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Lynda Bellingham: Loose Women Stars Pay Tribute

Written By andika jamanta on Senin, 20 Oktober 2014 | 20.49

Tributes have come from across the showbiz and television world for Lynda Bellingham, who has died from colon cancer aged 66.

Her former co-presenters on Loose Women were among the first to share their memories.

Denise Welch tweeted: "I loved my friend Lynda. I will miss her so much. xx".

Carol McGiffin, who was also on the ITV show, posted: "A very sad day indeed, rest in peace my friend @LyndaBellingham."

Another former Loose Women regular, Lisa Maxwell, said: "My Darling friend Lynda passed away last night. She was an inspiration to me as a wife, mother and as an actress. RIP beautiful lady."

Nadia Sawalha, who also appeared with Bellingham in the famous Oxo TV adverts, said the Loose Women team was devastated.

She told ITV's Lorraine show: "We're just all heartbroken because her last wish was that she would spend this Christmas with her family.

Video: Lynda Bellingham: 'Oxo Mum' Dies

"Anyone that knew Lynda and knew her well, knew that she was this absolute live wire.

"She would come into a room and light the place up. Everybody loved her.

"She got me my first ever job on the Oxo ads ... I played her son's girlfriend in it and then we worked together on [TV series] Second Thoughts.

"She played my sister's mum. And we all absolutely adored her."

The show's official Twitter feed posted: "Our thoughts go to #lyndabellingham's family at this incredibly sad time and to all those who's lives she touch so deeply, as she did ours."

Bellingham - familiar to millions for her 16-year role in the famous Oxo adverts - died in her husband's arms at a London hospital just a month after revealing she planned to stop chemotherapy.


  1. Gallery: Actress And Presenter Lynda Bellingham Dies

    Bellingham rehearsing a scene for one of the classic Oxo TV adverts in 1987

  2. The long-running ads featuring the squabbling family made Bellingham a familiar face to millions

  3. Pictured with on-screen husband Michael Redfern.

  4. The pair rehearsing for another Oxo advert in 1999

  5. Bellingham married three times - her first husband was film producer Greg Smith (left), who she married in 1975

  6. Taking to the floor: She appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2009

  7. Pictured with Strictly co-stars (left-right) Laila Rouass, Natalie Cassidy and Zoe Lucker

  8. Appearing in a photo to promote her role in the stage production of Calendar Girls

  9. Bellingham meeting the Queen at the ITV 50th Anniversary celebration alongside Nicholas Parsons and Harry Hill

  10. Bellingham was also part of the panel on Loose Women. She is pictured here in 2010 with fellow presenters Carol McGiffin, Denise Welch, Kate Thornton, Leslie Garrett and Andrea McLean

  11. With husband Michael Pattemore in April 2013 at the Laurence Olivier Awards in London

  12. The actress was made an OBE in March 2014 after a 40-year acting career which saw her appear in shows such as All Creatures Great And Small, Faith In The Future, and The Bill

Star Trek and Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg appeared with Bellingham early in his career, in 90s sitcom Faith in the Future.

He posted: "Lynda Bellingham, a gorgeous, brassy, funny, generous, talented human being. My first TV mother figure and a treasured friend."

One of Bellingham's most prominent roles was in the late 80s as Helen Herriot in countryside vet drama All Creatures Great and Small.

Co-star Christopher Timothy described her as funny, loyal and talented.

He added: "She was a great mum, she was a real friend and on-set she was one of the boys really."

Her partner in Strictly Come Dancing in 2009, Darren Bennett, said: "Lynda Bellingham was a courageous, talented and beautiful lady who I had the privilege of working with."

Video: Bellingham: I'm Not The Only One

Actress and Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden also told her followers she was "devastated to hear the news about the beautiful Lynda Bellingham".

TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp urged other people who might be in a similar position to stay strong: "Lynda Bellingham, she was an inspiration, she so wanted to make it to Christmas, if you're working towards that, don't give up hope."

