Celebrities' New Year resolutions

By Rebecca SheppardRESIDENTS across the region will be making their New Year resolutions today, with vows to stop smoking or lose weight among the more popular pledges.

By Rebecca Sheppard

RESIDENTS across the region will be making their New Year resolutions today, with vows to stop smoking or lose weight among the more popular pledges.

Among those making the annual promise is champion swimmer Karen Pickering, from Ipswich, who said her New Year resolution would be to learn Spanish.

“It is not the first time it's been my New Year resolution. My grandparents used to live in Spain so I can speak a little bit, but I would like to learn it better,” she added.

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“I guess as this is the Olympic year I would say that absolutely everything I need to do training wise will be my priority.

“I will give absolutely everything I have got to get a medal in the Olympics, but I do not need to make a resolution as I will be doing that anyway.”

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Pensioner Betty Bone, who is leading the fight against huge rises in Council Tax in Suffolk, said she would be starting 2004 with a protest march on January 17 in London.

“I have made a resolution that I will pay 3%, or whatever the rate of inflation is, in Council Tax and no more,” she added.

Veteran Radio One broadcaster John Peel, who lives near Stowmarket, said his New Year resolutions were to “lose weight, write a book and be more sociable”.

He added: “Losing weight is an annual thing, but it is difficult to do if you are diabetic.

“Contrary to what many people think, I spend too much time working, to the neglect of my friends and relations that live in places other than East Anglia, who I would like to see more of next year.”

But bucking the trend of New Year's resolutions, former Beirut hostage Terry Waite, who lives in Hartest, said: “My New Year resolution is to never make New Year resolutions as I always break them.”

n Publicans came up with an innovative way for revellers to enjoy the New Year's Eve celebrations - putting an end to the misery of waiting in queues or being told a nightspot was full.

Five pubs in Bury St Edmunds joined together last night to offer a new free ticketing system amid claims the present schemes were putting a damper on the traditional fun.

The town's Landlords' Association said the system of buying a ticket for just one pub - and then having to stay there - was killing the festive atmosphere.

Instead the Queen's Head, The Black Boy, The Mason's Arms, The King's Arms and Karooze joined forces to offer free entry, allowing customers to come and go between the five premises.

Mark Eames, landlord of The Black Boy, said: “Since the Millennium, every pub has done their own tickets and people are getting fed-up having to pay to get into a pub.

“We wanted to encourage people to go to our pubs, help create a good atmosphere and get trade back into the town centre pubs.”


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