What to expect in 2024, from the Shipping News in cockney rhyming slang to a secret wolf-reintroduction

Our annual tongue-in-cheek look at what 2024 might hold in store, from the Shipping News in cockney to the resurgence of the Monster Raving Loony Party.


Freezing weather prompts returning university students to reject Veganuary and demand warming beef stew and lamb hotpot.


The producers of I’m a Celebrity agree to shoot an episode in Rwanda as part of a desperate PR stunt. The Prime Minister is asked to select an MP to test the gorilla-poo milkshakes.


Hares go on strike and move about quite normally. The Italian rugby team benefits from an extraordinary heatwave to win the Six Nations.


Chaos is caused when the Shipping Forecast is delivered in Cockney rhyming slang as an April Fool joke: ‘There are gale warnings in Clumber Spaniel, Wellwisher, On the Dole and Cockle and Mussel.’


The cross-country course for the 75th-anniversary Badminton Horse Trials has to be diverted when a family of great-crested newts takes up residence in the Lake.

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A secret wolf-reintroduction project comes to light when Northumberland farmers reveal that their sheepdogs have been giving birth to yellow-eyed puppies that howl at the moon.

A wolf (Canis lupus) in a forest, Austria, Europe


Stewards at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Paris fail to notice that Just Stop Oil protesters have smuggled themselves into the parade of nations, between Jordan and Kenya, and proceed to glue themselves to the Eiffel Tower.


After the Olympic medals go missing, winning athletes have to make do with strings of onions. MP Penny Mordaunt makes mincemeat of her rivals in the ladies’ weightlifting contest.


A petition against a plan to rewrite the character of Molesworth as ‘climate-change challenged’ and his nemesis, Fotherington-Thomas, as a sensitive environmentalist garners a record five million signatures (#dontmesswithMolesworth).


Psephologists are confounded and newsreaders stifle giggles as constitutional deadlock breaks out when the Monster Raving Loony Party beats the new Common Sense Union hands down and thus holds the balance of power in the General Election.


COP 29 is held in a research station in Antarctica, with delegates challenged to complete their journeys by husky, feast on whale meat and enjoy a special junket to a shrinking iceberg. Strangely, there aren’t many takers.


Father Christmas is on a low-carb diet and issues a press release requesting snacks of carrot sticks and lentil cakes, but the elves tell him not to be so damn selfish and threaten to go on strike. Happy New Year!