Broadcaster Chris Evans said: "Lynda Bellingham - an absolute mensch of the highest order.

"Enjoyed her company on several occasions. Outstanding spirit and company."

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Lynda Bellingham: Actress And Presenter Dies

Actress Lynda Bellingham, best known for playing the mother in the Oxo television adverts, has died.

Bellingham died "peacefully in her husband's arms" at a London hospital, her agent said.

The 66-year-old had colon cancer and last month said she planned to end life-extending chemotherapy treatment.

The actress said she wanted to spend one last Christmas with her family after the disease had spread to her lungs and liver.

Her role as the mother in a squabbling family in the Oxo adverts made her familiar to millions in the 1980s.

Career highlights also included TV series All Creatures Great And Small, sitcom Faith In The Future, competing in Strictly Come Dancing, and starring in the stage production of Calendar Girls.

In her autobiography, the actress described her decision to end treatment for cancer, which she had been diagnosed with in July 2013.


  1. Gallery: Actress And Presenter Lynda Bellingham Dies

    Bellingham rehearsing a scene for one of the classic Oxo TV adverts in 1987

  2. The long-running ads featuring the squabbling family made Bellingham a familiar face to millions

  3. Pictured with on-screen husband Michael Redfern.

  4. The pair rehearsing for another Oxo advert in 1999

  5. Bellingham married three times - her first husband was film producer Greg Smith (left), who she married in 1975

  6. Taking to the floor: She appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2009

  7. Pictured with Strictly co-stars (left-right) Laila Rouass, Natalie Cassidy and Zoe Lucker

  8. Appearing in a photo to promote her role in the stage production of Calendar Girls

  9. Bellingham meeting the Queen at the ITV 50th Anniversary celebration alongside Nicholas Parsons and Harry Hill

  10. Bellingham was also part of the panel on Loose Women. She is pictured here in 2010 with fellow presenters Carol McGiffin, Denise Welch, Kate Thornton, Leslie Garrett and Andrea McLean

  11. With husband Michael Pattemore in April 2013 at the Laurence Olivier Awards in London

  12. The actress was made an OBE in March 2014 after a 40-year acting career which saw her appear in shows such as All Creatures Great And Small, Faith In The Future, and The Bill

"I sat down with (husband) Michael and Professor Stebbing and announced: 'The time has come to cease and desist.

"'I would love to make one more Christmas, if possible, but I want to stop taking chemo around November in order to pass away by the end of January'."

In another excerpt she wrote: "I don't want the boys or my husband to see me die a little sad old lady. I want to go out there as I am."

Speaking on ITV show Loose Women, where she was one of the presenters, she told viewers: "Grasp it all, don't be afraid, enjoy the bits you can and tell your family you love them while you have the chance."

Her pre-recorded farewell appearance on the show will go out on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Bellingham also picked up an OBE from Buckingham Palace in recognition for her 40-year career.

Her agent, Sue Latimer, issued a statement on behalf of her family: "As an actor, writer and presenter, Lynda was a consummate professional to the very end.

"Those of us privileged to have known her personally will miss the entertaining, life enhancing, true and honest friend that blessed our lives."

Video: Bellingham: I'm Not The Only One

The family also thanked nurses "for their tremendous care and support".

Actor Simon Pegg was among those to pay tribute on Twitter - he appeared alongside the actress in 1990s show Faith In The Future.

"Lynda Bellingham, a gorgeous, brassy, funny, generous, talented human being. My first TV mother figure and a treasured friend," Pegg tweeted.

Former Loose Women star Denise Welch wrote: "I loved my friend Lynda. I will miss her so much. xx".

Carol McGiffin, who was also on the show, posted: "A very sad day indeed, rest in peace my friend @LyndaBellingham."

Bellingham was born in Montreal, Canada, but was adopted by a British couple and grew up near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

She married three times and has two sons.

