“I don’t believe it!” has been voted the UK’s favourite TV catchphrase, says The Independent.
It was uttered by the character Victor Meldrew in the hit BBC TV comedy series One Foot In the Grave, and beat off competition from “Simples”- made famous by the meerkats in the Compare the Market commercial and “Don’t panic!” from Lance-Corporal Jones in another BBC comedy, Dad’s Army.
Tony Thorne, language consultant at King’s College London, said: “Catchphrases are a key component of popular culture as they connect the world of entertainment and consumption with the everyday concerns of real people – their feelings and experiences, their shared pleasures and their struggles and frustrations, and especially their triumphs over adversity.
“A catchphrase such as ‘I don’t believe it!’ expresses a mix of exasperation, world-weary resignation and fatalistic humour that will be familiar from many people’s personal experience.”
A poll conducted by members of the public has concluded that ‘Jerusalem’ is the UK’s favourite hymn.
The BBC says that the hymn, which takes an 1803 poem by William Blake and sets it to music written by Sir Hubert Parry, beat How Great Thou Art to the top spot, with In Christ Alone coming third in a vote held by BBC One’s Songs of Praise TV show.
Members of the public chose from the 100 hymns that have featured most on the show over the past five years.
Composer Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry wrote the hymn in 1916 at the height of World War One and it was commissioned by his friend, poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wanted a piece that would lend itself to mass singing in order to rally the public and drive wartime resolve.
Almost hunted to extinction in the UK, 18 pine martens have been reintroduced to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, reports The Guardian.
Conservationists hope the animals, which belong to the same family as otters and weasels, will breed, spread and eventually link up with a group of pine martens that was reintroduced across the border in Wales.
Pine martens are similar in size to a domestic cat with slim bodies, brown fur, a distinctive cream bib on their throats, long, bushy tails and prominent rounded ears.
Extensive hunting, together with the loss of their woodland home, hit their numbers dramatically.
The 18 pine martens were trapped near Inverness and taken to Gloucestershire where they were fitted with tracking collars and released.
A late 16th century portrait of Richard III has gone on public display for the last time, says The Guardian. It has been bought from a private collection by Hever Castle in Kent to hang in its Long Gallery.
Hever Castle’s chief executive Duncan Leslie commented: “I am delighted that we have been able to purchase this painting and further enhance the historical experience we offer. It is an important addition to better tell the story of the Tudors, or rather how they came about.”
An amusing story in The Independent informs us that Nottinghamshire Police had to respond to an incident when a goose flew straight into a taxi, smashing a window and landing on the back seat!
In a tweet, the force said: “Goose was taken to the vets and unfortunately the taxi had to repair the damage.”
Ironically the event occurred at the same time as Nottingham’s Goose Fair, the city’s centuries-old annual funfair.
The fair’s name came from the thousands of geese that were driven from Lincolnshire to be sold in Nottingham.
According to reports on the BBC, Scotland is to become the first country in the UK to make it a criminal offence for parents to smack their children.
At the moment, parents and carers are allowed to use “reasonable” physical force to discipline children, but the Scottish government has backed moves to give children the same protection from assault as adults.
- The Independent
- The BBC
- The Guardian