Entries in england (59)


Queen of England Hiring New Chef

TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The queen of England is looking for a new sous chef for Buckingham Palace. In an ad posted on the Royal Household’s job site, the chef is required to have a catering certification and work 45 hours a week for $36,000 a year.

The royal salary range is low according to, which places the average sous chef salary in the U.S. at $47,000.

Accommodations are offered for the royal chef job, but the candidate “must be willing to spend approximately three months of the year away from London working at other UK residences.”

“From state banquets for 200 to lunches for two; and from canapé receptions for 800 to staff restaurant meals; our chefs prepare it all to the same exceptional standards,” the ad reads.

In addition to traveling and preparing meals, the chef would also be required to train junior chefs and be in charge when working in smaller locations.

The candidate must have menu planning experience, organizational skills, a “pro-active attitude” and a passion for food.

Applications are due by May 10.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


This Is Nuts: British Firemen Rush to Help Stranded Squirrel

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A squirrel in England is once again bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, thanks to the efforts of more than a dozen first responders.

The Daily Mail reports the rodent accidentally slipped into a frigid pond in the town of Watford in the U.K. on Sunday, but the animal was unable to scramble back onto a stone outcropping to safety.  Instead, it became marooned on a small island where a passerby spotted it, and called emergency services.

Soon, two fire trucks and two other emergency vehicles raced to the scene, and firemen lowered ladders down into the water and onto the rodent's rocky refuge.  The squirrel quickly scampered up the ladders to safety.

While some criticized the fire department's response as excessive, representatives say having professionals respond and solve the situation in 20 minutes was safer than having a concerned civilian launch his or her own rescue attempt.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Malala Yousufzai Discharged from British Hospital

Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, England) -- Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl who was targeted and shot by the Taliban last October for supporting education for girls, has been discharged from the British hospital where she has been receiving treatment.

In a statement Friday, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham said Yousufzai was released on Thursday "to continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary home in the West Midlands."

The family could be staying in England permanently after Yousufzai's father accepted a job as an education attaché at the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham.

Explaining the decision to send her home, Dr. Dave Rosser said, "Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers.  She will return to the hospital as an outpatient and our therapies team will continue to work with her at home to supervise her onward care.”

The hospital says Yousufzai is scheduled to check-in again in late January or early February to undergo cranial reconstructive surgery.  Before then, she will return "regularly" for clinical appointments.

The hospital on Friday also released a video of Yousufzai's discharge, showing her walking down a corridor and waving goodbye:

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Santa’s Daring Mall Stunt Leaves Him Hanging in Mid-Air

G Goodman/YouTube(BERKSHIRE, England) -- One Santa Claus in England gave mall shoppers a bit more than they had expected when his rappelling stunt went wrong.

The Santa was descending from a hole in the roof of the Broad Street Mall in Reading as part of a show to light up the mall’s Christmas lights when his fake beard got stuck in the rope, leaving him hanging for about 40 minutes.

Video of Santa’s misadventure was posted on the mall’s website.

It starts out showing crowds gathered for the lighting and a male announcer can be heard calling for “Father Christmas.” The crowd responds with cheers and Santa appears from a hole above the area where the crowd had gathered.

He waves while he makes his descent, but at about the halfway point he stops.

The announcer, who had been chanting “Ho! Ho! Ho!” begins to address the Santa directly, while the crowd’s cheers turn to laughter.

“Oh, no! He hasn’t got the rope stuck in his beard?” the announcer said, adding, “Father Christmas, are you going to stay up there, Father Christmas?

“Well, shall we go on and switch on the lights anyway?”

The crowd roared its approval. Bright lights blinked and cheery Christmas songs began to play, all while Santa dangled in the air over the festivities.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported that Santa, who’s really 32-year-old Steve Chessell of the British Army, hung there for about 40 minutes before another member of his unit came to his rescue.

The video shows the other soldier rappelling down and untangling Chessell’s beard, allowing him to finish the descent on his own. When he reached the ground, he shook his rescuer’s hand. The crowd cheered.

Chessell was not hurt.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Child Prodigy Writes Opera at Age 7, England) -- Alma Deutscher is already an accomplished musician; she’s mastered the piano and the violin. Now she can add composing her own opera to the list — and she’s only 7 years old.

Like so many other child prodigies, she plays beautifully. But what sets her apart is her ability to write, and improvise, classical music.

