Britain's Got Talent, Rolf Harris - Topical Stand-Up [Video]

Steve on Britains Got TalentEvery week at The Monday Night News Show in London SomeNews.co.uk goes live.

Below is a short video from this week's show. In it we look at the latest scandal to hit Britain's Got Talent, well, according to the newspapers it's a scandal. Rolf Harris also gets a mention.

Have a look...

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At the actual gig we also covered cheese, Helen Mirren, and we solved the London Underground. Come and see the show live any Monday.

P.S. Here are all the topical videos from past Monday Night News Shows - check them out.


Woman's Sleep-Eating Ruins Diet

There's a little story that nearly passed me by, the story of a woman who's been getting up to all sorted in the middle of the night. She suffers from parasomnia.

n. Any of several disorders that frequently interfere with sleep.

With a definition like that I think it could include having a day job. But the woman in question was sleep-eating. Lesley Cusack was piling in 2,500 calories a night, and wondered why she was gaining weight.

Sleep-eating is amazing. It combines two of my favourite things, yet when you put them together like that it's a terribly condition. You gain weight, you risk burning the house down (she has eaten fry-ups while zonked) and you don't even remember the joy of filling your face.

Lesley said she doesn't know what she's eating, adding, "I can only tell by the remains in the morning." She's like a low-key werewolf story.

So Lesley has my sympathy, and I was just about to mark this as a story that didn't need to be featured on SomeNews, but then I saw the picture of her in the paper sat in front of a plate of the kind of food she sleep-eats.

sleep eating

Do you see it, at the front of the plate? Beetroot!

If you eat beetroot but don't have any memory of eating it, when you go to the toilet and take a little look in the bowl you'll think you're dying. Forget the parasomnia, the weekly colonoscopies must be taking their toll.

>Read the source story



McDonald's Burgers Last Forever?

McDonald's Burgers Last ForeverI'm a firm believer in the maxim "you are what you eat". That's why I'm cheap, greasy and I'll play havoc with your colon. But some news stories make me stop and think about what we're putting inside our bodies.

A man in America has kept a burger he purchased from McDonald's in 1999, and it still looks OK 14 years later. There's no mould, no rotting, and the chemicals and preservatives that they put in those burgers have kept it looking like the first day it was made.

And you know what I think when I look at that? I want more of that in me!

Whatever chemical has stopped that burger ageing over the last decade and a half I clearly don't have enough natural levels of. Compare the 2013 burger with the 1999 burger and it's a little drier. Compare 2013 me with 1999 me and you'd think, "Somewhere in a loft there's a portrait of Steve thinking it dodged a bullet."

The man in question, David Whipple, said he kept the burger for a month to show people how enzymes worked. Then he put it back in the original packaging and forgot about it, as he tossed it to the back of his truck. That's the impressive thing about this story. If I know I have some high calorie food hanging around I can't last ten minutes without eating it.

Whipple now says he is keeping the burger to show his grandchildren and educate them about fast food.

Cut to: A barren wasteland of the future Earth, in the distance we see the ruins of advanced civilisations. All plant-life has been scorched away as the enlarged Sun that fills the sky. The camera moves to show a cockroach hunting for food. It stumbles across the burger. Sniffs. Moves on.

>Read the source story

Woman Walks In On Tiger In The Toilet

We've all been to the toilet and had a surprise before. Maybe you dropped your phone down the loo. Maybe you forgot there was beetroot in the salad you had the day before. Maybe it was the day you found out what a glory hole was. But none of those match the shock a woman in Kansas had.

She went to the toilet while visiting a circus and found a tiger in there.

A shock? You'd sh*t yourself. But good news, you're already in the toilet.

On the website I found this story on it said, "The big cat had escaped from the ring." And I thought, "Really? How did it fit up there in the first place?"

So, the tiger had escaped and headed straight to the bathroom, because you should never pass up a chance. Circus staff blocked off the concourses but one woman, Jenna Krehbiel, walked through the one door that hadn't been locked. She said, "You don't expect to go in a bathroom door, have it shut behind you and see a tiger walking toward you."

