Beano reveals Britain’s Funniest Class 2024

Year 6 from Northside Primary School in North Finchley, London has been crowned Britain’s funniest with their winning gag: “What’s the hottest area in the classroom? The corner because it’s 90 degrees!”

Jokes poured in from across the country, with hundreds of applicants submitting their entries.

Beano’s chief gag makers whittled the wittiest submissions down to their favourite ten, which went forward to the public to decide.

Northside Primary School emerged victorious, securing 42% of the overall vote.

The class alongside their teacher have won the ultimate prize of being immortalised in a Bash Street Kids comic strip by Beano artist Nigel Parkinson. It will be the first time in the comic strip’s history that a whole class of real-life children will be immortalised in the pages of a Bash Street Kids story.

Mike Stirling, Director of Mischief at Beano said: “Britain’s Funniest Class is a celebration of the brilliant benefits of laughter at school, for pupils and teachers alike. Year Six, Northside Primary School found the funniest angle overall, and are deservedly now immortalised in Beanotown, but every entry gave us a great laugh. It’s been our most popular Britain’s Funniest Class contest yet, so laughter’s getting louder in schools nationwide. Result!”

The initiative, now in its sixth year championing the comedians of the future, aims to encourage confidence and wellbeing in the classroom. Beano has partnered with charity Place2Be to bring fun, free, resources to the classroom to tackle the growing issue of children’s mental health. In a first for Beano, the comic also launched a search for Britain’s Funniest Teacher, recognising the influence educators have on the creativity and humour in the classroom.

Northside Primary School’s Sarah Crouchley, crowned Britain’s Funniest Teacher said: “Beano’s Britain’s Funniest Class competition is such a great way to inspire creativity and innovation amongst children. Classrooms should be filled with laughter and learning, so thank you to Beano for allowing us to share our silly antics across the country. I speak for my whole class when I say we are buzzing to be joining The Bash Street Kids on the pages of their latest issue.”

The winning school also received the official Beano ‘Britain’s Funniest Class’ trophy, coveted Golden Gnasher Badges, comic subscriptions for the whole class and their school library, a trip to a Gulliver’s theme park of their choice, plus a visit from the Bash Street school bus, which delivered the prize haul. The bus is set to tour the remaining top 10 schools in June.

Competition was fierce throughout the campaign, with “When is a t-rex not a t-rex? When it is a coffee-rex” and “How did bees get to school? They took the buuuuussssss” amongst the runners up pipped to the post.

DC Thomson becomes a supporter of the John Schofield Trust

DC Thomson has become a supporter of the John Schofield Trust. 

John was killed in 1995 while reporting on the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia for BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight. After his death, John’s family and friends wished to create a lasting memorial to his work, establishing the Trust with an ambition to support and nurture new and aspiring journalists and improve social mobility in newsrooms across the UK and Ireland.

One of the Trust’s key activities is an annual mentoring programme and we’re delighted that Brendan Duggan, impact reporter at DC Thomson, has been selected as a 2024 Fellow for the programme.

Brendan will be one of the 120 journalists who will receive a programme of support over the next twelve months, including being paired with an experienced professional within the industry who will provide tailored mentoring that is shaped around the needs and ambitions of the individual Fellow. Brendan’s mentor is the BBC’s Investigations Correspondent, Mark Daly.

DC Thomson Director Ben Gray said: “At DC Thomson, we are building a learning environment full of opportunities for our colleagues and partners. We champion quality journalism and recognise its importance to our communities. We achieve this by supporting our newsrooms and developing the next generation of journalists. The John Schofield Trust is making a real impact in improving social mobility within the industry through its renowned mentoring programme and the opportunities that they provide to early career and undergraduate journalists. We share the Trust’s ambitions and are proud to be partnering with them to build transformative, diverse and talented newsrooms that reflect our communities.”

Trust CEO David Stenhouse said: “We are delighted to welcome DC Thomson as supporters of the John Schofield Trust. Since 1996 the Trust has worked hard to support journalists at the beginning of their career, and to make journalism a more diverse, inclusive and welcoming place.

In the last few years we have welcomed applications to our mentoring scheme from print, digital, multimedia and broadcast journalists in the UK and Ireland, and worked with senior journalists across the sector as mentors and panelists on our masterclasses. Working with DC Thomson will allow us to increase the value of our offer to journalists across the UK and Ireland, and we look forward to working closely together over the next few years.”

After graduating from Edinburgh’s Napier University, Brendan studied for a Masters in Investigative Journalism on a scholarship for Channel 4, before joining DC Thomson in June 2022. He produced both of DC Thomson’s Impact podcasts and was the presenter of series 1, Hunting Mr X, appearing across the national media to talk about the story behind the podcast.

DC Thomson recognised for pioneering a new approach to regional journalism – Enders Analysis case study

A new report from Enders Analysis has argued “all is not lost” for local news publishers, despite a punishing economic environment.

Enders identified DC Thomson as a publisher it believed was innovatively approaching the remaking of the local news business model.

