The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Daring dates

London, May 27 (Reuters): Single Britons looking for love are being offered a new way of finding a partner — by advertising their charms on a billboard.

The first hoarding depicting 16 hopefuls went up in Birmingham this week, alongside the slogan “Who Dares Dates” and a telephone number for passers-by to call.

“People just love the glamour of having their face shown on a big billboard,” said Dan Monteigh, Billboard Dating managing director.

Dating by hoarding is more expensive, at £125 a shot, than finding a partner online. But Monteigh is convinced the billboards will be a hit because they are in prominent places, such as outside railway stations.

Over 50 people have signed up so far, with women slightly keener than men and most interest from people in their 20s. The practice is the latest US dating technique to cross the Atlantic and follows speed-dating, in which groups of men and women meet each other for just a few minutes.

Puff pangs

Bangkok (AP): Parents caught smoking while waiting for their children in Bangkok schools will face stiff fines, the latest restriction in Thailand’s strict anti-smoking regime, a newspaper reported on Tuesday. The new rule will come into effect in about 2,000 public and private schools in Bangkok from tomorrow, the Bangkok Post newspaper said. Violators will be fined up to 2,000 baht ($50), the Post said, quoting city officials. According to the World Health Organisation, 23.4 per cent of Thailand’s 64 million people smoke, which is comparable to the US. Thailand has one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in Asia. Last November, it became illegal to light up in virtually every indoor public place including air-conditioned restaurants and barber shops. Businesses violating the law face fines of up to 20,000 baht ($465) and the smokers are hit for 2,000 baht ($46). Thailand is also trying to prevent youngsters from taking up the habit. The public health ministry says 95 per cent of smokers in Thailand start before they’re 24.

Gutsy Liza

Bologna (AFP): As all famous entertainers know, the show must go on. So legendary US singer Liza Minnelli will still take to the stage for an Italian charity concert despite a leg immobilised in plaster, her agent said on Tuesday. The 57-year-old entertainer slipped and fell when leaving her hotel in the central Italian city of Bologna on Sunday, injuring her right kneecap. Her leg was plastered from the ankle to the knee and she will undergo an operation on Wednesday. But Minnelli will take to the stage with Luciano Pavarotti to sing a duet of New York, New York.

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