Jenna "Well, Duh!" Krehbiel makes a good point. If I saw that I'd assume I was back on meth.

Chris Bird, manager at the Bicentennial Center, said, "Once she saw the tiger, I'm sure she knew to go the other way."

I'm not so sure. It's hard to remember what you're meant to do when faced with certain wild animals. There's one type of bear when you're meant to play dead, and another one when you have to climb a tree. I think there was something about sharks that they are attracted to the scent of urine. So that's what you do when faced with a tiger in the bathroom. Wait till the smell of the wee-wee attracts a shark and set it on the tiger.

>Read the source story


Luis Suarez Bite, Toddlers - Topical Stand-Up [Video]

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Topless Barbers

A topless barber shop has become a hit in Australia, offering customers to have their haircut done by a barely-clothed female hairdresser.

Tut. I disapprove. I disapprove because this reduces women down to mere objects for men to be pleased by. I disapprove because it potentially exploits women who find themselves in financial trouble. But most of all I disapprove because I'm bald!

The shop called 'Barber Babes', based in Brisbane, has employees wearing just hot pants or underwear. It's an OK name but I think it could've been a better pun. Hairdressers have a tradition of a play on words in their title. "A Cut Above", "British Hairways", "Hairway To Heaven", "The Godbarber". Things like that. So this place could've tried harder.

"Tits and Clips", "Low CUT Tops", "A Little Off The Top", "A Freshly Breast Shirt". OK, that last one would be a naked dry-cleaners. It's worth remembering just in case they diversify.

In addition to haircuts, they offer head massages, eyebrow waxing and blow-dries. And I bet every man who hears that list gets all excited up until the last syllable.

Jasmine Robson, owner of the business, explained that the idea stemmed from her belief that most men find going to a barber inconvenient, and she wanted to provide them an extra incentive to get their hair cut.

From what I remember, getting a haircut isn't that bad. Going to the dentist, that's the one that needs help. No one likes all the drilling and the sounds, but if the dentist leaning over you was giving you a face-full of boob, it could take the edge off.

Yes, that's definitely better. They should close down this place and open up a topless dentists. I'm bald, but I still have my own teeth.

>Read the source story


Sloth News

Sloth terrorIn sloth news: A video showing a sloth cuddling up with a cat has proved popular on YouTube. While the two animals get up close and personal the music of Jason Mraz plays and many people have commented about how cute the clip is.

Here, have a look at the video...

Cute eh? I think not.

Have seen any of the sloth memes that have been going round the internet? Pictures like these...

And now you have read the terrifying truth about what sloths are really like, have a look at the video again and see if you still think it's nice.

Yeah, kind of different that time.

>Read the source story


Agonise Podcast: Sperm Donor Love

In the Agonise podcast Mr Steve N Allen and Ria Lina look at letters sent into newspapers' problem pages and give a more honest answer than any agony aunt could.

This episode features a letter from a woman who is starting to have feelings for her sperm donor. Her cup overfloweth.

To find out more, listen below.

Download the mp3.

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Hear all the Agonise podcasts here


The No Incest App

Just when you thought all of the good apps had been invented, comes ones that you'll wonder, "How did we ever live without it?"

There's an app you can get that stops you having incest.

Before you worry that this invention will force The Jeremy Kyle Show to cut down to one a week, there are some details to cover. It's designed to use in Iceland. That's no good to me. I want one that's designed to use just round the back of Iceland, near Primark, because that's where I'm more likely to have sex.

I know it's the country Iceland that it means, but I still think that makes the app pointless for me. Already I would assume I'm not related to anyone in Iceland, but it is better to be safe than very sorry.

The app uses a database of Icelanders and works out their heritage. When you "bump" the app with the person you're about to sleep with it compares your family tree and warns you if you're doing a Level 42*.

It must be a very frustrating app to use though. You've met someone you are attracted to, you drink, you dance, you head back to their place where the kissing starts. You get more passionate, you both know there's a green light and you're about to embark on the most sexually exciting night when...

