The Headline Challenge 2022 | The Northern Echo




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Every weekday, Peter Barron plays the Headline Challenge on the BBC Tees breakfast show.

He chooses a story from somewhere around the world, comes up with a headline, and challenges the BBC Tees listeners to think of a better one.

Points are awarded by an “independent adjudicator”, with double points for song titles, films, books and stage shows.

Watch out for posts on Twitter and Facebook for each day’s story and give it a go.

WEEK 1

Jan 4: A man has bounced back from being made redundant from his past job, due to Covid, by landing a job as a scuba-diving waiter at an underwater hotel in Florida. Thane Milhoan delivers customers’ orders in a water-tight box.

Pete: COME DIVE WITH ME (2)

BBC Tees: LIVE AND LET DINE (0)

Jan 5: A teenager takes to social media to show how he was left red-faced after learning French to ask out a girl he fancied – only to discover she was German.

Pete: LUST IN TRANSLATION (4)

BBC Tees: I CAN’T HELP FRAULEIN IN LOVE WITH YOU (4)

Jan 6: Shepherd Wiebke Schmidt-Kochan has shown his sustain for the vaccination programme in Germany by herding 700 sheep and goats into the shape of a syringe.

Pete: I WANT EWE VAXED, I WANT EWE VAXED, I WANT EWE VAXED FOR GOOD (6)

BBC Tees: HAVE THEY GONE INTO FLOCKDOWN? (4)

Jan 7: Scientists in Israel have trained goldfish to excursion a car around a room — and steer towards fishy treats. Boffins at Ben-Gurion University have discovered that fish can manouvre a specially designed Fish Operated means (FOV) by swimming in certain directions in a small tank mounted in place of a driver’s seat.

Pete: BABY, YOU CAN excursion MY CARP (8)
BBC Tees: A FISH CALLED HONDA (6)

WEEK 2

Jan 10: In tribute to a Chilean ex-footballer, his coffin was placed on the pitch & a team-mate kicked the ball against it so it rebounded into the goal.

Pete: DEAD-BALL SPECIALIST (0)
BBC Tees: ‘OVER ‘ERE SON, ON ME DEAD (1)

Jan 11: Woman is dumped by her boyfriend because he discovered she was feeding him plant-based food he thought was meat.

Pete: VEGAN WORK IT OUT (2)
BBC: CONNED BEEF (2)

Jan 12: A woman called Alice has revealed that her boyfriend has given her an ultimatum to get rid of her cat — because he’s allergic to moggies.

Pete: IF YOU LEAVE MIAOW (4)
BBC: WHY DO YOU HAVE TABBY A HEARTBREAKER? (4)

Jan 13: Pope Francis has shown his down to earth side by popping out to a music shop in Rome to buy a CD.

Pete: I WANNA LIVE LIKE shared PAPAL (4)
BBC: POPE MUSIK (6)

Jan 14: A cat named Lollipop has been formally adopted as part of a ship’s crew. Lollipop’s mother was a stray who sneaked onto the Turkish canal to give birth. Now, Lollipop sails the world, attending crew meetings, and enjoying visiting local ports, before jumping back on board.

Pete: ON THE GOOD SHIP – LOLLIPOP (6)
BBC: KITTEN ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY (6)

WEEK 3

Jan 17: aim driver Sarah Chipperfield is entertaining commuters on the London Underground by singing to them during their journeys.

Pete: FOOL IF YOU THINK IT’S OVAL (0)
BBC: I’M SINGING ON THE aim (4)

Jan 18: Motorists in Tennessee were greeted with the sight of the world’s largest frying pan being transported along the road on the back of a lorry. The 18-feet wide cast iron pan has been made as an allurement for a museum.

Pete: BACON THE SPEED LIMIT (1)
BBC: A LITTLE BIT OF FRY AND LORRY (6)

Jan 19: Londoner Freddie Beckitt is charging £20 an hour to stand in queues for high people so they don’t have to wait in line themselves to buy tickets for shows.

