One of the easiest questions that seems to consistently crop up on quiz shows in the likes of Spain is to “name the city” of which Big Ben resides (an image of Big Ben is typically shown to the quiz contestants). Blockbuster films that are set in London often slip in a shot of Big Ben just to let the viewer know which city they are in.
Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has the Statue of Liberty, Piza has the Leaning Tower and London has Big Ben. Speaking of leaning towers, Big Ben is leaning enough to be noticed by the naked eye and rather worryingly, this lean is becoming more pronounced with every passing year.
A domineering yet formidable presence
Gothic, gold, gilded and marvellous, Londoners are justifiably proud of their most iconic symbol, leans and all. With chiming clocks on all four of its faces and reaching lofty heights of 315 feet, you cannot miss the domineering presence of Big Ben.
Big Ben has not been without its problems, though most of which have been resolved before too long. One of the most prolonged periods of restoration work took place between 1976 and 1977 when the clock was out of action for 26 days. Instead of the mighty gongs preceding the national television news viewers had to put up with some very lame pips.
When it comes to fashion, women’s collections tend to maintain the limelight, with men’s fashion being thrust to a rather inferior back seat. Not in London it seems, where when it comes to fashion, anything goes. From January 6 – 8, 2014 you’ll get the chance to catch the very latest clothing designs for men. In collaboration between Topman and Fashion East, the London Collections: Men will showcase the most exciting and original forthcoming menswear designs
The top British fashion designers have really cut loose and let their imaginations soar and those attending next year’s London Collection will have fun marvelling at the latest colours, styles and cuts.
Sixty designers will show off their fanciful garments between the three British Fashion Council venues of Victoria House, the Old Sorting Office and The Hospital Club. The rapidly rising to fame contemporary British designer Lou Dalton will kick off the show with a catwalk collection on Monday 6 January. Lou’s inspiring designs will be followed by the likes of the highly talented Jonathan Saunders, Gieves and Hawkes, to name just a few.
Ever since the New Year’s Eve of 1999 when countries around the world had their firework displays televised live as their respective time zones entered into the new Millennium, there has been a competitive edge as to which country puts the most spectacular firework display on December 31st.
From Sydney to New York, Edinburgh to Tokyo the night air of cities around the world is illuminated into dazzling expression every New Year’s Eve. Though it has to be said that ever since British provided the world with a wonderfully ingenious 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, astounding city spectacles are now synonymous with English capital and none more so than on New Year’s Eve.
The beautiful backdrop of the Thames and the focal point of the London Eye makes the New Year’s Eve in London display compete with the likes of Paris, New York and Sydney.
Thousands descend on the British capital on the last day of the year eager to join in the fun and excitement. Millions decide not to brave the weather and crowds and watch the excitement unravel on their television sets from the comfort of their own armchair.
Launched from the foot of the London Eye and from the rafts of the Thames, this annual firework display is visible from most part of central London so long as you obey the basic rule of thumb – you can see the London Eye.
With his Elvis hairdo, crisp-white T-shirt and black leather jacket he was the coolest dude on television back in the seventies. He was the handsome devil who got all the girls and had guys like Cunningham running round in circles for him. Who are we talking about? ‘The Fonz’ of course!
A world apart from his legendary character in the 1970’s American sitcom ‘Happy Days’, actor Henry Winkler is to play a dastardly Captain Hook in the “Peter Pan” pantomime at the Richmond Theatre this Christmas.
This favourite children’s pantomime will run at this stunning Victorian theatre from December 6, 2013 until January 12, 2014.
London is home to a myriad of magical pantomimes all year round but especially during the festive season. Here’s a few more of the best pantomimes in London for Christmas 2013.
A little further south in Croydon, Eastender’s star Steve “Phil Mitchell” McFadden will be giving Henry Winkler a run for his money playing Captain Hook in a Croydon-adaptation of Peter Pan.
Other pantomimes put on this Christmas in London include Puss in Boots, which can is being performed in two extremely different formats at Hackney Empire and Greenwich Theatre.
The London Underground has commissioned some fantastic poster designs over the years and right now you can view the vast archive of posters from Victorian Times to the present day. Taking place at the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, the ‘Poster Art 150 – London Underground’s Greatest Designs’ marks the London underground’s 150th anniversary – making it the world’s oldest subway transport system.
The exhibition will show a poster for each of the 150 years of the Underground’s existence. Visitors can buy prints of the original artwork in various sizes.
The first graphic underground posters were commissioned in 1908. Along the years there have been some startling submissions such as Man Ray’s surrealist poster in 1938. The American modernist’s submission featured the underground logo at the top of the picture and what appears to be planet Saturn at the bottom of the page alongside the title, “Keeps London Going”.
The posters of the motor shows at Olympia are particularly striking and because most of the cars depicted are now defunct and can only be seen in old films and collections, these posters really give off an old and retro vibe.
From 1951 – 1953 Hackney artist William Roberts designed posters for London Transport. One of Robert’s most innovative designs was ‘London Fairs’ which he submitted in 1951.