The Headline Challenge is played every weekday morning on the BBC Tees breakfast show (95fm). Peter Barron, and occasionally Chris Lloyd, bat for The Northern Echo, coming up with a funny story from around the world and challenging listeners to produce a better headline than theirs. Points are awarded for the best headline each day and it's double-points for a song title, film, play or book.


JANUARY 2:  The owner of the World's Oldest Sweet Shop, in Pately Bridge, puts the business up for sale after 20 years. Keith Tordoff wants to run for election to be the local Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner instead.

Echo: Bon Bon Voyage (0)
BBC: Lollicop man (1)

JANUARY 3: Catholic priest Father Peter O'Connor gets a big cheer as he exits a mass in Dublin by whizzing down the aisle on a scooter he told the children he got from Santa.

Echo: All things bright and scooterful (2)
BBC: Holy roller (1)


JANUARY 6: Massachusetts couple Valerie Sneade and Jason Roy have exchanged wedding vows at the same Dunkin' Donuts store where they parted as sweethearts 30 years ago.

Echo: Donut forsake me oh my darlin’ (0)
BBC: Dunk a dunk a burning love (2)

JANUARY 7: A cat called Padstow has been rescued by RSPCA officials after breaking into a prison in Cumbria. The pussy climbed a 25-feet perimeter fence at HM Prison Haverigg and walked along razor wire before getting trapped.

Echo: Purridge (2)
BBC: The Pawshank Redemption (2)

JANUARY 8: Police were led on a high-speed chase by a naked man who stole a car from outside a Florida hotel. The driver, who was under the influence, was said to have been uncomfortable during the chase because the car had leather seats.

Echo: Top rear (2)
BBC: Chafing cars (4)

JANUARY 9: A sculpture featuring a giant swirl of whipped cream and a cherry on top is to be the latest attraction in Trafalgar Square.

Echo: The Trifle Tower (3)
BBC: The Cake Modern (4)

JANUARY 10: The world's first cheese-themed hotel is to open in London. The Cheese Suite in Camden will have cheesy wallpaper, furniture, cushions, and bathroom soap.

Echo: Brie our guest (5)
BBC: B& Brie (4)

The Northern Echo:


JANUARY 13: Diego, the 100-year-old giant tortoise with a legendary sex drive, returns to the Galapagos Islands after saving his species by fathering an estimated 800 tortoises.

Echo: Diego forth and multiply (0)
BBC: The tortoise and the heirs (1)

JANUARY 14: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is appealing for "that special someone" to join him on a date during SpaceX's first tourist flight to the moon in 2023. He's looking for a 'life partner' and wants to "shout our love from outer space".

Echo: There’s a starman, dating in the sky (2)
BBC: Milky wahey! (1)

JANUARY 15: A man suspected of breaking into tyre shop in Georgia had to call the police to be rescued after a pile of tyres collapsed and trapped him. Police said Nathaniel King was in a "desperate situation" when he made the emergency call.

Echo: Caught tread-handed (3)
BBC: Alloy, alloy, what’s going on ‘ere then? (1)

JANUARY 16: Spotify has launched playlists for dogs left home alone.

Echo: A bone again, naturally (3)
BBC: Wired for hound (3)

The Northern Echo:

JANUARY 17: A Texas woman, whose boyfriend has dumped her, has gone viral after taking to Twitter to ask for advice on how to break the news to her cat who adored him. Abby Govinden, of Houston, said she didn't know how to tell her cat that he wasn't coming back.

Echo: If you leave miaow, you take away the biggest part of me (5)
BBC: Wake up moggie, I think I’ve got something to say to you (3)