Russia trains space lizards to 'boldly gecko' into orbit

Mar 16, 2012

Red top tales: reptiles to be blasted into space, stable lad wins £1m

RUSSIAN scientists are holding X-Factor style auditions to select a team of geckos, who will become the first reptiles to be sent into space, reports The Sun. The paper claims that the "crack team of cosmic lizards are undergoing secret training" before they "boldly gecko" into orbit. "The basic principles for selection and preparation are the same as those for human cosmonauts, " said a spokesman. "We will leave out weak and ill ones, and there will be no place for those which are easily excited or aggressive." Russia's Institute of Biomedical Problems hopes that the experiment will lead to health breakthroughs for humans.

Gerard Depardieu has labelled his fellow French countrymen "smug and arrogant", reports the Daily Mail. The "screen legend" was discussing his latest role - playing French IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a biopic - on Swiss television when he said; "I think he's a bit like all the French, a bit arrogant. I don't much like the French in any case. And he's very French - arrogant, smug." The 63-year-old actor said it was not Strauss-Kahn's "sexual impulses" but his "general attitude" that has disgusted him: "It's the way he walks, with one hand in his pocket." Depardieu is no stranger to scandalous behaviour himself. Last year he was ejected from a plane after urinating into an Evian bottle in the aisle. He apologised, blaming the incident on prostate problems.

A stable lad at top trainer Nicky Henderson's yard has won £1million after picking five winners at the Cheltenham festival, The Sun reports. Conor Murphy, who is in his 30s, placed a rolling accumulator bet before Christmas on five horses all trained by Henderson. It is thought the bet only cost him £50 and that the five winners were Simonsig, Bob's Worth, Finian's Rainbow, Sprinter Sacre and Riverside Theatre. "I'm thrilled," said Henderson. "He's a lovely lad." Murphy has no time to celebrate: it's a big day at the Lambourn, Berkshire stables with Long Run – the favourite – and Burton Port both running in the Gold Cup against Kauto Star.

THE ROLLING STONES are back together and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have ended their long-running feud, claims the Daily Mirror. The pair fell out over Keith's autobiography, Life, in which he called Jagger "Your Majesty", wrote that the singer had become "unbearable" and mocked his "tiny todger" and "enormous pair of balls". Now, Mick and Keith - both 68 years old - have made up, paving the way for a reunion tour in 2013, with Jagger saying: "It's time to move on." Apologising for the book, Keith said that it was intended to be "raw" but regretted that parts of it had offended his bandmate: "What some of our detractors forget is that although we look like old codgers living an ocean apart we are still at bottom the boys [who met] on platform 3 at Dartford Station."

Jennifer Aniston spends £250 a day on "her body", according to The Sun. A website has broken down the 43-year-old Friends star's spending based on the products and services she admits using. The actress - recently voted Sexiest Woman of All Time - blows over £1,200 a month to have her hair cut, with another £800 on having highlights put in it. She also spends around £200 each week on deliveries from a nutritionist. The largest weekly payout is £600 for yoga sessions with her own private trainer, Mandy Ingber. Talking about these sessions in the past, Aniston has said: "I feel like I am getting a meditation, a workout and time with my friend, all rolled into one."

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