Making a meal out of Wales

Not such a good week for whales, mandarins and Teletubbies.

The jury is out on whether it was good news for girls: do teenagers really aim to emulate Emma Thompson or Geri Halliwell? Lady Jay, minister for women, thinks the actor and singer will make good role models in her plans to improve the lives of half the population.

Our Government may be interfering in the diet of the nation's schoolchildren, but at least they're not forcing whale meat down their throats which the Japanese are doing, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. The meat has been used for school lunches to foster the taste for whales, the WWF alleges.

Prince Charles's old headteacher sprang to the defence of the other species of Wales under the spotlight: the heir to the throne's 50th birthday has prompted hours of documentaries and acres of print.

Eric Anderson, who taught Prince Charles at Gordonstoun, dismissed talk of his favouring the Queen's abdication.

Her Majesty will still be free, then, to bestow the new-look knighthoods next year. Tony Blair wants more of them to go to primary heads, not gongs for the Whitehall boys.

Another symbol of privilege bites the dust: Cambridge has abolished the rule under which the only colours that may be worn for ceremonies are the black and scarlet of the university's own gowns. Gowns of other universities will be permitted as the rule gave the impression that the university regarded non-Cambridge doctorates as inferior.

Where does that leave Luton? A Sunday paper has branded it the lowest form of university life because it appears to languish near the bottom of almost every academic performance table.

And so to the latest Teletubby tale. If Americans accusing Po of talking dirty were not enough,a naughty Dutch youth channel has screened a spoof called Tuberculosis-tubbies showing our friends having sex and fighting. Thousands of fans are sending obscene messages to the station's website. The BBC is not amused and is considering legal action to halt transmission. Quite right. The Tubbies have suffered enough.

Diane Spencer

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