A case study published by Enders has described the company’s approach as “an entrepreneurial, bullish mindset, focused on describing and realising a better future”, highlighting, for example, its switch from unique visitors to time spent as a principal metric of success, as well as its shift to “depth and expertise rather than a structure of geographic coverage”.

The report was optimistic about the industry more broadly, saying: “In the round, local media organisations are increasingly focused on the benefits they bring to communities and the use-cases that people value.

The full report, ‘Signs of Local Life – A new phase for local media’ can be read by clicking here.


DC Thomson launches new podcast, The SEN Mums’ Career Club

Designed to be a place for women in work who are also raising children with complex and additional needs, The SEN Mums’ Career Club launched last month and has already received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

In the podcast, journalist and SEN (special educational needs) mum Leisa Millar speaks to women building their careers across a range of industries – from marketing and PR to teaching and medicine – whilst parenting children who need significantly heightened care.

“Only 3% of UK women with a disabled child are in full-time employment. As one of them, I understand all too well why this percentage is shockingly low,” says Leisa, who came up with the idea for the podcast and hosts it each week.

Leisa is Head of Audience Development at DC Thomson and a mum of three. Her eldest daughter, six-year-old Beatrix, has a rare genetic condition called Kabuki Syndrome, which has multiple impacts, both physical and cognitive.

She explains: “The SEN Mums’ Career Club is an inclusive space for women like me to come together and discuss work and ambition through our unique lens of special needs parenting.

“We’re actually a sizeable group. We’re just largely invisible. Most women worry about how raising a family will hurt their career – is it little wonder that one raising a child with significantly heightened care needs might choose not to publicly shout about that fact?

“I occasionally meet or virtually stumble across brilliant women who have both impressive careers and children with SEN. It’s difficult to put into words how much it means to me when this happens.”

Guests have included legal marketer Helen Burness, and civil servant-turned-online business manager Lizzy Parsons, who took her local authority to court to fight for her daughter’s education – and won.

Feedback on the podcast has been hugely positive including messages saying that the podcast is the “first that hits the spot of raising a disabled child while attempting to navigate a career” and that, “I love my job and my colleagues and team are so lovely but only a few know the massive struggles I face as a SEN mum.”

The SEN Mums’ Career Club, brought to you by DC Thomson, is produced by Morven McIntyre with graphics from Gemma Day. New episodes are released every Wednesday on all major podcast platforms.



Amazon Music

Beano reveal Britain’s Funniest Class

Britain’s Funniest Class have wowed the nation by appearing overnight on a giant billboard in Hitchin today, celebrating their crowning as the nation’s funniest school class.

The giant billboard, which was unveiled by the Beano team, appears to have been pasted up by Voyager year 5 class themselves. The incredible artwork features the winning class in comic form with their winning joke, which also appears in the iconic comic out today.

This year is the first time that the winning class and joke have been immortalised out in public. The Beano billboard aims to give the country a much-needed smile ahead of schools breaking up for the summer holidays.

The competition was fierce this year with hilarious jokes coming in from across the nation and receiving over 190,000 votes by the public, but it was Whitehill Junior School that snatched the top spot. “What do you call a class of children who eat potatoes using their toes?!  The Mash Street Kids!” joke won with 43.4 percent of the votes on

In true Dennis and Beano style, the winning jokes also appeared around Hitchin centre immortalising themselves in comic history. Locals in Hitchin were captured giggling away at the side-splitting works of art.

Members of the winning class were snapped with rollers and paste in Hitchin. The witty pranksters’ billboard stands at 11 ft tall.

Mike Stirling, Director of Mischief at Beano Studios said, “Now in its fourth year, ‘Britain’s Funniest Class’ gets kids reading, creating and laughing in classrooms all over the UK. At Beano, we’ve always said our greatest gags come from kids, and Whitehill Primary has proved this again. It’s a pun-believable joke The Bash Street Kids themselves would be proud of.”

The Beano artworks give members of Hitchin and the rest of the nation the chance to chuckle the day away at the nation’s funniest school kids.

Mr Steve Mills, Headteacher at Whitehill Junior School said, “The children had amazing fun creating their joke and for them to be immortalised on a billboard and the Beano comic is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We are delighted to be able to share their funniest joke with the rest of the nation and hopefully generate many chuckles this morning!”

A total of ten witty schools were shortlisted by Beano’s gag masters and Head Judge comedian Suzi Ruffell, before the public were given the deciding vote to crown the winner.

In second was ESMS Junior School in Edinburgh with 31.9 percent of the votes with their bonetastic joke – “Doctor: I’m afraid that we need to remove your whole spine. Patient: But why? Doctor: Because it’s really holding you back.”

Beano, VisitScotland and ScotRail launch joint family campaign

Beano has teamed up with VisitScotland and ScotRail for the first time to promote family holidays and day trips across the country.

