ICYMI: Meghan, Harry and football – this week’s five biggest stories

The weather is cold, the news is cold, everything is cold.

Ah, December. When Britain gets British.

It’s cold, it’s grey and preparations for See Your Least Favourite Relatives Fest are in full swing.

The vibe is bleak and the news is bleaker.

There’s the World Cup to cheer us all up, of course (if you can see it through the putrid canker of moral rot growing all over it).

And, as ever, there’s the pub, the sweet retreat to which we can’t help but return.

You might need to talk about the news when you get there, mind – so deep breath, hold your nose and get caught up on this week’s miseries.

Harry and Meghan being very private

Netflix released the first three episodes of Meghan and Harry’s tell-all documentary on Thursday and, well, thoughts and prayers to anyone on the internet who has absolutely any other interests.

The couple shared many very personal stories, including a detailed account of how they met and fell in love, which is what all very private couples do.

Meghan was ‘intent on being single and just having fun girl time’ before Harry noticed a video of the actress on a friend’s Instagram profile and asked to be put in touch.

Moral of the story: Your hottest pictures should go up on your mates’ profiles, not yours.

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The couple shared intimate photos that the public have never seen before in the new series (Picture: Netflix)

The couple spoke about what it felt like to be ‘swarmed by paparazzi’ and repeated their belief that Meghan was treated with ‘outright racism’ by the press.

The episodes were also full of the stuff people love to see from the Royals, including never-before-seen moments of the Sussex children.

As ever, the divisive couple have triggered the sort of backlash, including for Meghan’s flamboyant account of curtsying for the Queen when she met the late monarch for the first time.

Fans of the couple – increasingly, it seems, Americans – lapped it up, while critics provided more free PR than Netflix could have ever hoped for.

Will it all be worth it in the end? Ask that to the £88m they’re getting from this Netflix mega-deal.

TL;DR: The Harry and Meghan show rolls on.

Strep A death toll rose to 16

An unnamed 12-year-old in Brighton became the sixth child to die after contracting Strep A in recent months.

Other victims include Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, an ‘adventurous’ four-year-old boy from Buckinghamshire, and Stella-Lily McCorkindale, 5, from Belfast, who was her parents’ ‘sunshine’.

Hanna Roap, a ‘bubbly’ seven-year-old from Wales, also died, with her father claiming she could have been saved if she was given antibiotics.

Meanwhile, Camila Rose Burns’ parents have asked Brits to pray for their four-year-old, who remains in a Liverpool ICU battling Strep A.

Camila Rose Burns’ parents are ‘praying for a miracle’ as she fights Strep A in the ICU (Picture: Sky News)

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) officials have suggested that a lack of mixing due to the Covid pandemic, plus susceptibility in children, are probably ‘bringing forward the normal scarlet fever season’ from spring to this side of Christmas.

Strep A bacteria leapfrogs from person to person through close contact or it hides in an infected person’s nose and throat droplets.

Once someone is exposed to strep A bacteria, it typically takes two to five days for them to become ill with strep throat.

There are worries over access to antibiotics but health secretary Steve Barclay has promised there is a ‘good supply’ this winter.

TL;DR: Parents can find out more about the symptoms here.

Driver who killed Harry Dunn avoided jail

Anne Sacoolas was finally sentenced over the road death of Harry Dunn but will not spend a day behind bars.

Harry’s family watched on in the Old Bailey as the American was handed an eight-month suspended sentence, more than three years after the teenager was killed.

The 45-year-old previously pleaded guilty to causing his death by careless driving when she struck his motorcycle on August 27, 2019.

Under instruction from her US government employer, she did not attend the Old Bailey hearing in person.

Sacoolas has admitted she was driving on the wrong side of the road with her children in the back seat when she collided with the 19-year-old.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson KC told the court how she cried at the scene and admitted immediately to Northamptonshire Police officers that she had ‘made a mistake’ and was ‘so stupid’.

The 19-year-old was riding his motorbike on a road near his home when he was fatally struck (Picture: PA)

Sacoolas – who was employed by a US intelligence agency – was able to leave the UK 19 days after the incident and had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by her government.

The court also heard how Harry had begged ‘don’t let me die’ after the crash.

Sacoolas wiped away a tear in the Washington DC office she listened to the hearings from as Harry’s mum Charlotte Charles, 46, read her victim impact statement.

‘Harry just disappeared out of my life that night, shattering my existence forever,’ she said.

TL;DR: The American driver was finally sentenced after three years.

England and France return to war

England take on France tonight in the World Cup, the latest in the many battles which have raged between the two nations since the English Channel (yes, English) appeared.

There will be drink. It’s estimated that around 100 million pints will be pulled downed this weekend.

The tournament resumed in Qatar yesterday, with a famous over Brazil for Croatia and Argentina advancing at the expense of the Dutch.

Fans celebrate England’s 3-0 victory over Senegal at Boxpark, in Croydon (Picture: Reuters)

Gareth Southgate has confirmed returning England star Raheem Sterling ‘will be involved’ against France.

The Chelsea winger flew back to London last weekend following a burglary at his house in Cobham and missed the last 16 win over Senegal.

Sterling jetted back to Qatar on Thursday and took part in Friday’s training session ahead of the quarter-final showdown.

TL;DR: If 100 millions pints don’t bring it home, nothing will.

And finally…Boy finds 9cm monster Hula Hoop in packed lunch

A 10-year-old boy did what any Londoner in their 20s knows is impossible: he made a new friend.

Will Potts opened a packet of Aldi’s version of Hula Hoops and found one which was 3.5 inches (9cm) long.

The schoolboy, of Chester in Cheshire, proudly and carefully put it back in his lunchbox and took it home.

Will, of Chester in Cheshire, took his crisp back home as he didn’t want to eat it (Picture: Jam Press)

His mum Angela said: ‘He said he didn’t want to eat it, we still have it.

‘We told Aldi and they said it was amazing and to contact Guinness World Records so we have.’

Unfortunately for Will though, his huge crisp may not quite have broken records.

Sam Lightfoot, 26, was the lucky finder of a four-inch-long snack (around 10cm) in a bag of Hula Hoops last year.

It was around eight times the length of a standard Hula Hoop.

TL;DR: You’ll always find the one in the place you wouldn’t think to look.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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