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.



Echo: Woman in Germany puts her husband up for sale on Ebay for £16 (1)
BBC: Bidding you farewell (0)

JANUARY 3: BBC: Woman in California catches a thief by setting up security camera and leaving a fake package filled with cat poo.

Echo: It’s a cat trap – and you’ve been caught! (1)
BBC: An inside jobbie (1)

JANUARY 4: Firemen in New Zealand stage an annual football match by using hoses to manouvre the ball around the pitch.

Echo: Match of the spray (2)
BBC: Hose Mourinho (1)

The Northern Echo:


January 6: An airport worker in Toronto becomes an internet sensation with his dance moves while guiding in the planes

Echo: Jet Into The Groove (2)
BBC: Dance The Flight Away (0)

January 7: Launderettes in Chicago are turned into pop-up libraries

Echo: Lady Chatterley’s Lather (2)
BBC: Harry Potter and the Half-Load Rinse (4)

January 8: A motorist goes viral as he chases a runaway tyre down the highway in Houston.

Echo: Wheel meet again (4)
BBC: You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel (4)

January 9: A restaurant for nudists in Paris closes due to a lack of bums on seats

Echo: Nude Glorious Nude (4)
BBC: Bum dine with me (6)

The Northern Echo:

January 10: Californian woman betty Goedhart becomes world’s oldest trapeze artist at 85

Echo: Trapezey Lover (4)
BBC: Oldest swinger in town (8)


January 14: George, the lonely snail, dies at the University of Hawaii, bringing his species to an end.

Echo: If I could turn back slime (0)
BBC: Slime to snail goodbye (2)

The Northern Echo:

January 15: Woman in Pennsylvania is arrested while breaking into a police station to see an officer she wants to date.

Echo: Find me some bobby to love (0)
BBC: I wanna be Bobby’s girl (4)

January 16: Sunderland Football Club signs deal with Apple to become streaming partner, with playlists chosen by players.

Echo: Mackem the knife (2)
BBC: Sound of the football ground (4)

January 17: Grovelling husband Jose Torres, from Houston, has a list of his failings tattooed on his chest in a bid to stop his wife kicking him out.

Echo: Breaking up is hard tattoo (2)
BBC: Tattoo’s sorry now? (6)

January 18: Animal sanctuary in Kent offers romantics the chance to name a cockroach after their loved one for Valentine’s Day.

Echo: Crawl you need is love (2)
BBC: The Love Bug (10)


January 21: Vandals try to drive a car through a snowman in Kentucky but don’t realise it was built around a tree.

Echo: Costly the snowman (2)
BBC: Ice creamed (0)

The Northern Echo:

January 22: Doctors in Vietnam save man’s life by pumping 15 cans of beer into his stomach.

Echo: I’m only here for the beer (2)
BBC: Your life in their cans (2)

January 23: Man accidentally proposes to girlfriend while knocked out by sleeping pills.

Echo: Here coma the bride (2)
BBC: Wake me up before you say no (4)

January 24: Artist Pascale Sellick announces plans to marry her duvet at a ceremony in Exeter

Echo: Nice day for a white bedding (4)
BBC: Bedding of your dreams (4)

January 25: A herd of horses help to corner a suspect on the run from police in Florida

Echo: Neigh hiding place (4)
BBC: Inspector horse (6)


January 28: Police in Spennymoor launch their own caf← to improve community engagement.

Echo: Fancy a copper? (1)
BBC: PC Tips (0)

January 29: Thief Peter Hans Emery steals large quantity of painkillers in Florida, only to discover they were wrong labelled and we, in fact, laxatives.
Echo: On the runs (2)
BBC: I'm gonna run to loo (0)

January 30: Romantic Christopher Broderick hires a horse and suit of armour to propose to girlfriend Cindy MacDonald in Massachusetts.
Echo: I love you joust the way you are (2)
BBC: That's armoure! (2)

The Northern Echo:

January 31: Japanese entrepreneur Takanobu Nishimoto launches business, hiring out listeners at ᆪ7-an-hour to anyone wanting a good moan.
Echo: I'm in the moaney (4)
BBC: Money for moaning and a fix for a fee (2)

Feb 1: Police called in Kansas after family game of monopoly ends in a fight.
Echo: Putting the boot in (5)
BBC:  Board games dicing with the law (2)


Feb 4: Croft Motor Racing circuit offers romantics the chance to be a racing driver for Valentine’s Day.

Echo: Racy little thing called love (0)
BBC: The first time ever I saw your race (2)

Feb 5: A heart-shaped meteorite goes up for auction in time for Valentine’s Day.

Echo: A hunk, a hunk of burning love (2)
BBC: With love from me-teor (2)

The Northern Echo:

Feb 6: Greggs branch in Sunderland is named the best in the country.

Echo: The winner bakes it all (4)
BBC: They built this city on sausage rolls (2)

Feb 7: New dating app is launched which shows photos of the inside of your fridge.

Echo: Swipe left-overs (4)
BBC: Hello, is it brie you’re looking for (4)

Feb 8: Durham Wildlife Trust stages a “love birds” guided walk for Valentine’s Day.

Echo: How tweet it is to be loved by you (4)
BBC: I just cooed to say I love you (6)


Feb 11: A brawl breaks out during a game of bingo in Ontario when two women wanted to sit at the same chair.

