QUIRKY WORLD ... Ben enjoys three days of paradise after hotel’s Miller-Stiller mix-up

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

ENGLAND:

Death in Paradise star Ben Miller ended up staying in a “lavish” five-star hotel after he was mistaken for his near-namesake Ben Stiller during a visit to a prestigious film festival.

The actor was put in the room intended for the Hollywood star whose films include Zoolander and There’s Something About Mary and stayed there for three days.

Miller told the story to comic Alan Davies during filming for the next series of his chat show.

Davies said: “He went to the Cannes Film Festival, he was involved in a movie, he got met, he got taken to a hotel and he had been mistaken for Ben Stiller.

“He got shown into Ben Stiller’s suite which had a lavish smorgasbord of culinary delights from around the world and mountains of champagne and all that, realised the mistake and invited all his friends that were there and stayed in the suite for three days.

“When Ben Stiller eventually turned up, the hotel were too embarrassed to throw Ben Miller out”.

BURNING ISSUE

ENGLAND:

Creating an effigy of former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond for Bonfire Night was not a criminal offence, prosecutors have ruled.

Sussex Police launched an investigation after receiving complaints about the effigy created for the annual event at Lewes, East Sussex. Following the complaint, a decision was taken by the organisers not to burn the effigy.

BLAME THE SATNAV

US:

A man has blamed his satnav after his tractor trailer got stuck on a foot bridge when he drove it on to a path in a Milwaukee park.

The 50-year-old driver has been cited for reckless driving and failing to obey road signs, which carry nearly $580 in fines.

Milwaukee County sheriff’s officials said the Indiana man drove the truck, which had a 53ft (16m) trailer, on to a walkway at Lake Park. The mishap damaged several trees and concrete railings on two pedestrian bridges.

FELINE FRIENDS

US:

Cat lovers in Northern California are pouncing at the chance of spending time with feline company at a new cat cafe in Oakland.

Cat Town Cafe is giving dozens of visitors a chance to mingle with furry friends while sipping coffee and nibbling on cat-themed cookies.

The cafe opened last month and has been full since opening day. It was inspired by the cat cafe craze in Japan, where many people live in cramped high-rise apartments that don’t allow pets.

The tuxedo, orange tabby and Siamese cats in Cat Town come from a local shelter and are available for adoption.

“Most of them have been at the shelter for four months or more. So as much as this is a super fun experience, it’s really a mission-driven project to get the cats out of the shelter and into great homes,” said Ann Dunn, founder of Cat Town Oakland. She said there were 14 adoptions in their first 12 days.

For a $10 donation to the organisation, visitors get one hour of kitty company in the cafe, where they can play with felines, scratch their backs and watch them nap. Each person is given a designated window of time to make sure there are not too many people at once in the room painted with cartoon-like, bright murals of cats.

TALK TIME

US:

A Florida preacher gave a sermon that lasted more than two days and that could become a new world record.

Cross Mount Dora church member David Douglas told the Leesburg Daily Commercial that Zach Zehnder began presenting the Bible from Genesis to Revelation at 7am last Friday and finished at 12:21pm on Sunday. That’s 53 hours and 18 minutes.

The pastor’s speech was streamed live at www.longestspeechever.com . It will be part of the documentation needed for the Guinness Book of World Records. Organizers say the event also raised over $90,000 for an addiction recovery charity.

The former Guinness record holder was Vickrant Mahajan of India, who spoke for 48 hours and 31 minutes.

SPIRITUAL SPAM

TIBET:

Buffeted by persistent cyber attacks, Tibetan monks are giving new meaning to their ancient creed: Detach from attachments.

“Attachment can lead you to all sort of trouble and we Buddhists believe that non-attachment alone can lead you to happiness,” said 30-year-old monk Jamyang Palden. “We have to learn to be suspicious of email attachments.”

The internet safety slogan, one of several messages championed by digital security group Tibet Action Institute, is an example of how human rights defenders are seeking creative ways to protect activists from electronic espionage.


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