HER: Have you got protection?
HIM: I've got the app if that's what you mean?
HER: OK, let's check...
HIM: Motherf***er!
HER: Are you upset because is it bad news?
HIM: No, that's the result of the test, motherf***er!
HER: Ooooh.

The producers, from Sad Engineer Studios, said: "The 'Incest Prevention' is a fun feature that the user can enable through the options menu which will notify him with both text and sound if the one he bumps with someone who is too related to him."

It'll stop many embarrassing moments but it could've really ruined the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

>Read the source story

* Keeping it "Running in the Family" a little too much.


Why You're Wrong About Thatcher

Good news. I agree with you about the late Margaret Thatcher. I don't even need to know what you think before I can say I agree with you. And this is not just some swift placation to get you to stop talking, although that technique has proven invaluable this week.

I know I agree with you because, whatever you think, you think the people who disagree with you are wrong. And I agree. Confused? Let me take a few steps back.

I was unsure about dealing with this topic on what can be a rather light-hearted website. But this isn't my first opinion piece, I dealt with gun control, and my input clearly solved that problem.

It's important to notice that this isn't going to be jokes about a funeral. That would be of poor taste, and to paraphrase John Donne, "Each man's death diminishes me, For I am involved in mankind." I think that means I tend to play gigs to alive people, and I'm just thinking about the market.

But it's important to remember that, just because you don't want to celebrate someone's death, it doesn't mean you think the life was good.

Since we heard of her passing the news has described her as divisive. No, she was polarising. The people who hate her think she was total evil, the people who like her think she's the best thing to ever happen to Great Britain. Both must be wrong. No one is pure evil, whether ultimately proved right or not, she thought what she was doing was good for the country, and indeed for some parts of it, it was. And she's not the best thing to happen. She didn't create the NHS or create an empire, if that's your thing, so people who think that are wrong too.

She, like everyone, existed somewhere on the spectrum between their worst and best versions. But no one seems to see that. No one listens with open minds to the opposite view point. I come from an area that used to have a thriving coal mining community and saw first-hand the consequences of her actions. But I realise the coal industry may not have been viable. However, when Germany reduced the size of its coal industry it did it without ruining large sections of the nation and causing local unemployment to be a problem that lasted for decades.

On the day of her death I was broadcast in Essex, and area that loves her. One caller decided to speak to me and said, "The thing is, in the 70s the country was in a right state. Something had to be done!"

Yes. But don't miss your own logical flaw. Just because something had to be done doesn't mean that what was done was the right thing. Or you could also have the sentence, "The thing is, in the 30s Germany was in a right state. Something had to be done!" Something was done, but I think we have to agree it wasn't the right thing.

On privatisation, do I think that letting private businesses into the telecoms market, freeing up the restrictions of the use of certain technologies, that ultimately led us to the modern word of mobile phones, was a good thing? Yes. Do I think privatising the utilities so that a company may make profit out of an old person struggling to afford enough heat to stay alive was good? Sweet mercy no! It's not either or, it's not zeroes and ones, it's shades of grey. (Well, that book ruined that phrase for me.)

Do I think that market forces can run some industries? Yes. Do I think letting the market run free is perfectly fine? I'm living in the aftermath of the credit crunch, we are so over 'greed is good'.

If the pro-Thatcher camp weren't so blindly pro and the anti-Thatcher camp weren't so blindly anti we might actually be able to have a discussion about real issues that face us?

The funeral itself has heightening that problem. Is it right to celebrate someone's death with an effigy of them? I don't think so. Is it right to spend tax payers money on something when you know half the country doesn't think she was great? No. It'll only serve to deepen the division.

Even if you think she was the best Prime Minister Great Britain ever had, that was her job. She did her job. Most people don't get a celebratory send off for doing their job. In fact most Prime Ministers don't get a celebratory send off just for doing their job. Churchill was an understandable exception. His role in the Second World War and getting this country through it could be seen as exceptional. But there's a very big difference between the worthiness of the funeral of Churchill and Thatcher, there wasn't half the country that hated what Churchill did. There were large communities in the North saying, "Actually, the Germans were OK."