Echo: Kelly’s black eye (0)
BBC: Dabber dabber do (1)

The Northern Echo:

Feb 12: Wildlife centre in Oregon offers to write name of your ex-lover onto the side of salmon and feed it to a bear.

Echo: Bearing a grudge (0)
BBC: Bear goes my first love (3)

Feb 13: Police are called to suspected burglary in Minneapolis only to discover the intruder is a horse.

Echo: Neigh-bourhood watch (1)
BBC: Breaking and cantering (3)

Feb 14: Florence airport in South Carolina has to be closed after a woman is seen streaking down the runway.

Echo: Bum fly with me (3)
BBC: Fly me and I’ll moon (3)

Feb 15: Police in Norway use their riot shields as sledges.

Echo: Police Winterceptors (3)
BBC: The Thin Blue Slide (5)


February 18: New dating app called Tudder is launched to help farmers match up their livestock.

Echo: Something in the way she moos (0)
BBC: It Tudder been me (2)

The Northern Echo:

February 19: Prosecutor Brandon Dinetz stages a fake trial in Florida to propose to fellow attorney Jen Lettman.

Echo: Wife sentence (1)
BBC: I rest my fate (2)

February 20: Bayern Munich mock up The Beatles' classic Abbey Road album cover ahead of their Champions' League clash with Liverpool.

Echo: Kick it to ride (1)
BBC: Fab four four two (3)

February 21: Veteran TV commentator Pierre McGuire is lucky to be alive after a puck missed him by a whisker during an ice hockey game in Ohio.

Echo: Some guys have all the puck (1)
BBC: I should be so pucky, pucky, pucky, pucky (5)

February 22: Man comes bottom of Fantasy Football League in Texas and has to pay a forfeit - stripping down to gold swimming trunks, covering himself in peanut butter, and standing in a dog pound.

Echo: Butter luck next time (2)
BBC: Why do you lick me up, butter-pup (5)


February 25: Man arrested after burgling house in a gorilla costume in Lousiana.

Echo: Breaking Kong and entering (0)
BBC: Primate suspect (2)

February 26: Pensioner drinks half a litre of paint after mistaking it for yoghurt

Echo: I’ve glossed my appetite (1)
BBC: He came over all emulsional (2)

February 27: It’s traffic chaos as 4,000 pies fall off a wagon in New Zealand.

Echo: Pieway to hell (1)
BBC: My way or the pieway (3)

February 28: Firefighters rescue a fat rat from a manhole cover in Germany.

Echo: Tubby or not tubby – rat is the question (1)
BBC: Roland Fat (4)

The Northern Echo:

March 1: Cadbury’s recruit chocolate tasters to test their products.

Echo: Opportunity chocs (1)
BBC: Money for scoffin’ and your chocs for free (6)

WEEK 10   

March 4: Fight breaks out in Alabama restaurant over who was first in the queue for the crabs’ legs with serving tongs used as weapon.

Echo: The tong side of the claw (1)
BBC: Battle crustaceans (0)

March 5: World record is set in Blackpool for the most naked people on a roller-coaster.

Echo: The Big stripper (1)
BBC: The wind beneath my things (2)

The Northern Echo:

March 6: Theo the pilfering cat in Ipswich comes home with £25.70 left out for the milkmen.

Echo: Miaow dairy? (1)
BBC: Kleptomani-cat (3)

March 7: Spanish farmer Pablo Pato treats his cows to a daily roller-skating show.

Echo: Beef casse-roll (2)
BBC: Let meat entertain you (3)

March 8: Pilot in Canada delivers pizzas to passengers stranded in a snowstorm on runway.

Echo: Cheesy jet (3)
BBC: Cleared for take-away (3)


March 11: Snorkeler is swallowed by a whale off South Africa and then spat back out.

BBC: All’s whale that ends whale (0 )
Echo: Moby Lick (2 )

March 12: Man running marathon in London wearing a Big Ben costume is blown off course by high winds.

Echo: Bong with the wind (4)
BBC: The wind beneath my rings (4)

March 13: Man stopped in his car with $10,000 of Disney merchandise in his car in America.

Echo: Taking the Mickey (5)
BBC: Eyeore to know better (4)

March 14: Darren Ansbro, of Yarm, takes part in first ever Window Cleaning World Cup

Echo: The window takes it all (5)
BBC: Win I’m cleaning windows (6)

March 15: Pilot delivers burgers to passengers stuck on a runway in Oklahoma.

Echo: Burger and flies (6)
BBC: Flippin’ hero (6)


March 18: A Harry Potter-themed restaurant opens in New Zealand.

Echo: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Scone (0)
BBC: Harry’s Potter tea (1)

March 19: Racehorse escapes from Uttoxeter races and ends up outside Domino’s pizza shop.

Echo: Cloppy guiseppe (1)
BBC: Domineighs (1)

The Northern Echo:

March 20: Armando, the racing pigeon, sells for a world record 1.25m euros.

Echo: Coo wants to be a millionaire (3)
BBC: Coo’s in the money (3)

March 21: Californian businessman faces legal action from neighbours over Fred Flinstone-style house complete with dinosaurs

Echo: Yabba-dabba sue! (3)
BBC: Stonerage (4)

March 22: Man forced to lower his fence in California takes revenge on neighbor by setting up naked mannequins in his garden.

Echo: Neigh-bare-hood crotch (3)
BBC: Don’t look crack in anger (6)


March 25: Postman “dies” of a heart attack in Gloucester but comes back to life while being wheeled to the morgue.

