite said its members would take discontinuous strike action during the Edinburgh Fringe and International Festival after the offer was rejected by 59.4%. The union’s regional industrial officer Lyn Turner said the strike action would begin at 03:00 on Friday. “Unite’s 1,700 strong Lothian Buses membership has democratically …

Johnson ‘absolutely’ rules out early election

“We want to, and we are going to, deliver on the mandate of the people, which is to take the UK out of the EU whole and entire on 31 October,” he said. Could there be an early general election? Sturgeon and Johnson hold telephone talks Johnson accused of setting UK on ‘collision course’ The new PM continues to make changes to lower-ranked jobs, following a radical overhaul of his cabinet on Wednesday. Among the changes announced on Friday, Nick Hurd becomes a Northern Ireland minister, George Freeman has been given a transport brief, and Michael Ellis becomes the new solicitor general. Tobias Ellwood lost his job as a defence minister, but said he would support Mr Johnson as a …

Is the full stop rude?

or even Sounds good! Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch says more and more people now see ending messages with a full stop as rude because of the way we text and use instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. “If you’re a young person and you’re sending a message to someone, the default way to break up your thoughts is to send each thought as a new message,” she says. “Because the minimum thing necessary to send is the message itself, anything additional you include can take on an additional interpretation.” What overusing exclamation marks says about you Why did LOL infiltrate the language? A 2015 study by Binghamton University involving 126 undergraduates found they perceived text messages ending in …

Johnson’s new-look cabinet meet for first time

Stephen Barclay: Brexit secretary (retains post) Michael Gove: Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and no-deal Brexit planning Ben Wallace: Defence secretary Liz Truss: International trade secretary Matt Hancock: Health secretary (retains post) Gavin Williamson: Education secretary Nicky Morgan: Culture secretary Andrea Leadsom: Business secretary Amber Rudd: Work and pensions secretary (retains post) Jacob Rees-Mogg: Leader of the Commons See the full cabinet here Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionJacob Rees-Mogg learns of new role from the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg Following his appointment, Mr Rees-Mogg, who led the pro-Brexit Tory European Research Group (ERG), denied there had been a “Leave” takeover of the cabinet. “Boris is bringing the country together, the party together, through his cabinet appointments,” …

Boris Johnson: Does his cabinet reflect ‘modern Britain’?

In terms of the overall number of women attending cabinet, never in British political history has the percentage reached 40%, although there have been times when it has gone beyond 30%. The two highs were a stint under Gordon Brown, when almost four in 10 cabinet attendees were women (37.9%), and a brief period after Theresa May’s January 2018 cabinet reshuffle, when the figure reached 34.5%. There are a record number of people from ethnic minorities Mr Johnson has appointed four full cabinet members from BAME backgrounds (17%) as well as two ministers who will attend cabinet – a record for any government. BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) is a term widely used in the UK to describe people …

Johnson appointing more new ministers

Skip Twitter post by @SteveBakerHW With regret, I have turned down a ministerial job. I cannot repeat my experience of powerlessness as a junior @DExEUgov minister with the work done in @cabinetofficeuk. I have total confidence in @BorisJohnson to take us out of the EU by 31 Oct. Disaster awaits otherwise. — Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) July 25, 2019 The reshuffle is expected to continue into Friday. Barnier attacks ‘combative’ Johnson speech Does the UK owe the EU £39bn? Who’s in Johnson’s cabinet? The new appointments follows a huge overhaul of the cabinet positions in the hours after Mr Johnson took over at No 10 on Wednesday. More than half of Theresa May’s secretaries of state – including Mr Johnson’s …

G4S ‘made 14m profits from immigration centre’

At least six staff members were dismissed by G4S. Home Office ‘failing’ on detention centres Detainees ‘must get to face abusers’ ‘Abuse’ detainees challenge Home Office The NAO report found G4S has been making “significant profits” on the Brook House contract. Between 2012 and 2018, G4S made £14.3m gross profits, (before deducting a share of company overheads, such as human resources), with gross profit rates of between 10% and 20% each year. It also pointed to the fact that under the terms of its contract G4S cannot be penalised if staff use excessive force or inappropriate language. Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the findings raised “serious questions” about the Home Office’s handling of …

Tourism body ‘had culture of toxicity’

Read more Yorkshire stories The debate was told WtY was made a private company in 2009 by Sir Gary Verity and had received over £10m in public money in the last decade. “Excesses include luxury spending on helicopters, hotels at £600 a night [and] lavish meals during which the chief executive Gary Verity and the former chair Ron McMillan were playing games about who could get the most expensive wine on expenses,” Lord Scriven said. He also mentioned “shooting expeditions, seen as networking, at £2,500 a day” and “private chauffeur-driven cars to take people a few miles”. The BBC has approached WtY and representatives for Sir Gary for comment. Mr McMillan denied WtY had paid for any shooting trips, stating …

The story of a liar, fraudster and paedophile

His claims that he and others had been the victim of sexual abuse by a “VIP ring” in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and that he had witnessed three child murders by members of the same group, featured prominently on BBC News, in a British national newspaper and on a now-defunct website called Exaro. However, while he was promoting his lies, Beech was busy downloading child abuse imagery and covertly filming a teenage boy. Image copyright Crown Prosecution Service It was this period of his life that Beech would build his allegations around, claiming that between the ages of seven and 16 he was abused by a powerful paedophile ring that included the late British media personality Jimmy Savile. …