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Silly season begins in Britain as games end

Having declared the London Olympics a success after Sunday night’s glittering ceremony, Britain’s political elite on Monday promptly took off for their annual holiday, marking the beginning of the “silly season” that extends from August until early September.

world Updated: Aug 13, 2012 23:44 IST

Having declared the London Olympics a success after Sunday night’s glittering ceremony, Britain’s political elite on Monday promptly took off for their annual holiday, marking the beginning of the “silly season” that extends from August until early September.

Considered a minor British institution, this is the time when most of Britain seemingly comes to a halt.

Most top newsmakers — politicians, bureaucrats and journalists — are on holiday, a period when not much happens and when inconsequential, funny and quirky stories are passed off as news.

But as they packed bags and took off, many must hope that unlike last year —when riots broke out across England, forcing the elite to rush back — this year their holiday is not interrupted.

During the silly season, hard-pressed journalists scour for funny stories to fill pages with — egg fried on hot pavement, cow falling from cliff-top into caravan, among others.

The first of such stories appeared on Monday: readers were told that Harry and Amelia were the most popular first names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2011. Even if you were not interested, you will now know that the two names replaced the previous year’s most popular names of Oliver and Olivia.