Echo: Post-mortem Pat (6)
BBC: Back in a jiffy (0)

March 26: Truck catches fire in California carrying a load of sausages and bacon.

Echo: Fryway to hell (8)
BBC: The sowering inferno (0)

March 27: A contest takes place in Belgium to find the best seagull impressionist.

Echo: My gull, squawking about my gull (8)
BBC: Mock of seagulls (1)

March 28: Shoppers report seeing ghost in the aisles of a supermarket in Massachusetts.

Echo: The Phantom of the Shopera (8)
BBC: The Lidl Shop of Horrors (5)

March 29: Man arrested in New York for stealing a lorry-load of cakes.

Echo: Battenburglar (8)
BBC: Hit and crumb (9)

The Northern Echo:


April 1: Man caught driving a car in Minnesota with two pigs on his lap.

Echo: Chop gear (2)
BBC: Lewis Ham-ilton (0)

April 2: Police officer goes into sauna in Sweden on his day off and arrests a naked wanted man sitting next to him.

Echo: Sweat’s be having you (2)
BBC: Starkers and Hutch (2)

April 3: Heck Food company announces plans to erect Sausage of the North sculpture on the A1.

Echo: Link road (2)
BBC: Highway to heck (4)

The Northern Echo:

April 4: Cornish man calms down aggressive pheasant by donning a g-string and performing a masculine sex dance.

Echo: I wanna dance with some birdy (4)
BBC: Shake your tail feathers (4)

April 5: Two car dealers walk to work in Darlington dressed as traffic cones to raise money for the Butterwick Hospice.

Echo: Coneth the hour, coneth the man (4)
BBC: Country roads – take me cone (6)


April 8: Football fan in Argentina digs up grandad’s skull so he can join in the celebrations when their local team wins the title.

Echo: Football’s coming bone (0)
BBC: You’ll never walk a bone (2)

The Northern Echo:

April 9: Louie, the spaniel, is taken to the vets who discover he’s swallowed five golf balls on a course in Birmingham.

Echo: Tiger Woofs (1)
BBC: He’s been a bit rough (2)

April 10: Fun-runner plans to run the London Marathon carrying an ironing board.

Echo: Creased lightning (1)
BBC: Steam GB (3)

April 11: Woman lodges insurance claim in America after horse tries to mate with her car.

Echo: Hump in the road (1)
BBC: Unbridled passion (4)

April 12: A Morris Dancing festival comes to Darlington.

Echo: The Morris the merrier (1)
BBC: Stickly chums dancing (6)


April 15:  Jeremy Corbyn gives gardening advice on social media.

Echo: The Weeder of the Opposition (1)
BBC: The irises have it (0)

April 16: Hartlepool United fans plan to dress as Knights of the realm for the last away match.

Echo: Sir Goal-ahad (1)
BBC: Knights of the league table (2)

April 17: Ollie the collie loves playing football and won’t let the postman deliver letters to the house in Rosyth until they’ve played football.

Echo: Kenny Dog-leash hits the post (2)
BBC: In off the postie (2)

April 18: Restaurant is planned for York with Viking theme and has an area to try axe-throwing.

Echo: Pork chopper (2)
BBC: York chop (3)

The Northern Echo:

WEEK 17   

April 23: David Page, 72, wins the World Coal-carrying Championships

Echo: Coal-lympic champion (0)
BBC: Coaling for gold (1)

April 24: The Easter bunny gets involved in a brawl in Orlando and displays boxing skills.

Echo: Tyson Furry (0)
BBC: Thumper (2)

April 25: Barbara the sheep is fitted with a double-D bra in Norwich because she’s struggling with over-sized udders.

Echo: Bra bra blacksheep (2)
BBC: Ba-ba-ba-ba Ba-a-ba-bra-lamb (2)

The Northern Echo:

April 26: CCTV shows it’s a mouse – not a ghost – that’s been tidying up a Bristol man’s shed every night.

Echo: Mouse proud (2)
BBC: Arranger mouse (4)


April 29: Darlington market trader Seymour Borlant recalls singing live on Cairo TV with a cat that pooed on his white tuxedo.

Echo: Top of the poops (0)
BBC: What’s poo pussycat? (2)

The Northern Echo:

April 30: Man in Queensland has the world’s largest collection of antique sewing machines and plans to open a museum.
Echo: And I love you sew (2)
BBC: Sewing the seeds of love (2)

May 1: A bird-box disguised as a speed camera is slowing down motorists in Cornwall.

Echo: Thrush hour (4)
BBC: Spy-lark (2)

May 2: Florida steakhouse appeals for the return of its stolen life-size plastic cow.

Echo: They can’t steak that away from me (6)
BBC: Cow-ch me if moo can (2)

May 3: Two gulls, nicknamed Graeme and Steve, go viral after becoming fascinated with a traffic camera in London.

Echo: Gulls on film (6)
BBC: Birds of a feather pose together (8)


May 7: Thieves steal $25,000 of lingerie from a Victoria’s Secret store in America
Echo: Thong arm of the law (0)
BBC: Busted (1)

May 8: County Durham Fire & Rescue Service reaches final of national football final.

