Hands of history – Sussex sculptor’s London exhibition

Sculptor Louise Giblin’s latest project tells the story of war veterans.

The artist, whose brother is a retired Brigadier, has made hand casts of ten serving and retired members of the British military.

Each bronze contains images relating to their personal history.

Louise, from Wadhurst, previously made body casts of Olympians and Paralympians.

These works form part of an exhibition titled Living Legends/Lest We Forget.
It can be seen from 7-15 November at Gallery Different, Percy St, London and is in support of the Royal British Legion.


Toast of London’s Stephen Toast on history’s greatest thespians

Possessed of a natural gravitas, dastardly streak of white hair and a voice richer and fruitier than a chocolate-dipped kumquat, Stephen Toast (with his uncanny resemblance to comedian Matt Berry) first came to wider acclaim in the Channel 4 series Toast Of London last year. As at home in the world of corporate voiceover as unpopular fringe theatre, he’s done it all. As he returns to TV next week, we caught up with the old-school thespian to ask him about the performances that inspired him.

Omar Sharif – Doctor Zhivago

“He wasn’t even a trained doctor, but you’d trust him with your rheumatoid arthritis any day of the week. Dreamy eyes … confident smile … defiant moustache. Outstanding.”

Laurence Olivier – Marathon Man

“Olivier plays a bungling Nazi dentist in a role that was first offered to Jerry Lewis. Sir Larry made it his own and won affection and plaudits from Nazis and non-Nazis alike.”

Laurence Olivier – Henry V

“It’s that man again! Although written as a comedy, Olivier decided at the last moment not to play it for laughs, and instead clanked his way into the hearts of the British public as a patriotic king on a pony. Early CGI effects, used to portray the battle scenes (due to a wartime horse shortage), don’t take away from the majesty of this terrific movie.”

Peter O’Toole – Lawrence of Arabia

“Shouldn’t it be Lawrence from Arabia?” O’Toole asked David Lean on his first day on set. It was the start of an ongoing battle between the two that lasted for the entire nine years of filming. Was it worth it? Seventy-three Academy Award nominations indicate a resounding ‘Yes’!”

Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia.
Photograph: Everett Collection/Rex

Celia Johnson – Brief Encounter

“Despite the prohibition on nudity that badly damaged the British film industry from the 1940s right until the 1970s, this is the sexiest performance I’ve ever seen on screen. Although she murders Trevor Howard at the end, when he refuses to leave his wife for her, Johnson still elicits the viewer’s sympathy. A superb performance.”

Diana Rigg – Macbeth

“In her autobiography, Rigg – My Roles, Diana says she based her stage performance as Lady Macbeth on Nobby Stiles, the diminutive, half-blind Manchester United midfielder of the 1960s. I couldn’t see any ‘Nobby-ness’ myself, but her Lady M was described by Kenneth Tynan as ‘subliminal’.”

“Out, damned spot kick” … Diana Rigg as Lady Macbeth.
Photograph: Reg Wilson/Rex

Joan Collins – The Bitch

“A stage version of Joan’s hit film, it was unfairly slammed by ‘the critics’ when it ran in the West End for two days, and is mostly forgotten in Britain. However, in New York, they just loved it, and she picked up six Tonys (not including her ex-husband, Tony Newley).”

Richard Burton – Hamlet/ Camelot/ Coriolanus

“Only Burton could have tackled these three major roles on stage at the same time and pulled it off. It was worth it; he garnered fantastic reviews and was able to afford another million-pound bracelet for Elizabeth Taylor.”

Nick Clegg – Privates On Parade

“An unusual choice, as we don’t normally think of the Lib Dem leader as an actor, but his performance in Peter Nichols’s wartime musical was simply terrific. I first saw him take on the role at the party conference in Blackpool in 2007 – one could watch it at lunchtime while eating chicken and chips in a bar – and was literally bowled over. If he ever becomes not leader of the Liberal Democrats, he could make a fine living from the theatre.”

Toast of London starts on Monday 3 November at 10.35pm, Channel 4


Bank of England launches wide-ranging review of London’s markets

As well as major banks and investors, the Bank’s consultation will poll
individuals and companies, whom are affected by the markets, as well as
international regulators and exchanges to ensure the broadest possible

To gauge the response from market participants, a panel has been put together,
to be led by Elizabeth Corley, chief executive of Allianz Global
Investors.The consultation will centre on the Fixed Income, Currency and
Commodities (FICC) part of the investment banking arena, which is a key part
of the City’s make-up.

Although FICC instruments are traded around the world, the UK plays home to
70pc of international bond trades and almost 50pc of over-the-counter
interest rate derivative products, with FICC trades in London estimated to
have generated revenues of $30bn (£18.5bn) for London-based banks last year.

