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Makes you proud to be British: The dogging smurf, the crazy-golf Hitler and a very obese cannibal. Yes, it's Uncle Rich's quiz on the stories that really mattered in 2012
01:16 GMT, 26 December 2012
Never mind the royal baby, the bungled Budget and the BBC in crisis. This column brought you the stories that really mattered in 2012. Now you can test your knowledge in our annual Makes You Proud To Be British Quiz…
1. Armed police surrounded a scrapyard in Hartlepool and scrambled a helicopter after reports of a man acting suspiciously. They discovered:
a) An escaped convict.
b) A gang of scrap metal thieves.
c) A scarecrow in a hi-viz jacket.
2. World War II Spitfire pilot Eric Carter, 91, who fought in the Battle of Britain, visited an RAF museum in Stoke-on-Trent. He was:
a) Invited to unveil a memorial to fallen colleagues.
b) Asked to talk to schoolchildren about his wartime experiences as one of The Few.
c) Banned from getting into the cockpit of a Spitfire because elf’n’safety jobsworths were worried he might hurt himself.
3. Susan Hamilton and Colin Freeman, from Surrey, spent their spare weekends getting rid of weeds, broken bottles, scrap metal and other rubbish that had been dumped on an overgrown grass verge outside their home. They were:
a) Given a Keep Britain Tidy gold award.
b) Given a Good Citizenship award by the Mayor at a Town Hall reception in their honour.
c) Ordered to pay 78 for a ‘retrospective licence’ or return the verge to its original untidy state.
4. Bangladeshi trainee accountant Abdullah Munawar, who stayed on in Britain illegally after his student visa expired, won his appeal against deportation because:
a) His life would be in danger if he was sent home.
b) He had married a British national and fathered a child.
c) He plays cricket.
'Just as I remembered it': Eric Carter, 91, said it 'all came back' after ten minutes of flying in the Spitfire. The pilot is the last surviving member of a task force sent to northern Russia in 1941 to protect supply routes
5. A trainee London taxi driver was thrown out of a ‘rock ’n’ roll’ pub near the Public Carriage Office because:
a) He was drunk.
b) He was using abusive language.
c) He was wearing a tie.
6. Wardens employed by Hyndburn Council, Lancs, to tackle the nuisance of dog owners who let their pets foul pavements were equipped with:
b) High-pressures hoses.
c) Military-style night-vision goggles.
7. British Universities distributed a guide to students containing advice on how to:
a) Pass exams.
b) Avoid sexually transmitted diseases.
c) Use the toilet.
8. Lambeth Council, in South London, facing a 29 million budget shortfall, spent 9,000 in one street on:
a) Traffic humps.
b) Litter bins.
c) Planting imported olive trees to reflect the ‘Mediterranean character’ of the area.
Celebrating: Michael and Jean O'Shea after winning 10,215,000 on the EuroMillions in October 2005
9. Among those spotted by police at dogging venues around the country were:
a) A man in a Swiss yodelling outfit, being led into the bushes by a chain round his neck.
b) A man dressed as a Smurf, doing star jumps, and a naked man in handcuffs.
c) All of the above.
10. Michael O’Shea, from Nottingham, who won a 10.2 million Lottery jackpot, decided to:
a) Spend, spend, spend.
b) Give it all away to charity.
c) Carry on claiming 500-a-month disability benefit.
12. Shivering commuters stranded on platforms at Clapham Junction during the Big Freeze heard a Tannoy announcement telling them:
a) All trains were cancelled.
b) Replacement bus services would be provided.
c) Undercover officers would be handing out on-the-spot fines to anyone caught smoking.
13. Firemen were called out at 2.40am to tackle a blaze at a house in Oldham, Greater Manchester, which was started by:
a) A smouldering cigarette.
b) A chip pan.
c) Candles on a makeshift shrine to the singer Whitney Houston that were left burning overnight and set light to the curtains.
14. An official inquiry into the benefits of eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day concluded that it:
a) Prevents cancer.
b) Adds seven years to the average lifespan.
c) Makes your teeth fall out.
15. A vigilant parking warden in Teignmouth, Devon, made headlines when he slapped a ticket on:
a) A police Range Rover parked on a zebra crossing.
b) A Number 9 bus picking up passengers at a bus stop.
c) The Teignmouth lifeboat.
16. Organisers of a Diamond Jubilee street party in Petersfield, Hants, were:
a) Given a grant by the local council.
b) Given free beer by local publicans.
c) Told they must go on a ‘ladder safety’ training course costing 320 before they were allowed to put up bunting.
Scheming: Abdul Esfandmozd, 51, fooled neighbours and officials by trundling around his home city in an electric chair for ten years
17. The rugby club at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, was disbanded after members turned up at a fancy dress party dressed variously as:
a) The Ku Klux Klan and a Ugandan warlord.
b) The murdered ‘Baby P’ and the football manager Gary Speed, who hanged himself.
c) All of the above.
18. Twenty-five firemen from three different fire stations raced to a 3ft-deep pond in South London to rescue:
a) A child who was drowning.
b) A swimmer who had got into difficulty and become trapped in weeds.
c) A seagull in distress — but they were ordered not to go in because it was too dangerous.
19. What happened when the Mayor of Exeter went out with local police on a fact-finding mission, wearing a hi-viz jacket
a) He made a citizen’s arrest.
b) He was so impressed he decided to volunteer for the Special Constabulary.
c) He was smashed over the head with a bottle by a hoodie who shouted: ‘He’ll do!’
20. Undercover council inspectors toured shops in Barnsley, Yorkshire, to investigate whether they were:
a) Over-charging customers.
b) Failing to meet hygiene standards.