Echo: You only singe when you’re winning (2)
BBC: Burned it like Beckham (1)

May 9: School in the French Alps registers 15 sheep as pupils to keep up class sizes

Echo: Ed-ewe-cating Bleater (4)
BBC: Key Stage Ewe (1)

May 10: Pigeon caught breaking the limit on a speed camera in Germany

Echo: Fast and coo-rious (6)
BBC: Catch the pigeon (1)

The Northern Echo:


May 13: Durham Chief Constable Mike Barton completes charity sky-dive

Echo: It’s a fair drop, Guvnor (0)
BBC: Hurtle Poirot (6)

May 14: Cinema in Switzerland swaps its seats for double-beds.

Echo: The Good, The Bad and The Snugly (0)
BBC: Move over, Darlin’ (10)

May 15: Man walking his dog in Australia finds a gold nugget worth $37,000.

Echo: Wags to riches (0)
BBC: Gold-run Retriever (11)

May 16: World’s smallest disco in a Devon phone-box proves a big hit

Echo: Stay on the line, stay on the line (by the BT Gees) (4)
BBC: Ring my bell (11)

The Northern Echo:

May 17: Student in South Africa poses as food quality inspector to get a free meal every day for a year at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Echo: Con-tucky-lied chicken (5)
BBC: I steal like Chicken Tonight (12)


May 20: The Queen employs a servant to break in her new shoes.
Echo: Send her big toe-rious (1)
BBC: Tread of stead (0)

May 21: Football pitch in New Jersey is shut down after rare bird builds nest near the goal.

Echo: Hatch of the day (3)
BBC: On the wing (0)

The Northern Echo:

May 22: The Spice Girls tour bus has been converted into an Airbnb

Echo: If you wanna be my lodger (3)
BBC: Arriva forever (2)

May 23: Victoria and Albert Museum displays cheese matured from microbes taken from celebrities.

Echo: Camembert Grills (4)
BBC: Brie-once (3)

May 24: Man in Orlando goes round rescuing homeless cats and dogs while dressed as Batman.

Echo: The Bark Knight (4)
BBC: Gotham kitty (4)


May 28: Austrian firefighters rescue a fat hedgehog that got stuck in a gate.

Echo: Wedgehog (1)
BBC: Mrs Biggy-winkle (0)

May 29: Glasgow café introduces camel milk for teas and coffees.

Echo: One hump or two? (1)
BBC: Camel-mine tea (1)

May 30: Pub in London gets a nudist licence

Echo: A bum and coke please (1)
BBC: A nuddy Mary (2)

The Northern Echo:

May 31: An “unexploded bomb” in London turns out to be a giant Christmas bauble.

Echo: Blast Christmas (3)
BBC: Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow (2)


June 3: Football-mad couple’s wedding in Plymouth clashes with the Champions’ League so the cake is cut at half-time.

Echo: Come on you weds (0)
BBC: Kop the question (1)

June 4: Visitors to a bar in San Francisco can stroke a rat while having a drink.

Echo: One for the rodent (0)
BBC: Ales of the Riverbank (3)

The Northern Echo:

June 5: A chess piece found in a drawer in Edinburgh is expected to fetch £1m at auction.

Echo: Oh, what a knight! (2)
BBC: Cheque mate (3)

June 6: Rock musician Emlyn Hugill becomes a butcher and creates a sausage in honour of Newton Aycliffe called The Yackley Banger.

Echo: You ain’t nothing but a hot dog (2)
BBC: Boom banger man, boom banger man (3)

June 7: Burglar is chased down the street in Australia by a man wearing just boxer shorts and armed with a didgeridoo.

Echo: Didgeridoo-run-run (4)
BBC: No, you didgeridon’t (4)


June 10: A man on the run in Florida after a burglary is found hiding naked in a chicken coop.
Echo: Bare-faced chick (1)
BBC: Kentucky hide chicken (0)

June 11: Two frogs are married in India to appease the rain gods and end a drought.

Echo: Hop-lessly devoted to you (1)
BBC: Totally Kermit-ed to you (2)

June 12: A giant inflatable cow floats into the sky in Alabama and causes a traffic hazard.

Echo: Fly me to the moo (3)
BBC: Raising the steaks (2)

June 13: University boffins in France discover that fish suffer from love-sickness.

Echo: Guppy love (5)
BBC: Absence makes the heart grow flounder (2)

June 14: Man proposes to girlfriend by hiding the ring inside a Big Mac at a McDonald’s restaurant.

Echo: Mac the wife (5)
BBC: If you bite it then you should have put a ring on it (4)

The Northern Echo:


June 17: An artist recreates Madonna video scenes and album covers using a dog called Max.

Echo: Puppy don’t preach (0)
BBC: La Isla Bone-eater (2)

June 18: A pizza delivery driver tried to deliver four pizzas to Buckingham Palace, only to be told by security officers that The Queen hadn't ordered any. Mind you, they did have to check.

Echo: Quatro For-Majesty (1)
BBC: Pepper-throne-i (2)

June 19: A man has broken a world record by cramming 146 blueberries in his mouth at once. The record was set by David Rush who also once broke the record for holding 100 candles in his mouth.

Echo: Jam-packed (2)
BBC: I had my fill on Blueberry Hill (2)

June 20: The world's biggest lump of ear wax has been removed from a man's ear at a clinic in Leicester. The whopping blockage was discovered by consultant audiologist Neal Raithathe.

