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Seven good things that happened in 2016

By Hayley Spencer

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom, you know. We recall the news stories that spread a little joy this year

1. Danny Dyer turned out to be royal

Proof that everything is all right with the world: ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ establishing that Danny Dyer is a direct descendant of Edward III, and Dyer greeting the news by announcing: ‘I think I’m gonna treat myself to a ruff – a massive ruff. I’ll just bowl about with it.’ Don’t know about you, but we can think of few more excellent sights than Prince Danny nipping down the pub in Canning Town, looking like he’s accidentally got his head stuck inside the sixteenth century.

2. The police put on a PDA June 2016


Brexit happened and a good chunk of Londoners fell into despair. A despair so overwhelming there was no chance of ever coming out of i... Hold on, is that a policeman proposing at Pride? Bless you, po-po. Just when we were despairing of a world that had proved way less cosmopolitan than we’d thought it was, you reminded us this city is so open-minded that even on-duty policemen can freely express their sexuality.

3. Sadiq Khan cracked us up


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You can describe Sadiq Khan in many ways, but ‘lol-worthy comedic genius’ isn’t one of them. Or so we thought until September, when we asked him to tell us a joke and he came out with a zinger that finished with: ‘...and Jeremy Hunt’s head and arse were interchangeable.’ The internet’s response? Four million views and comments like ‘I already like that guy!’ or ‘Sadiq Khan Live at the Apollo!’ It’s not done his sex appeal any harm, either, judging by the comment of one reader: ‘Bloody love Sadiq Khan. You would, wouldn’t you?’

4. Letting agent fees were banned

Before we gloat about letting agents no longer being able to hit renters with gigantic bills for basically photocopying, let’s take a moment to pity them for all the easy money they’ll lose from the 66 percent of Londoners that rent according to our City Living survey. Actually, let’s not. Let’s just celebrate!

5.Skepta's mum went viral


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Skepta’s Mercury Prize win meant 2016 was a big year for grime. I was an even bigger year for mums dancing on stage at music awards ceremonies, thanks to the little wiggle Mrs Adenuga performed when invited up. Which, naturally, became a viral sensation. We’re used to grime artists and their astonishing mic skills filling us with awe, but it’s rarer that they do ‘aww!’.

6. Takeaway robots launched in London

A bit like ‘Short Circuit’ but with more kebabs, Just Eat launched a trial of delivering takeaway to customers in Greenwich with GPS-guided robots. Finally! In 2016 the future arrived! And it was ‘Big Hero 6’ with pizza, ‘Wall-E’ with chow mein. It also allowed us to come up with this joke: What do you call a robot that delivers curry? A dal-ek. We didn’t say it was a good joke.

7. Polish pensioners went raving at Fabric

This year was not a good one for old people’s public relations, what with their habit of ticking boxes marked: ‘Yes, I would like to screw over young people, please.’ Unless, that is, they were the couple of Polish pensioners who bought tickets to Fabric, downed shots of tequila and stayed out raving until 5am even though one of them needed a walking stick to get around. All because they wanted ‘to find the best club in London’. What times we live in...

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