Pete: LINE OF DUTY (1)
BBC: IN THE LINE OF HIRE (8)

January 20: Lost cat Barnaby is reunited with owner Rachael Lawrence after she heard his distinctive cry while she was on the phone to her vet. Rachael, of Braintree, was calling the vet about her other cat when she heard Barnaby in the background. He’d been brought in as a stray after being missing for eight months.

Pete: HELLO, IS IT MIAOW YOU’RE LOOKING FOR (3)
BBC: RETURN OF THE CAT (8)

January 21: Police in Toronto are searching for a thief who stole an $8,000 guitar by hiding it in his trousers. The crook was caught on CCTV pushing the fret down one leg of his trousers while covering the guitar body with his jacket.

Pete: PANT MUSIC (5)
BBC: ERIC CLAPTOMANIAC (9)

WEEK 4

January 24: Volunteers have rescued Millie, the runaway Jack Russell, from the rising tide on mudflats at Havant, in Hampshire, by luring her to safety by tying recently-cooked sausages to a drone.

Pete: COME FRY WITH ME (0)
BBC: UP, UP AND A STRAY (2)

January 25: A robot vacuum cleaner made a bold escape from a Cambridge Travelodge, before getting stuck in a bush.

Pete: HOOVER ON UP, YOU’RE HOOVER ON OUT, TIME TO BREAK FREE, NOTHIN’ CAN STOP ME! (2)
BBC: HEY SUCKER, WHAT HOTEL’S GOT INTO YOU (2)

January 26: A associate’s plans to get married are in jeopardy because one wants to have a Titanic-themed wedding, while the other hates the idea. The groom-to-be has taken to social media to show his fiance wants the venue to be decorated like the ship’s dining room, with an ice berg wedding cake, and the first dance to be the Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On.

Pete: HOW thorough IS YOUR LOVE? (2)
BBC: ICE ICE MAYBE (4)

January 27: Trains on the London Underground have been delayed after a stubborn swan planted itself on the tracks and refused to budge for an hour.

Pete: MIND THE FLAP (3)
BBC: CYGNET FAILURE (4)

January 28: A 90-year-old lung fish, called Methuselah, is thought to be the world’s oldest fish in an aquarium. Methuselah, who lives in a museum in San Francisco, is a bit picky about his food but enjoys having his tummy rubbed.

Pete: THE CLOSEST FIN TO HEAVEN (3)
BBC: THE OLDEST SWIMMER IN TOWN (6)

WEEK 5

January 31: A priest in Italy has been fined 2,000 Euros for driving locals mad with his excessive bell ringing. Don Leonardo Guerri was guilty of ringing the bells at his church in Florence 200 times a day. He can now only ring them for the call to mass and for the last service of the day at 6pm.

Pete: FINE OF THE CHIMES (2)
BBC: FINE AFTER CHIMES (0)

February 1: Iranian man Abolfazl Saber Mokhtari has broken the world record by balancing 85 spoons on different parts of his body. The past record was 64, held by Marcos Ruiz Ceballos from Spain.

Pete: A CUTLERY ABOVE THE REST (3)
BBC: STIR CRAZY (0)

February 2: A lightning bolt in America has been confirmed as the longest ever recorded. The bolt leapt 477 miles between clouds in Texas and Mississippi.

Pete: FLASH! F-A-A-R! (5)
BBC: INSANE BOLT (1)

February 3: Scots dad Derek Marr is to get a tattoo of a cafe owner’s confront in return for a lifetime’s supply of pies. The tattoo will characterize the confront of Lynette Shields, who owns Netties cafe, which specialises in pies made in Irn Bru sauce. Derek isn’t saying where the tat will go on his body but has hinted it might be his bum.

Pete: TAT’S THE WAY – AH HA, AH, HA – PIE LIKE IT (7)
BBC: CRUST THE TATTOO OF US (1)

February 4: A man who was sent out by his wife to buy a cooked chicken for dinner won $100,000 after buying a Lottery scratchcard in the store in Maryland.

