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Attention Turns to Tennis as Wimbledon Comes to Town

England have been knocked out of Euro 2012, yesterday was the first sunny day in weeks, and the London Olympics are still over a month away. It all adds up to make it the perfect time for Wimbledon to take centre stage. The annual tennis tournament in south-west London started yesterday, and already fans have been treated to the world's best players, some huge shocks, and even a British win.

The tournament is one of the four ‘Majors' in tennis and is the oldest tennis competition in the world. For two weeks each year it becomes the focus of the sport, as crowds descend on the twenty grass courts to stuff themselves with strawberries and cream and watch some world-class tennis.

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Jay-Z and Rihanna Headline Hackney Weekend

This weekend saw an area in East London usually used for local football games taken over by some of the biggest names in music as part of Hackney Weekend. 100,000 lucky fans got free tickets to the two-day music festival which was part of the London 2012 Festival and organised by BBC Radio 1. They were treated to performances from Jay-Z, Rihanna and Dizzee Rascal among many others.

A Festival for Locals 

Hackney was chosen as the location after it became clear that many local people felt left out of the Olympics despite it being so close. BBC Radio 1 controller and head of the festival, Ben Cooper, explained:

"Here at Radio 1 and 1Xtra we wanted to make sure that we marked this in a way that would give young people from London and beyond, who might not necessarily be engaged with the Games, a chance to celebrate as part of Festival 2012."

Indeed, the opening act on the main stage on Saturday had a very local feel to it. Leona Lewis who grew up in nearby Islington kicked things off along side the Hackney Empire Community Choir and local rapper Wretch 32:

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London Prepares for an International Summer

London is preparing for a truly international summer, as the world's attention begins to turn on the English capital. With a focus on European countries already prominent at Euro 2012, it will soon be time for the rest of world to join in with the Olympics.

This unique and very busy summer in London started with the truly British celebration that was the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Thousands of Union Jack flags were put up around the Capital for the festivities, though they are now rapidly being replaced by flags of the world. Flags are adorning most streets in central London, with Regents Street looking particularly impressive as it prepares to welcome the nations of the world. The photo above is of Conduit Street, which is just off Regents Street and right outside the offices.

A Summer of Sport

London is currently gripped by football fever (it's very contagious) with Euro 2012 building (or should that be breaking?) international relationships. With the group stages almost finished, the tournament is starting to take shape, and England will be hoping to win their final match against Ukraine tonight to take their place in the quarter-finals.

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Diamond Jubilee Events This Weekend

If you're in Britain, chances are that you've heard that the Queen is celebrating 60 years on the throne this weekend. As part of the massive four-day weekend Diamond Jubilee celebrations there are loads of events going on. Here we pick out some of the best for you to get involved in.

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Comedy Train Announcements to be Introduced

A railway company has come up with an unusual way of improving their customer experience. Chiltern Railways have hired a top British sitcom writer to create comedy announcements that customers will hear on their trains. They then went one step further, by hiring TV comedian Tony Robinson to teach the staff how to deliver these new announcements.

Writer Richard Preddy, who wrote the series Green Wing, was hired by the company after research showed that commuters unsurprisingly found their journeys depressing. The new announcements will hopefully soon be putting smiles on commuters' faces on trains between London and Birmingham, as well as at London Marylebone Station. Preddy explained:

"We have all waited for a train or a bus into work as the rain pours down and bustled our way to a seat and I think comedy can help to alleviate that stress. It's important to note that we aren't trying to turn everyone into a comedian. Rather we are hoping to bring out a little more of the staff's personality and humour via their day-to-day announcements and help cheer up the commuters along the way."

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