Echo: The wax of my ears (4)
BBC: I can hear clearly now the wax has gone (2)

June 21: A tree in Germany is believed to have the magical power to help lonely hearts find love. Dozens of people send letters to the tree in a forest in Eutin every day and they are pinned to the tree by retired postman Karl-Heinz Martens.

Echo: Whole log a love (6)
BBC: Love in the first big tree (2)

The Northern Echo:


June 24: A man has broken a speed world record for eating a mountain of breakfast items. Adam Moran scoffed 65 items - including eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, and toast - in Nottingham within 12 minutes.

Echo: Ain’t no mountain fry enough (0)
BBC: Heavy-plate champion (1)

June 25: An old dairy in the Swiss Alps is converted into one of the highest breweries in Europe.

Echo: Climb gentlemen please (0)
BBC: He’s got high hops (3)

June 26: Police in Florida reunite a man with his prosthetic ear after he goes swimming on holiday, puts it in the pocket of his trunks, and it’s washed away by a wave.

Echo: Wish you were ear (0)
BBC: Ear-united and it feels so good (5)

June 27: Horrible Histories author Terry Deary is to lead a history run as part of the Durham City Run Festival.

Echo: Mo Pharoah (0)
BBC: The Runpowder Plot (6)

June 28: A book made entirely of grass tours Ireland to promote sustainable farming.

Echo: Lawn of the rings (8)
BBC: The Green, Green Grass of Tome (6)

The Northern Echo:


July 1: Police in Germany pull over a man for riding a motorcycle in nothing but a helmet and sandals.
Echo: Breezy rider (2)
BBC: Sleazy rider (0)

July 2: Video of a man playing saxophone to attentive cows in Oregon goes viral.

Echo: Acker milk (2)
BBC: I can hear moosic, sweet, sweet moosic (2)

July 3: A deer is filmed dribbling a ball on a football pitch in the Scottish Highlands.

Echo: Bambi Gascoigne (2)
BBC: Monarch of the Glen Hoddle (4)

July 4: Angler reels in fish wearing a wedding ring. The ring had been tied to the fish by a boat skipper who thought it was cursed after his divorce.

Echo: All trout of love (4)
BBC: In and trout of love (4)

July 5: A male streaker runs onto the wicket during the England versus New Zealand Cricket World Cup match at The Riverside in Chester-le-Street.

Echo: Leg be-phwoar wicket (4)
BBC: Short of a length (5)

The Northern Echo:


June 8: People in Florida are warned to be on guard for a bear that likes to pop into the local leisure centre for a swim

Echo: Paddlington Bear (0)
BBC: Winnie The Pool (8)

June 9: A man is arrested in Minnesota for fishing naked.

Echo: Fishing tackle (1)
BBC: The one that go wahay! (8)

July 10: Snowball the cockatoo learns to dance to pop songs.

Echo: I wanna dance with some-birdy (1)
BBC: It takes a cockatoo to tango (10)

July 11: The Swiss Red Arrows lose their sense of direction and fly over a yodelling festival by mistake.

Echo: Chocs away-ee-ooo (3)
BBC: Over the tent came a low-flying aircraft, yodel-aye-yodel-aye, yodel-aye-ee-oo (10)

The Northern Echo:

July 12: A survey shows that nearly half of Britons sing along to music while in the show.

Echo: If you wanna be my loofah (3)
BBC: Soap opera (11)


July 15: The world’s tallest sandcastle is built in Germany at 57 feet and 11 inches.

Echo: King of the castle (0)
BBC: Sandringham (0)

July 16: Tokyo hotel features a Boeing 737 simulator in one of the rooms

Echo: Fly me to the room (0)
BBC: Room with a crew (6)

July 17: Colombian man arrested at Barcelona Airport for trying to smuggle cocaine under his toupee.

Echo: Crackhead (0)
BBC: Pablo Escobarnet (7)

July 18: Utrecht makes 136 bus stops bee-friendly by planting grass and wildflowers on the roofs of bus shelters.

Echo: The Wheels On the Buzz Go Round and Round (0)
BBC: On The Buzzes (11)

The Northern Echo:

July 19:  An app comes on the market to help insomniacs by reading them stories.

Echo: The Wind In the Pillows (6)
BBC: Robinson Snoozo (11)

July 19:  An app comes on the market to help insomniacs by reading them stories.

Echo: The Wind In the Pillows (6)
BBC: Robinson Snoozo (11)


July 22: Peppa Pig brings out her debut album.

Echo: Don’t go bacon my heart – I couldn’t if I fried (2)
BBC: I ham what I ham (0)

July 23: Survey shows Monopoly, Scrabble and Snakes & Ladders are Britain's favourite board games but also the cause of family disagreements. 

Echo: A fight on the tiles (2)
BBC: Unhappy Families (1)

The Northern Echo:

July 24: Sammy the Snail wins the World Snail Racing Championships in Norfolk.

Echo: Ready, steady, Lescargot (2)
BBC: Like a bat out of shell (3)

July 25: Woman arrested in Florida for smashing a lemon cake in her mother’s face during an argument.

Echo: Crumb and have a go if you think you’re hard enough (2)
BBC: It’s a family éclair (6)

July 26: Woman arrested in Indiana for stealing a set of dentures.

Echo: Crime Choppers (4)
BBC: Incisor job (6)


July 29: Texas man called Jon Blaze takes his girlfriend on a bike ride and when she checks the route on her phone tracker it spells “Marry me?”.

