Newspaper headlines: 'Michael Fish' moment, Brexit ambassador, Jill Saward and penguin walk

Michael Fish giving his infamous weather forecast in 1987
Image caption Michael Fish giving his infamous weather forecast in 1987

Nearly 30 years after that famous broadcast in which he dismissed reports that a hurricane was about to batter the south of England, former BBC weatherman Michael Fish is being compared with the failures of economic forecasters.

The admission by a top Bank of England official that economists failed to predict the 2008 financial crisis and were wrong about their dire warnings over the post-Brexit economy, make the lead for the Times, Telegraph and Guardian.

They highlight the comment by the Bank's chief economist, Andy Haldane, that the shortcomings were a "Michael Fish moment" for the profession.

The Guardian says Mr Haldane is known to be concerned about mounting criticism of experts and the potential for the Bank's forecasts to be dismissed by politicians if errors persist.


According to the lead in the Financial Times, the appointment of Sir Tim Barrow as Britain's ambassador to the EU following the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers was "vigorously opposed" by the top official at the Brexit ministry.

Several unnamed officials have told the paper that Olly Robbins, permanent secretary at the department, wanted to take control of negotiations with Brussels, and suggested downgrading the job of UK ambassador to a director-general, with a reporting line to Mr Robbins.

But, the paper goes on, the Foreign Office sees it as a vital diplomatic post and moved to block Mr Robbins.

The Department for Brexit tells the paper the claims are "fundamentally untrue."


For its main story, the Mail says senior civil servants have made an extraordinary demand for extra cash to deal with Brexit.

According to the paper, the Whitehall mandarins and diplomats say the vote to leave the EU has left them facing "unsustainable" pressure.

It says the First Division Association - a union representing elite civil servants earning up to £208,000 - has called for an end to the system that limits increases to 10% for officials who win promotion and a lifting of the 1% pay cap.

"Sir Humphreys' Brexit greed", is the headline.


The Mail also gives over much of its front page to a tribute to Jill Saward, the woman raped at an Ealing vicarage in 1986 who went on to campaign for the police and courts to treat victims better.

She died on Thursday at the age of 51. The paper thinks it is a disgrace that she never received an honour.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ealing rape victim Jill Saward waived her right to anonymity

"Doesn't it say it all about our rotten honours system that while vapid celebrities and self-serving mandarins are showered with gongs, a woman of grit and integrity who immeasurably improved the lives of countless others got nothing?" it asks.

The Mirror says she was inspiring, courageous and remarkable.


Finally, there is some timely advice on how to avoid falling on icy surfaces - march like a penguin.

According to the Times, penguins may look silly as they waddle around on their stubby legs but their walk is the ideal way to stay safe in cold weather.

Image copyright PA
Image caption No slips: Penguins appear to push their centre of gravity forward

A German study has found that penguins manage to stay upright by leaning forward so the centre of gravity lies on their front leg, whereas we usually split our weight between two legs - causing them to lose balance on slippery surfaces.