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Mr Men head for big screen - after studio deal is signed

Little Miss Hug recently created by Roger Hargreaves son Adam Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

After years of talk and anticipation, it seems the likes of Mr Tickle, Mr Bump and Little Miss Chatterbox will now grace the silver screen.

Fox Animation, the studio behind Ice Age and Rio, has signed a deal to make a film version starring the Mr Men and Little Miss characters.

No director or writer has been announced, but we do know it will be produced by Shawn Levy, who was behind the Night At The Museum series.

I loved reading these books as a kid, and now I love reading them to my own kids.

Their humour, wit and uniquely specific tone make this a truly classic series. I can't wait to help shepherd them to the big screen.

– Shawn Levy, producer

The books, created by Roger Hargreaves first went into print in 1971.

But they have not lost any of their popularity, with one being sold somewhere in the world every 2.5 seconds.

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Timeline: Investigation into murder of Nicola Payne

Two men have been charged with the murder of missing Coventry mother Nicola Payne, who disappeared 23 years ago.

Nicola Payne was 18 when she went missing Credit: West Midlands Police

West Midlands Police said the charges "follow months of extensive enquiries."

Timeline of events

  • Nicola goes missing on 14th December 1991 after leaving her boyfriend's house. A number of police searches come to nothing.
  • 2007: Detectives re-examine the case with Nicola's parents making a fresh appeal for information.
  • 2012: Investigation reopened after new information comes to light
  • 2013: Police announced a forensic breakthrough and arrest two men later released on bail.
  • A three-day search of woodland at Coombe Abbey Park near Coventry uncovers "items of interest"
  • Today: Two men arrested in 2013 are charged with Nicola's abduction and murder

Nigel Barwell, 51, of Copperas Street, and Thomas O'Reilly, 50, of Ribble Road will appear before magistrates tomorrow, charged with her murder.

A 52-year-old year old woman, originally arrested in December 2013 on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and later bailed, has since been released without charge.


'Don't hijack Alice's death' - family warns anti-immigration groups

The family of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross say they do not want her death to be 'hijacked' by anti-immigration groups.

Alice's parents Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss say they need to know what the authorities knew about convicted killer Arnis Zalkalns, and hope an inquest will look at the wider circumstances surrounding her death.

Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss, the parents of Alice Gross during the appeal to find her last year Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Although we now have certain information about how Alice died, we are still left with a number of serious unanswered questions about what the authorities knew or should have known about the man who is believed to have killed our daughter when he came to the UK.

Alice believed in the free movement of people and so do we.

For her sake we are determined to ask these questions responsibly and sensitively.

– Family statement

The family has asked civil rights group Liberty to represent them at her inquest.

Emma Norton, a legal officer from the organisation said 'The family is aware that this is a sensitive and difficult subject, and is concerned to ensure that it is not hijacked by groups with an anti-immigration agenda.

The family believe in freedom of movement and human rights. That is why they approached Liberty and asked us to help them.'

Unions: Thursday's health worker strikes suspended

Planned strikes by health workers in England and Northern Ireland have been suspended, unions announced today.

It follows new offers made to union leaders in talks with the Department of Health, which are believed to include:

  • A consolidated 1% payment for staff up to senior level
  • An additional £200 consolidated payment for lower paid staff
  • Abolition of the first point on the pay scale, and the second raised to £15,100.

The industrial action had been planned for Thursday and next month in a row over pay.


FA to back Prince Ali in Fifa presidency race

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein is looking to become Fifa president. Credit: PA

The Football Association are set to throw their support behind Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in the Fifa presidency race.

Greg Dyke is understood to have offered support to the reformist Prince Ali, who will aim to oust Sepp Blatter.

It is expected that the FA will formally announce the decision after an upcoming board meeting.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag - a strong Blatter critic - will also stand, but as he already has the minimum five supporting votes, the FA feel the more reformist candidates who run, the better.

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