Echo: On a bicycle made to woo (2)
BBC: Tour de Fiance (2)

July 30: The World Thumb Wrestling Championships take place in Suffolk.

Echo: Thumb and have a go if you think you’re hard enough. (2)
BBC: Mission opposable (4)

July 31: A crazy golf course has been set up at Rochester Cathedral.

Echo: Holy in one (3)
BBC: Let us play (4)

August 1: A stray cow disrupts lessons by walking into a classroom in Bombay.

Echo: School’s out for heifer (5)
BBC: The School of Herd Knocks (4)

August 2: The British Town Crier Championships are held in Darlington.

Echo: For crying out loud (5)
BBC: Darling-tone (5)

The Northern Echo:


August 5: French inventor Franky Zapata becomes the first to cross the Channel on a jet-powered hover board a week after his first attempt failed.

Echo: We shall hover-come (2)
BBC: Man hover board (0)

August 6: Police in Germany are called out to a noisy late-night disturbance only to discover amorous hedgehogs mating.

Echo: A bit of slap and prickle (3)
BBC: A spine romance (0)

August 7: A large cow at a farmers’ exhibition in Malaysia goes viral after being named after Donald Trump.

Echo: Steak news (4)
BBC: Old fat Donald on a farm (0)

August 8: Dairy farmer in Singapore proposes to girlfriend by placing diamond ring on a cow’s udder.

Echo: How teat it is to be loved by you (4)
BBC:  Diamonds are for heifer (6)

August 9: Bedale Town Football Club unveils new strip with sausage and peas on a bed of mash with gravy-boat socks.

Echo: Mash of the day (6)
BBC: Toad in the goal (6)


August 12: Norwich Cathedral installs a helter-skelter

Echo: A slide with me (0)
BBC: Prayer-ground attraction (1)

August 13: Austrian athlete Josef Koeberl breaks world record for the longest time submerged in ice wearing just a pair of budgie-smugglers
Echo: Freeze a jolly good fellow (0)
BBC: Going for cold (3)

August 14: Dagger, the New York dog, makes a name for himself as an artist.

Echo: Flea-nardo Da Vinci (0)
BBC: Labradoodler (4)

August 15: A pub in Amiens, France, is left dangling over a 16-feet deep sink-hole

Echo: A drop of the hard stuff (1)
BBC: Fancy sinking a pint? (4)

August 16: Thornaby and Barwick Gymnastics Club raised £750 for the North East Autism Society by performing cartwheels over seven kilometres.

Echo: Let’s get reddies to tumble (1)
BBC: The cartwheel of fortune (8)

The Northern Echo:


August 19: Percy the pooch joins in a mass litter-picking event in Darlington.

Echo: Pick of the litter (0)
BBC: Hound of the Basket-villes (0)

The Northern Echo:

August 20: The captain of a cruise liner docks at the Port of Tyne and orders 800 Greggs sausage rolls for passengers.

Echo: Any pork in a storm (0)
BBC: The Hog On The Tyne Is All Mine (2)

August 21: Violet the Labrador steals a lemon drizzle cake entered in the Warkworth Show in Northumberland.

Echo: The Great British Bark Off (2)
BBC: Awaiting the lab report (2)

August 22: A film night under the stars ends in chaos in Denver when air-beds going flying in high winds.

Echo: The Wind In The Pillows (8)
BBC: Satrurday Night at The Duvets (2)

August 23: Service dogs in Ontario make up the audience for a musical as part of their training.

Echo: The Hounds of Music (8)
BBC: Westie Side Story (8)

The Northern Echo:


August 27: Northallerton Rugby Club has staged its first wedding, with club stalwart Oliver Watts marrying Hannah Dyson on the pitch in front of the clubhouse.

Echo: Here scrums the bride (0)
BBC: Trying the knot (1)

August 28: Traffic lights in the Danish city of Aarhus are being fitted with new Viking symbols to mark its Norse history.

Echo: Stop, loot, listen (1)
BBC: Stop, Loki, listen (1)

August 29: Klepetan the stork flies 8,000 miles from Cape Town to Croatia every year to see his girlfriend.

Echo: I would stork 8,000 miles, and I would stork 8,000 more (3)
BBC: Let’s stork about love (1)

August 30: Derek Simms cooks his wife’s tea and sees Freddie Mercury’s face in a pork chop

Echo: Don’t chop me (3)
BBC: I sear a little silhouette of a man (3)

The Northern Echo:


September 2: Chicken lays an egg with three yolks in Auckland.

Echo: Three range eggs (0)
BBC: One, twice, three times a laid-y (2)

September 3: The Pope is late for a sermon after getting stuck in a Vatican lift and having to be rescued by firefighters.

Echo: How late thou art (2)
BBC: Ascension Day (2)

Sept 4: Nancy Drew the tortoise pops to the Nottingham Arms at Tewkesbury for a daily tipple.

Echo: Pub crawl (2)
BBC: You’re round (3)

Sept 5: Chef Ashley McCarthy makes an edible Elvis Presley from cake and chocolate at The Sun Inn at Colton, near York.

Echo: Inn the gateaux (2)
BBC: That’s that fondant of you (5)

The Northern Echo:

Sept 6: Robot strippers raise eyebrows at a club in Nantes, France.

