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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December 2003, 18:20 GMT
10 things we didn't know this time last week
10 Ducks by Krishna Bhuwalka

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. The Beatles negotiated with JRR Tolkien for the rights to star in a film version of the Lord of the Rings. John was to play Gollum, George Gandalf, Paul Frodo and Ringo Sam. "It was something John was driving at," director Peter Jackson told Total Film magazine, after McCartney told him the tale. "JRR Tolkien still had the film rights at that stage, but he didn't like the idea of the Beatles doing it. So he killed it."

2. The Mr Men are the only major children's characters still in family ownership - and they might not be for long. The rights to Roger Hargreaves' characters are still owned by his widow, but negotiations are taking place for them to be sold to the company which owns Noddy and the Famous Five, reportedly for tens of millions of pounds.

3. The actor who plays the Gremlin in the government's literacy campaign adverts is Warwick Davis (right), the same fellow who played an Ewok in Star Wars and Professor Flitwick in Harry Potter.

4. Proto-Britpoppers Suede, who perform their farewell gig on Saturday night, were managed by Ricky Gervais, before he went on to make The Office.

5. Pedestrians hit by four-wheel drive cars are twice as likely to die as those struck by saloons, according to new research in the United States.

6. Home Secretary David Blunkett, who introduced emergency powers to detain foreign terrorist suspects without trial, has been a member of human rights charity Amnesty International for 20 years.

If you're in the UK, you can see 10 Things at the weekend on Ceefax, page 129
7. Michael Schumacher's Formula One Ferrari is faster off the mark than a supersonic Eurofighter jet. The Grand Prix champion beat the jet by half-a-car length at a race over 600 metres.

8. Why do advertisers like to use pretty women in their commercials? Because men act irrationally on seeing them, according to research by Canadian psychologists published this week. Women are unaffected by photos of handsome men.

9. At least 100 children have been raised by animals, including one young boy called Tarzancito, found in El Salvador in 1933 aged five, according to www.feralchildren.com.

10. King George IV (1762-1830) was allegedly a member of a sex club in Fife, in which members would perform public sexual acts and watch girls dance naked. A cup belonging to the club has been sold for 2,700.

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

Thanks to Chris May for his photo of the Number 10 at London City Airport.

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