"...And Finally": Your Recollections Of Unusual 'Last Item' News Stories

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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The TV news in the UK, especially the 'News at Ten' always used to have a "....and finally..." story.
Usually a light-hearted look at something like a dog on a skateboard, or a chap who has created a water-going bicycle, or the 'cheese rolling' contest.
Sometimes these stories would go off down some really rather unusual routes, but the 2 minutes at the end of the program was never enough to do anything in depth.
Which stories stick in your memory? Here is a 'top ten' by the Daily Record.

"Famous for covering all manner of stories from bizarre inventions to animals performing tricks, the slot allowed the show to end on a high note regardless of how depressing the news before it had been. Here's ITN's top 10 "And Finally" moments...

1 THE HAMSTER WITH A BUS PASS
When 11-year-old Wayne Bass from Birmingham hopped on board a bus with his school's pet hamster in a cage under his arm in 1995, the mean driver charged him 36p - and another 45p for the hamster. Wayne was taking Sweep the hamster back to his school having looked after him for the weekend, but when bus company chiefs heard about the potential PR disaster, they moved quickly. Not only was Wayne given a free travel card, but Sweep was issued with his own bus pass as well.

2 THE SHERRY DRINKING MICE
When one of Spain's top sherry exporters found mice were gnawing through the barrels of their precious produce in 1986,they hit upon a novel way of solving the problem. Workers noticed the mice were no longer a threat once they got drunk, so they set up glasses next to tiny ladders so the mice could help themselves. The bizarre sight even became a tourist attraction.

3 THE ROCKET MAN
If it wasn't animals the "And Finally" slot was featuring, it was strange inventions. One inventor featured had developed a rocket pack that kept him in the air for 21 seconds. Reporter Michael Nicholson had covered civil wars in Nigeria and the Egyptian attack on Israel from across the Suez Canal, but for many, it was the report on 1966's rocket man that he was best remembered for.

4 THE WOMAN WHO LIVED IN SAINSBURY'S
Gloucestershire pensioner Eileen Halliday lived in the cottage she was born in. Her grandfather had bought it a century earlier, and having already fought off attempts to build a bypass over it, she wasn't moving for anyone. So when Sainsbury's decided to put a supermarket next door in 1997,they had to build the car park around her. Neighbours sold up, but despite huge offers, she stayed put, befriending the builders and getting Sainsbury's to repair her chimney and put in double glazing. She even opened the store once it was built.

5 HUMPHREY'S RETURN TO NUMBER 10
When a paper ran a story claiming Downing Street's famous feline resident was "missing, presumed dead," the nation mourned. But in the ensuing publicity, his adopted owners at the nearby Royal Army Medical College discovered the identity of the stray cat they had taken in. So three months after vanishing, Humphrey returned, coinciding with the 70th birthday of Baroness Thatcher who was in office when the cat first arrived. Downing Street even issued a statement from the cat to mark the occasion.

6 SEFTON THE HORSE RETIRES
In 1982 an IRA bomb attack in Hyde Park killed four members of the Household Cavalry, along with seven horses. Among those injured was a horse named Sefton. He was named Horse of the Year in 1983, and the following year, News At Ten covered his retirement from active duty to a rest home.

7 THE BABY WITH THE LONG NAME
One of the earliest "And Finally" slots to go down in folklore came in 1961 when a couple just couldn't decide what to name their baby daughter. Within a few days of the birth, the couple decided to give the tot every single name they liked - all 139 of them. But it could have been worse, their original list stretched to 217.

8 BINGO THE MATHEMATICAL DOG
The same year also saw Bingo the dog using his maths skills to help teach kids how to count. When asked to count to three, he'd bark three times. When asked what two plus three was, he barked five times.

9 THE HUMAN ZOO
In 1985, stunts such as that of Spanish mime artist Albert Vidal were rare. Barcelona Zoo paid him £850 to join the chimps for three days, under a sign saying "Primates: Urban man." 10,000 visitors saw him reading a newspaper, waiting for a taxi and sitting at his desk.

10 THE FISHING FLOAT TUBE
While most inventions featured on "And Finally" sank without trace, one aimed at anglers did at least stay afloat. Looking like a cross between a dinghy and a rubber ring, anglers sat in the float tube, which from under water made them look like swans to passing fish. Versions of the device are still used today."
 
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