Echo: See-through P O (2)
BBC: Chip tease (7)


September 9: Maurice the cockerel has won a landmark court ruling in France, allowing him to carry on crowing at the crack of dawn. Businessman Jean-Louis Biron took Maurice to court in a bid to stop the racket after buying a holiday home next to his owners in Ile d'Oleron, a small island off France's west coast. However, a judge has ruled in Maurice's favour.

Echo: Let it crow (0)
BBC: The crow must go on (2)

September 10: Student Jacob Pina, from Massachussets, has become an internet sensation because he has an amazing five-inch long thumb.

Echo: There’s always thumbthing there to remind me (2)
BBC: Can you digit? (2)

September 11: Ludivine, the bloodhound, is let out for a leak in Alabama and accidentally joins the runners in a half-marathon, finishing seventh.

Echo: Widdle distance runner (2)
BBC: Bark run (3)

September 12: The council in Wellington, New Zealand, has defended spending $16k on employing an actor to walk around in a giant crayfish suit to raise awareness of the environment. The authority insists Frank The Crayfish will prove to be value for money.

Echo: Don’t give up the cray job (3)
BBC: Earning a crustacean (3)

The Northern Echo:

September 13: Two frogs that went through a wedding ceremony in India to please the rain gods during a drought have now got divorced because it rained too much and caused flooding in Bhopal.

Echo: Don’t you froget about me (3)
BBC: No Kermit-ment (4)


September 16: Jeremy Clarkson applies to West Oxford District Council for permission to have an allotment and potting shed on his 312-acre estate.

Echo: Crop Gear (0)
BBC: Who wants to be a legumiere? (2)

The Northern Echo:

September 17: Police are desperately trying to track down thieves who have stolen an 18-carat gold working toilet worth £4.2m from Blenheim Palace.

Echo: On the runs (1)
BBC: The Man With The Golden Bum (2)

September 18: A quirky speed dating event in Christchurch will bring couples together while surrounded by rescue cats.

Echo: Take miaowt (5)
BBC: More than a feline (2)

September 19: High-wire artist Anna Traber marries sweetheart Sven Lier in a wedding ceremony held on a tightrope in the German town of Breisach. The bride's father then drove the couple across the rope on a motorbike.

Echo: The bride is high but she’s holding on (5)
BBC: Bride on a wire (6)


September 23: A world record has been set at a stadium in Ohio when 2,344 drink cans were opened simultaneously.

Echo: Let’s get fizzy-cal (2)
BBC: Synchronised tinning (0)

September 24: The world's first ghost merchants has opened in The Shambles - an ancient street in York. When a purchaser finds a ghost that 'calls to them', they can take a picture in a secret compartment hidden in a panelled wall, before it is carefully packed into its travel box. Two sizes of ghost are available, priced at £14 and £7.

Echo: Boo one get one free (2)
BBC: The Phantom of the Opera (6)

The Northern Echo:

September 25: Woman in Louisiana is forced to bite a camel in the nether regions after it sits on her when she goes into its enclosure in pursuit of her deaf dog.

Echo: One hump or chew (3)
BBC: Dangle-bite Humperdink (6)

September 26: A stolen dog costume has been recovered in the Canadian city of Prince George after several sightings of someone riding a bike dressed as a dog. The costume was stolen from an animal rescue charity and a suspect is now under arrest.

Echo: Bradley Waggins (4)
BBC: The long arm of the paw (6)

September 27: Newly-weds Corey Brewer and Sarina Thompson got the shock of their lives when their wedding pictures - taken amid the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee - were photo-bombed by a bear.

Echo: You’re the furriest, my last, my everything (6)
BBC: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something Baloo (6)


September 30: Police believe 50,000 apples which have vanished from an orchard in Indiana have been stolen to be used to make illicit cider. The apples, worth $27,000, were picked one by one.

Echo: In-cider job (1)
BBC: Let’s get ready to crumble (0)

October 1: Therese Merkel wanted to secretly photograph the moment Andrew Philibeck proposed to her sister Rachel in Wisconsin - so she disguised herself as a bush.

Echo: Privet eyes are watching you (3)
BBC: You can’t see the woos for the trees (0)

October 2: A micro pig called Joy, who lives in Iowa, has broken the record for being the most multi-talented pig in the world. Joy sealed the record by performing the most number of tricks in a minute, including playing the piano, dancing, shaking hands and honking a horn.

Echo: Pork chopsticks (5)
BBC: Bacon’s got talent (0)

October 3: A gang hijacked a truck carrying 22,488kg of tea in India only to discover that none of them knew how to drive. The Calcutta-bound wagon left a trail of destruction before being stopped by police.

Echo: PG Twits (5)
BBC: Brew’s gonna drive you home (2)

October 4: Rock band Kiss are to play a concert from a glass-bottomed boat in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia to an audience of sea creatures, including sharks.

Echo: Cod gave rock and roe to you (5)
BBC: Crayfish, crayfish, crayfish nights (4)

The Northern Echo:


October 7: Florida man Deandre Somerville has been sentenced to 10 days in jail because he over-slept and was late for jury service.

Echo: Snore and order (0)
BBC: Forty clinks (1)

October 8: Scientists at Scotland's Rural College in Aberdeen have been awarded £250,000 for a study into breeding sheep that emit less methane. 

Echo: Burpy burpy sheep sheep (0)
BBC: Hello mutton, hello farter (3)

October 9: A group of nudists have helped firefighters to contain a wildfire in Tennessee.