Pete: SOME GUYS HAVE ALL THE CLUCK (9)
BBC: WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER (2)

WEEK 6

February 7: No-nonsense builders, working on the restoration of Kiora Hall, an historic building in Stockton, have been spooked by ghostly goings-on. Two plumbers already ran out of the building, locked the gates, and refused to go back. It appears the refurbishment has stirred up mythical Grey Lady.

Pete: GHOULS OF THE TRADE (0)
BBC: ME AND JULIO DOWN BY THE GHOULD-YARD (2)

February 8: Police in Georgia are encouraging locals to take Valentine’s Day revenge on former partners by “grassing” on them if they’ve broken the law.

Pete: THE CROOK OF LOVE (2)
BBC: PAROLING ON THE thorough (2)

February 9: In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, David Largie, a Marvin Gaye impersonator, has been brought in by Trentham Monkey Forest, at Stoke-on-Trent, to encourage the inhabitants to get in the mood for the mating season. David not only sings Marvin Gaye hits but all kinds of love songs.

Pete: I HEARD IT by THE APE VINE (2)
BBC: LET’S GET IT KONG (4)

February 10: A snowboarding clergyman has wowed spectators in Michigan. Canon Jean Baptiste Commins dazzled in his cassock as he whizzed down the ski slopes at Mount Brighton, pulling off specialized-level tricks.

Pete: A SLIDE WITH ME (2)
BBC: SLIP, SLIDING AND PRAY (6)

February 11: A friendly pet pig called Roddy escaped from an allotment and ended up in a County Durham boozer. Roddy had to be coaxed out with a packet of cheese and onion crisps.

Pete: THE HOG ON THE WINE IS ALL SWINE ALL SWINE (2)
BBC: SQUEAL ALE (7)

WEEK 7

February 14: A Blackpool butchers is marking Valentine’s Day with special heart-shaped burgers and sirloin steaks. Romantics are also being promoted to use the front window at Steve Hope Butchers to characterize heart-shaped messages of love to their sweethearts.

Pete: SOMEDAY MY MINCE WILL COME (2)
BBC: I CAN’T LIVE IF LIVER IS WITHOUT YOU (2)

February 15: A security guard on his first day working at a Russian art gallery has defaced a valuable painting by drawing eyes in biro on faceless figures because he got bored. The guard has now been sacked from The Yeltsin Centre at Yekaterinburg.

Pete: YOU’RE FOR THE EYE JUMP (3)
BBC: FROM BIRO TO GIRO (2)

February 15: A survey has shown that cheese is one of the best aphrodisiacs – and the smellier the better.

Pete: AND THEN I SAW HER confront – NOW I’M A BRIE-LOVER (3)
BBC: FIFTY SHADES OF GRUYERE (6)

February 17: Eight orphaned piglets have become stars after being relocated on a beach in Mexico. The beach at Progreso has been renamed “Pig Beach” due to the popularity of the piglets which enjoy roaming around the sand, befriending tourists, sunbathing and swimming in the sea.

Pete: BABE WATCH (7)
BBC: TROTTERS INDEPENDENT WADING COMPANY (6)

February 18: Tourist Alex Banky grabbed an opportunity to give a 45-tonne whale a kiss when it breached right next to a boat-load of tourists in Magdalena Bay, Mexico.

Pete: WHA-A-A-A-A-A-A-LE – YOU KNOW YOU MAKE ME WANNA POUT (9)
BBC: MOBY KISS (6)

WEEK 8

February 21: A Devon man had particular reason to curse Storm Eunice – when high winds blew his wig off. Video has gone viral of Simon Wilkes chasing his hair-piece across a car park in Barnstaple while his friend is heard laughing.