21. Police who discovered a Kuwaiti diplomat urinating on Tony Blair’s doorstep in Connaught Square after a night on the razzle:
a) Arrested him for being drunk and disorderly.
b) Gave him a friendly reprimand and escorted him back to his embassy.
c) Zapped him with 50,000 volts from a Taser gun.
22. Affluent residents in Ascot, Berks, were accused of snobbery when they objected to a new children’s playground because:
a) It would spoil an area of outstanding natural beauty.
b) It would be a magnet for druggies and alcoholics.
c) It would be full of ‘really fat women from Bracknell’ who can’t control their children.
23. Armed police responded to a domestic disturbance in Telford, Shropshire, after a man was reported to be wielding a gun. They found him:
a) Pointing a starting pistol.
b) Waving a sawn-off Purdey.
c) Armed with a battery-driven sex toy, tucked into his belt.
24. In the week in which the Government was condemned for ordering ‘savage cuts’ in housing benefit and instituting a programme of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in London, a Somali family of ten was:
a) Deported to Somalia.
b) Evicted from a doss house in Acton, where they had been living on benefits in a single, cramped room above a kebab shop.
c) Moved into a 2 million home round the corner from Tony Blair’s old house in fashionable Islington.
A morbidly obese cannibal who ate the flesh of his victims after he had murdered them was sent to Broadmoor
25. A Bengali violinist called Abdul Shahid sued Tower Hamlets Council for 30,000 damages. He complained that:
a) He was a victim of racial discrimination.
b) He had not been paid for playing in a series of cultural concerts organised by the council.
c) He had been billed as ‘Bal’ Shahid and subjected to ridicule because ‘Bal’ in Bengali means ‘pubic hair’.
26. Police in Southend arrested a couple having open-air sex on the beach at 9.45am. When they appeared in court, they were spared a community service order because they were both on:
c) Disability benefit and therefore considered unfit for work.
27. A sales rep was awarded 44,000 after he was accused by his Newcastle-United-mad workmates of being a ‘crafty butcher’ — Geordie slang for homosexual. The reason
a) He was spotted coming out of a gay bar in Newcastle’s Pink Triangle district.
b) He has been to see the movie Mamma Mia! over 50 times.
c) He doesn’t like football.
28. Nigel Ely, an SAS soldier returned from duty in Iraq, was arrested by police in Derby and accused of ‘illegally removing cultural property’. What was he alleged to have stolen
a) Religious artifacts from Baghdad Central Mosque.
b) Priceless ancient gemstones from the museum in Basra.
c) The buttocks from a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein.
29. A crazy golf course in Blackpool installed what new attraction to pull in the punters
a) A hole modelled on Harry Potter.
b) A hole modelled on The Hobbit.
c) A hole featuring a giant model of Adolf Hitler which raises its right arm in a Nazi salute every time a ball passes underneath.
30. Abdul Esfandmozd said he couldn’t walk without crutches and whizzed round Portsmouth in an electric wheelchair. Over ten years he claimed more than 100,000 in benefits. This summer he was prosecuted for fraud after investigators discovered:
a) His carers were listed as D. Duck and P. Shilton and he owned properties in America, Cyprus and Malta.
b) He was filmed hula-dancing, hoisting a woman on his shoulders and diving into a swimming pool.
c) All of the above.
31. A morbidly obese cannibal who ate the flesh of his victims after he had murdered them was sent to Broadmoor, where he was given:
a) Life without parole.
b) Solitary confinement.
c) A gastric band fitted in a private hospital at taxpayers’ expense.
32. A pharmacist from Fife who sexually harassed female colleagues was cleared of misconduct because:
a) He wasn’t guilty.
b) The women had led him on.
c) He was a Muslim and therefore hadn’t acquired the ‘necessary social skills’ to handle working with women.
33. Liz Littlechild, from Battersea, South London, took two weeks compassionate leave from work, with her employer’s approval, to:
a) Care for a sick child.
b) Recover from a debilitating bout of flu.
c) Toilet-train her new Cockapoo puppy.
34. After a cow escaped from the cattle market in Welshpool, Powys, and holed up on a housing estate, police:
a) Called in the RSPCA.
b) Called in a vet to lead the animal to safety.
c) Called in marksmen in full body armour, with Heckler & Koch sub-machine guns, to shoot the cow dead.
35. Justin Barrett, 41, was detained by security staff at Stansted Airport, ushered into a private room, strip-searched and interrogated for 40 minutes. After being passed through an X-ray scanner, his hand luggage was found to contain a suspicious package. Was it:
c) A Wiggles the Caterpillar birthday cake.
36. The EU has introduced a 5,000 fine and possible jail sentence for anyone caught selling:
a) Protected species.
b) Crack cocaine.
c) Homemade jam in second-hand jars.
38. The National Association of Headteachers announced it wants the national curriculum to include compulsory lessons for children as young as ten in:
39. Colin Farmer, a 61-year-old blind stroke victim, was Tasered by police on his way to the pub in Chorley, Lancs. The officer who fired 50,000 volts into him and then knelt on his back and handcuffed him while he lay writhing on the ground, said:
a) He thought Mr Farmer was a Kuwaiti diplomat.
b) He thought Mr Farmer was a sheep.
c) He thought Mr Farmer’s white stick was a Samurai sword.
40. And finally, as the BBC continues to tear itself to pieces over Jimmy Savile and Scotland Yard appeals for anyone who ever watched Top Of The Pops to come forward and lodge a complaint of sexual abuse, we can all agree that Savile himself is:
a) Innocent until proven guilty.
b) The most evil paedophile in British history.
If you answered a) to all the questions: Mind How You Go.
If you answered b): You Couldn’t Make It Up.
If you answered c): Well done. One hundred per cent correct. Makes You Proud To Be British!