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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 11:02 GMT
The stories that mattered to you
Every morning BBC News website journalists get an e-mail telling them which were the most widely read stories of the previous day.

It serves as a reminder that it's not always the articles we lead with that are the ones people are interested in - as our look back at readers' most popular stories of 2005 suggests.

JANUARY

Tsunami approaches beach
The tsunami's impact lasted well into 2005

The devastating tsunami of 26 December 2004 dominated the news well into the New Year, with a guide to the events, The Tsunami Disaster Explained, January's most read story.

Other articles about the tsunami, including Three-minute Silence for Victims and a piece about Britons feared dead also attracted large audiences.

Among other events, it was Prince Harry's apology for wearing a Nazi costume to a fancy dress party that was most popular with readers. The prince accepted it was a "poor choice".

FEBRUARY

Ikea Edmonton opening
Crowds surged into Ikea Edmonton as the store opened

There was better news for the Royal Family in February, when Prince Charles to Marry Camilla was the biggest story.

It attracted twice as many readers as the second placed article, about the Sudan 1 food dye scare More Contaminated Food Withdrawn.

Close behind was Crush Chaos at Ikea Store Opening - a stark reminder of what happens when bargain hunting goes bad.

It was also the month that BBC reporter Ivan Noble died at the age of 37, two years after he started writing about his treatment for a brain tumour.

MARCH

Jamie Oliver
Oliver demanded better school food

Sometimes it's the really juicy stories that arouse readers' interest, sometimes it's Key points: The Budget.

The guide to Gordon Brown's financial plans for the year beat Lethal Quake Rattles Tsunami Zone into second place.

March also saw nine people shot dead by a US high school student and, in the UK, a 'sword' man shot dead by police.

On a happier note, readers following Jamie Oliver's battle against Turkey Twizzlers made TV Chef Welcomes 280m School Meals Plan another top story.

APRIL

Airbus A380
The flight was watched by more than 50,000 people

Interest in the maiden voyage of the world's largest passenger plane made Airbus A380 Completes Test Flight April's biggest single article.

But it was also the month that Pope John Paul II died - an event which attracted far more attention overall and accounted for 12 of the top 20 most widely read stories.

Tens of thousands of people travelled to the Vatican to pay their respects, as told in World Mourns Pope at Rome Funeral. There was even greater interest when we reported Ratzinger is Elected as New Pope.

MAY

Kylie Minogue
Kylie was forced to cancel tour dates

May was the month of the general election and BBC News website readers responded by making Kylie Minogue Has Breast Cancer the biggest hitter.

But while the singer's illness took the top slot, strong showings from stories including Voters Decide on Next Government and Blair Secures Historic Third Term did make the election the subject generating the most interest overall.

There was a scare for UK officials in the US when devices described as "novelty hand-grenades" were used in a blast outside the UK consulate in New York. Nobody was injured.

And the public's imagination was fired by the mysterious appearance on a Kent beach of the Piano Man.

JUNE

Glastonbury
Not everyone at Glastonbury was a happy camper

Torrential rain, oozing mud and lashings of music was on readers' minds in June, when Soaked Glastonbury Gets Under Way was the top story.

Entertainment news also took the second spot, with the death of Richard Whiteley prompting the piece Vorderman Honours 'Mr Countdown'.

Some articles have headlines that guarantee substantial interest and Probation for Naked Interviewer, about a man who needs to work on his managerial skills, was no exception.

JULY

Bus bombed in London
Suicide bombers killed 52 people in London on 7 July

July was the month that London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics, Bob Geldof successfully staged Live 8 and a historic deal on debt relief marked the G8 Conference.

All attracted large audiences, but the terrorist attacks in London meant that none even featured among the month's top 20 most read articles.

The story London Rocked by Terror Attacks, was written when it was only known that "at least two people" had been killed. With 14.1 million page impressions it was the most widely read story of the year.

The second largest story of the year came on 21 July, when the failed attempt to bomb the underground again prompted 8.5 million people to read London Blasts Cause Chaos on Tube.

The first reports of Jean Charles de Menezes' death, Man Shot Dead by Police on Tube, also attracted millions of readers.

AUGUST

Shuttle
Discovery's landing was delayed by bad weather

This first Shuttle landing since the Columbia disaster of 2003 prompted great interest in Shuttle Makes Descent to Earth.

It was August's lead story, ahead of news that 1,000 people died in a stampede, during a religious festival in Iraq. Witnesses said rumours of suicide bombers had caused people to panic.

On August 14, more than 120 people died when a Cypriot airliner crashed into a hill near Athens.

And interest in the London terror attacks remained strong, particularly when 'al-Qaeda blamed Blair' for the bombs.

SEPTEMBER

Damage after Katrina
Katrina killed about 1,000 people

The enormous damage caused by Hurricane Katrina at the end of August dominated readers' interest, with New Orleans Rocked by Huge Blasts, about explosions at a chemical plant in the flooded city, the biggest single story.

The chaotic scenes in New Orleans made Anarchy Disrupts US Storm Relief another top article.

As US officials faced accusations of serious failings in their response to the disaster, a second more powerful storm threatened, prompting gridlock as masses fled Hurricane Rita.

OCTOBER

Ronnie Barker
Ronnie Barker died at the age of 76

The biggest story of the month was Comedy Legend Ronnie Barker Dies - news which prompted a huge response from colleagues and fans keen to pay tribute to the comedian and actor.

It was also the month that Pierce Brosnan lost the right to call himself James Bond, following the announcement that Daniel Craig Takes on 007 Mantle.

The US continued to be battered by storms, with Hurricane-hit Florida Clears Up reporting that six people had been killed by Wilma in the southern state.

NOVEMBER

George Best
George Best's death followed a long battle with alcoholism

It was the death of another star that generated the greatest interest in November.

The stories George Best Very Close to Death and Football Legend George Best Dies were placed first and second, demonstrating the footballer's lasting appeal.

Editor Free After Kemp 'Assault' must be among the contenders for the most bizarre stories of the year, marking as it did the arrest of the Sun's Rebekah Wade for an alleged attack on her TV actor husband.

DECEMBER

Buncefield fire
The fire at Buncefield burned for days

The explosions at Buncefield made Massive Blaze Rages at Fuel Depot another of the year's biggest stories.

There was also great interest from readers in pictures of the Buncefield fire, which was described as the biggest in peacetime Europe and sent a cloud of smoke across much of southern England.

The loss of at least 128 lives when a military plane hit an apartment building on the outskirts of Tehran made Scores Die in Iranian Plane Crash the third story.

Close behind was US ex-Gang Boss Executed, about Arnold Schwarzenegger's refusal to grant clemency to Tookie Williams.



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