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West Sussex couple in Monty Python-themed wedding

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To mark the 50th anniversary of Monty Python’s first broadcast, superfans John Wood and his bride Gemma Harris decided to theme their wedding on the classic comedy.

As well as references to various Monty Python scenes and films they performed their own recreation of the Buying a Bed sketch at the ceremony in West Sussex.

Mr Wood said the wedding had taken two years to plan.

“Most people” at the wedding had “no idea who Monty Python is, and they don’t understand it at all,” he said.

“Only a very small number of people will understand these little details and jokes.”

The surreal comedy group was formed by John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, and Michael Palin, and created long-running TV sketch show Monty Python’s Flying Circus and several films.

Even the menu followed the Monty Python theme, the East Grinstead couple said.

“The salmon mousse is a reference to the salmon mousse which kills everybody at the end of The Meaning of Life,” John said.

“And of course we had to have spam,” said Gemma.

John said he proposed to Gemma in front of Palin and Gilliam at a fundraising event.

Palin sent them a special wedding message saying: “I hope their marriage lasts as long as Monty Python, and is just as silly. Good wishes, Michael.”

John said Python actress Carol Cleveland had asked why she had not been invited “to which I replied ‘If you’d like to come, you’d be extremely welcome. We would be honoured'”.

“She replied, thanking me but saying she couldn’t come. The next thing I know, she was there to my utter shock – mind blown!”

“Gemma, who is a graphic designer, has created all sorts of amazing things. It’s like a Monty Python universe,” John said.

The wedding ceremony took place on Saturday in Sharpthorne in West Sussex with about 80 guests.

Gemma walked down the aisle to the Python theme music, including the fart noise ending.

“Then, we signed the register to the intermission music from Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” John said.

“I loved the fact it takes the serious side of life and a lot of the sketches look normal… but there’s some ridiculous aspect of it that makes you question or think about life in a slightly different way,” he added.

“Once you’ve seen it, you can’t not see it any more.”

The couple are planning to honeymoon at Doune Castle in Scotland, which featured in the Monty Python film, the Holy Grail.

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Ronnie O'Sullivan slams Crawley venue again – a year after branding it a 'hellhole'

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Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan has slammed English Open venue K2 – a year after calling it a ‘hellhole’.

O’Sullivan has returned to the venue for the Open but believes the facilities have not changed since last year.

SEE ALSO: Crawley’s K2 is a ‘hellhole’ says snooker champ Ronnie O’Sullivan | Crawley people hit back at Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘hellhole’ comment | Crawley’s K2 ‘sorry and disappointed’ by snooker champ Ronnie O’Sullivan’s ‘hellhole’ comments

In an interview with BBC Sport, he said: “It’s not changed as far as I’m concerned. You would have to change a lot in this place, a complete refurbishment probably.

“I’m not surprised, it’s what I expect it to be. I’ve just gone from a match table, to a squash court to a toilet, where the players’ office is, from the toilet to walk around the outside of the building through the heavy rain to come here and talk to you [the press].

“I’ll probably end up with a bit of pneumonia on top of the cold I’ve already got.”

And he joked with reporters as he confirmed he would not be spending his day off in West Sussex: “Every day in Crawley is a day lost in my life.”

The world number two beat former roofer Jamie O’Neill 4-3 in the first round.

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Ronnie O'Sullivan: Crawley English Open venue 'still needs change'

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Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan has reiterated his criticism of the Crawley venue used to stage the English Open.

The world number two survived a potential shock first-round exit as he beat former roofer Jamie O’Neill 4-3.

O’Sullivan, 43, last year described the K2 Leisure Centre as “a hellhole” and feels little has changed since.

“Every day in Crawley is a day lost in my life,” O’Sullivan joked with reporters as he confirmed he would not be spending his day off in West Sussex.

The five-time world champion was also critical of the open nature of the draw for the tournament as he was paired against world number 105 O’Neill.