Dennis & Gnasher and Minnie the Minx are the faces of a new ‘blamazing’ tourism marketing campaign aimed to reignite families’ love of rail adventures in Scotland.

The two-year campaign aims to use the cross-generational appeal of one of the UK’s best-loved comics and ScotRail’s Kids for a Quid deal, to promote sustainable travel as part of Scottish tourism’s recovery.

VisitScotland has created a special landing page – – with Dennis, Gnasher and Minnie highlighting key places to visit in each of Scotland’s seven cities (Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, Stirling), including dog-friendly days out.

The campaign forms part of VisitScotland’s drive for sustainable tourism in line with the national tourism strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030, and will use a variety of digital and print marketing to highlight attractions across Scotland.

The UK family market accounts for a third of all overnight and day trips in Scotland. Prior to the pandemic, overnight stays by families saw year-on-year growth since 2016, with an average 13% increase in trips on the previous year. UK families took 2.2 million overnight family holidays in Scotland in 2019 – an increase of 15% on 2018 and the highest in ten years.  ​​​​​​​

ScotRail Kids for a Quid tickets means up to four children (aged 5-15) can travel for just £1 return on off-peak and weekend journeys with every paying adult. Additionally, it also gives one free child entry to some of Scotland’s most popular attractions when purchasing a full price adult ticket at the attraction.

Mike Stirling, Beano’s Director of Mischief, commented: For me, Beano has always represented the heart of Scotland’s storytelling. As a kid, it was visiting new places by rail that sparked my own sense of imagination. I’d be engrossed in my comic as we left the station before glimpses of new places distracted me. On one trip, crossing the Tay Rail Bridge, a fellow passenger proudly informed me my Beano was created in my destination, Dundee. I was blown away something so cool was so close!

“The same goes for all of Scotland’s seven cities. Every visit, you come away with a new story to share. Our characters are ordinary kids exploring extraordinary imaginations and I hope Minnie, Dennis and Gnasher encourage many families, pets included, to get on board and create their own memorable stories during this special year.”

Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing and Digital at VisitScotland, said: “The UK family market makes up around a third of Scottish tourism trips and therefore it’s important we create fun and engaging content for parents and children as part of our tourism recovery plans.

“By working with ScotRail and Beano we aim to raise awareness of what makes Scotland a fantastic family destination and the benefits of exploring our ‘blamazing’ sights by rail. It is particularly appropriate that we should team up with one of the UK’s best-loved children’s comics during Scotland’s Year of Stories.

“The campaign will provide a creative way to further support the recovery of the tourism industry while promoting sustainable travel experiences to the benefit of visitors, communities and our environment.”

Lesley Kane, ScotRail Commercial Director, said“This is a fantastic partnership with the Beano and we are delighted to be able to play our part in helping families enjoy Scotland by train.

“Children love the train, and our Kids for a Quid offer provides real value for money. With more than 2,000 trains running every day across the country, there is no better way to give the kids an exciting day out and create new memories for your family.

“We are looking forward to welcoming more and more people back to our services to experience all that Scotland has to offer, by rail.”

Beano launches Libraries Aloud for World Book Day 

Beano is launching a new children’s reading initiative – ‘Libraries Aloud’ – designed to encourage families to head to their local library and have fun reading out loud.  

The new campaign will see a series of free interactive ‘read-out-loud-a-longs’ take place in libraries across the country to celebrate libraries and reading for fun. 

Olympic legend, author, and father of three, Greg Rutherford is spearheading the initiative and leading a team of loud storytellers, including author Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka). The storytellers will read The World’s Loudest Ever Comic Strip in this week’s Beano, created especially for World Book Day (Thursday 3rd March). 

The special two-page strip, in this week’s comic which goes on sale on Wednesday 2nd March, has been designed for children to read out loud to help them unlock reading for fun. It contains, in true Beano style, over 35 crashes, bangs, parps, wallops and thwacks. 

The initiative was created as new research revealed that 75% of British children haven’t visited a library in over a year and 95% said that making noise and talking about stories made reading more fun. 

The poll of 2,000 British parents with children aged 6 and above highlights that reading for pleasure and access to libraries is on the decline.   

Unbelievably a quarter (26%) of kids have never visited a library in the UK. On average children have not visited their local library in over three years and well over four in five parents (84%) would like to visit their local library more often. 

Over half of children (55%) admit to being put off by the thought of going to the library because they think they need to stay quiet. However, nine in ten children (95%) said that making noise and talking about stories made reading more fun and three quarters of kids (77%) said they liked reading with their parents. 

Of those asked, over two thirds (72%) of parents said their children do not read for pleasure regularly and 81% of parents believe that children are reading less than they did when they were younger.  

The study revealed that children read six books a year, compared to their parents reading at least 10 books a year when they were kids.  

Mike Stirling Beano’s Director of Mischief said, “It’s been years since children had to stay silent in a libraries but many grown-ups still believe that rule applies. We’re excited for Beano to celebrate the fun and noise that is ‘aloud’ in libraries this World Book Day and hope it encourages everyone to plan a visit to their local library very soon.”   