As part of the internal review, Bank of England, Treasury and Financial
Conduct Authority staff working on the Fair and Effective Markets Review,
led by Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik, have heard from more than 200
financiers, some of whom have warned that particular markets remain
vulnerable to abuse, with the small number of participants leaving
transactions uncompetitive and open to collusion similar to that seen in

The consultation document published yesterday sets out a variety of ideas to
clean up the markets. They range from additional criminal sanctions to
bolster the new rules on benchmark manipulation, through to imposing
additional capital requirements on companies that fall foul of the rules.
Radical reforms like these would require international co-operation and tie
in with the global rules on banks such as Basel III and CRD IV.

Ms Shafik last night used a speech at the London School of Economics, timed to
coincide with the launch of the consultation, to suggest that bankers
misdemeanours had prolonged the financial crisis.

She said the run-up to the crisis had created a world of “perverse” prestige
where traders had a “casual … attitude towards the abuses they

“The shadow of the worst financial crisis in living memory has been
significantly lengthened by a series of appalling cases of misconduct in
FICC and other markets,” said Ms Shafik in her speech. “The
initial argument that it is just the case of ‘a few bad apples’ is no longer
credible. Instead it seems that there were deep rooted problems in the
nature of FICC markets that resulted in practices that would be unacceptable

While markets had historically been self-regulating through the principle of “caveat
emptor – or buyer beware”, Ms Shafik said the spirit of the term
had become distorted. “Caveat emptor has never meant “anything goes”,
and certainly does not trump the obligation on a firm to act honestly,
fairly and professionally,” she said.

In questions following the speech, she said of the markets review process: “When
we launched this process the Governor…asked me to make calls to most of
the major bank CEOs.

“I think what struck me is that there is a genuine understanding of the
need to solve this problem and a genuine willingness , and I think we have a
real political window of opportunity to resolve these issues because of
these series scandals because of the size of the fines, because everyone
wants to put this behind them and fix this problem because it is in no-ones
interest, so I think the current discussions with market participants have
been very encouraging.”

Chancellor George
used his Mansion
House Speech
this summer to announce the initial review.

Last month, the Treasury said traders who manipulated key oil, gold and
currency benchmarks would face the same huge fines or jail sentences as
those who attempted to rig Libor and Mr Osborne has pledged to “have
the new regime in place by the end of the year”.


Tower of London: how to see the poppies

The best site for a panoramic view, and the best position from which to hear
the Last Post and the Roll of Honour, is the Tower Hill terrace above the
moat on the west side of the Tower (just opposite the ticket office and near
the main entrance).

The poppies have now reached Traitors’ Gate and look particularly effective
here; you can see them by walking along the stretch of land between the
river and the Tower of London.

To appreciate the full scale of the exhibition, walk right round the outside
of the Tower – crowds permitting.

Go for a drink at Gong, on the 52nd floor of the Shard; drinks are expensive,
but you get a great view of the poppies (and of most of London). Or book a
ticket to access the Shard’s viewing platform (from £24.95 per adult).

You get a good view of the poppies from the top deck of the number 15 bus; sit
on the right if travelling east, on the left going west.

Best times to visit

At 4.55pm each day a bugler plays the Last Post and names from the Roll of
Honour are read out. It will be very crowded at this point though; if you
want to avoid the scrum, go as early as possible, before the morning rush
hour gets going. Or late: the exhibition is floodlit – to great effect – as
night falls, and the mood lighting remains on until 11pm. More basic
lighting is kept on throughout the night.

Go before

Nov 11, when the last poppy will be planted. The flowers will be removed
gradually over the following two weeks.

Get there by

Tube to Tower Hill; Docklands Light Railway to Tower Gateway or the number 15
bus. See for more
transport options.


Driving across Tower Bridge, hoping for a glimpse of the poppies. The wall is
so high here that it blocks the view, even if you’re in a coach.


The Natural History Museum Wanted Nessie Killed and Sent to London

A shock plan back in the 1930s saw the Natural History Museum issue an order to have Nessie killed and brought back to England, with one museum official asking bounty hunters to forget their moral values and shoot the monster on sight so its corpse could be displayed for the merriment of the London elite.

The order, supposedly issued by an unnamed official in correspondence from 1934, said: “Should you ever come within range of the ‘monster’ I hope you will not be deterred by humanitarian considerations from shooting him on the spot and sending the carcass to us in cold storage, carriage forward. Short of this, a flipper, a jaw or a tooth would be very welcome.”