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How Kurds The World Forgot Are Holding Off IS

By Stuart Ramsay, Chief Correspondent, in Sari Kani, Syria

Right now in Syria a desperate fight is under way against Islamic State (IS) forces that control so much of the north of the country.

In the east that fight is being carried out virtually unseen to the rest of the world by People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters, Syrian Kurds, who are doing so with almost no assistance.

They have been fighting IS for longer than any other group.

With home-made weapons and armoured cars and some old heavy guns, they fight in dusty villages, the countryside and larger towns to try and force IS back to the west of Syria.

Kobani has been surrounded for weeks by IS but there are many other towns that are under siege. From Sari Kani 100 miles or so east of Kobani the YPG have been taking back ground from IS.

They would dearly love to reach their colleagues in Kobani but, with no assistance, even they accept it will be an almost impossible mission.

Video: Travelling Through Syria

Always moving and repositioning themselves, the front line is a confused and confusing battle of attrition.

The men of the YPG and the women fighters of the Women's Protection Unit (YPJ) work together. There is no battlefield difference between the sexes. They all throw themselves into the fight. They are protecting their homeland and say to us that they can die at the front or at home, but either way they are prepared to die.

Against the odds and the better equipped IS forces, they have made ground and captured weapons. In a rear position they work on tanks captured from IS and they showed us the bodies of 20 IS jihadists they killed in a night operation.

We travelled from Iraq through Syria. The birthplace of IS is one of the most dangerous places on earth today. The YPG grip is tenuous and the vast open spaces are difficult to protect from IS incursions.

Video: Passports Reveal Turkey Link

These Syrian Kurds are hemmed in. The Turkish border lies to the north and its military considers the YPG a terrorist organisation.

To the south, east and west IS controls all the land leading to Iraq and across its border.

On the newest YPG front lines we came across a seemingly rag-tag group of fighters. But while they may look so they are in fact well trained and utterly determined.

A hill-top cemetery has become a fort. They watch across the plains and the villages that IS control. They are so close they can hear the foreign languages of the IS fighters on their walkie-talkies.

Video: Kurds Face Future Without A Home

But nobody here seems in any way frightened of IS. They laugh and joke and prepare to fight. Day in, day out.

The YPG are very canny. Their front-line positions are never static for long. Their numbers are small so they move positions and manoeuvre around the battlefield looking for signs of IS weakness. Then they attack. Both sides are doing this but one gets the sense that the Kurds are more determined.

While IS have many foreign fighters the YPG also have a small contingent. Chechens, Europeans and Americans who have decided to help fight IS.

Brian Wilson is from Ohio. A divorcee with two children, this veteran of the first Gulf War and 16 years a police sheriff in the United States decided to come here a month ago and join the fight. He was shocked that the West was doing nothing to help here.

Video: Desperate Help Needed In Kobani

"They have been holding out against DASH (IS) in this area for going on two, two and a half years," he told me on the front line.

"They are outgunned. They are brave fighters. They just need more help. If they had better technology, better weapons, they could finish IS on their own. More airstrikes would be very helpful to clear out some areas."

The YPG are fighting multiple fronts on a constant basis. Sometimes they are in cities and towns, sometimes in open countryside. But they are holding on and sometimes doing better than that.

And, as they say, they will do that to the death if necessary.

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UKIP Calypso Not Racist, Says Mike Read

Former DJ Mike Read has defended his calypso song praising UKIP and Nigel Farage as "nothing remotely racist" and just a "bit of fun".

Read is hoping for chart glory with the Caribbean-infused ditty which he sings in a mock-Jamaican accent.

He told Sky News: "It's a satire and a bit of fun. It's not terribly serious. It wouldn't have sounded very good sung in a Surrey accent."

He said people criticising the song had "lost their sense of humour" and that if he had done an Australian song he would have put on an Australian accent.