So there we have it. Strip out the emotion, talk about the logic, and we could finally get somewhere. But not only do I think that won't happen, I expect I'll get comments saying I shouldn't defend her while at the same time I'll get comments saying I shouldn't express a negative opinion. Rest safe in the knowledge that all comments that come from a blinded view of the left or the right will be deleted. This is my website, not a free market.

Look at it this way, whoever disagrees with you, I disagree with them too.

>Read the source story


Music Is As Good As Sex

Is music better than sexHere's the "science in inverted commas" story of the day:

Canadian researchers have found that listening to music can be as enjoyable as sex.

It can. And I should know, I do a lot of it. I used to do it mainly in the car, but these days it's online. Don't worry, it's not dodgy, I always pay for it.

I also, sometimes, listen to music.

Using MRI scans, they found that areas in the reward centre of the brain - the same part activated when we have sex - became active when people heard a song for the first time.

Oh, so that's only for new music? Eventually after experiencing the same one again and again you get bored and don't enjoy it in the same way? So it really is like having sex.

While talking about this news story with a friend he said, "It must be really weird lying in an MRI scanner trying to enjoy music." Really? And yet you think trying to have sex in there is fine? The chugging of the scanner is like Barry White to you?

This is difficult scientific information to use. I guess all you can do with it is try to listen to more music. It's as enjoyable as sex but in many ways music is better than sex. For example:
It's easier to get hold of.
You can do it on public transport.
Realistically, it's more likely to have Rihanna involved.
You can listen to two songs in a row without the need for a 20-minute break.
If you find one you really like you can recommend it to a friend without society frowning.
And let's be honest, if it's an album track it'll last longer*.

>Read the source story

* Blur's Song 2 was on an album, right?


Vorderman, Britain's Got Talent & Mums - Topical Stand-Up [Video]

Vorderman, Britains Got Talent & Mums - Topical Stand-Up [Video]Every week at The Monday Night News Show in London SomeNews.co.uk goes live.

Below is a video from this week's show, covering topics like the Carol Vorderman's broke nose, or is it a nose job, the standards of Britain's Got Talent and stay at home mums.

Have a look...

Watch on YouTube

At the actual gig we also covered the recent rain, Thatcher's influence in the music charts, and loads more. Come and see the show live any Monday.

P.S. Here are all the topical videos from past Monday Night News Shows - check them out.


It's Not The Motion Of The Ocean...

I recently became aware of the low-brow nature of the news coverage on the site lately. Recent articles have been about bras, zombie hamsters and fat airline passengers. There's nothing wrong with a little levity, but this site is a news source of record, a serious and in-depth analyser of current events. So it's time to redress the balance, rest safe in the knowledge that this next story was sourced in The Independent newspaper.

Headline: "Size really does matter"

Yes, new research has found that human females prefer large penises to small penises. Wow, ground-breaking findings. I can't wait for their paper on the ursine arboreal faecal distribution patterns. What's that you say, bears do shit in the woods? Well, duh!

Dr Brian Mautz, formerly of the Australian National University in Canberra and lead author of the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said, "We found that male attractiveness is significantly influenced by penis size."

I knew it! All of those surveys in women's magazines that say women want a man with a sense of humour were lies! Unless he was making jokes about the size of his massive schlong.

But how are we meant to make use of this information? If you're posting for your Match.com profile pic try and get your tadger in the shot?

He went on, "More specifically, we found that large penises are rated as relatively more attractive than smaller ones."

OK, I can see the sense in that. What he's saying is that a large penis is more attractive than a small penis, but let's be honest, no penis is ever really attractive. You wouldn't want a picture of one as your phone screen-saver. You wouldn't have a painting of one brightening up a dentist's waiting room. You can get work as a hand model or even a foot model, but no one gets to be a cock 'n' balls model. You're a porn star and that's it.

He added, "Our results show that present-day females rate larger penises as more attractive, but it is hard to infer anything much beyond that."