Deutscher can sit at the piano and create music that sounds as if it had been written for her.

“It’s as if she’s speaking to Mozart and Bach and questioning them and then answering in their language,” Robert Gjerdingen, professor of music theory and cognition at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, told ABC News. He has been helping the Deutscher family teach Alma in a classic style that encourages her ability to improvise. “Usually prodigies excel in reproducing music, not in creating it. She is the Bobby Fisher of music.”

“When I compose, I’m very happy if I manage to find a beautiful melody,” Alma told the BBC.

The young musician hails from the country town of Surrey, England, and has always showed a passion for the arts.

“It was striking that when she was about three, she heard a lullaby by Straus, by Richard Straus,” says her mother, Janie Deutscher. “And she came to us and said, ‘How can music be so beautiful?’ She was so struck by the beauty of it.”

For her most recent project, Alma composed a seven-minute opera called "The Sweeper of Dreams.”

She woke up one morning with a musical theme in her head and with the help of her father, who is also an amateur musician, she recorded the theme on the piano.

She later fashioned the theme she recorded into a seven-minute “mini-opera” for a competition held by the English National Opera, which praised her work.

The opera features a Dream Sweeper, whose job it is to make you forget your dreams. One day the Dream Sweeper is fired and, after convincing skeptical adults, a 16-year-old girl replaces him. “I was born for this job,” she sings.

Alma felt the story was perfect for her. But she doesn’t have to wait that long to impress adults. She is often compared to another famous prodigy, whom in some respects she actually is ahead of. While Mozart could play and name notes at 3 years old, Alma could do that at 2. And Mozart wrote his first songs at age 5 — Alma began improvising at just 4.

And for the 7-year-old musician, it just comes naturally.

“Normally when I try to think of ideas, it doesn’t come,” she said. But “when I’m improvising, then I have lots of ideas.”


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tourist Attraction Owner Wants to Sue over Bad Weather Reports

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A man who runs an animal attraction in Devon in Southwest England wants to sue the British office of meteorology, claiming "pessimistic forecasts" are cutting into tourism's bottom line.

Rick Turner tells the website Metro, "Over the August bank holiday weekend, I remember they forecast a whole weekend of rain with heavy rain on the Saturday.  We did not have a drop and were enjoying sunshine and blue sky all day."

A spokesman for the U.K.'s national weather service says, "No one, not even the Met Office, is able to get it right 100 per of the time.  But the UK is lucky enough to have one of the best weather forecasting services in the world."

Turner is hoping to recruit more people in his line of work to undertake legal action against the weather service.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Possible Royal Remains Discovered in England -- The search for the body of England’s King Richard III may finally be over. A team of archaeologists from the University of Leicester has announced that they have exhumed a set of remains that are believed to have belonged to the late English King.

“This is an historic and perhaps defining moment in the story of Leicester,” Richard Buckley, the University of Leicester archeologist who led the team said in a statement. “From the outset, the search for Richard III was a thrilling prospect but it has involved many hours of dedicated research by our team that has led to the astonishing finds we have disclosed today.”

Although the bones have not definitively been confirmed to be those of Richard III, there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence linking them to the King, who was immortalized in the Shakespearean tragedy that bears his name.

The team has not yet officially confirmed the remains to be those of Richard III.

King Richard III, who ruled England from 1483 to 1485, was the last King of the House of the York and the Plantagenet Dynasty. His death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, viewed by many historians as the end of the Middle Ages in England, marked the beginning of Tudor rule in England.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince William and Kate Middleton Set to Embark on Asia Tour

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Kate Middleton and Prince William are preparing to take their glamour and goodwill from England to the Far East in a nine-day trip that will mark a series of firsts for the young couple.

After enjoying a mini four-day vacation together at a secluded chateau in the south of France, William and Kate are now on their way to Singapore for a continuation of the Diamond Jubilee World Tour celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year of reign.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 30, will travel to four countries in just nine days, traveling from Singapore to Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and, finally, Tuvalu.

Crowds are expected to match the thousands that lined the streets for a glimpse of the couple in their first official overseas tour last June and July in North America.

One of the first stops for the couple, who celebrated their one-year anniversary in April, will be an orchid-naming ceremony at the Singapore Botanic Gardens where each will have an orchid named in their honor. They’ll also be able to view an orchid named after William’s late mother, Princess Diana, shortly before her death in 1997 and before she had a chance to view the flower herself.

