Ella Fitzgerald, Sidney Bechet, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Michael McDonald, The Rolling Stones and Alejandro Sanz were some of David Beckham’s unexpected picks on Desert Island Disc’s 75th anniversary programme.
Serpentine Swimming Club members are hardy souls used to sub-zero skinny dips in the Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake. They train all year for a festive swim in the annual Peter Pan cup donated by author JM Barrie and the club says “if the lake is frozen we break the ice and still swim”. But one of the mildest Christmas Days since records began melted their resolve with all expectations of a frozen pool and a brrrrrrrrrilliant contest. The water temperature was an unseasonal 4C in a race which Volker Koch won with 63 trailing in his wake. The Christmas Day fixture held since 1864 can only be entered by paid-up club members who compete every Saturday morning throughout the year, regardless of the weather.
Cathedral of design was how Terence Conran, founder of the Design Museum described the newly redesigned former Commonwealth Institute.
Forget Black Friday, savvy shoppers will be skipping the annual retail madness for thrifty Thursday on 1st of December at arguably London’s most well-connected charity shop.
Tony Blair’s office has issued a denial about the former prime minister preparing to muscle his way back into British politics to shape Brexit talks. Mr Blair who lives in west London’s Connaught Square had announced he was winding up some of his lucrative consulting businesses – which has earned him millions of pounds since he left Downing Street in 2007 – based in plush offices in Grosvenor Square leading to intense speculation over his future. The Blair Office twitter feed statement read: “Lots of speculation around about new organisation but further and more accurate information will come soon.” Earlier a spokeswoman had denied the former PM was positioning himself to play a role in shaping Brexit talks describing the speculation published in the Sunday Times as “wholly wrong”. She also denied a report that the former Labour prime minister branded incumbent PM Theresa May as “a total lightweight” and Jeremy Corbyn a “a nutter”. Lots of speculation around about new organisation but further and more accurate information will come soon! — Tony Blair Office (@tonyblairoffice) November …
And the Julian Assange saga goes on in west London’s Knightsbridge at the Ecuadorean Embassy where the WikiLeaks founder is holed up. Four years, £12.6m police surveillance costs, a UN ruling of unlawful detention and several balcony appearances later the Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren has finally braved the press scrum to question Assange over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman in Stockholm in 2010. The Australian has continued to protest his innocence saying consensual sex took place claiming the charges are politically motivated. He has expressed his fears of extradition to the US where he is unlikely to be welcomed with open arms after embarrassing data dumps masterminded by his whistleblowing organisation. However, Assange still has his die-hard supporters with Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson also dropping in with a tray of delicacies for the Australian. Harrods’ food hall is quite handy, but it could turn out to be a foolhardy jaunt for nibbles when Scotland Yard is lurking around the corner and ready to pounce. But under no risk of imminent arrest is Assange’s recently …
Five young activists break into a disused building and try to make a stand against it all. Fired up by left-wing idealism but short on pragmatism, they discover that the revolution may be a long time coming, and when the protest leads to tragedy, some of them are driven to more violent methods.
If you’ve ever wondered about the secret behind David Bowie’s musical ingenuity, then look no further than a red typewriter called Valentine up for grabs alongside 350 other items up for sale at Sotheby’s in an auction titled, Bowie/Collector.
A yellow-billed hornbill tosses a termite into its mouth; a parakeet dangles in mid-air biting the tail of a monitor lizard in what looks like a forced eviction from its nest; an inquisitive raven inspects the contents of a bottle, a brazen fox comes into view over a wall at a neighbourhood near you.
David Beckham: The Man. Icon. Family man. Idol. Ambassador. Muse. Not a bad introduction for a working class boy from east London. Welcome to Brand Beckham’s latest incarnation right in the heart of London’s Mayfair.