The study involved showing 49 different images of naked men to 100 Australian women, who were asked to rate each life-size image according to its sexual allure. So we can infer something else. Maybe it's Aussie women who love the sausage. I'm just saying, there's a chance the results aren't being interpreted correctly. Not that I have a vested interest in this or anything, but if the women who love large members are on the other side of the planet to me, then all's well.

In addition to varying the penis length, the scientists played around with the stature of the models, making the men appear taller or shorter. Dr M said, "The effect of penis size on attractiveness is not independent of the other two traits of height and shoulder-to-hip ratio. For example, penis size has a much larger effect on attractiveness for taller men, than it does for shorter men."

So, women like tall men with a big willy.

And next they'll publish their analysis of the theological disposition of the traditional papacy.

What's that? Is the Pope's Catholic?

>Read the source story


Bras Are No Good For You

New research from French scientist Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon says that bras are useless. Now there's a man who's never made a slingshot.

Prof . Rouillon has been studying breasts of 330 women, aged 18 to 35, over the past 15 years, and has achieved much, like keeping the French stereotype going strong. After all of the hard work he came to the conclusion that the undergarment does more bad than good.

Hang on, he got paid to spend the last 15 years studying breasts? Oh, and in other news, still no cure for AIDS.

Anyway, he said: "Medically, physiologically, anatomically, the breast does not benefit from being deprived of gravity."

Well, I'm not sure about that. I saw a video online of a woman on a roller-coaster and... maybe that's not what he meant.

The interesting thing is, Rouillon's theory kind of makes sense. He found that women who did not wear bras had firmer and less saggy breasts. He postulated (I bet he did, the dirty g... oh) that bras weaken the supporting muscles holding up breasts. Basically he's saying bras cause boob atrophy. It's like they say, if you don't use it you lose it. Or it slopes off towards the floor.

The theory makes sense, till you remember the video of tribeswomen we were shown during GCSE Humanities. They didn't wear bras but the regular workout against gravity didn't seem to help them. Those videos are the reason I still find empty mittens sexually alluring.

I don't know if the theory holds up (consider rephrasing) or not, but the way it's presented ruins it. It's basically a man who has spent his life looking at breasts telling women to take their bras off. It just makes him look like a perv.

Having said that, maybe I'm judging him harshly. Maybe it's like any job and looking at breasts all day because the same grind we all have. Maybe seeing breasts in his everyday life has lost it's appeal; an ample cleavage reminds him that he's not getting overtime for this. Maybe he's not just being a typical bloke.

And then I read in the news story: "Rouillon stressed that his findings are only preliminary, and said he might need to carry out further research into the matter."

Oh, there's a surprise. "No, I'm not done yet, so please keep paying me to look at breasticles all day!"

>Read the source story


Cardboard Cops

Police in Bangalore are trying a new way to reduce traffic offences - using cardboard cops to scare drivers into believing the long arm of the law is watching them.

Bangalore police commissioner said, "Drivers in Indian cities violate traffic rules when there are no cops around - they jump traffic lights and go the wrong way on one-way streets. These cut-out cops are very effective and they can be on the job seven days a week."

In fact they're so successful I expect them to be rolled out into other areas.

There'd be cardboard cops in shopping centres. You think there aren't enough bobbies on the beat? Put a cardboard one on a remote control toy car and we're up and running. OK, those TV shows like Police Interceptors would be dull.

It's only fair that if the police can do it, we should be allowed to do it. There's a lane going into Bristol that you can only use if you have a passenger in the car. Or, cardboard cut-out of passenger?

I would have a life-size cardboard cut-out of my sat outside the Apple shop. So when a new iPhone comes out I'll be the first to get one.

For those in relationships, how would you like to send a cardboard cut-out of yourself to go to Ikea with your other half.

My two favourite points about the story are that they have used three khaki-clad cardboard policemen have been deployed on major roads in the city. Khaki – the whole point of these is that people see them and you dress them in camouflage.

Oh, and already one of the cardboard policeman has been nicked. Hmm, if only there was a policeman there to stop it.

>Read the source story


The Real Zombie Hamster

Zombie HamsterI don't want to scare anyone but...