Greg Rutherford said, “I absolutely love reading with my children, and Beano is a great gateway for them to get into reading – it’s just not just books, but comics too that form this magical world! It’s been an honour to be involved with this campaign and I hope as many people as possible can pick up a Beano this week and enjoy reading it loudly at their local library!” 

Research by the National Literacy Trust found that if all children in the UK read for pleasure almost daily, the number getting 5 good GCSEs could increase by 1.1 million in a generation. 

To unlock reading for fun for as many kids as possible, Beano has partnered with World Book Day to give away 15,000 comics to kids from today via the Beano website. A special Beano quiz has also been created to help kids to get loud and enjoy reading for fun. 

Greg Rutherford and Beano’s team of storytellers will be doing special read-out-loud-a-longs in libraries on World Book Day. More information and a special recording of Greg reading the World’s Loudest Comic Strip in Beano can be found here.

DC Thomson partners with NCTJ and Meta for Community News Project  

Two new community reporter roles have been created at the Press and Journal through a partnership with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and Meta (formerly Facebook). 

DC Thomson is one of 14 publishers who now join the Community News Project (CNP), which began in 2019. The scheme expands with £6 million funding from Meta, creating 18 additional community reporter roles across the country.  

The Press and Journal will have two new reporters covering the Western Isles, Fort William, Lochaber and Skye as part of the scheme which aims to support quality local journalism, report on underserved communities and improve the diversity of UK newsrooms. 

The P&J applied to join the scheme, demonstrating how the CNP reporters would engage a currently underserved community and/or location, as well as detailing how they would be supported in the newsroom and with their NCTJ training.  

Frank O’Donnell, editor in chief of The Press and Journal and Evening Express at DC Thomson, said: “People want to see news that matters to them, and this only happens through community reporters who really understand the issues and can talk to readers in a voice they recognise. 

“That’s why we’re delighted to be involved with this project because it aligns so closely with P&J values and allows us to put more eyes and ears on the ground in specific areas that are underserved.” 

Sarah Brown, head of local news partnerships, northern Europe at Meta, said: “At the heart of the CNP is a goal to surface real life stories from under-represented groups. We look forward to working with the NCTJ and our publishing partners in onboarding a new cohort of trainees who will share stories and viewpoints that don’t often get told.” 

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “This brilliant project continues to be a success story for the industry thanks to Meta’s on-going investment and the support of the publishers involved in the scheme.” 

The Press & Journal’s community reporter roles will be advertised in the coming weeks. 

Beano Studios and DC Thomson launch Emanata Studios to develop the UK’s largest comic book archive for film and television

  • Emanata Studios will develop the entire DC Thomson comic archive, the largest of its kind in the UK, for TV and film.
  • The archive includes popular titles such as ‘Dandy,’ ‘Commando,’ ‘Victor,’ ‘Jackie,’ and ‘Bunty’.
  • In theUS, Emanata is working with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s media company, Westbrook Studios on a high concept drama, based on the very first British comic book superhero ‘The Amazing Mr X,’ who is featured in ‘Dandy’.
  • Emanata also has a live action dramedy based on ‘Dennis the Menace’ in development with Jerry Bruckheimer TV and CBS Productions and Fox Entertainment has picked up the rights for Bananaman and are developing an adult animation series with Bento Box (‘Bob’s Burgers’ and ‘Central Park’).

For the first time in its more than 100-year history, DC Thomson is opening up its entire comic archive to be developed for international audiences of all ages. Well-known titles and characters including ‘Hotspur,’ ‘Spellbound,’ ‘Mandy,’ ‘Beano’ and best-selling teen magazine ‘Jackie’ are being reimagined by a diverse range of new and established talent for newly created Emanata Studios, a division of Beano Studios.

Chief Creative Officer Mark Talbot will lead Emanata Studios, with a team of producers working alongside him, and he will continue to report into James Clayton, Chairman and David Guppy, CEO of Beano Studios. Emanata Studios will have offices in both Dundee, home of the comic archive, and London and is represented in the US by CAA.

Talbot commented“This is an incredibly unique place to be. This one-of-a-kind archive has preserved more than 2000 stories and characters and Emanata is the perfect studio to reawaken them. For those who already know them, and new audiences ready to be entertained, we can’t wait to reintroduce the world to Bunty, The Supercats, Nick Jolly the Flying Highway Man alongside the incredible Beano IP at our disposal.”

Emanata Studios also has an impressive range of projects in the works in the UK across drama, comedy and animation for adults and YA in the UK which include:

  • A UKTV comedy live action pilot script has been commissioned based on an iconic comic character from ‘Dandy’.
  • Screen Scotland, backed by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery, has funded a drama, written by Rae Brunton, based on character ‘Nick Jolly the Flying Highway Man’ who featured in the ‘Hotspur’ comic.
  • The development of a live action drama with each of Sky Studios and Drama Republic, and two adult animations with MTV Entertainment Group.

