It's been a good week for … comic book heroes
After an eight-year rest, Asterix the Gaul is dusting down his winged helmet and embarking on a new adventure in a foreign land - Scotland.
Along with sidekick Obelix, the famous French cartoon hero will venture forth once more, thanks to the pen of new Asterix writer Jean-Yves Ferri.
Malt whisky, bagpipes and the Loch Ness Monster all appear in Asterix Chez Les Pictes (Asterix And The Picts), the cover of which bears the image of Asterix tossing a caber. It's all very subtle and in no way stereotypical.
Asterix and Obelix travel to the country after finding a Pict washed up on the shore. As their adventure develops, various Celtic tribes unite into one nation. Cue much excitement from the Yes Scotland campaign, which claims the book is an endorsement of independence. Monsieur Ferri, however, has denied this.
Asterix comics have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 110 languages and dialects.
The new edition - the 35th instalment in the series - has been published in Gaelic and Scots. In France, Asterix and Obelix are so popular that commemorative coins have been produced to mark the release.
Scotland, of course, has its own famous cartoon son. Perhaps Oor Wullie could tear himself away from Auchenshoogle for a French exchange trip. Or is that beyond the pail?
It's been a bad week for … procrastination
That a bridegroom can forget to book the wedding venue and do nothing about it until the big day is incredible enough. But to try to sidestep the issue by staging a bomb hoax at the hotel defies belief. Yet this is the ruse Neil McArdle, from Kirkby, Merseyside, attempted to pull off.
McArdle only realised on his wedding day he had forgotten to fill out the correct forms for booking the venue. But when he saw bride Amy Williams "looking amazing", he didn't have the nerve to 'fess up - and so panicked and called in the bomb threat. The hotel was evacuated and emergency services rushed to the scene, but the call was traced and McArdle was arrested the same day.
He has now been jailed for 12 months: probably not quite the honeymoon he had anticipated.
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