All the fun of the farm
Congratulations to Kurtis Stacey, who recently completed a performing arts course at Hugh Baird College in Merseyside and has become the latest addition to long-running sheep-bothering soap opera Emmerdale.
He will be watched by millions playing Alex Ross, who is described on one fan site as "a gorgeous new farmhand coming to the Dales that is going to get the ladies hot and bothered". Blimey.
His tutor, Nathan Marsh, said: "I'm immensely proud to see Kurtis on screen in one of TV's most popular soaps. He is a hugely talented young actor."
Doubtless the news will do no harm to recruitment for the performing arts course, having dispelled the unfair notion that Btecs in performing arts are for future shelf-stackers while all the plum roles go to RADA graduates.
Prior to winning the Emmerdale role, the college said Kurtis had also played small parts in Waterloo Road and Crimewatch. In this respect, FErret is unimpressed: plenty of colleges can boast ex-students with small parts on Crimewatch. It's harder to find one with a small part in a Crimewatch reconstruction, on the other hand.
Mmm, glassed carrots
Education secretary Michael Gove came in for mockery - not least in this column - for apparently being unaware that colleges had canteens.
Of course, ignorance may be bliss, and sometimes it is probably better not to know anything about what goes on behind the scenes in commercial kitchens. Such, at least, were FErret's thoughts on hearing about an item which had made a couple of appearances on the menu at Barking and Dagenham College, according to our spies: a dish called "glassed carrots".
FErret is at a loss: should he be complaining about Britain's diet, its propensity for violence or its spelling? Or all three?