On Thursday Kate will make her first official overseas speech when she addresses staff and patients at the Hospis Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

Much of the couple’s wide-ranging itinerary was said to have been personally selected by William’s grandmother, the queen. That itinerary will include William and Kate visiting a rainforest, embarking on a war canoe journey, visiting a local school and university and attending a youth conference, among other things.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince Harry Returns to England After Nude Photos Surface

Stuart Wilson/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Prince Harry was uncharacteristically quiet as he boarded a plane in Los Angeles for a flight home to England just hours after Buckingham Palace confirmed that naked pictures posted online of him partying at a Las Vegas hotel are real.

Harry, 27, dodged reporters’ shouted questions about the photos as he boarded the plane’s first class cabin on Wednesday, where he reportedly stayed the entire flight.

TMZ posted photos on Tuesday of the naked prince playing pool in a hotel suite.  In one of the photos, reportedly taken last Friday, Harry is seen standing and covering his genitals with his hand.  An unidentified woman, who also appears to be naked, is standing behind him.

In another photo, the prince is bear-hugging a naked woman.

Harry, the third in line to the British throne, had been in Las Vegas on holiday with friends, letting off steam before the next phase of his military duties, sources told ABC News.

Once home in England, Harry, who as recently as this month’s London Olympic Games had been a major part of the positive press sweeping the royal family, will have to face his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and the rest of the royal family.

“She [the queen] will be unhappy about it,” Arthur Edwards, royal photographer for The Sun, told ABC News.  “She probably choked on her cornflakes when she heard about it.”

“But I imagine Prince Philip will probably enjoy it,” he said.

The palace said it won’t be making any further comments about the nude photos.  But on Wednesday, Harry’s office took action to prevent the British press from using the pictures. The prince’s team confirmed it had contacted the Press Complaints Commission which advised British newspapers to not publish the pictures.

Facing the risk of a lawsuit or being forced to make an apology, the British press largely steered clear of the digitized naked photos, choosing instead to run other photos of Harry in Las Vegas. The UK’s tabloid newspaper, The Sun, however, got creative and used a staff member, also named Harry, and a 21-year-old female intern to recreate the naked pose under the headline “Harry grabs the crown jewels.”

While Harry faces the queen and his father, Prince Charles, his security team is also being questioned Thursday, about why they did not do more to protect an heir to the throne from an embarrassing situation.

In England, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police defended the security guards traveling with the notoriously fun-loving prince.

“Royal protection officers are there to protect him for security reasons; they are not there to regulate his life,” Bernard Hogan-Howe told the Telegraph of London.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nazis Planned to Kill Winston Churchill with Exploding Chocolate

Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images(LONDON) -- Sir Winston Churchill was Britain’s most famous prime minister, renowned for his love of history, cigars and fine brandy.  But it was his sweet tooth that lay at the center of a dastardly Nazi plan.

Secret wartime documents recently unveiled reveal a plan hatched by Nazi agents in 1943 to assassinate Churchill with exploding chocolate bars.  The scheme involved German bomb makers coating explosives in a layer of rich dark chocolate then wrapping them in expensive-looking black and gold paper.  Adolf Hitler then planned to use secret agents working in Britain to smuggle the lethal chocolate along with other luxury items to a dining room used by Churchill and his war cabinet, the Daily Mail reported.

The chocolate bars, branded as “Peters Chocolate,” were apparently packed with enough explosives to kill anyone within several meters.

But Hitler’s explosive plan was ultimately a dud, foiled by British spies who discovered the plot and notified Lord Victor Rothschild, one of MI5′s most senior intelligence chiefs.  Rothschild then asked artist Laurence Fish to draw poster-sized images of the chocolate to warn the public to be on the lookout for the bars.

“I wonder if you could do a drawing for me of an explosive slab of chocolate,” the letter, written from a secret London bunker and addressed to Fish, read.  ”We have received information that the enemy are using pound slabs of chocolate which are made of steel with a very thin covering of real chocolate.”

He continued, “Inside there is high explosive and some form of delay mechanism…When the piece of chocolate is pulled sharply, the canvas is also pulled and this initiates the mechanism.”

The letter was discovered by Fish’s wife, journalist Jean Bray, as she went through his possessions after he died at the age of 89 in 2009.

Hitler himself was nearly killed by an exploding briefcase on July 20, 1944, as part of a plot by the German resistance to assassinate the dictator dubbed “Operation Valkyrie.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio