Stage and screen

Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap has notched up its 60th anniversary and its 25,000th performance, by far the longest run of a stage show. Yet for all its longevity, relatively few people have seen it compared with some television dramas.

The Mousetrap played at the 440-seat New Ambassadors Theatre until 1974. It then transferred to the 550-seat St Martins Theatre, where it still runs. If every seat had been sold in that time, it would have been seen by 12.7 million people.

— That is far short of the record audience for a British TV drama (30.15 million, for the 1986 EastEnders Christmas special), and only three times the average Saturday evening audience for ITV’s Poirot.

The Brussels bonus

Who are the biggest net beneficiaries, and losers, of EU spending?

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Net benefit per head of EU spending, 2009

BIGGEST WINNERS
Luxembourg €2,365*
Lithuania €438
Estonia €416
Greece €267
BIGGEST LOSERS
Denmark -€211
Finland -€114
Germany -€107
Italy -€101
UK (in seventh place) -€62.70

Source: Deutsche Bank

*figures include the benefits of administrative spending

A nation of chicken-keepers

A Jamie Oliver-inspired fad for keeping chickens was blamed for poor welfare in the animals. What is the domesticated animal population of England?

Chickens 107m
Sheep 14.6m
Cattle 5.37m
Pigs 3.66m
Turkeys 3.3m
Geese 88,000
Llamas 2,000

Source: Defra

Accidents will happen

A woman from Essex required skin grafts after her hot-water bottle burst. Some of the items which caused accidents reported to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents over a three-year period.

Pile of washing or ironing 15,700
Blanket (non-electric) 4,310
Bean bag 3,120
Place mat 461
Pillow case 317
Tea cosy 35

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated