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Blue Peter veteran Konnie Huq shares heartwarming childhood memories

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“When I see this photo of my family and I, all I think of is that opening sequence of The Simpsons. The way they just sit down on the sofa at the end of all the craziness is exactly what’s invoked here – a frenetic family photo if you will. And between the sofa doilies and my dad’s airplane collar it’s oh-so-70s. I’m perched on my dad’s knee, obviously far more interested in whatever is going on elsewhere, and my sisters have also been wrangled together for a relative to snap a shot of us all. What I love most is that none of us kids are looking at the camera. It’s obvious my mum and dad wanted us all to get together, but we all had quite big personalities, so I imagine getting us sitting still for a photo was quite the challenge. We’re not a family with reams of cassette-taped footage of us growing up and we never had any professional family photos done, so something like this would have meant a lot to them.

My dad got a job with an investment company in Holborn, so they came to the UK from Bangladesh straight after university. 

It must have been daunting for them but they did it – and it was all so we, their children, could do well in life. 

Bangladesh is a tiny country and it’s really densely populated with a lot of poverty. 

Something like this photo which says, ‘We’ve got a house and live a comfortable life’ would have made them really proud. 

They weren’t serious parents, though. 

My dad was a real joker and my mum was a super-sparky and bright character as well.

I was lucky enough I grew up in a tight family unit with this suburban lifestyle in a 1930s semi-detached house. 

It was that kind of cosy, boring existence which is just so undeniably wholesome. I remember going to the Isle of Wight as a kid and being hit with this feeling
of overwhelming happiness. 

I, like everyone, obviously faced trials growing up and sometimes I felt a bit as though I didn’t fit in. Living in a predominantly white area with a mum who would come and pick you up from school in a sari was sometimes a challenge. 

But so often I just felt extremely happy and like I was the luckiest kid in the world. 

I started with Blue Peter in 1997 and left in 2008, which my parents were so proud of. 

They were typical Asian parents in that they wanted us to get really good educations and go into science because, where they are from, that was the revered career path. A job in television wasn’t even in their cultural consciousness, but they supported me unwaveringly. 

I think the reason they were so impressed was because Blue Peter was always a bit ahead of the curve. 

My new book, Cookie And The Most Annoying Girl In The World, is 100 per cent inspired by my own family – and this photo is the driving force behind the whole series. Cookie has two older sisters (like me). 

One is at uni and the other is really into politics. My sister Rupa is actually my local MP, so there’s definitely a crossover there. 

Sometimes when I describe the book it sounds a bit worthy, but it’s really just a funny story about this girl who is essentially a cross between Wimpy Kid and Bridget Jones. 

Learning is really important to me, though, so there are plenty of fun facts, long words and life lessons in there. 

Cookie and her friends are really into climate change but it’s done in a stealthy way – like hiding vegetables in pasta – so that it doesn’t go over kids’ heads.” 

Konnie’s book, Cookie And The Most Annoying Girl In The World (Templar, £10.99), is out on Thursday. 

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Louis Hofmann: Who is Dark star Louis Hofmann? Meet the actor behind Jonas Kahnwald

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Most recently, Hofmann has starred in Prélude and The German Lesson.

In a recent interview with Arab News, Hofmann spoke about leaving behind Dark, saying: “The last scene was mine and Lisa’s last shooting day.

“We had closure for the characters, but we also had closure for us. And I, as Jonas, am saying goodbye to the world and goodbye to his life.

“As Louis, I was saying goodbye to the character, and I think that’s why the scene is so truthful,”

Adding: “I saw peace in the characters’ eyes. In every single one of them. I felt like it felt right for each of them.”

Dark seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now

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Ronnie O’Sullivan’s plan to lose snooker match and go running instead: ‘I don’t care’

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The five-time world champion describes himself as “semi-retired” when it comes to the sport these days, despite a clear desire from fans for him to carry on. Known for his unpredictable temperament and audacious views, the Rocket has come under fire from snooker’s governing body for his actions over the past. Despite this, the 44-year-old has been honest about his relationship with the sport, admitting previously that he “regrets ever playing snooker” adding “I’d probably have been happier doing something outside with an adrenalin buzz”.

He has battled all his life with addiction, something that threatened to derail his career many moons ago, but he turned his life around channelling that into something good – running and eating healthily.

But there was one time the potting maestro even considered skipping a match to stretch his legs.

During the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland Trophy in 2007, O’Sullivan’s mind was on a cross-country race. 

He told INTERSPORT Running: “I’d just beat Ali Carter, had five centuries and one of them was a 147.

“I remember we had the Met League, it might have been one of our home races, I’m not sure, but wherever it was I was going to go.  

“I was thinking ‘that’s on Saturday and if I win my next match it means I’ll not be able to race.’

“It was really doing my head in. Even though I was training with the local running club in Ireland, it was fantastic, but there was no feeling like racing.”

O’Sullivan went on to detail how the saga unravelled.

He added in May: “I told the guy this and he said there was an Irish cross country race going on and I could run in that. 

READ MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘regrets ever playing snooker’ and demands children never pick up cue

“All the leagues seemed to run at the same time, the same weekend. 

“I went and bought myself a pair of spikes and quickly learned that if I couldn’t do a race that was local to me, I could just go and run races if I was in Wales, Scotland or Ireland.

“There was a point where I was starting to think ‘maybe I’ll just lose this match and get home and do the race that I wanted to do.’”

O’Sullivan did lose his next match, an upset defeat to Irishman Fergal O’Brien, although there is certainly no suggestion he acted on his thoughts and gave up on the game.  

O’Sullivan has spoken openly about this stage of his career before, telling The Way of the Runner podcast: “I was thinking, ‘try and lose,’ and I did a couple of times, not deliberately, but I just went for one too many shots thinking, ‘I don’t actually care’. 

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“Then it was actually starting to get in the way of my snooker, which is not great, really. 

“Knowing how obsessive I am, running became more important than snooker, because I valued it so much.”

O’Sullivan does not run competitively any more, putting that distraction from his snooker career behind him as he looks to bag his sixth World Championship title this summer.

O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui meet in the second round tonight, the third time they will have played at the Crucible, with each man winning one of their previous encounters.

Ding left Sheffield victorious in the 2017 quarter-finals, but he has never gone on to lift the trophy.

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Eamonn Holmes speaks out on Barbara Windsor and husband Scott Mitchell’s ’emotional week’

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Instagram users and fans took to the comments section to share their thoughts and wish the actress a happy birthday.

“What a beautiful photo. One to cherish,” wrote one social media user.

“Fabulous pic of you all,” remarked another.

“So lovely, what great entertainment Barbara has given us for so many years,” said a third fan, while another remarked: “National treasure.”

“Anyone who has/had a loved one with this cruel dementia will feel Scott’s pain. Lovely photo,” wrote an understanding follower.

“Heartbreaking what’s happening to the lovely Babs,” said another.

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