“I just don’t enjoy that type of dynamic to a match,” he said. “I’d much rather play someone who’s got as much to lose as I have.

“When you’re playing people who are just happy to be there, it’s their big occasion and they just go out and smash the balls all over the place, there’s no point trying to play the right shot.

“Every time you do, they just play the wrong shot. Whatever game plan you’ve got, they just totally throw it out of the window with one shot.

“It’s like following a driver who doesn’t really know what they’re doing. You’re just trying to second-guess it and you end up having a crash yourself.”

O’Sullivan won the English Open title in 2017, when the tournament was played in Barnsley, but last year was scathing of the new venue in Crawley and its facilities, claiming some rooms smelled of urine, the atmosphere was non-existent and practice tables were surrounding by trailing wires.

“It’s not changed as far as I’m concerned,” he added. “You would have to change a lot in this place, a complete refurbishment probably.

“I’m not surprised, it’s what I expect it to be.

“I’ve just gone from a match table, to a squash court to a toilet, where the players’ office is, from the toilet to walk around the outside of the building through the heavy rain to come here and talk to you [the press].

“I’ll probably end up with a bit of pneumonia on top of the cold I’ve already got.”

In response, World Snooker told BBC Sport it received excellent feedback last year from players, spectators and officials about the K2, but changes have been made to the layout since then.

These include improving the player experience with a new quiet lounge and enhanced practice facilities.

“We are happy to be working with the K2 venue building the English Open into a great event,” a spokesperson said.

“The atmosphere in the arena on the opening day on Monday was excellent and we look forward to more support from the people of Crawley throughout the week.”

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More than half of A&Es 'not good enough'

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Half of A&Es in England are not good enough – and there are no guarantees services will get better despite the extra money going into the NHS, the regulator says.

The Care Quality Commission said people were turning to A&E in a crisis because of a lack of support in the community.

It said services would remain under pressure until a funding solution was found for social care.

The government pledged in the Queen’s Speech to reform social care.

It has set out a five-year funding plan for the NHS, which will provide the health service with an extra £20bn a year by 2023.

But attempts to reform the social-care system – run by councils and heavily means-tested – have been delayed.

‘Relentless’ pressure

It is estimated around 1.4 million older people do not have access to all the care they need because of inadequate access to services such as help in the home and care homes.

CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm said this was having a knock-on effect on hospitals.

Some 44% of A&Es are now rated as requiring improvement and 8% are deemed inadequate – a drop in performance from 2018 – the regulator’s annual report showed.

Mr Trenholm said A&E was “the department that we are most concerned about”, adding that there was a “rising demand and people struggling to provide high-quality care”.

It is more than four years since the four-hour A&E waiting-time target has been achieved.

Mr Trenholm said until a social-care settlement was reached – which the government has promised is imminent – he was not confident services would improve.

Dr Nick Scriven, of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the system was being “failed” by those in power.

“As we move into the autumn, pressure has remained relentless,” he added.

The CQC also expressed strong concerns about the state of services for people with learning disabilities and mental health.

Some 10% of inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and autism were rated inadequate – up from 1% last year. Child and adolescent mental-health services and psychiatric units for adults had also deteriorated.

Inspectors said too many were being looked after by staff who lacked the skills, training and experience to support people with complex needs.

The warning comes after the BBC Panorama programme exposed abuse, neglect and mistreatment of adults with learning disabilities at Whorlton Hall specialist hospital.

The CQC said it had seen a rise in complaints since the programme aired in May.

But the report contained plenty of positives, too – 95% of GP practices were rated outstanding or good and core services other than A&E showed signs of improvement.

Even in social care 84% of services were rated good or outstanding – it was just that there are not enough to go around, leaving some people without the requisite care.

The CQC said the number of care-home places was declining – and there was not enough home care to keep up with demand.

The government made a commitment to reform social care in the Queen’s Speech on Monday.

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