A terminally-ill Northern girl has achieved one of the dreams on her bucket list this week by getting to present a BBC Weather forecast.
22-year-old Laura Nuttall, from Barrowford in Lancashire, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme – an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer – following a routine eye test back in 2018, and was told she only had around 12 months to live after she was found to have eight tumours.
Since her diagnosis, Laura has bravely endured a craniotomy to remove the largest tumour, been through a gruelling programme of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and has regularly travelled to Germany for innovative new immunotherapy treatment.
Laura’s shock diagnosis initially led to her leaving university in London to concentrate on treatment and ticking items off her bucket list.
After responding so well to the immunotherapy treatment, Laura was able to restart her studies, this time a little closer to home at The University of Manchester, and grabbed headlines last week as she graduated with a 2:1 degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and was able to celebrate with her mum Nicola, dad Mark, and sister Grace proudly watching on.
But despite all these achievements, she wasn’t done with her bucket list just yet.
Meeting former First Lady Michelle Obama, commanding a Royal Navy ship, and taking legendary Bolton Peter Kay to the pub for drinks are some of the things Laura has been able to tick off her bucket list over the last few years, but she still had her sights set on her weather presenter dreams.
This week, those dreams came true, as she was invited to the BBC studios in Salford to present a weather forecast on BBC North West Tonight alongside resident weatherman, Owain Wyn Evans.
In a clip shared by the broadcaster to Twitter, which has since been racking up thousands of views, Owain spoke to Laura backstage as she was having her makeup done in preparation for the broadcast, asking her: “How are you feeling about doing your first weather forecast?”
Laura replied that she “can’t wait” and was “looking forward to it”.
Owain then revealed that he had a surprise for Laura, and told her that they would be sharing the weather-presenting slot and would swap places so that she could speak about the pressure chart and what the public can expect on Wednesday.
Laura’s name also appeared on the monitor set to air on TV underneath ‘BBC Weather’.
While she looked a little nervous in one of her first takes, Laura then calmly-read off the teleprompter while rehearsing for the final go – and went on to deliver her live report like a true professional.
She then signed off with a huge smile on her face, telling viewers: “That’s the weather from me.”
Owain later praised Laura’s performance, and took to Twitter to say: “Laura, you’re amazing. So wonderful to have Laura on BBCNWT yesterday doing our weather [and it’s] currently most watched on the BBC News website, which is just fabulous.”
How brilliant is this?
As well as making her way down her bucket list, Laura is also working as an ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity, continues to help out in her community, raise awareness of brain conditions and the work being done at the University of Manchester.
She has also recently joined the board of OurBrainBank – a charity that’s working to make glioblastoma change from being terminal to treatable.
Featured Image – BBC North West Tonight
Crown Paints hit with more than 100 complaints over new ‘misogynistic’ and ‘offensive’ advert
A Northern-based paint company has been hit with more than 100 complaints over its new TV advert, which has been branded “offensive”.
Crown Paints – which is based in Darwen in Lancashire – released the advert in question earlier this month, and through a cast of actors, singers, and spoken word performers, it tells the story of a young couple named Hannah and Dave.
The couple were said to have met at an illegal rave, and are now expecting their first child together.
Lyrics from the advert’s jingle include: “Now a baby’s coming and they don’t know what it is. Hannah’s hoping for a girl, Dave’s just hoping that it’s his.
“They’re happy that their spare room’s no longer grey because there’s a baby on the way.”
Since its release and airing on TV screens across the UK, an Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) spokesman said it had received 150 complaints about the advert – which it is “currently assessing to determine if there is a potential problem under our rules and, if so, whether there are grounds for further action”.
The ASA says the majority of complaints are mainly focused on whether the content in the advert is appropriate to be shown on television, as well as many taking to social media and calling it out for being “totally derogatory” towards women.
Comedian Jennie Eclair was one of the more prominent figures to complain to Crown Paints on social media earlier this week, tweeting: “Hey Crown Paints, get that offensive baby ad off air – what were you thinking!!!? What on earth possessed you?”
Author and podcast host, Daisy Buchanan, was one of the many people to welcome Eclair’s tweet and say in response: “I honestly thought it was me being mad”.
One viewer took to Twitter and said: “Totally derogatory of women, questioning her fidelity. Take it off because it won’t sell much paint.”
Others said it was “offensive”, “misogynistic”, and a “serious error of judgement”.
Crown Paints then responded to Eclair’s tweet saying: “Our ads are intended to give a humorous account of our characters’ stories. We appreciate that people have differing tastes when it comes to humour and whilst the ad has been broadly well received, we apologise if the remark has caused offence to anyone.”
But Eclair still said she felt that the advert “set up a scenario that implies a woman has possibly conned a man into fatherhood”.
Following both the growing online backlash, and the 150 official complaints about the advert, Crown Paints has issued a formal statement addressing the claims.
A spokesperson said: “This ad is one in a series that is intended to celebrate special moments in life in a humorous way.
“The characters of Hannah and Dave are shown to be in a happy relationship and preparing for their new arrival. There are no negative connotations intended from any of the lyrics and whilst the ad has been broadly well received, we recognise that people have differing tastes in humour.
“We apologise if any of the lines have caused offence.”
Featured Image – Crown Paints
Experts warn that Flying Ant Day is imminent and it could be ‘any day’ now – but what is it?
Gardening experts are warning that the annual phenomenon known as Flying Ant Day is right around the corner, and it could be “any day” now.
Flying Ant Day is apparently on its way too, and it could be here before we know it.
As a thunderstorm warning now in place for much of the country, with heavy rain, wind, and general stormy conditions forecast set to bring potential flooding, damage to buildings, and disruption, the change in weather could also bring flying ants.
Post-heatwave is usually considered to be the ideal time of year for the creatures fill the air in swarms, according to experts, but while the annual occurrence is called Flying Ant Day, most of the time, it isn’t just a one-day thing.
But what actually is Flying Ant Day? What should we be expecting? And is there any way to make sure flying ants don’t get inside our homes?
What is Flying Ant Day?
To sum it up simply, Flying Ant Day – which is scientifically referred to as nuptial flight – is a natural annual event that sees countless of the flying insects take to the skies in a bid to avoid the heat.
It marks the day or time of year where virgin queens mate with males to start new colonies.
While it’s impossible to predict an exact day for the annual occurrence, there have been warnings that 2022’s Flying Ant Day could take place any time from 15 August, so we’re already a day overdue and it’s worth keeping an eye out.
What are the experts saying?
“Most of us have been enjoying the heatwave, but while we’ve been making the most of the sun, a storm has been brewing,” explained Chris Bonnett – founder of Gardening Express.
“There is no specific day for Flying Ant Day, it’s usually just around mid to late August and it typically happens after a heatwave [and] the reason for this being that ants prefer humid weather and they use this time to get on the lookout for a new home and whilst that’s all well and good, it becomes a real nuisance for those of us who enjoy spending time in our gardens and outdoors.
“Ants in the UK aren’t dangerous, but they can be extremely irritating.”
How can I stop flying ants getting into my home?
Gardening Express has also given a handful of top tips to keep flying ants outside and stop them from entering into our homes.