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Advice from ‘La-la Land’ and Britain’s Costly Hen Parties

11 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 11 September 2013

Ordinary Americans, who are not of an academic bent, have a colourful term for the august halls of top universities - ‘La-La Land.’ On Ivy League campuses, the argument goes that thinking is better than doing, and debates going on in the ivory tower have little to do with life on the ground. But as Humphrey Hawksley learned during recent visits to Yale and Princeton, the views of esteemed professors and ordinary Americans might not be so far apart after all.

Plus, the rising cost of hen parties - are they a hidden drain on the wallets of Britain’s young women? Often called a ‘hen do’ or a ‘bachelorette party’, it is a celebration arranged by friends of a bride before a wedding. They used to be relatively low-key affairs but many have now expanded into expensive weekend-long, activity-filled excursions. Veteran hen party-goer Charlotte McDonald asks how they got out of control, and pleads for a halt to the escalation.



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