Beano Studios Chairman James Clayton added: “With sole ownership of the UK’s largest comic book archive and ever-increasing demand for premium content, it’s the perfect time for Emanata to renew these treasured stories and characters for modern audiences.”

Plus, Emanata Studios is excited to announce the launch of its 2022 New Writers’ Bursary. Submissions will open in January, via the Emanata website, for a bursary of £30k which will be awarded to three writers from underrepresented groups to write a pilot script based on IP from the DC Thomson archive. Previous recipients include Adjani Salmon, Ameir Brown, Lara Peake and Leila Navabi, with one project in development with a UK broadcaster.

Full details and more information can be found on the Emanata website.

Somerset House’s blockbuster autumn exhibition Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules opens

Somerset House’s blockbuster autumn exhibition Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules opened in spectacular style on Wednesday night.

Somerset House’s Director Jonathan Reekie welcomed a host of famous faces from the worlds of art, fashion and comedy to the exhibition that celebrates the world’s longest-running weekly comic – Beano – and its mix of mayhem, mischief and fun, led by its beloved band of characters, such as Dennis and Gnasher, Minnie the Minx and Bananaman.

Special guests included comedian Frank Skinner, actress Lily Newmark and broadcaster Zezi Ifore and many of the exhibition’s contributing artists, such as Turner Prize winner Martin Creed.

Curated by artist Andy Holden, the exhibition took guests on a trip through Beanotown itself with larger-than-life recreations of Beano’s most iconic backdrops, as if stepping inside the pages of the comic.  Hanging on the colourful walls of Bash Street School, the homes of Gasworks Road and Bunkerton Castle, and situated outside on the streets of Beanotown, invitees discovered an eclectic collection of contemporary artworks from over 50 of today’s greatest creative rule-breakers, inspired by Beano’s spirit of rebellion and sense of playfulness.  In an exhibition that is just as unconventional as its content, their audacious artworks are shown alongside over 100 comic artworks from the Beano archive, including original drawings never previously seen in public, exploring its lasting impact on the contemporary cultural landscape and upcoming generations of creatives.

After viewing the exhibition, guests then entered an exclusive reception in Somerset House’s Seamen’s Hall and followed a bright yellow carpet onto its River Terrace, with its sweeping views of the capital, decorated with red and black neon illuminations, in homage to the style-staple striped red and black jumpers of Dennis and Minnie.  Inspired by the antics of Beano’s mischievous heroes, whoopee cushions were also placed on seats along the River Terrace.​​​​​​​

The exhibition received fantastic coverage and reviews following the opening night, with write-ups in The Guardian, awarding the exhibit 5 stars (Somerset House’s first 5-star exhibition review!!), i and The Londonist, to name a few.

Findmypast partners with The Francis Frith Collection to release 300,000 new historical photographs

  • Over 300,000 historical photographs available to search online at Findmypast for the first time in partnership with The Francis Frith Collection
  • Covering all corners of the UK and beyond, this vast new Findmypast resource enables family historians to add colour and context to their ancestor’s stories, witnessing sights and scenes of daily life from up to 150 years ago
  • Spanning 1860 to 1970, the Francis Frith collection provides a valuable photographic record of British life, chronicling over 100 years of dramatic change in vivid detail​​​​​​​


Findmypast has added over 300,000 historical photographs chronicling more than a century of British life to its vast archive of family history records.

Published in partnership with the UK’s leading publisher of local photographs since 1860, Francis Frith, and available to search online at Findmypast for the first time. The collection forms a valuable photographic record of daily life in Victorian, Edwardian and 20th century Britain.

Spanning two centuries (1860 to 1970) and covering more than 9,000 cities, towns and villages across the UK, the collection provides both family historians and history enthusiasts alike with the opportunity to come face to face with their ancestors or step back in time to witness sights and scenes from the nation’s past.

Available to search by date, location and keyword, this visually rich resource captures thousands of individual streets, landmarks, landscapes, businesses, buildings and locations that would have played a defining role in people’s lives. Each search result also details the image’s date, original description and location, including the latitude and longitude allowing for easy identification on Google maps.

Also included are images of individuals, families, significant national and local events ranging from Royal Jubilees to village fetes, as well a wide variety of images captured overseas.

The collection not only documents the changing face of locations across the British Isles, it also portrays a diverse array of localities across the world that shaped the destiny of people’s ancestors. This includes a wide array of fascinating images from Egypt, Canada, France, Germany Gibraltar, Hawaii, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. ​​​​​​​

Find out more and search the collection here.

Puzzler Presents…The People’s Friend Puzzles 

Puzzler and The People’s Friend have joined forces to create a brand-new magazine!

Puzzler has been working with the wonderful people at The People’s Friend to bring you an exclusive collection of top-quality brainteasers!