The song's lyrics include: "When we take charge, and the new prime minister is Farage; we can trade with the world again, when Nigel is at Number 10."

Others point fun at incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and chastise the EU for trying to "ban bent bananas and British jam".

Some bookies already have the former Radio 1 DJ at 50-1 to go straight in the charts at Number One.

In the past Read has also turned his hand to musicals, but his show about Oscar Wilde closed after one night following after a critical panning and poor ticket sales.

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Siding Spring Comet To Skim Mars At 120,000mph

Written By andika jamanta on Minggu, 19 Oktober 2014 | 20.49

A comet the size of a small mountain will skim past Mars later, but NASA hopes its spacecraft will be able to photograph the once-in-a-million-years encounter.

The comet, known as Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), is set to hurtle past Mars at a distance of about 88,000 miles (141,600 km) - less than half the distance between Earth and our moon.

The closest pass is expected to happen Sunday at 7.27pm (6.27pm GMT).

Astronomers do not expect it will come any where near colliding with Mars, but they do hope it will be close enough to reveal clues about the origins of the solar system.

The comet is believed to have originated billions of years ago in the Oort Cloud, a distant region of space at the outskirts of the solar system.

Dan Brown from Nottingham Trent University told AFP: "Comets such as C/2013 A1 are essentially dirty, icy snowballs with rocks and dust embedded in frozen gasses.

Video: NASA Experts Detail Plan For Comet

"It is on its first run towards the centre of our solar system and its material is virtually unchanged by the rays of the sun and can give us an insight to the material composition of our early solar system 4.6 billion years ago."

The comet - which is around a mile wide - is flying through space at a speed of around 122,400mph.

NASA has manoeuvered its Mars orbiters to the far side of the planet so they won't be damaged by the comet's high-speed debris.

Even as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey and MAVEN have been repositioned to avoid hazardous dust, scientists hope they will be able to capture a trove of data about the flyby.

NASA's two rovers - Curiosity and Opportunity - will turn their cameras skyward and send back pictures of the comet's pass in the coming days, weeks and months, the US space agency said.

StarDate editor Rebecca Johnson said: "The orbiters will keep a close eye on the show.

"They'll study the comet itself, which is a small chunk of ice and rock. They'll also study the cloud of gas and dust around the comet, as well as its long tail," she said.

"And they'll measure how the gas and dust interact with the Martian atmosphere."

The comet has travelled more than one million years to make its first pass by Mars, and will not return for another million years, after it completes its next long loop around the sun.

It was discovered at Australia's Siding Spring Observatory in January 2013.

Its close encounter with Mars is not likely to be visible to sky watchers on Earth.

But the near miss is of great interest to scientists, particularly since there are so many spacecraft on and around Mars to record it.

"As it zips toward the sun, it gives scientists a chance to see a relic from the distant past - a snowball that preserves the same ingredients that gave birth to our own world," said Johnson.

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Hannah Graham Police Find Human Remains

Police have found human remains they believe could be those of British University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Virginia State Police Chief Tim Longo and colleagues told a news conference further forensic tests would be conducted to establish if the remains are those of the 18-year-old.

The remains were found at around noon on Saturday by volunteers searching an abandoned property to the south of Charlottesville, a college town about 100 miles southwest of Washington.

Albemarle County's Police Chief Col Steve Sellers said: "Right now we have the discovery of human remains and a great deal of work ahead of us.

"We cannot and will not jump to any conclusions regarding today's discovery. I ask for the public's patience as we move forward and pursue what is now a new, ongoing death investigation."

Video: Graham Case 'Nowhere Near Over'

Police said a public search planned for Walnut Creek Park in Albemarle County on Sunday had been called off.

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr, 32, has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Ms Graham, who has been missing since 13 September.

Thousands of volunteers had joined searches for the student, who was born in the UK but has lived in the US since she was five.

Virginia State Police have said Mr Matthew's arrest provided a "forensic link" to the 2009 unsolved murder of Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old who also went missing from Charlottesville.