Oh, sorry, I mean I do want to scare people, as you should be scared. That's why I'm bringing you this news. Zombies are real! A creature, died, was buried, and then came back from the dead! Arrrggghhh!

The following is based on a true story. Well, it was in the Express, so let's assume it's true.

We start our story in the sleepy town of Painswick, Gloucestershire. On a morning with a crisp chill in the air, the people of Painswick would go about their days - driving to work, buying milk, flirting with the woman who serves you in a coffee shop - without knowing what was about to happen would change their lives forever.

Boyfriend and girlfriend, Lisa Kilbourne-Smith and James Davis, had a happy existence. They were a social couple who had many friends. When some of these friends asked if Lisa and James could look after their hamster they leapt at the chance.

While we can't know for sure, because you can never know for sure, Lisa seemed secretly happy about this chance to care for a pet. Maybe it showed that James was ready for greater responsibility. Maybe he was showing he wanted what she wanted too. And besides, if it didn't work out what was the worst that could happen?

The worst was more terrifying than any human could fathom.

As another evening in drew to a close, one final skim through the Freeview channels revealed nothing that took their fancy. James and Lisa were heading to bed. They thought they'd better check in on their hairy young ward. When they first noticed she was quiet they assumed she'd had a hard day at the wheel and was resting. Tapping the cage would normally rouse her, yet banging on the bars failed to yield a response this time. They investigated further, opening the cage and reaching inside. When James felt the coldness of the hamster's fur on his hand he knew tragedy had struck.

A death in the family is never easy to deal with. Even though she was only a hamster she was going to leave a hole in their lives, after all a cage with nothing in it is kind of weird.

As the memories of feeding veg through the bars and changing bedding flooded through Lisa's mind they were followed by a realisation that those acts would never more be needed. Given all they had been through together it was only right and proper to give the hamster a send off. They placed her in a kitchen roll tube, dug a grave in their flower bed and laid her to rest. A respectful act supposed to bring closure, but if there was one thing Lisa and James were not to get, it was closure.

While the couple quietly mourned in the house forces of nature, or maybe something more sinister, where getting to work in the garden. Maybe it started with a twitch, maybe it started with a breath - we will never know - but as the moon shone down on the ground above, below the surface all was not still. The hamster, or whatever it now was, came to life again. Her eyelids flicked open with a start and she began to dig.

Whatever the zombie form of geotropism is, she had it, finding her way up through the very ground that was meant to lay her to rest, until finally she broke free of her grave. Startled, hungry, and changed, the hamster was back.

The next day James had woken and, after making a homemade coffee - as he didn't feel like flirting - he went out into the garden. When he first heard a light rustling of some leaves he thought nothing of it. The second time he looked across but dismissed and blamed the wind. But the third time, he went to investigate.

All it took was one leaf, slightly brushed to the side, and James saw but didn't believe. He saw the very animal he had buried less than 24 hours ago. He looked into the soulless eyes of the creature as terror made its way through his synapses. Too stunned to hear the sound of the coffee cup breaking as it hit the ground by his feet, James opened his mouth enough to say, "Bu, bu, but... how?"

Not alive, not dead, but somehow undead, resurrected by some unknown force to seek vengeance on those entrusted with her safety. This is the story of the zombie hamster.

Or, it was only hibernating all along. Maybe. Whatever.

>Read the source story

[Radio Minipodcast] 5th Apr 2013 - Inventions & Parking

I covered another radio show, and if you missed it (or even if you didn't) here are some of the bits from it. It was broadcast on Friday 5th of April 2013.

In the minipodcast we talk about the best inventions ever and George Osborne parking.

To find more radio show minipodcasts see here.

Download the mp3 or ogg

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And if you enjoyed that check out my SomeNews Topical Podcast.

Meals On Wheels

Mumbai has a new restaurant called "The Moving Cart". Basically, it's a restaurant in a double-decker bus.

