John Walsh: Don't mention the war (on a weather show)

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The Independent Online

Viewers who tuned into the BBC's South West region website this week in search of a weather update were surprised to find documentary footage of Nazi troops marching through the Channel Islands. Had some modern, neo-fascist organisation taken over the offshore tax haven?

No, it was another BBC cock-up, in the wake of Naughtie-gate. Footage for a news item about a Guernsey evacuee who became a pen pal of Eleanor Roosevelt had been uploaded by mistake. The producers at the Plymouth studio were absolutely führer. And did the weather report say anything about heil?

Actress Kim Cattrall returned to her native Liverpool in October, where she played Cleopatra in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Somewhere in the run, she stubbed her toe on the fake-Egyptian marble scenery, and was still sporting a bandage at her latest Hollywood opening this week. Was it on the line, "My resolution's placed, and I have nothing/ Of woman in me; now, from head to foot/ I am marble-constant"?

Poor John Toomey, an American department store Santa fired for telling an inappropriate joke to children. Bushy-bearded, balding and bespectacled, Toomey defended his sense of humour thus: "I just say to them, 'Do you know why Santa is so happy and jolly all the time? It's because Santa knows where all the naughty girls and boys live.' I've used it for over 20 years and no one has ever complained before." He made the mistake of telling the joke to two grown-up shoppers. "They didn't complain to me – they just went right up to management," said the mystified ex-Santa.

Sky TV decided to ask its viewers to help schedule its Christmas movies. Which films, they asked, do you think most appropriate to the festive season? The results are now in, and the Top 20, say Sky, is "stuffed with family goodies and blockbusting crackers, all topped by a timeless classic at No 1". Heading the list of yuletide fare, romcoms and cosy singalongs is indeed a classic, Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life – closely followed by Zombieland. Zombieland? Described as an "ultra-gory zombie-fest in which four survivors embark on a terrifying road trip across an America where the undead greedily rampage," it's clearly just the thing for 10pm on Christmas Day, when our feelings of goodwill towards all men are at their height...