Video: CCTV Shows Missing Teen Running

The suspect was arrested on a Texas beach last month.

He is the last man to have been seen with Ms Graham before her disappearance.

Police believe Ms Graham met Mr Matthew at the Tempo Restaurant in Charlottesville.

Mr Matthew's father has insisted he is innocent and was probably simply trying to help Ms Graham.

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Ched Evans Rape Inquiry Will Be Fast-Tracked

A "substantive" investigation into Ched Evans' rape conviction is expected to take place "within the next few weeks", the Criminal Cases Review Commission has said.

The disgraced footballer, who continues to protest his innocence, has had his case prioritised by the body, which examines possible miscarriages of justice.

If the review goes in Evans' favour, his conviction could potentially be overturned, as the CCRC has the authority to direct cases to the Court of Appeal.

A CCRC spokesman told Sky News: "In line with our published policy on prioritisation, and in relation to the facts of the case and the issues raised in Mr Evans' application to us ... we now expect our substantive investigation to begin within the next few weeks."

"The decision to prioritise the case simply brings forward the starting point of the investigations to decide whether or not there may be grounds for us to refer the case to the court of appeal.

Video: 'Heartbreaking' If Evans Re-Signs

"It does not in any way represent a judgment by the commission as to the merits of the case or its chances of being referred."

Evans was released from jail on Friday after serving half of a five-year sentence for raping a woman.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror shortly before he was released, he said he was "ashamed" of his actions but insisted he is innocent of rape.

The 25-year-old striker added that cheating on his girlfriend, Natasha Massey, was "unforgivable".

"It was something that should never have happened," he said.

"I cheated on my girlfriend and had sex with this girl - but it was definitely consensual."

A statement posted on Evans' website from his family and girlfriend said he would "continue the fight to clear his name".

It added: "Chedwyn Evans maintains his absolute innocence and his family, friends and many who know the true facts of the case believe that his conviction was a gross miscarriage of justice."

Katie Russell, of charity Rape Crisis, told the Sunday Mirror the player's words were insulting to his victim.

"His protestations of innocence and sympathy only for his girlfriend are insulting, harmful and hurtful - not only to his victim, but also to the countless other victims of sexual violence out there," she said.

"He has never taken a moment's responsibility for his crime nor shown any regard for the terrible impact it has had on her."

The former Sheffield United player's release has divided opinion over whether he should be allowed to return to football.


  1. Gallery: Sports Stars Whose Careers Survived Criminal Convictions

    Former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams was jailed for four months in 1990 for drink-driving. After admitting to an alcohol problem he set up the Sporting Chance addiction clinic

  2. Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson served three years in prison after being convicted of rape in 1991. He returned to professional boxing after his release

  3. In 1998 ex-footballer Vinnie Jones was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage against a neighbour. He was also found guilty of an air rage incident in 2003

  4. American figure skating champion Tonya Harding received three years' probation for her part in an attack on Olympic rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. Others involved in the plot were jailed

  5. Boxer Adonis Stevenson served four years in prison for managing prostitutes, assaults and making threats before turning pro in 2006. He went on to become WBC world light-heavyweight champion

  6. In 2007 Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick served 21 months in prison for his involvement in illegal dog fighting. On his release he joined the Philadelphia Eagles and now plays for the New York Jets

  7. Former Chicago Bulls basketball star Dennis Rodman has made as many headlines off the court as on. In 2008 he was sentenced to community service, counselling and probation for domestic violence

  8. Scotland U21 international footballer Craig Thomson pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent behaviour with underage girls in 2011. He remains on the sex offenders register and now plays non-league football

  9. American basketball star Lamar Odom, married to Khloe Kardashian, received a three-year suspended sentence for drink-driving in 2013. His most recent team was the New York Knicks, but they released him in July

  10. Former Watford, Wigan and Middlesbrough footballer Marlon King, who has previously served time for drink-driving and sexual assault is currently serving 18 months for dangerous driving

  11. Forest Green Rovers striker Lee Hughes served three years in prison for causing death by dangerous driving and played for Oldham and Notts County after his release

Many Blades fans have called for Evans to be rehabilitated but more than 151,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Bramall Lane club to block his return.