The People’s Friend Puzzles is crammed with puzzles to suit all tastes. From fun Wordsearches and Kriss Krosses to more challenging Logic Problems, Sudoku and Cryptic Crosswords, all are sure to keep you entertained for hours and give those little grey cells a workout, too. As well as the Straight Talking and Cryptics, crossword fans will enjoy the Missing Links, which are a great test of word association skills. If you fancy yourself as a general knowledge expert, don’t miss the Quiz Crosswords. Of course, even the keenest puzzlers need to take a moment to reflect and recharge their solving batteries, and our Set the Scene puzzles are perfect for relaxing and taking in the beautiful images whilst enjoying a cuppa.

The People’s Friend Puzzles is on sale on 22 September and priced £5.99. Available to buy in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, WHSmith, Waitrose and M&S.

Also available to buy online here.

News brands celebrate wins at the UK Regional Press Awards

The Press and Journal and Evening Express’ newspaper delivery team scooped the Special 2020 Award for the dedication of their 750-strong home delivery network.

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, they surpassed all expectations delivering an increased number of papers as people were forced to stay at home.

From writing letters of support to running errands, the delivery team served their communities proud, and they have now been recognised with this prestigious award.

Head of newspaper sales and marketing, Neil Mackland, said: “The coronavirus pandemic challenged us all in 2020.

“But for the girls and boys who make up our home delivery network, it brought out the very best of them.

“We were faced with challenges at the start of lockdown, however we received strong support from parents and customers as they could see we were doing absolutely everything we could to ensure safe working conditions with no impact on our delivery service.

“We started receiving letters and calls of thanks from our readers, passing on their appreciation for the amazing work by our very own home delivery heroes.

“We also witnessed many examples of our newsboys and girls offering to collect shopping, take out bins and run errands for our most vulnerable customers.

“We are proud to be associated with them.”

Press and Journal editor-in-chief, Frank O’Donnell, added: “We rightly saluted our frontline workers who kept the country going during lockdown.

“But perhaps one group that went unheralded were the paper boys and girls, who brought trusted local news on the pandemic directly to people’s doors.

“A daily newspaper written by professional journalists was so important to people across the north and north-east, especially in those early stages of Covid-19, when misinformation and rumour were common.

“Not only did these youngsters keep delivering, they offered to help those who couldn’t leave their homes by bringing vital supplies and running errands.

“This says so much about the strength of our communities, the future of our region and the big heart of our young people. I am proud to know them.”

The Courier and two of our journalists also came away with successes at the awards, announced on Thursday 16th September.

The Courier came highly commended in the Daily Newspaper of the Year (above 400,000 monthly reach) category.

Dale Haslam was highly commended in the Specialist Writer/Impact Journalist of the Year category, while Lesley-Anne Kelly was also highly commended in the Data Journalist of the Year category.

For the full list of winners visit the Society of Editors online.


Beano joins forces with Radley London to create iconic collection


Beano’s comic strips have been styled by Radley London into expertly crafted, collectable designs. Illustrations of Dennis, Gnasher, Minnie and Radley’s Scottie dog create mischief across bags, card holders and purses.  The rebellious collection will be available exclusively in Radley’s London and Glasgow stores, selected concessions and online from 4th October.​​​​​​​

Dennis’s iconic black and red stripes are referenced throughout the collection, including the ‘Breaking Rules’ Book Street bag, which features screen prints and foil embossing on luxurious leather.  The large black tote has appliqué badges of the Beano characters and slogans and includes a detachable striped Scottie dog key fob who dons his very own red and black striped jumper.  The collection also includes a highly collectible leather card holder which features the iconic Dennis and Gnasher fan club logo.  The Dennis fan club was originally created in 1976 and this is the first time it has been brought to life in a licensed deal.

Vanessa Andreis, Franchise Planning and Partnerships Director, Beano Studios says, “In this momentous year for Dennis we’ve chosen iconic partnerships to commemorate his 70 years. Bringing a bit of Dennis’s loveable mischief to Radley London will be a special part of Dennis history and thanks to their incredible craftsmen we’re sure these collectible products will still be around for the next 70 years of this iconic character.”

Radley London is an official partner of Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules – a major exhibition at Somerset House.  Radley’s rebellious collection of Beano-inspired handbags and accessories will be available to buy within a special pop-up shop at Somerset House during the exhibition, which runs from 21 October 2021 until 6 March 2022.

Jackie Hay, Radley London, Chief Product Officer comments, “We are so delighted to join with Beano and Dennis in this very special year.  Our Design Team had enormous fun creating a playful collection which brings Dennis and his friends into our world.  The exclusive Picture Bag designs are made by hand by our artisan craftsmen – including cutting, dying, stitching and printing – and we can’t wait to see our collection run riot this Autumn on our handbags, purses and of course our very own Dennis fan club card wallet.” ​​​​​​​

The landmark exhibition, Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules at Somerset House will explore the relationship between Beano and contemporary art pieces with unruliness and irreverence, through the eyes of the artists who embody the Beano sensibility of rebellion.

The major exhibition will feature original comic drawings, never previously seen in public, selected across its 4,000-plus editions (to date) and rare archive artefacts, alongside works from leading artists and designers, imbued with the same Beano spirit of breaking the rules. Recently announced contributors include artists Nicola Lane and Peter Leversidge and editorial cartoonist Martin Rowson.

Beano was first published by DC Thomson in July 1938 and is still put together in its original Dundee headquarters and printed in the UK each week. Beano has an ABC of 54,800 – an increase of 9.0% YOY. The brand reaches over 5m kids a month on its digital network, centred around multi-award winning and fans in more than 100 countries across the world can watch Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed!, the Emmy nominated TV series.

DC Thomson Media shortlisted for 36 press awards

DC Thomson Media has received an incredible 36 nominations at the UK Regional Press Awards and the Scottish Press Awards. 

The Sunday Post, The Courier, The Press and Journal, Evening Telegraph, Evening Express and Energy Voice have all been shortlisted across a number of categories. 

Several members of the editorial team also received individual nominations including journalists Dale Haslam and Lesley-Anne Kelly and photographer Mhairi Edwards who have all been nominated at both the UK and Scottish awards. 

Richard Neville, head of news brands at DC Thomson, said: “This is fantastic recognition of the hard work and talent of our editorial teams. 

“It has been a year of transformational change in our newsrooms, with the additional challenge of getting our newspapers and magazines out each day during a global pandemic. But our journalists, specialist writers, photographers, columnists and production staff stepped up to ensure our loyal readers stayed informed and entertained throughout. 

“It is particularly pleasing to see the Aberdeen Home Delivery team recognised in the Special Award for 2020 category for their incredible work getting papers out to our readers during lockdown.” 

The UK Regional Press Awards are taking place virtually on September 16 and the Scottish Press Awards will be held in Glasgow on September 29. 

A full list of the nominations available below. 

Beano Crown ‘Britain’s Funniest Class’ in Third Year of Annual Competition

Beano has been on the hunt for Britain’s Funniest Class 2021 and the submissions have been undeniably top grade.

The annual competition, which is currently in its third year, challenges kids across the country to find their funny bones and submit their best quips in hope of securing the title as ‘Britain’s Funniest Class 2021’.

From ‘knock-knock’ to ‘what did?’ jokes there were heaps of hilarious submissions, but Forthill Primary School in Dundee took the top spot with this year’s winning joke “What did the facemask say to the mouth? Let me cover for you!”. The topical-inspired joke received over 21.7% of the final votes on and Forthill Primary School’s Class 5B are revealed as Britain’s Funniest Class and immortalised as Beano characters in the comic on sale today.

A total of ten quick-witted school classes were shortlisted by a panel of Beano’s gag masters, before the public were given the deciding vote to crown the winner.

Runners up, Greystones Primary School weren’t far behind the winners with their very COMICal punchline securing 17.4% of votes – ‘What did the teacher say to the comic lover as a punishment? There will Beano comics for you’.

Rounding off the top three came St John the Baptist Primary with their rib-tickler, “Where’s the best place to take a dog for a walk? Leeds” and 11% of the votes.

The top 10 jokes, all true Beano-esque funnies, are as follows:

Final Position School Class Name Shortlisted joke %
1st Forthill Primary school 5B


What did the facemask say to the mouth? Let me cover for you!” 21.7
2nd Greystones Primary School Y5R What did the teacher say to the comic lover as a punishment? There will Beano comics for you. 17.4
3rd St John the Baptist Primary School 4S Where’s the best place to take a dog for a walk? Leeds 11.1
4th Upton Meadows Primary 6YG Knock knock. Who’s there? Justin. Justin who? Justin time to read Beano. 9
5th Bradford Christian School Year 5 & 6 What did Minnie change her name to when Rubi’s ‘Growth Ray’ experiment went wrong?
Minnie the Shrinks!
6th Hampton Hill Junior School 5R Why did the mobile phone go for an eye test?
Because it lost its contacts!
7th Howardian Primary School 5HB What did the pen say to the rock?
Nothing, because pens can’t talk.
8th Uffculme Primary School Year 4 What does a scary panda say?
Bam boooooooo!
9th Finton House School 3N Q. What is the coldest Christmas food?
A. Pigs in blankets
10th Porthcawl Primary School Llynfi Why didn’t the robber steal Bea’s sweets?
Because no-one would stoop that low!

Beano’s Mike Sterling presented the class at Forthill Primary School with the official Beano ‘Britain’s Funniest Class’ trophy alongside a bundle of Beano goodies including comic subscriptions for the whole class and books courtesy of Studio Press.

Mike Stirling, Editorial Director at Beano Studios said, “Beano is always there for kids seeking a joke to share with their friends and these new gags will continue to bring laughs to friends and families this summer. We’ve learned our greatest gags have always come from kids themselves and Britain’s Funniest Class has schooled us yet again, raising some much-needed chuckles in classrooms. With the summer holidays Beano can’t guarantee sun, but we 100% promise fun!”

