The Saturday brief­ing

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IS THERE any­thing you are des­per­ately yearn­ing to know? Are there any press­ing fac­tual dis­putes you would like us to help re­solve? This is the page where we shall do our best to an­swer any ques­tions you throw at us, what­ever the sub­ject.

WHO is the man who tap-dances his way up roofs in a TV com­mer­cial for NFU Mu­tual? Does he do his own stunts?

Ju­lia Per­ren, Isle of Wight HIS name is Grant Neal and he is not a real in­sur­ance sales­man. He is a grad­u­ate of the Lon­don Academy of Per­form­ing Arts and as well as tap-danc­ing does bal­let and con­tem­po­rary dance and has a good bari­tone or tenor voice. He has ap­peared in a num­ber of mu­si­cals in Lon­don and else­where.

And yes, I am re­li­ably in­formed that Grant does in­deed do all his own stunts.

WE are see­ing an in­creas­ing num­ber of hur­ri­canes form­ing and caus­ing large amounts of dam­age. Could they not be bro­ken up by drop­ping a bomb or some form of ex­plo­sive and det­o­nat­ing it in the cen­tre of the hur­ri­cane to re­duce or de­stroy it?

D Ames, Wor­thing, Sus­sex IT’S a nice idea but it wouldn’t work. The en­ergy of a hur­ri­cane is phe­nom­e­nal. The heat gen­er­ated by a hur­ri­cane is roughly equal to ex­plod­ing a 10 mega­ton nu­clear weapon every 20 min­utes.

The hur­ri­cane starts as wa­ter evap­o­rat­ing from the ocean, which then con­denses into rain­drops; the con­den­sa­tion process re­leases more en­ergy as heat, which causes more wa­ter to evap­o­rate, which re­leases more en­ergy… and so on un­til the hur­ri­cane reaches land when it be­gins to run out of wa­ter to con­tinue the process. The mas­sive winds are only about one per cent of its to­tal en­ergy.

All this means that even a huge nu­clear bomb would have lit­tle ef­fect and would run the hor­ri­ble risk of ra­dioac­tive fall­out be­ing car­ried by the winds. HAV­ING seen the “We love… au­tumn fra­grances” fea­ture in the Daily Ex­press on Thurs­day, rang­ing in price from £27-£175, what makes per­fumes so ex­pen­sive? Sue Bai­ley, Skip­ton, North York­shire THE price comes down mainly to four things: the in­gre­di­ents, the mar­ket­ing, the pack­ag­ing and the skill of the per­fumer. The sec­ond and third of those are es­sen­tially up to the com­pany mak­ing the per­fumes. The last is the wages of the ex­pert who con­cocts the fra­grances. But by far the great­est ex­pense in the cre­ation of the more ex­pen­sive per­fumes is the first.

In­gre­di­ents may be rare, such as the am­ber­gris from whales’ in­testines. But even if flow­ers are used, costs can rack up. To make a kilo of jas­mine es­sen­tial oil takes 1,653lb of jas­mine flow­ers, which must be picked by hand dur­ing the few hours of the day the petals are open. As with most things, prices are a re­flec­tion of what peo­ple are will­ing to pay. IN 1936, Ed­ward VIII had to ab­di­cate in or­der to marry Wal­lis Simp­son, who was a di­vorced lady. Prince Charles is also mar­ried to a di­vorced lady, yet there seems no ob­jec­tion to his suc­ceed­ing the Queen. What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two sit­u­a­tions? Kenneth Plews, Mid­dles­brough,

North York­shire QUITE apart from the an­i­mos­ity to­wards Wal­lis Simp­son in govern­ment cir­cles, the con­sti­tu­tional problem in 1936 was es­sen­tially that the monarch was also head of the Church of Eng­land which did not sanc­tion the re­mar­riage of di­vorcees. Since then the at­ti­tude has changed.

In 1981 the Church’s synod re­solved that cer­tain peo­ple “may be mar­ried in church dur­ing the life­time of a for­mer spouse” and in 2002 the synod ruled that di­vorcees may re­marry in church with of­fi­cial ap­proval. Pa­tri­otic pri­mate mug, £10. 020 7942 5494/ This fun mug from the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum will bring a smile to your face as you sip a well-de­served brew. Made of fine china, the kids are bound to love it. by WAS Han­del’s Mes­siah first pub­lished in English or is the ver­sion we are used to an English trans­la­tion of the orig­i­nal Ger­man? Gra­ham Roe, Pen­zance, Corn­wall DE­SPITE Han­del be­ing Ger­man, his Mes­siah was writ­ten to an English li­bretto by Charles Jen­nens and was first per­formed in 1742 in Dublin where “gentle­men were re­quested to re­move their swords, and ladies were asked not to wear hoops” to make room for as big an au­di­ence as pos­si­ble. A Ger­man trans­la­tion was made in 1775 and per­formed in Vi­enna in 1789.

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Ritzen­hoff Amore Mio cap­puc­cino cup and saucer, £24.95. 0843 504 7194/ama­ This de­sign by the Amer­i­can artist Lu­cio Pozzi is glo­ri­ously ab­stract and imag­i­na­tive.

With bold and bright colours, it comes in a match­ing gift box and would make a great present for any art lovers in your life. in­ac­cu­rate please go to www.ex­­tac­tus where you will find an easy to use form. Al­ter­na­tively you can write to Read­ers Ed­i­tor, Daily Ex­press, 10 Lower Thames Street, Lon­don EC3R 6EN. We will do our best to cor­rect it as soon as pos­si­ble.

If you have a com­plaint con­cern­ing a breach of the Code please go to www.ex­­tac­tus where you will find our com­plaints pol­icy and pro­ce­dure. Al­ter­na­tively, once you have es­tab­lished that your com­plaint falls within the com­plaints pro­ce­dure, you can put your com­plaint in writ­ing to Com­plaints, Daily Ex­press, 10 Lower Thames Street, Lon­don EC3R 6EN.

HIGH LIFE: Tap-dancer Grant Neal per­forms the stunts in the NFU Mu­tual TV ad, helped by some cam­era tricks

*All prices are cor­rect at the time of go­ing to press

Pin Up Lady cup, £2.50. 0800 9520101/ ge­ A truly fan­tas­tic price for this vintage-style cup made from porce­lain fea­tur­ing an im­age of a 1930s woman with a pretty flower pat­tern and cute slo­gans.

Set of four Polka cof­fee cups and saucers, £39.95. 0345 548 0210/ annabel­ These porce­lain cups are hand-painted in four vintage-in­spired pas­tel colours and have plat­inum rims and han­dles.

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