The Daily: SAG Awards
Monday, 28 January 2013

The Daily: January 28

Written by Francesca Houslander
Queen Mother's published letters divulge her motives behind sending Charles to Eton
A previously unpublished letter of the Queen Mother reveal her decision to steer Prince Charles clear of Gordonstoun boarding school in North Scotland, as she believed he would be terribly upset there. The letter, which is dated May 23, 1961 and addressed to her daughter as "My Darling Lillibet", proceeds to doubt the Scottish school, as "However good Gordonstoun is, it is miles and miles away and he might be as well at school abroad." .The Queen Mother also queried the diverse religious culture of the boarding school which would prove 'a tricky one with the heir to the throne'. The decision to send Charles to Eton was favoured due to its close proximity to home and 'staunchly protestant' status.

15,000 Escaped crocodiles roaming free in South Africa
As heavy rain and flooding hit the North of South Africa, staff at the Rakwena reptile farm in the Limpipo Province were faced with a difficult decision. In fear that the rushing flood water would be fateful for their animals, staff made the decision to open their gates, which allowed their 15,000 resident crocodiles to escape into the surrounding area. Many crocodiles managed to clear a lot of distance before they were recaptured, with one crocodile reportedly found 75 miles away at a school rugby field. Though many have been recovered, 10000 of the farm's animals are still missing. These
disastrous floods have wreaked havoc in Mozambique and South Africa, killing 20 people.

Downton Abbey wins much-coveted best drama award at Screen Actors Guild
ITV Drama Downton Abbey beat its US competitors to win the SAG ensemble in a drama series award, at the 19th Screen Actors Guild last night. The award was collected by various female members of the cast from "upstairs" and "downstairs", accompanied by Allen Leech, who plays the former Irish chauffeur driver and son-in-law to the Earl of Grantham. Phyllis Logan, who plays the delightful house-keeper Mrs Hughes, thanked the SAG for even bothering to consider us against this fantastic category that we're in, we are just absolutely overwhelmed by it all." The ITV hit drama also received nominations for actresses Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith, both in the category of female actor in a drama series.

Vicars resort to Karaoke machines in place of Sunday choirs and organists
The decreasing availability of organists for Sunday services has caused vicars to introduce 'electronic hymnals' in their place. Church-goers can read words on a screen overhead, which run in time with the music, which is set to a certain playlist, according to each service. Martin Phelps, director of the Surrey based company Hymn Technology, comments on the versatile abilities of the machines: "A lot have tried CDs but you can't alter the songs, speed them up, or alter verses like you can with a hymnal." The machines' portability has proved useful in other church-related activities including visiting homeless shelters and for carol services, although one of the protagonists, Reverend Michael Hughes urges 'We don't want to go down the road of machines replacing people - we would always prefer one of our organists - but it's helpful when they're not available. '

Something in the water at the Isle of White?
It was a sea of familiar faces for Gay Grieve, swim teacher at an Isle of White sports centre, as five sets of identical twins, of ages varying 5-9 years, all turned up together for a swimming class. Ms Grieve who had been teaching at the centre for over 20 years, noted "I have taught three sets of twins before but when I found out I was going to have a fourth and fifth set of identical twins I screamed "not another set". Ms Grieve remarked that although she had taught sets of twins previously, they would usually be of varying levels of ability and therefore split-up amongst the other teachers. It is most uncanny that 53 year old Ms Grieve is in-fact also a twin, and realised that if her sibling had indeed been swim teacher, there would six sets of twins present in the class.

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