The annual competition in partnership with YoungMinds, the children and young people’s mental health charity, aims to lift classroom spirits and tickle funny-bones whilst providing teachers with free educational resources linked to the curriculum.

All finalist schools will have their jokes added to Beano’s joke generator ( and receive special Beano certificates marking their achievement.

The comic featuring Britain’s Funniest Class and the shortlisted jokes is on sale now.

Royal Mail Marks Dennis’ 70th Anniversary with set of 10 Special Stamps

On Thursday 1st July, Royal Mail announced the launch of a new set of stamps celebrating 70 years of the British comic character Dennis.

Six stamps look back at Dennis through the ages; from his first ever black-and-white comic strip in 1951, to important events in his life, including meeting his baby sister, Bea, adopting Gnasher, and even finding out that his dad is a grown-up version of Dennis from the 1980s. These stamps are based on original strips from Beano comics of the time.

A further four stamps, exclusively illustrated by the current Dennis artist, Nigel Parkinson, show the culmination of an exclusive comic strip. The strip, written especially for Royal Mail is featured in the Presentation Pack. The story focuses on Dennis’s birthday celebrations and includes a brief ‘history of Menaces’. The light-hearted episodes end with a birthday surprise, with the final comic strip frame revealing the four new stamps.

Natasha Ayivor, Royal Mail said: ”For seven decades Dennis has been entertaining children by getting into all manner of mischief and mayhem. Generations have experienced the excitement and anticipation of reading about Dennis’s latest prank. Royal Mail is delighted to be honouring Dennis and Gnasher with a set of stamps as the ultimate birthday present.”

Mike Stirling, Editorial Director of Beano Studios said: “Dennis has stamped his personality across first class laughs and mischief for generations of children. We believe everyone has a little bit of the Dennis spirit within them, so can’t wait for fans big and small to take delivery of this amazing piece of Dennis history. This incredible stamp collection really pushes the envelope of philately flattery for our hero.”

Royal Mail collaborated with Beano Studios on selecting all the stamps and associated imagery featured in the issue.

Dennis through the years:

Dennis – ‘the world’s wildest boy’ – was first brought to life in a pencil sketch on the back of a cigarette packet in January 1951. Seventy years later, his mischievous pranks and cheeky grin have not only earned him a place in the hearts of readers of all ages but also ensured that he remains one of Beano’s most famous creations.

Dennis made his first appeared in issue no. 452 of Beano, dated 17 March 1951. It would be another few weeks before he donned his legendary red and black striped jumper, but in this half-page strip, illustrated by artist David Law, readers were offered their first glimpse of the cheeky schoolboy in action as he ignored signs to ‘keep off the grass’ at a local park with hilarious results.

Prior to 1954, Dennis’s strip appeared either in black and white – as per his very first appearance – or supplemented with red, but in February of that year, ‘the world’s wildest boy’ went on his first full-colour adventure on Beanos back page. Of course, full colour only heightened the mischief, and as Dennis embarked on a day of trainspotting, he not only tricked the train station staff to get onto the platform but ultimately found himself driving the train.

In August 1968, Dennis’s life changed forever when he met a stray Abyssinian wire-haired tripe hound whom he decided to name Gnasher. In the first story featuring the now infamous duo, Gnasher proved that he was just as much of a prankster as his human pal when he swiped a bone from one of the ‘pampered pooches’ at a local dog show – and a fight ensued. Gnasher would go on to star in his own strip from 1977.

After 26 years on the cover of Beano, Biffo the Bear was finally ousted from the front page by Dennis in September 1974. It was a change that had been hinted at two years previously, when Dennis announced his desire to star on the front cover while featuring in a Biffo strip, and it is one that, over the years, has proved incredibly successful – Dennis has appeared on the front cover of almost every issue of the Beano since.

Dennis first met his porcine chum Rasher in May 1979, when he spotted the ‘fine porker’ jumping on his trough at Wurzle Farm. After Dennis agreed to take Rasher off the farmer’s hands, the pig further endeared himself to Dennis when they ran into Walter Brown and he pushed over Dennis’s arch-nemesis, breaking his piggy bank. In 1984, thanks to his popularity with readers, Rasher was given his own strip, which ran regularly in Beano until 1988.

Shortly after Beano celebrated its 60th anniversary in 1998, Dennis’s mum and dad had a big surprise in store for Dennis: his mum was pregnant! In the 19 September issue, Dennis’s little sister – Bea – arrived. Although Dennis was initially hesitant at the prospect of having a girl in the family, it turned out that Bea was not unlike her big brother when it came to causing mischief.

In May 2015, Dennis fans were left gobsmacked when Beano revealed that Dennis’s dad was in fact Dennis 30 years earlier. In the strip, footage was unearthed of Dennis Senior as a boy in which the youngster – dressed as Dennis from older editions of the comic – could be seen engaging in a variety of pranks that, in the present, suitably impressed his young son.

The stamps and range of collectible products are available from here.