In The Sunday Times’ definitive list of the best places to live in 2022, two Greater Manchester locations reigned supreme.
The newspaper’s annual Best Places to Live list is compiled through a number of factors that make for an idyllic neighbourhood, whether it be the number of pubs available or the accessibility to local beauty spots.
This year in the wake of the pandemic, the list took a focus on the health of the local high street, the performances from local schools and broadband speeds thanks to the new-found importance of working from home.
Ilkley in West Yorkshire was ultimately crowned as the best place to live in the UK, with Lancashire town Trawden coming in at second place.
And while they didn’t come out as the winners, two Greater Manchester towns made it onto the prestigious as two of the best places in the whole region.
Here’s what had to be said…
Altrincham’s now famed high street and market were two of the main factors for its place in the list, with the recent rejuvenation of the market transforming ‘a posh but dead dormitory suburb into a sociable place for the affluent families’.
The Times described Alty market as ‘the star’, pointing out that on most days of the week, there is no need for locals to look elsewhere for fresh produce.
Another one of Alty’s trump cards is its variety of great green spaces, which includes the ‘glorious gardens and deer park’ of Dunham Massey, Stamford Park and walking trails down by the River Bollin.
The town’s situation in the region was also noted, with trams reaching the city centre in twenty-five-minutes and a drive to Manchester Airport taking just fifteen minutes down the M6.
Altrincham also boasts some of the ‘best schools in the land’, with more than fifteen Ofsted-outstanding primaries being situated within three miles of the town.
However, the postcode does carry with it an expensive price tag, with the article admitting: “Money no object? Today, residents are more likely to be fancily paid footballers.”
Terraced houses on a more affordable scale can be found on the leafy streets near Stamford Park or the Downs, but still starting from a hefty price of £450,000.
The Sunday Times described Prestwich as ‘Manchester’s funkiest family suburb’ thanks to its interesting mix of old and new, no-frills joints and ‘star’ tram connections to and from the city centre.
Bury New Road gets a special mention in the piece, with the writer noting how you can ‘hardly move here for craft beers, cocktails, oat lattes and smoothies’, something that can give you an idea of the new demographic.
When it comes to food and drink, Keg, Cask & Bottle and Grape to Grain all get a mention, as well as Osma, ‘an upmarket Scandi restaurant’ which features in the Michelin Guide 2022.
They also commended the high street’s wonderful mix of old and new, which has with everything you need ‘from a Greggs’ sausage roll to sourdough and organic veg at the Village Greens co-operative’.
In terms of transport, ‘the tram is the star’, with it running from Prestwich and Heaton Park into the centre of Manchester in just twenty minutes. Cyclists can also reach the city in thirty minutes, which is about the same amount of time it would take by car.
If for those looking to buy with ‘big bucks’, the grand detached properties on Sheepfoot Lane will be first choice.
Otherwise, Prestwich proves to be a much more affordable choice than Altrincham, with the average house price for the area being a reasonable £246,000.
Read The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live list here.
BBC presenter randomly gives middle finger live on air with viewers shocked
One person asked if the were watching the ‘Do One Show’
Viewers couldn’t believe their eyes as they tuned in to watch the news, as the presenter was caught giving the middle finger live on air.
The blooper of all bloopers happened on the world feed BBC News at the noon bulletin, at 12pm on December 6th.
As many were expecting a serious new bulletin, the camera cut to Chief Presenter Maryam Moshiri as she flipped her middle finger, then quickly transitioned her facial expression to present the headlines.
In the clip, which has now gone viral, Maryam, 46, can be seen tilting her head with raised eyebrows and giving the middle finger to camera as the famous countdown to the bulletin ends.
Upon realising she was live on air, the broadcaster quickly snatches her hand away and adopts a more serious role as she goes straight into reading the headlines about Boris Johnson.
“Live from London, this is BBC News,” she says as she swiftly switches into news presenter mode.
Many viewers saw the funny side and took to social media to share the hilarious surprise, as one person wrote: “It’s the new BBC magazine programme @ 7pm: ‘The Do One Show’.”
Another put: “New reaction meme UNLOCKED!.” And a third said: “Oopsie! One for the VT Christmas tape!”
Today, December 7th, Maryam issued an apology for the ‘private joke’ which was caught on air. In a tweet she said: “Hey everyone , yesterday just before the top of the hour I was joking around a bit with the team in the gallery.
“I was pretending to count down as the director was counting me down from 10-0.. including the fingers to show the number. So from 10 fingers held up to one.
“When we got to 1 I turned finger around as a joke and did not realise that this would be caught on camera. It was a private joke with the team and I’m so sorry it went out on air! It was not my intention for this to happen and I’m sorry if I offended or upset anyone.
“I wasn’t ‘ flipping the bird’ at viewers or even a person really. It was a silly joke that was meant for a small number of my mates.”
