At about 7pm tonight, the England football manager, Gareth Southgate, will hold his post-match interview after his side’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania. Assuming England win against the country currently ranked 107th in the world, we can expect to hear Mr Southgate trot out a few stock phrases, such as ‘we kept the ball well’, ‘they were difficult to break down’ and ‘I couldn't fault the effort of my players’. We may even hit the jackpot with 'the performance didn’t matter, it was all about getting the three points'. What we are unlikely to hear from ‘the gaffer’ is a repeat of Mohammed Anas’s recent post-match interview. After accepting the Man of the Match award for his two-goal performance against Ajax Cape Town, the Ghanaian striker tipped his hat to both of his special ladies live on television. A brilliant watch. However, despite first attempting to rectify the situation by claiming that his wife and his girlfriend are in fact the same person, Anas has now come up with a better, altogether more plausible explanation. ‘Apparently his family knows that he calls his daughter his girlfriend’. Each to their own of course!
On Tuesday, The Local Data Company held their fifteenth Retail and Leisure Summit when they released their 2016 report on Great Britain’s retail and leisure trends. Their latest report shows, perhaps rather surprisingly, that the overall retail vacancy rate continues to decline, albeit gently. More stores opened than closed in 2016 and in December, the vacancy rate fell to its lowest level since 2010, reaching 12.2%. The coffee shop industry is certainly playing its part, with the latest research commissioned on behalf of UK Coffee Week indicating that new outlets are opening at a rate of more than three per day. 1,222 shops opened in 2016 alone and there are now around 23,000 coffee shops across the UK, serving 2.3 billion cups a year! Pubs on the other hand are shutting at a rate of three per day. Although there are still more than twice as many pubs as coffee shops, at the current rate the number of coffee shops will overtake the number of pubs by 2030. The time has certainly come for the pub industry to wake up and smell the roasting beans!
In case you had forgotten, not only is today Mother’s Day but the clocks also went forward one hour this morning, making the evenings brighter. However we try and dress it up, it still comes back to the fact that we have all just lost a precious hour in bed. So who can we blame for this outrage? Well, William Willett, back in 1907, was the man who introduced the idea of British Summer Time, aka Daylight Saving Time, as he was keen to prevent people from wasting vital hours of light during summer mornings. Perhaps rather more interesting is that William Willett is the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin. The band's 2002 album, Rush of Blood to the Head, included one of their best known songs 'Clocks', with a song called 'Daylight' also included on the same album. A coincidence, or Chris's tribute?? Either way, there is your fact of the day!