Pete: THE MAN’S HAIR IS BLOWING IN THE WIND (0)
BBC: ANOTHER RUG KITES IN GUST (2)

February 22: Only Fools and Horses superfan Steve Holloway was given a send-off themed around his favourite sit-com. Steve’s coffin was carried in a yellow Reliant Robin by Basildon, with Batman and Robin leading the cortege. The coffin also had the words “This way up, you plonker” on the top.

Pete: ONLY FOOLS AND HEARSES (2)
BBC: NO INCOME TAX, NO VAT, NO COMING BACK, THAT’S GUARANTEED (2)

February 23: Chef Kim Lariviere has told how much she loves her job, cooking naked at a naturist resort in Ontario – but says hot fat splashing from the frying pan can be painful for her and her male colleagues.

Pete: NUDE GLORIOUS NUDE – HOT SAUSAGE AND MUSTARD! (2)
BBC: SPLASH – AAAAAAAGH! (4)

February 24: A associate called Kenny and Marne tied the knot in Colorado at 2.22pm on 2/2/2022.

Pete: 2DAY THIS COULD BE THE GREATEST DAY OF OUR LIVES (4)
BBC: EVERYTHING I DO, I DO IT FOR 2 (4)

February 25: Radio presenter Sanny Rudravahala was out reporting for BBC Radio Manchester on Storm Eunice when his wife Katie called to say she’d gone into labour. Sanny’s reaction was broadcast live and Katie went on to give birth to a baby girl named Robyn Storm.

Pete: BORN TO BE WILD (6)
BBC: RADIO GOO GOO (4)

WEEK 9

February 28: A man who took his next-door neighbour’s dentures hostage during a bitter argument has been ordered to pay $1,829 compensation by a court in Canada. Todd King accidentally spat his dentures over the garden fence while arguing with Bob Bjerregaard. Bob refused to hand them back so Todd took him to court in British Columbia.

Pete: I WANT CHEW BACK, I WANT CHEW BACK, I WANT CHEW BACK FOR GOOD (0)
BBC: DENTURE WISH YOUR PEARLIES WERE BACK FOR TEA (2)

March 1: A bride in India fainted & refused to go ahead with her wedding when she saw the groom was wearing a wig as the ceremony began. She refused to change her mind despite repeated appeals.

Pete: I’M JUST BALD BUT, HEY, I LOVE YOU (2)
BBC: HAIR I GO AGAIN ON MY OWN (2)

March 2: Housework and gardening can slash the risk of heart disease and rule to a longer life, according to a study by the University of California.

Pete: MOP, LOOK, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART (4)
BBC: CHORE-LESTEROL (2)

March 3: A new Star Wars themed hotel has opened at Disneyworld in Florida and comes with its own resident inter-galactic pop star.

Pete: OBI-WAN WAY OR ANOTHER (4)
BBC: I WANT CHEWBACKER FOR GOOD (4)

March 4: A man in the Democratic Republic of Congo has married triplets after all three hypothesizedv to him on the same day. The groom, called Luwizo, was taking advantage of the country’s more relaxed rules on polygamy.

Pete: WITH THIS RING I THREE WED (5)
BBC: ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES MY LADY – AND TRY LOVE YOU (4)

WEEK 10

March 7: A motorist filled up at a Syndey petrol stop while wearing nothing but flip-flops and sunglasses, then calmly walked in to pay without batting an eyelid.

Pete: THE FUEL MONTY (4)
BBC: BUMLEADED (0)

May 8: The World Pasty Championships have returned to The Eden Project, at Cornwall, after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. The title was won by John Lovejoy, of Plymouth, who has been runner-up five times before.

Pete: FIRST PASTY THE POST (4)
BBC: GINSTERS PARADISE (2)

March 9: Sylvie Ludlow, 73, was fined £75 for feeding the ducks and geese by the River Darent in Dartford. The local council took the action because she was seen ‘discarding food and walking away’ but the fine has been dropped after an allurement.