We have something similar over here in London, it's called "the nightbuses". If you get one one of those there's always someone eating some smelly food. And it's odd, in a restaurant food smells like food, but on a bus the same smell is more like what food turns into. There's a fine line between smelling and saying, "Oooh, that smalls yummy." and snffing and saying, "Has someone farted?"

They should do the proper restaurant bus in London, it would be perfect. If it drives too fast it could spill your food, but in London traffic averages 10mph. You could order the piping hot soup and not worry.

If they do it in London I'd go on it and I would order the sea-food option. "Why would you order the seafood?" I hear you ask. So I could put it on my Oyster card.

Thank you, I'm here all week.


[Radio Minipodcast] 4th Apr 2013 - Childhood Risks & Hairloss

I covered another radio show, and if you missed it (or even if you didn't) here are some of the bits from it. It was broadcast on Thursday 4th of April 2013.

In the minipodcast we talk about the risks you took as a child, new research into hairloss and the fame (or infamy) of my pants.

To find more radio show minipodcasts see here.

Download the mp3 or ogg

     Subscribe with iTunesSubscribe via RSS feedSubscribe with Yahoo

And if you enjoyed that check out my SomeNews Topical Podcast.

The Queen Costs Us More

"The standard of living in the UK is dropping because wages aren't keeping up with the rate of inflation." You may have heard people say that, but good news, I've found that it's not always true.

The Queen has received a £5 million boost in annual funds. That should help her out. I know gas prices have gone up, but jeez!

It's strange to think that if you live off the state and have a spare bedroom the coalition have just cut your housing benefit. But the royal family lives off the state, has loads of spare bedrooms in Buckingham palace but they get millions more.

The monarchy gets the extra cash to carry out official duties, pay staff and maintain royal palaces. So that includes her fee to act in the Olympics mini-Bond film? That makes her one of the highest paid actresses in the UK.

I'm surprised this Government let this happen. If anything else cost that much money they'd try to farm it out to the private sector. We could have a bidding process to see if there's a private business that's willing to be the Queen for less. We could get Dame Helen Mirren for less than half that. And with her you get more bikini shots.

The Sovereign Grant has been set at £36.1 million for the 2013/14 financial year, compared to £31 million allocated during the past year. That's a 16% pay rise. So even the Queen must read the newspapers and think, ""Those ****ing bankers and their ****ing bonuses!"

>Read the source story


Woman Attends Her Own Funeral

There's a story in the news of Zeng Jia, a Chinese student, who spent her savings buying her own coffin and organising her own wake so that she could attend while she was still alive. Seems like a waste of money but whatever, it's her funeral.

She had an elaborate service complete with flowers, photographers and a full crowd of mourners. It was attended by men in military uniform. Something tells me when it comes to the real one it won't be so fancy. And that's why this is a good idea. If you throw your own funeral you put more effort in and make sure it's a event that fits the life you think you're going to have. I worry that, when I go, my friends and family will plan a small gathering and then a wake with a finger buffet. Tut, I wouldn't be seen dead at a thing like that.

Ms Zeng spent an hour lying motionless in a coffin decorated with flowers, clutching a Hello Kitty doll to her chest as origami doves hung above the casket. She said she wanted to see what her funeral would be like. Sounds like she found out what being a vampire would be like too.

She said: "I wanted to see what people would think of me so I decided to hold my funeral while I could enjoy it." That's the only reason I've wanted to fake my own death, so I could stand at the back of my own funeral and see who cries and who doesn't. And then quickly alter the will accordingly before it's read out.

She insists she has no regrets about the experience, saying: "Experiencing death has made me appreciate life more keenly. I feel so good living after coming out of the coffin."

And another bonus, if someone says, "Oh, her? She'd be later for her own funeral." You can show them the newspaper article proving them wrong.

>Read the source story

[Radio Minipodcast] 3rd Apr 2013 - Working Class v Middle Class & Phones

I covered another radio show, and if you missed it (or even if you didn't) here are some of the bits from it. It was broadcast on Wednesday 3rd of April 2013.

In the minipodcast we talk about the new class structure in British society and the 40th anniversary of the mobile phone.

To find more radio show minipodcasts see here.

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