Sheffield United Community Foundation patron Charlie Webster said if Evans re-signed for the club she would be "heartbroken" and "disappointed".

She told Sky News: "It would send out the wrong message to the next generation to watch Ched Evans score a goal and cheer him on as a hero."

Ms Webster also said it would "wrong" for her to stay in her role with the foundation if the club took him back.

On Saturday, Sheffield United dismissed reports that the club has offered a new contract to convicted rapist Ched Evans as "false and damaging".

The club's co-chairmen, Kevin McCabe and Jim Phipps, said they had not yet made a decision about whether to re-employ him.

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Web Trolls To Face Two-Year Jail Terms

By Anushka Asthana, Political Correspondent

Internet trolls who target people with abusive material online will face up to two years in jail under Government plans being set out by the Justice Secretary.

Chris Grayling said he was determined to crack down on trolling with harsh punishments because it was leading to "absolute misery for victims".

He said the venom thrown at people over the internet would never be acceptable in real life.

Mr Grayling said it was "terrible" that the model Chloe Madeley recently received rape threats after defending controversial comments made by her mother, Judy Finnigan, about convicted rapist Ched Evans.

He said: "We already have offences in place to deal with this appalling behaviour, but we've toughened up the law to make sure these crimes can be properly investigated and those who commit the most serious offences face a longer prison sentence."

Cases are currently dealt with under the Malicious Communications Act in the magistrates courts, with a maximum sentence of six months.

Video: Trolling Victim Nicola Brookes

Now Mr Grayling is changing the law so the most serious cases can be passed on to the Crown Courts where they could result in much longer sentences.

It comes after Peter Nunn was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail after an online "campaign of hatred" against the Labour MP Stella Creasy.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, Mr Grayling said trolls were "cowards who are poisoning our national life".

And Ms Madeley told the paper she supported the change, describing the current laws as outdated.

They were drawn up 10 years ago before Twitter existed.

Video: Chloe Madeley Slams Internet Trolls

She said: "The current law obviously needs to be reviewed. It needs to be accepted that physical threats should not fall under the 'freedom of speech' umbrella.

"It should be seen as online terrorism and it should be illegal."

Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Blair said trolling is "probably the most challenging thing facing policing over the next 10 years".

He told Sky's Murnaghan programme: "A huge amount of people's lives, especially young people's lives, is now lived on the internet.

"And if it's lived on the internet and there are criminals on the internet then police are going to have go into the internet."

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Hurricane Gonzalo Hits Bermuda With 110mph Winds

Written By andika jamanta on Sabtu, 18 Oktober 2014 | 20.49

Hurricane Gonzalo has rolled into Bermuda pulling up trees, cutting power to 70,000 people and damaging the island's main hospital.

Gonzalo approached Bermuda as a Category 3 storm then weakened to Category 2 before coming ashore with sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph).

Nearly all of the island's roads were impassable and cluttered with debris and fallen trees, police said.

The roof of Bermuda's hospital was damaged and there was also water damage in its new intensive care unit.

Video: Hurricane Gonzalo Batters Bermuda

Royal Navy ship HMS Argyll, with a crew of some 180 sailors, is expected to arrive on Sunday to help with recovery efforts.

Gonzalo swept by the eastern Caribbean earlier this week, claiming one life in the Dutch territory of Saint Maarten.

It is the second big storm to hit Bermuda in several days after Tropical Storm Fay damaged homes and also knocked down trees and power lines.