Echo: Naked flame (0)
BBC: Flame-grilled tender groin (4)

October 10: Rap star Drake has had a singing toilet installed in his mansion. It plays music every time the lid is lifted.

Echo: Cisterns are doing it for themselves (2)
BBC: A number one bites the dust (4)

October 11: Fella called Pete proposes to Tara at Yorkshire Tea factory in Harrogate.

Echo: You’re brew-tea-ful (2)
BBC: Hopelessly tea-devoted to brew (6)

The Northern Echo:


October 14: Paddy, the ginger car, gets the title “Chief Moggy Mourner, in The Wirral, after turning up for more than 100 funerals and cremations.

Echo: The Cat crypt in (0)
BBC: Tell miaow I'm supposed to live without you (2)

October 15: Millie the cat goes missing from home in Hurworth – and turns up living the high-life at five-star Rockliffe Hall.

Echo: Purr for the course (1)
BBC: Keeping up with the Cat-Dashians (2)

The Northern Echo:

October 16: A security guard in Wisconsin had to call the police for help after he got bored and locked himself in his own handcuffs without realising he'd left the key at home.
Echo: Police release me, let me go (3)
BBC: The wrong arm of the law (2)

October 17: German researcher Eva Luef, who is based in the Republic of Congo, has discovered that gorillas sing songs at mealtimes because they are happy.

Echo: I heard it through the ape-vine (3)
BBC: Hi-ho silverback dining (4)

October 18: Bull escapes slaughterhouse in San Pedro, Argentina, and tries to join in football match while the ref blows his whistle to alert players and spectators.
Echo: Footbull’s coming home (5)
BBC: The beauti-bull game (4)


October 21: Bosnian woman Zorica Rebernik lives in a red house, wears red clothes, eats and drinks from red crockery, and has now had tombstones made from red granite made for her and her husbands.

Echo: Reddy, deady go (0)
BBC: Scarlet fever (2)

October 22: A restaurant has opened in India on the site of an old cemetery. Owner Krishnan Kutti bought the site without realising its history and now diners sit surrounded by graves.

Echo: Under-tikka (0)
BBC: I just died in your nans tonight (4)

October 23: A new book has been launched called Bedtime Stories for Plants, with the publishers claiming that talking to plants at night-time helps them grow.

Echo: Harry Pot Plant and the Border of the Seed Mix (0)
BBC: Jack and the Beans Talk (8)

October 24: Man in a Father Christmas costume arrested for drink driving in California

Echo: Arrest ye sherry gentleman (2)
BBC: Little plonky (8)

October 25: Scientists in Virginia teach rats to drive miniature cars in search of food

Echo: The Rodent to Hell (2)
BBC: There’s a rat in my Citroen, what am I gonna do? (10)

The Northern Echo:


October 28: The mating services of a champion ram are put up for auction to raise money for flood victims in the Yorkshire Dales’ farming communities.

Echo: Where there’s a wool, there’s a w’hay! (1)
BBC: Ram-a-lamb-a-ding-dong (0)

October 29: Dogs help archaeologists uncover an iron age settlement in Croatia.

Echo: Indiana Bones and the Raiders of the Lost Bark (3)
BBC: Barkaeologists (0)

October 30: Chris, the world’s woolliest sheep dies of old age in Australia.

Echo: Rest in fleece (3)
BBC: Shorn of the dead (2)

The Northern Echo:

October 31: A funeral in Germany ends in chaos when mourners are given a cake laced with cannabis.

Echo: Ganja but not forgotten (3)
BBC: Hashish to ashes (6)

November 1: A dog has been named after Harry Potter because he has a lightning-shaped mark on his forehead. Potter, the Husky-Pomeranian cross, lives in Indiana and has become a Halloween hit on the internet.

Echo: Harry Petter and the Philosopher’s Bone (7)
BBC: Dumble-dog (6)


November 4: An oven is sent to the International Space Station so astronauts can bake in zero gravity.

Echo: There’s a star flan baking in the sky (2)
BBC: Ground control to Major Scone (0)

November 5: Newly-weds Bekah and Tim Blakely-Savage have their wedding photos taken on a beach in Hawaii but get swamped by a giant wave and end up soaked.

Echo: I love you just the wave you are (2)
BBC: Here comes the tide (2)

November 6: A school parrot called Sim has celebrated his 70th birthday on Jersey. Sim lives at Rouge Bouillon School in St Helier, where pupils made parrot-themed decorations for his cage, made him a cake, and gave him extra nuts.

Echo: It’s my party and I’ll fly if I want to (4)
BBC: For he’s a Polly good fellow (2)

November 7: A New Zealand man has ended up with 1,000 hens after a making a mistake on an auction website. Steve Morrow intended to buy just one chicken but clicked on the wrong button. He's now known as "The Chicken Man".

Echo: Some guys have all the cluck (4)
BBC: Cluck bait (3)

The Northern Echo:

November 8: An animal sanctuary in Canberra has staged a race featuring people dressed in dinosaur costumes. Some of the racers were on foot and others were on roller skates.

Echo: Ju-race-ic Park (4)
BBC: Ju-race-ic Park Run (5)

November 11: Tea addict Tina Watson, 73, who drank 40 cups a day, has had her dying wish granted in Leicester - to go out in a coffin designed as a giant box of teabags.

Echo: Earl grave (1)
BBC: Woman drinks tea, leaves (0)