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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November 2003, 16:23 GMT
10 things we didn't know this time last week
10 geese
10 Geese by Dave Morris

It's easy to lose track of the news. So at the end of the week, it's good to keep an eye on some of those things which shouldn't go unnoticed.

If you spot something you think should be included next week, send it to us using the form at the bottom of the page.

1. It was Oliver Cromwell who coined the phrase "warts and all" - while having his portrait painted, he insisted that the artist not flatter him but instead depict his rough soldier's visage as it truly was.

2. Since 9/11, there have been 481 arrests in the UK for terrorism-related offences. This has resulted in 75 charges. Sixteen foreign nationals have been detained without trial under emergency powers.

England rugby fans
All together now...
3. The slave spiritual Swing Low, Sweet Chariot became the unofficial anthem of England rugby during a clash with Ireland in 1988. As England winger Chris Oti ran in three tries in the second half, the chorus rose spontaneously from the crowd. By the end of the game - in which England trounced the opposition - it was echoing around Twickenham.

4. Some brain injuries mean the sufferer starts speaking with an accent not their own, a rare condition known as foreign accent syndrome. One woman lost her American twang after a stroke and now speaks with Cockney/West Country accent, despite never having visited England.

On a Segway scooter
Helloooooo, ladies
5. Forget the Orgasmatron. The gadget most likely to attract the attention of the opposite sex is the Segway, in a magazine poll of the year's top gizmos.

6. The average US visitor to Britain last year spent 674 on their trip. Belgians spend the least, 186, although their stays are shorter. Residents of the Middle East spent the most, at 1,500, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

7. The town at the bottom of the league for foreign visitors was Merthyr Tydfil, which played host to 4,000 - none of whom were described as holidaymakers.

If you're in the UK, you can see 10 Things at the weekend on Ceefax, page 129
8. Roger Royle, the former presenter of Songs of Praise, is to play the pantomime dame in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon. Vicky Binns, from Emmerdale, is to play his daughter.

9. If you are offered an honour such as an OBE, but don't want it, protocol demands you should decline it privately. This has been done in the past by the likes of Helen Mirren and Ken Loach. Poet Benjamin Zephaniah took another approach, declining it in the pages of the Guardian.

10. During the Queen's Speech, the monarch held MP Jim Fitzpatrick "hostage" at Buckingham Palace and did not release him until she had safely left Parliament. This convention dates from the 17th Century, when Charles I's relations with Parliament were frosty even before they voted to have him executed.

If you see something you think should be included next week, let us know using the form below.

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