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Couple who couldn’t afford a house in the UK buy entire French village for £12,000

The village comes complete with five cottages, two barns, a paddock, a cider press and a bakery

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True North TV & Channel 4

A couple who couldn’t get onto the UK property ladder recently bagged themselves an entire village in France for a fraction of the price of a British home.

Paul Mappley and Yip Ward, both forty-seven, took their house hunt overseas after struggling to save up the pennies for a home here in the UK.

The two landscape gardeners, who appeared on Channel 4’s first episode of Help! We Bought a Village, first caught wind of the village when a friend offered to sell them their end-of-terrace cottage in 2019.

It was at this point that they realised the potential the hamlet La Bousliere offered, and decided to purchase the adjacent buildings for a grand total of €14,000 (£12,000), a far cry from the current average UK house price of £250,000.

Channel 4

The little village consists of five cottages, two barns, a paddock, plus a two-storey workshop, cider press and a bakery.

While exploring the buildings, the couple were particularly excited by the history of the old bakery, which would’ve been a communal space for many families before the French Revolution.

Paul said: “I love all the history that goes in with it as well again, you know, how many loaves of bread have been cooked in that for the village over the years, it’s just amazing.

“Something like this has so much history. It’s an amazing, amazing feeling, We’re very lucky.”

In the episode, the couple also discovered the hamlet’s very own well of water, which they hope to eventually use for flushing toilets.

Channel 4

However, despite all the excitement, the couple face one hell of a challenge refurbishing the hamlet, which has been left to ruin for the last few years.

The village currently has no electricity, and the cubbyhole for the stopcock was home to a snake and a salamander. One of the corners on the row of cottages has also collapsed.

But undeterred, the couple say they plan on turning the village into cottage lets as well as adding a glamping site. But before then, they said they would be ‘living camping style’ whilst ‘brining life back to their village’.

Paul said on his motivation: “It’s sad to see old buildings like this falling down. That’s why we wanted to buy it – there are not pots of money to do this but we’d like to try and get it to a point when it’s not falling to bits.”

Help! We Bought a Village airs weekdays at 4pm on Channel 4.


Northern housing estate so rough bus drivers were forced to stop going there

The services were fully suspended over the weekend following a spate of antisocial behaviour

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Google Maps & Eddie / Flickr

A northern housing estate became so plagued with anti-social behaviour that bus drivers were told to avoid stopping there.

Two bus routes through the Swarcliffe Estate in Leeds were cancelled earlier in the year after teenagers reportedly targeted the vehicles and passengers with stones and rocks. 

In a social media statement, First West Yorkshire announced that the 40 and 56 services would be avoiding the estate in both directions, citing ‘attempted vandalism’. 

The tweet thread read: “SERVICE UPDATE – 40/56. Due to attempted vandalism, we are diverting away from the Swarcliffe Estate in both directions.

“So sorry for any issues this may cause on your journey.

“This will be in place until the end of service this evening. This is for the safety of both our drivers and passengers. I am sorry for the disruption caused.”

Read More: One of the world’s deadliest snakes found on industrial estate in Salford

In a post on Facebook, Councillor Jessica Lennox, of Cross Gates and Whinmoor ward, addressed the vandalism, confirming that the 40 and 56 buses would be diverting around the area ‘as a result of some serious vandalism that took place earlier’. 

Mtaylor848 / Wikimedia Commons

Residents have previously spoken about how they ‘live in fear’ on the estate, saying intimidating anti-social behaviour is becoming worse.

One local teenager told Leeds Live of the youths who vandalised the buses: “They throw stones and break the buses whenever they come down here. I wasn’t surprised.

“Just the other day I saw three buses stopped at the bottom of the estate because they all had glass smashed everywhere. It had gone over a nearby mum and her pram.

“If you see a big group of people anywhere around here you turn around and go the other way.”

Google Maps

Her grandmother added: “Stones are always thrown at buses around here as there’s nothing for the kids to do… It’s really bad where big groups gather around the Co-Op.

“My grandson lives around the corner and he’s been attacked twice. We don’t really go out at night, and would use a taxi if we did. It’s not nice for the drivers or the passengers.”

Another resident, Keith Pettman, told the outlet that the estate was suffering major issues with antisocial behaviour, saying: “There’s some youths on the estate that are a little rowdy.

“They mess about with bikes and things like all bored teenagers do but I know they get in the way of buses and people.

“There’s definitely vandals around that will smash a few things up every so often. The field also gets ripped up and recently a load of dustbins got set on fire.”

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Pub chain giving away FREE pints to anyone with one of these 50 surnames

Are you on the list?

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Greene King

England’s World Cup campaign got off to a flying start yesterday with a convincing 6-2 win over Iran.

Our Welsh neighbours – who are also in Group B with us – managed a draw with the USA, thanks to a late Gareth Bale penalty.

But goals aren’t the only thing to celebrate this World Cup, as a pub chain is giving away FREE pints to lucky fans who have one of 50 surnames.

Gerald England / Geograph

Greene King is dishing out a free drink to anyone who has the same surname as a player in either the England or Wales squads.

If you have one of the lucky last names, you can claim a pint on the house at any point during an England or Wales game.

All you have to do is head to a participating Greene King pub with your driving licence or passport to prove your name.

Anyone with one of these 50 surnames can claim the free pint: 


All you need to do is head down to your nearest participating boozer and show the bar your photo ID during any England or Wales World Cup group stage game.

You can find the nearest pub to you taking part in the offer here.

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Will Ferrell appeals for spare room in North West to watch Eurovision

Got any room for Will?

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Earlier this year it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be held in Liverpool instead of Kiev, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Following the news, all hotels and accommodation in the city quickly sold out – with many establishments dramatically increasing their prices in the process.

As such, finding somewhere to stay during the annual song contest has become nigh on impossible, even if you’re a Hollywood superstar like Will Ferrell. 

Will recently appealed for help in finding accommodation for next year’s Eurovision during an appearance on BBC Radio 2 to promote his new film Spirited.

The actor previously wrote and starred in the 2020 film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, playing Icelandic singer Lars Erickssong.

READ MORE: Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf returns to screens in new Asda Christmas advert

During the BBC interview, Zoe Ball mentioned how much she enjoyed the film, to which Will responded: “And it’s in Liverpool this year, isn’t it?”

After being asked if he wanted to go, he said: “You know my mother really wants me to take her to Eurovision, she’s dying to go and she’s always wanted to go to Liverpool.”

Will added: “But aren’t the hotels all booked now?”

After the comedian appealed for a spare room to stay in, Zoe said: “If anyone is willing to put up Will Ferrell and his mum in Liverpool or the Liverpool area during Eurovision.”

Will revealed his requirements: “We need a clean, tidy room. We’ll share a room – two bunk beds that’s all we need. I know we’re kidding but my mom would love that, she’d be thrilled.”

Eurovision 2023 will consist of two semi-finals on May 9th and 11th, before the final on May 13th.

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