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British Expat Newsletter:
6 October 2004

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • Announcement – BE server transfer
  • This week: Game shows
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

BE server transfer

As part of our ongoing programme of improvements, British Expat will be moving to new servers at 0200 GMT on Saturday 9 October. Visitors to the main website will be unaffected, but the change will mean some disruption to users of our fora and webmail services. It will also mean that next week’s newsletter will be sent out using a different system from the one used by our current hosts – but it should still appear on time!

You can find a technical explanation of what’s involved on this page:
[Obsolete link removed]

This week

Do you enjoy TV game shows? Dave and I used to watch them on occasions while we were living in London. But Channel 5 recently filmed a game show with a twist. Called “The Great Big Giveaway Show”, it was fronted by Neil and Christine Hamilton and offered big cash prizes. Twenty people were invited to Portsmouth Guildhall to take part and duly went backstage – after being frisked for security purposes – to have their makeup put on for the TV lights, to the distant murmuring of the studio audience.

But what they didn’t know (to paraphrase Jeremy Beadle) was that there were no prizes, no audience, and no game. The whole show was set up by Hampshire Police to fool various wanted individuals into coming out into the open where they could be arrested. All that was waiting for them as they emerged one by one onto the stage was a pair of police officers. Seventeen people were arrested, and the police plan to bring to court another 144 people who responded to the invitation letters.

Civil liberties group Liberty have criticised the action as a publicity stunt and as a distasteful descent into entertainment. To our minds the scheme was a good one (it clearly brought results, although we’re curious to know what happened to the three people who weren’t arrested). But it does seem a bit tacky that Channel 5 were filming the whole thing – it gives the operation an air of “created especially for TV”.

A pretty sad reflection of the state of UK television these days. Mind you, given our own range of choice – 64 channels on cable, and hardly anything worth setting the video for, let alone watching – perhaps UK telly is still ahead of the rest of the world after all…

Virtual Snacks

Just a couple of suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

Even if you’re not interested in football, you might find some entertainment in looking at Crystal Palace midfielder Aki Riihilati’s website. Not what you’d expect from a footballer, it’s full of stuff by Aki about himself and his views on various issues – some of it pretty offbeat!
Aki Riihilahti’s website

Many of you may already have heard of The Onion (“America’s Finest News Source”). An irreverent, tongue-in-cheek look at the US news. Still amusing for non-Americans, though. Sample story: “American Robot’s Job Outsourced To Overseas Robot”. Hmmm…
The Onion

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • anti-cat pepper (29!)
  • vietnamese curremcy converter (4)
  • charles v siesta (3)
  • calm me soap (3)
  • cement leaf recipe (3)
  • monkey footprints (3)
  • british balls magazine (3)
  • tourism stage policy of masai mara (2)

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

British Expat Magazine


“If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested.”
– Thomas Wolfe, US author (1900-38)


A man is driving down the M1 in his Reliant Robin when it breaks down. Shortly after he stops on the hard shoulder, a Ferrari pulls up behind him and offers him a tow.

“Just flash your lights if I start to go too fast,” says the Ferrari driver, “and I’ll slow down”.

After 10 mins a Porsche cuts in front of the Ferrari then accelerates away. The Ferrari driver is furious and decides to teach him a lesson. With a rapid burst of speed he catches up, and within seconds they are racing along at 150mph, flashing past a police car in the nearside lane.

“Blimey,” says one policeman to the other, “did you see the Porsche and Ferrari?”

“That’s nothing,” says his colleague, “did you see the Reliant Robin behind them flashing to get past?”

2 Responses to “British Expat Newsletter:
6 October 2004”

  1. Kay McMahon

    Hi Elle

    Gosh, it’s such a long time since I’ve seen that one it was just like a new joke.

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