"To be struck twice by two different cyclones is unusual, to say the least," said Max Mayfield, a former director of the US National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

Flooding was the main concern on Bermuda, which has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world and is known for strict building codes that ensure homes can withstand sustained hurricane-force winds.


  1. Gallery: Hurricane Gonzalo's Path

    The latest predicted route of Hurricane Gonzalo sees it travel across the Atlantic towards the UK and Ireland. Pic: NOAA

  2. Forecasters say a downgraded weather system could hit Ireland in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with this image showing their current margin of error. Pic: NOAA

  3. Gonzalo could hit the British territory of Bermuda on Friday. Pic: NOAA

  4. A NASA satellite image shows the hurricane as it departed the Caribbean

"Water damage, especially from the wave action, will take the biggest toll," Mayfield said, noting that seas had risen to between 30 and 40 feet (9 and 12 metres).

Bermuda Harbour radio operator Josh Powell told Sky News: "The closest point of approach was about 25 nautical miles, at about 8pm. That is when the generator tripped and we lost power.

"It was quite scary, being on top of the hill seeing the whole building move."

Mr Powell said it was still too early for evacuated residents to return to their homes.

"It is still gusting 60 knots and is about 100 miles to the east, but it is still quite dangerous for people to go outside," he said.

Video: Bermuda Braces For Hurricane

As the worst of the storm passed, Bermuda governor George Ferguson tweeted that no deaths or serious injuries had been reported so far.

Gonzalo is now heading towards Britain and is expected to bring travel disruption and dangerous driving conditions on Tuesday.

The Met Office said the remains of the hurricane were likely to bring winds of 60mph and heavy rain, particularly in Northern Ireland, northern England, north Wales, southern and eastern Scotland.

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Nepal Trekking Tragedy Death Toll Climbs To 43

The number of people killed in a devastating snowstorm in Nepal's Himalayas climbed to 43 on Saturday, in the worst trekking disaster ever to hit the mountainous country.

The Foreign Office has confirmed it has spoken to concerned British families who have not heard from their relatives, though it is not thought there are any Britons among the dead.

An unofficial list of trekkers suggests more than a dozen Britons may have been in the area at the time of the storms, although some of them have since been confirmed as safe or rescued.  

More than 230 trekkers - most of them foreigners - have been rescued since Wednesday and search teams continue to scour the Annapurna range looking for more survivors, who may be sheltering in lodges and huts.

Officials believe some people may be stranded in waist-deep snow in remote locations where mobile phone signal is poor.

The skies were clear at the start of the week, said Gombu Sherpa, who was guiding a group of Germans near the popular trekking circuit. But that changed suddenly when the snow blew in.

"We could hardly see anyone, even within a couple of feet. The wind was blowing snow and visibility was almost zero," he said, adding many people lost their way in the storm, but that everyone in his group survived.

One of his assistants, who was behind the group when the storm hit, was missing for an entire night, lost in the blizzard.

"We found him the next morning wandering in the snow. It is a miracle that he is alive," he said. Two trekkers from Hong Kong and 12 Israelis survived by taking refuge in a small tea shop .

One of the Israelis, Yakov Megreli, said they tried to stay awake to stay warm. "We tried not to sleep. We tried not to get hypothermia. It was a very frightening and awful situation," he said.

A British survivor has told how he escaped the disaster.

Paul Sheridan said walkers were left stumbling through "an abyss of nothing" as dense snow left them unable to get their bearings on the slopes of the mountain range in northern Nepal.

Mr Sheridan said that trekkers should have been prevented from going up the mountain, but were "herded to their deaths" by guides who he alleged were not carrying the correct emergency equipment.

Friends of Briton Lizi Hamer, who was originally unaccounted for, posted a message on Facebook announcing she had been found safe.

The 150-mile (240km) Annapurna circuit offers spectacular views of jagged peaks and Buddhist villages.

It takes almost three weeks to complete and is nicknamed the "apple pie" circuit because of the teahouses lining the route that offer cold beer and home baking.

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