Her apology for the faux pas was met with mixed reactions with some suggesting the show lacked professionalism, though many showed her support and were very forgiving.
One person wrote in the comments: “You giving the ‘bird’ is what sums up BBC and its feelings to Brits and us who pay the license fee. You should resign or be sacked for this total disrespect.”
Meanwhile another, seeing the funny side, simply wrote: “Legend.” A third put: “As a BBC licence payer I demand more of this type of behaviour.”
And a fourth typed: “It was absolutely brilliant and very funny. Clearly an inside joke and a welcome bit of relief considering all that’s going on right now.”
Aldi named cheapest supermarket as it takes back crown from Lidl
Aldi takes back the top spot
Budget supermarket Aldi has reclaimed the title of cheapest supermarket for November, overtaking Lidl.
With the festive season here, Brits are continuing to look for ways to keep household costs down – and Aldi shoppers can be confident they’re getting the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.
According to the latest Which? report, Aldi is once again the UK’s cheapest supermarket – with an average basket total coming to £76.77.
Each month, the consumer group compares the price of 131 groceries and household essentials across UK supermarkets to see which are the most and least expensive to shop at.
The latest research from Which? shows that throughout November Aldi was a huge £20.62 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket, Waitrose – for an equivalent basket of items.
Which? also revealed Aldi to be £12.77 cheaper than Morrisons and £11.02 cheaper than Sainsbury’s per basket.
Aldi also beat bargain rival Lidl to top spot, relegating the German supermarket to second place – where an average shop came in at just slightly more than Aldi, at £77.56.
Asda came in third place averaging at £84.42 per basket, Tesco fourth with an average £87.42 a basket and Sainsbury’s took fifth place at £87.79.
The most expensive supermarket was Waitrose where the average basket of shopping costs £97.39 – £20 more than shopping at Aldi.
But the popular supermarket can celebrate not one but two wins as it was also named the cheapest place to buy a Christmas dinner.
Comparing the cost of Chrimbo dinner staples including turkey, pigs in blankets, and Christmas pudding Aldi was found to be 4p cheaper than Lidl and £18 cheaper than the most expensive supermarket.
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi, said: “Christmas can be an expensive time for everyone, with gifts to buy and families to feed.
“We’re thrilled that at such a crucial time Which? has officially named Aldi as the cheapest supermarket demonstrating our commitment to providing our customers with high quality food at everyday low prices.”
Mum says she’s charging family £150 for Christmas dinner and glass of Champagne
‘If you want quality, you’ll have to pay for it’
Mum Carla Bellucci claims she will charge her relatives for Christmas dinner this year, including a single glass of Champagne.
Carla, 42, is a former model and has appeared on an episode of Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over: Britain’s Most Hated Woman?.
She’s probably best known for her appearance on This Morning where she revealed that she hadn’t told the full truth about getting a nose job, funded by the public.
Earlier this year, Carla made headlines for revealing how she’d organised an extravagant Easter Egg hunt for her children.
The extravagant event included a £1,000 prize and a three-night stay at Disneyland Paris, for her youngest son, Blue.
After a frivolous Easter, Carla has now claimed that her family will have to cough up if they are coming to her house for their Christmas dinner this year.
Speaking to the MailOnline, the mum said she will be charging her guests £150 each for the home-cooked feast, including one single glass of Champagne – let’s just hope she fills it up to the brim.
She told the publication: “It’s not cheap feeding people and it also takes a lot of time to put together a nice meal.
“I’ll give them a glass of Champagne, but if they want any more booze, they’ll have to bring their own.”
Carla is expecting to cook the festive feast for around nine people this year, including her immediate family of six.
However, the mum said that some of her guests will be disgusted by having to fork out the £150, but she said: “If you want quality, you’ll have to pay for it.
“You might find a carvery that’s cheaper than my place, but my dinner is going to be a lot more classy than that.
“It wouldn’t be any cheaper if you went to a restaurant or a hotel for a Christmas Day meal, so why should I be out of pocket?”
The former OnlyFans model said she will open her doors to welcome guests at 2pm and after having fun and playing games including charades, she will allegedly be sending her guests home come 10pm.
The £150 fee she will be charging her guests does also include a profit margin which Carla justifies saying: “Everything I do is for profit and the family understands that.”
The social media personality admitted just last month in an interview that she is aware her ‘strong opinions’ can rub people up the wrong way.
“I know it rubs people up the wrong way sometimes but it’s just who I am,” she said to the MailOnline.
She also confessed that she’d like to use her ‘platform’ to bag a spot back on reality TV and ‘ruffle some more feathers’.
“If I can get on a reality show then that would be brilliant because I know I make good TV.
“Celebrity Big Brother would be perfect if that’s coming back alongside the main show. I could ruffle even more feathers,” she said.