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27 April 2022

This England: Baby Driver

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

A toddler has taught herself the Highway Code – and uses the knowledge to give her parents tips as they drive around.

Ariella Procopiou, aged three, from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, is fascinated by shapes and when she first saw a road sign became hooked. Her mother, Maria Constantinou, 40, gave her a copy of the Highway Code. She said: “She’s got a memory like you wouldn’t believe.”

Yorkshire Post (Michael Meadowcroft)


Britain’s strongest grandad has celebrated his 100th world record by balancing a 14st crown on his head.

Strongman John Evans, 75, has raised more than £250,000 for charity over four decades as a professional head balancer. His stunts include a 25st Mini Cooper, a ladder with a woman on a bike on each end, and 101 bricks weighing 30st. To celebrate his 75th birthday, John wore a huge red and gold crown at Rutland Sports Park in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

Daily Mirror (Daragh Brady)

[See also: This England: Story of my life]

Parking mad

A mum-of-two has been left fuming after a mystery car appeared on her driveway five days ago – but she’s powerless to move it. Debbie Flynn woke up to discover the silver Vauxhall Mokka next to her garage, close to Birmingham International Airport.

Debbie believes her drive has been sold to a holidaymaker through a parking app by fraudsters. She said: “It’s like the car just dropped out of the sky.”

Birmingham Live (Catherine Dyer)

[See also: This England: Attack of the clones]

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This article appears in the 27 Apr 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Sturgeon's Nuclear Dilemma