Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on teaching an army, growing a beard and Boris's praise for China

A survey reveals that, for the first time in many decades, more than half of British men have facial hair. I wonder why.

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Who's teaching whom? Ukrainian troops training in the UK.

To look more intelligent, perhaps? I am reminded of that late, great writer A A Gill who referred to “beards as a substitute for thought”.

The good news is that proper beards now outnumber so-called designer stubble, as cultivated by the BBC's climate-catastrophe guru Justin Rowlatt. I'm not sure why Rowlatt goes for the scruffy stubbly look, unless it's to put across an urgent and rather poetic little message: “No time to shave, I've a planet to save.”