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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The famous flying car is back

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has touched down in the North West.

Ian Flemings timeless story based around a fantastic flying car is the Christmas production at the Lowry theatre, and the star studded cast has a local feel to it.

Lead role falls to Manchester comedian Jason Manford. Also topping the bill is Liverpool actress Claire Sweeney, and funnyman Phil Jupitus.

Panto cast make Katie's Christmas wish come true

The cast of Christmas pantomime Aladdin made a dream come true for a young teenager who is battling leukaemia for the second time at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre.
Katie Wright, from Childwall is a huge panto fan and has been unable to go and watch the show which has just opened as she is currently undergoing gruelling chemotherapy at Alder Hey Children's Hospital. Doctors are worried that if Katie were to sit in the audience amongst lots of other people she might pick up an infection.

After hearing Katie’s plight, theatre staff invited Katie to come to the dress rehearsal for a sneak preview of the show. It was a great afternoon for Katie who got to meet the stars of the panto.

Katie meets Atomic Kitten's Natasha Hamilton Credit: Bill Elms Associates
Katie with the cast Credit: Bill Elms Associates

Katie's family have now discovered that her best chance of survival is an incredibly costly treatment only available in the US. They are now trying to raise £120,000 to help in her second fight against leukaemia.

Third teenager arrested over college stabbing

A third 17-year-old remains in police custody. Credit: ITV News/Granada Reports

A third teenager has been arrested after a teenager was stabbed during a lesson at a Cheshire college.

Two other 17-year-olds remain in custody after the incident at Riverside College, Widnes, on Wednesday afternoon. The 17-year-old victim remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

I would like to reassure people that this appears to be an isolated incident. The investigation is continuing and enquiries are ongoing. If anyone has any concerns regarding the incident or any information, which could assist with our enquiries, they are urged to speak to a local officer or call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 473 of 7 December.

– Chief Inspector Richard Rees, Cheshire Police


"Shocking" level of money spent on mental health care

Credit: pa

Local authorities in our region spend less than one percent of the available cash on mental health care.

The survey by mental health charity MIND shows that on average just £144,000 of public health budgets are spent in this way.

MIND says its unacceptable.

Our research shows that the current spend on public mental health initiatives is negligible. This can’t continue. Prevention is always better than cure and ignoring the problem simply doesn’t make sense. Investment could stop people who aren’t unwell developing mental health problems in the future.

– Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind

Chinese mathematics

Credit: pa

A class of Year 6 children in are being taught maths Chinese-style by a visiting teacher from Shanghai.

Its part of a £41m Government scheme called the Mastery project, aimed at enabling kids to ''master'' maths.

The pupils, from Arlies Primary School in Stalybridge, are being taught in the school's main hall with about 100 other teachers sitting at the back of the class.

The staff will be able to see the difference between conventional UK maths teaching and maths teaching Shanghai style, which involves use of visual imagery.

Ethnic minorities urged to sign up for organ donation

A new campaign's started to encourage more people in the region to sign up as organ donors particularly people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Almost 700 people from the North West are currently on the transplant waiting list. The NHS Blood and Transplant authority is urging people to register and potentially save lives. Anthony Clarkson is from the authority.

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