Remembering a disaster
Hard to believe, but Tuesday marks 30 years since the Chernobyl disaster. In 1986, before the days of rolling news, word of the tragedy spread slowly, but the time the first images of the devastated reactor arrived in Britain countless lives had already been lost. It’s now classed as the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and while 31 people died in the explosion itself, even today the long-term impact on the thousands who lived nearby is still not fully known.
Kept in the dark
Everyone’s favourite astronaut will be back in the news again this week as he tests drives a British built rover which is destined for Mars in three years time. Nicknamed Bridget, the rover will test soil samples six feet below the surface, but before it begins its journey to the Red Planet, Major Peake will take the controls as he attempts to remotely guide it across an artificial Martian landscape. Just to make the challenge even more difficult, he will be operating in the dark.
The focus should have been on whether The Great British Bake Off would trump Poldark and whether the return of TFI Friday could see off Britain’s Got Talent. However, following the death of Victoria Wood last week there’s likely to be a slightly sombre note to this year’s Baftas ceremony. A special tribute to the woman who brought the world Kimberly and Two Soups is being prepared and we expect there rightly won’t be a dry eye in the house.
After the Queen’s 90th and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s tour of India, which attracted the gaze of the world’s press and intense analysis of Kate’s wardrobe, this week the focus will be on Prince Harry. Today sees him attend three services commemorating Anzac Day, which remembers the Australians and New Zealanders who have served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. Anzac Day has been commemorated in London since the first anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli in 1916
The one thing you can say about Brexit is that it has seen political leaders of old coming out of the woodwork. Next up is Lord Owen. The founder of the now defunct SDP is due to give a speech today on the impact of leaving the EU. Given he has already branded the leave campaign “flawed, dysfunctional”, and an ever greater threat to Britain’s security, his words are unlikely to get much support from Boris Johnson & Co.
Return to the big screen
Having spent the last few years as the figure head for the Hacked Off campaign, it’s often difficult to remember that Hugh Grant was once an actor. However, he will be back in cinemas next week, but not in his usual romcom role. Instead he stars opposite Meryl Streep in Stephen Frears’ latest biopic Florence Foster Jenkins about the American socialite who dreamed of being a opera soprano despite not being able to sing a note.
While the former MP for Morley and Outwood might not see his name in print as much as he’d like these days, on April 28 he at least knows that he will be the centre of attention on Twitter. It was that same day back in 2001, while shopping in Asda that one of his aides suggested he take a look at an article which happened to mention his name. Unfortunately, the other half of Yvette Cooper got distracted and accidentally tweeted his own name. Within a matter of minutes it went viral and has since been retweeted more than 61,000 times. Now every year at 4.20pm, Balls retweets the original post and the whole thing starts over again.