Seven pooches are competing to be crowned the ugliest dog in Britain, as a nationwide competition draws to a close.
From buggy eyes to crooked teeth to patchy fur, these little dogs are all hoping to take the crown as the nation’s most aesthetically-challenged mutt.
Hundreds applied (or their owners did, at least) but now only a handful of dogs remain.
The breeds still in the running are mostly either bulldogs, pugs, or some sort of cross-breed featuring one of the two, with one rogue Brusston (a Brussels Griffon and Boston Terrier mix) remaining.
The competition has been organised by photography company Parrot Print, who ‘believe every pet, no matter how ugly, deserves to feel special’.
The winner will be treated to a free grooming and photography session to celebrate and champion their… erm… unusual appearance.
Representing the north of England on the shortlist for the Britain’s ugliest dog award is Bella, a pug from Sheffield; Peggy, a pug/Chinese Crested mix from East Yorkshire; and Roger, a pug/toy poodle cross from West Yorkshire.
There’s also Wiltshire’s French bulldog Marnie, a British bulldog from the West Midlands called Winston George, Jazz (the aforementioned Brusston) from North Wales, and Milo, a blue French bulldog from Kent.
Their most remarkable features include an underbite (Roger, Marnie and Milo all guilty of this one) and squashed faces (which is basically all of them).
But our front-runner has to be the gorgeous Peggy, whose fur sprouts out in patches from her wrinkled skin and whose tongue lolls out sideways.
Even her own owners described her as ‘Marmite’.
They told the BBC: “Sometimes I forget that she doesn’t look like a normal dog and then we walk down the street and you can hear people whispering and saying ‘Oh wow, look at that!’.”
Matt Dahan, founder of Parrot Prints, said: “We received hundreds of entries and these seven were the ones who made our eyes hurt when we looked at them. There really are some ugly mutts out there in the UK and we hope our contest will celebrate the best of them.
“We were clear from the outset that no pretty pets need apply and these seven certainly could not be described as good looking in any way, shape or form.
“Now our judges have the tough task of choosing exactly which of these mutts is the most offensive to look a t.We will select one of these pets for the coveted title of Britain’s ugliest dog and they will win a makeover and photo session. Let’s see if we can transform the winning ugly dog into a beautiful pooch and brighten up its owner’s life at the same time.
“There have been a number of TV shows where humans get tarted-up and given a makeover so we thought it would be fun to do the same thing for a dog. We believe we can transform them into something truly beautiful and give their owners a fantastic photoshoot experience too.
“We look forward to selecting the winner and sharing their photoshoot experience with the world when we hope to show that every dog is beautiful no matter how ugly they might first appear.”
Featured image: Parrot Prints
These three Greater Manchester Wilko stores are reopening as Poundlands this weekend
The first 10 Wilko stores to start new lives as Poundlands are reopening this weekend, and three of them are in Greater Manchester.
We all know by now that it’s been a turbulent couple of weeks for Wilko after it entered administration earlier last month, but after it was sadly announced back on 11 September that all of the retailer’s outlets across the UK would be forced to close, leaving around 12,500 jobs at risk, a glimmer of hope was offered.
And that glimmer of hope was that several dozen stores had been saved.
Only, they wouldn’t be remaining under the Wilko name, as they’d be reopening as another popular bargain retailer instead, and that’s because Pepco Group – the company which owns Poundland in the UK – managed to strike a deal with Wilko administrators PwC to take control of up to 71 store leases.
With lease assignments expected to be completed in the coming weeks, according to Pepco, this meant that the some 71 stores would join Poundland’s existing 800-plus UK outlets before 2023 is out.
Pepco Group published the full list of stores set for conversion earlier this month, and also confirmed it would be offering employment some of Wilko’s former employees – with it being good news for six Greater Manchester sites.
Altrincham, Bolton, Eccles, Sale, Leigh, and Stockport were confirmed to be the region’s towns set to get themselves a new Poundland, and Poundland added that it intends to convert the stores over to its brand “as soon as is practical”.
It turns out that window of practicality has arrived this weekend for three of those confirmed sites.
Among the 10 former Wilko branches across the UK that are set to start a new chapter and begin lives as Poundlands this weekend are sites at The Peel Centre in Stockport, The Mall in Eccles, and on Lord Street in Leigh.
It’s expected that dates for the new round of Poundland conversions will be announced in due course, as will news from PwC about the other deals it has struck for the Wilko name to live on.
You may remember that administrators had previously struck a deal for fellow discount chain B&M to buy 51 other Wilko stores, while another high street chain, The Range, had also confirmed a last-minute deal to buy Wilko’s brand last month.
The Range has bought Wilko’s website and intellectual property, so shoppers can expect to see Wilko own-brand items appear in The Range stores nationwide very soon.
Featured Image – Poundland
Iconic Sycamore Gap tree renamed ‘Sycamore Stump’ after heartbreaking vandalism
Someone has already changed the name of the iconic Sycamore Gap tree to ‘Sycamore Stump’ after it was felled in what’s believed to be an act of vandalism.
The famous tree was believed to be about 300 years old and was made famous when it appeared in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
It’s one of the most photographed trees in the world (Rockefeller’s Christmas tree might just edge that one) and has stood on Hadrian’s Wall for centuries.
But overnight on Wednesday, this world-famous tree was felled, leaving just a small stump behind.
Someone has already changed its name on Google Maps from Sycamore Gap to Sycamore Stump, echoing the public outcry over the tree’s disappearance.
The National Trust said on Thursday: “We are shocked and desperately saddened to learn that the famous Sycamore Gap tree at Hadrian’s Wall has been felled overnight, in what appears to be an act of vandalism.
“We know just how much this iconic tree is loved locally, nationally and by everyone who has visited.
“We are working with our partners to understand what has happened and what can be done. The incident has also been reported to the police.”
Police have now confirmed that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
Supt Kevin Waring of Northumbria police said: “This is a world-renowned landmark and the events of today have caused significant shock, sadness and anger throughout the local community and beyond.
“An investigation was immediately launched following this vandalism, and this afternoon we have arrested one suspect in connection with our inquiries.
“Given our investigation remains at a very early stage, we are keeping an open mind. I am appealing to the public for information to assist us – if you have seen or heard anything suspicious that may be of interest to us, please let us know.”