It can be difficult to know which day is which in lockdown.
With England having been within its third national lockdown amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for the majority of 2021 so far, the days have really begun blending into one, leaving many with little to look forward to, but thankfully, everyone’s favourite Geordie pair are back on our screens for a new series of their beloved show Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway to give us a reason to celebrate the weekend once again.
And one local primary school teacher was given “the surprise of her life” on last weekend’s episode, as a thank you for her exceptional hard work and commitment over her career.
Deputy Headteacher Kath Crawley – who retired from St Thomas’ CE Primary School in Ashton-in-Makerfield last August after 34 years of teaching last – has taught over 1,300 pupils, inspired generations of youngsters, been at the heart of her local community for four decades, and was known for going the extra mile where possible, by arranging care home visits by the school choir, spending lunch hours with children needing extra help or support, doing walks for charity, and more.
The unsuspecting teacher arrived at ITV’s studios expecting to be interviewed on the news about her lifelong career as a teacher, but instead, and much to her surprise, it turned out to be the culmination of months of undercover filming during her last year before retirement.
The team from the hit show had staged a series of ‘Operation Thank You Miss’ surprises, making Mrs Crawley the latest community hero to be recognised and rewarded for her selfless efforts.
A tearful Mrs Crawley told Ant and Dec: “Teaching has been my life. I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss it. Being a parent is the best job in the world, but being a teacher is just like being a parent but to a lot more children.”
Her daughter Becky told the pair that she was “massively proud” of her mum, who had “dedicated her whole life to putting other people first”.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Kath watched video messages from former pupils over the years, before her current class appeared by video link to say a very special “thank you Miss” to their favourite teacher.
The kids also then comically suggested various retirement gifts for Mrs Crawley, with suggestions ranging from a bottle of gin and some chocolate buttons, to an inflatable unicorn and “a candle that smells like an elephant”, all of which were presented inside her biggest surprise of all.
A luxury caravan in the Lake District.
After having heard how much Mrs Crawley loves caravan holidays in the Lakes, and had been saving up for years for a new holiday home, the Saturday Night Takeaway team said they thought there would be “no better thank you for her amazing efforts” than to make her retirement dreams come true.
They approached British holiday home manufacturer Willerby to donate a brand new static caravan to the show on behalf of Kath’s pupils.
Speaking on the special surprise, Peter Munk – CEO at Willerby – added: “Mrs Crawley is such an inspirational and deserving person [and] it’s a pleasure to make her retirement dreams a reality and to be part of such an amazing surprise shared with millions of TV viewers.
“We’re looking forward to delivering the caravan and handing Mrs Crawley the keys. We know she will enjoy many happy times in her fantastic new home from home.”
You can watch the brilliant moment that Kath is surprised in full on YouTube here:
And you can also catch-up on the full episode of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway if you missed it via the ITV Hub.
Rashford explains heartbreaking reason behind his celebration after wonder free-kick against Wales
On Tuesday night, Marcus Rashford lit up what had previously been an underwhelming final group game against Wales with what we can only describe as an absolute stunner of a free-kick.
Swapping out his usual knuckleball technique for a whipped but equally fast-paced finish into the top right corner, the 25-year-old wheeled away to celebrate with the travelling fans but not long after, he dropped to his news and pointed to the sky.
While not an entirely uncommon celebration in the world of football, it did seem like a somewhat muted reaction from the Man United forward, especially after such an incredible opening goal.
Speaking to media after the game, it turns out Rashford‘s celebration was dedicated to a close friend who passed away a couple of days prior.
As the Wythenshawe-born star went on to explain, choosing to point to the sky for the celebration was his way of paying tribute to a friend who sadly died following a long battle with cancer.
The joint-leading goalscorer this World Cup went on to say, “I’m pleased I managed to score for him, he’s always been a big supporter of mine. He’s just a great person to have come into my life”. Heartbreaking.
As confirmed by several outlets after the press conference, Rashford’s late friend was Garfield Hayward, a 35-year-old also from Manchester, who is said to have passed away last week.
Nicknamed ‘Garf’, his nephew wrote on social media: “My heart is hurting so much knowing I won’t see you again in this life… it won’t be the same without you being here… You didn’t have a bad bone in your body you would give anything and everything you could with even a single bit of hesitation.” So touching.
It was no wonder Rashford himself was so quick to go and celebrate with his loved ones after the fact.
Rashford made it three goals in as many games at Qatar 2022 following his wonderful free-kick and equally well-worked second goal, with fellow Manc Phil Foden scoring the second goal only seconds after the opener.
England now face Senegal in the Round of 16 and the way these two lads looked on the night, we expect Manchester to be putting on a show come the weekend.
TV doctor Ranj Singh calls out racist joke made at British Curry Awards ceremony
This week, the British Curry Awards held a glitzy black-tie ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the UK’s curry industry.
The prestigious ceremony, also informally known as the ‘Curry Oscars’, takes place every year – seeing a number of awards handed out to the best Asian restaurants across the country.
However, this year’s event was sullied when a white guest presenter made a racist joke on stage, asking: “Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.”
Taking to Twitter after the event last night, TV Doctor and personality Ranj Singh blasted the presenter who made the joke, asking his 174,000 followers “I’m sorry but how is this OK?”
The TV Doctor then went on to release a statement, in which he first said he was “honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest” to the ceremony before continuing to outline why he was ” not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight.”
Singh asked how the awards ceremony could truly be representing the Asian community fairly when “the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers on stage are over 90% white”, a racist joke is made on stage, and organisers were “auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill”, whose relationship with Indian (and Bengali people specifically) is known to have been problematic.
The tweet, shared by Singh on the social media platform last night, has been liked over 1,000 times and retweeted more than 300 at the time of writing.
He then signed off for the evening, writing: “The number of people trying to justify an inappropriate and racist joke on here is saddening. But then again this is Twitter.”
Others have since taken to the platform to agree with Singh, with used David B tweeting: “I couldn’t summarise this better myself.
“The organisers did not consider that #RepresentationMatters – it felt uncomfortable to see so many white people to present, host and judge the awards when there are so many others that could have EASILY represented the community.”
Every year the awards ceremony welcomes a number of high-profile figures, including prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country.
In previous years, attendees have included cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Love Island contestant Priya Gopaldas, and The Apprentice winner Sian Gabbidon.
Following the awards ceremony, organisers have said that an investigation is now under way.