UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

What did Twitter make of the leaders’ debate?

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History was made last night with Britain’s first televised political leaders’ debate, which was seen as an opportunity for Labour’s Gordon Brown, The Conservatives’ David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Clegg to stamp their authority on an election campaign that has so far failed to generate much excitement.

Outsider Clegg was judged the clear winner by almost every snap poll followinged the ITV broadcast. Today a ComRes/ITV opinion poll of over 4,000 people who watched the programme has the Tories on 36 percent, LibDems on 35 percent and Labour on 24 percent — a 14 percent jump for Clegg’s  party.

The debate sparked lively discussion on Twitter.com (most of it via the hashtag #leadersdebate), and exclusive analysis for Reuters.co.uk showed a big spike in anti-Labour sentiment after the first of three debates.

U.S. marketing firm Crimson Hexagon archives all tweets about the election and analyses them for positive and negative sentiment.

Will you miss Teletext?

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It will be the end of an era. Associated Newspapers has announced that it will shut the analogue Teletext TV service in January next year.

The shutdown was expected to take place in 2012 and the company has also said that it will even close several of its Freeview digital services. The service has been badly hit by a fall in audiences and revenue brought on by the economic downturn.

Time to dump premium-rate?

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The thought of ringing up a mega-corporation with a query or complaint elicits a mental – and at times even audible – groan from among the most stoic of people.

The frustrations felt at wasted time spent pushing buttons on the dial pad leading to endless tedious messages in the hope of reaching an employee with a modicum of knowledge is often compounded by the thought that there is a financial cost for the effort.

Is Susan Boyle a dead cert for Saturday?

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She’s odds-on favourite to win Saturday’s final of “Britain’s Got Talent,” she’s become an overnight international star and now she’s started out on the trail to tabloid sainthood by acquiring her own headline moniker “SuBo.”

But not everyone thinks Susan Boyle is a dead cert for the title. Singer Lily Allen for one thinks she’s over-rated. “I thought her timing was off, no control, and I don’t think she has an amazing voice,” Allen said of Boyle’s rendition on Sunday of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Memory” from the Cats musical.

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