Pete: CAUGHT BREAD-HANDED (4)
BBC: NOT GUILTY, MALLARD (3)

March 10: Queensland’s Deputy Premier Stephen Miles was in the middle of a televised news conference when a sign language interpreter was pooped on by an owl perched in a tree above his head.

Pete: DON’T PLOP ME NOW – I’M HAVING SUCH A GOOD SIGN (4)
BBC: POOP SCOOP (4)

March 11: A clever dog called Whiskey caused £4,000 of damage after learning to turn the taps on and flooding his owner’s kitchen.

Pete: FLOODHOUND (4)
BBC: WETS AT HOMES (5)

WEEK 11

March 14: Rock star Rod Stewart has been repairing potholes outside his Essex mansion “because no one else can be bothered to do it”.

Pete: THE FIRST RUT IS THE DEEPEST (0)
BBC: YOU REPAIR IT WELL (2)

March 15: With humans getting closer to long-haul space missions to the Moon and Mars, Nasa says it is considering studying the implications of making love in space…

Pete: LUST IN SPACE (0)
BBC: ASTRONAUGHTY (3)

March 16: Idaho man David Rush has set a new world record by walking 3,257 feet with a lawn mower balanced on his chin…

Pete: MOW BODY DOES IT BETTER (0)
BBC: Mow Far-ah (4)

March 17: Junior football club Eaglescliffe Elementis has agreed a shir sponsorship deal to promote the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Pete: THEY THINK IT’S ALL HOVER – IT IS NOW (1)
BBC: BLADES OF GLORY (4)

March 18: Research conducted by psychologist Jo Hemmings on behalf of a food company has shown that a proportion of couples can’t resist having a snack already when they’re getting hot and steamy in the bedroom.

Pete: GET IT ON – HAVE A SCONE – GET IT ON (1)
BBC: A BIT OF HOW’S YOUR STARTER (5)

WEEK 12

March 21: A Wisconsin woman is claiming a new world record after finding a four-leafed clover for 258 consecutive days. Betina Reich started her collection during the pandemic.

Pete: YOU’RE SIMPLEAF THE BEST (0)
BBC: UNBELIEFABLE (4)

March 22: Marine experts in San Diego have discovered that grey whales mate in threesomes – two males and one female – and are watched by dolphins during their love-making.

Pete: THREESY BLUBBER (2)
BBC: THREE WILLY (4)

March 23: A woman is searching for a mystery man – 10 years after she had his named tattooed on her bum during a night out in Magaluf. Kaylie Williams, from Hereford, met Daniel Forde when he was on a stag night. A decade on, she’s decided to track him down, saying: “After all, I have got his name on my bum.”

Pete: BUTT I nevertheless haven’t found BOT I’m looking for (4)
BBC: FOOL IF YOU INK IT’S OVER (by Chris Rear) (6)

March 24: An egg production company has produced a calendar featuring cockerels and chickens in the guise of movie characters.

Pete: COCKY BALBOA (5)
BBC: ARNOLD SCRAMBLED-EGGER (6)

March 25: 252 people have donned lion costumes to set a new world record in Ireland. The record attempt was organised by The Wicklow and District Lions Club.

Pete: ROARING SUCCESS (5)
BBC: IRISH PRIDE (8)

WEEK 13

March 28: A 34-year-old man has been arrested after running stark naked across the fairway during the Valspar Golf Championship in Florida. Police say the man was “highly intoxicated.”

Pete: CRACK KNICKERLESS (1)
BBC: PUTT IT AWAY (0)

March 29: A woman has revealed how an abandoned baby bird survived after adopting her as its mother and nesting in her waist-length hair for 84 days. Hannah Bourne Taylor, of Oxfordshire, says she was heartbroken when the fledging ultimately flew off.

Pete: OOH, YOU’RE MY NEST FRIEND (1)
BBC: THANK HEAVEN FOLLICLE BIRDS (2)

March 30: Drinkers got a shock when a herd of deer stampeded by an Irish pub in Wisconsin, with one jumping by the Click: See details




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