Edinburgh’s Royal Scottish Museum wrote to their southern counterparts the same year, stressing their right to pickle the monster, should it ever be speared or netted by a lucky hunter. [Independent]

Image credit: Loch Ness from Shutterstock


natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘facebook update’
winner 2014 — new special award: people’s choice
marsel van oosten, the netherlands




the top awards for the 50th wildlife photographer of the year competition have been announced at london’s natural history museum. more than 42,000 entries from 96 countries have been submitted to the 2014 edition, which have been chosen for their artistic composition, technical innovation and truthful interpretation of the natural world. from a poignant, black and white shot of the vumbi pride in tanzania’s serengeti national park — awarded the grand title winner — to a photo of a japanese monkey using an iphone, the images reveal a scope of the natural world otherwise unseen by the everyday person. an exhibition will embark on an international tour across six continents, giving millions of people the chance to see some of the world’s wildest wildlife photography.

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
finalist 2014 — birds
jan van der greef, the netherlands

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘divine snake’
winner 2014 — amphibians and reptiles
raviprakash S S, india

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘night of the deadly lights’
winner 2014 — invertebrates
ary bassous, brazil

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘glimpse of the underworld’
winner 2014 — plants and fungi
christian vizl, mexico

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘passing giants’
winner 2014 — underwater species
indra swari wonowidjojo, indonesia

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
winner 2014 — earth’s environments
francisco negroni, chile

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘the last great picture’
grand title winner — wildlife photographer of the year 2014
winner 2014 — black and white
michael ‘nick’ nichols, USA

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘the price they pay’
winner 2014 — world in our hands
bruno d’amicis, italy

‘the mouse, the moon and the mosquito’
winner 2014 — mammals
alexander badyaev, russia/USA

natural history museum announces wildlife photographer of the year 2014
‘communal warmth’
finalist 2014 — mammals
simone sbaraglia, italy


Things To Do In London: Tuesday 28 October 2014


BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at The Hop Exchange on Southwark Street, British School of Osteopathy in Trinity Street, Hyde Park Chapel in South Kensington, Church of Jesus Christ in Balham, and the usual donor centres. See site for terms and conditions.

HALF TERM: Yep, it’s here. If you’re wondering how to keep the kids occupied, take a look at our October Half Term listing. There are things to do for all budgets and all interests — from bear hunts to London buses, Tudor history to comic books.

HALLOWEEN: The week of Halloween is upon us (remember when Halloween used to just be one day?!?). Our Halloween event roundup covers everything from films to food to family fun.

GALAPAGOS DAY: Head to the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington for Galapagos Conservation Trust’s Galapagos Day, where visitors can learn all about the new Galapagos project. Confirmed speakers include Kelvin Boot, natural history writer and BBC broadcaster, and Ian Dunn, CEO of the Galapagos Conservation Trust. £20/£10, prebook, 6pm

BRITISH ARCHITECTURE: The Royal Institute of British Architects in Portland Place hosts Late Tuesday, an evening of free exhibitions, talks, live music, tours, films and workshops. All activities are inspired by the stories behind the battle to save Britain’s historic architecture and its legacy today. Free, just turn up, 6pm

SNOWBOARDING FILM: Union Chapel in Islington is the venue for the UK premiere of Higher. It’s the final chapter in snowboarding free rider Jeremy Jones’s Deeper, Further, Higher trilogy of big mountain snowboarding films. £10, prebook, 7pm

BOOK TALK: Author Katharine McMahon presents her latest book The Woman in the Picture at Hatchards Piccadilly. The book is a portrait of life in 1920s London as seen through the eyes of a young woman lawyer who finds herself in the thick of it. The event is free but you need to prebook your place by emailing Free, prebook, 7pm

CRAP FILM CLUB: The group which celebrates the movies that went straight to DVD is at The Book Club in Shoreditch for a screening of Teen Witch, a film which cost $2,500,000 to make but recouped just 1% of that at the box office. £3.50/£4.50, prebook, 7pm

COSY SCIENCE: Head to The Cittie of Yorke on High Holborn for Cosy Science‘s meet up on the topic of whether everyone should be taking statins to minimise risk of heart disease. Starts with a short informal talk, followed by a discussion. Free, just turn up, 7pm

LANTERN HISTORY: Photographer Steve Lewis is in conversation with Stefan Dickers, Bishopsgate Institute’s Library and Archives Manager, about the history of the Modern Magic Lantern Show in the East End. £7/£5, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: The Hemingford Tickler Free Comedy Night takes place tonight at The Hemingford Arms in Caledonian Road. Acts confirmed are Joel Dommett, Tom Holmes, Anthony Miller, Jenny Collier, Luke Graves, Stella Graham and Eleanor Morton. Free, just turn up, 8pm

SPACE SCREENING: UCL is at Stratford Picturehouse for a screening of Sunshine, with an introduction by a UCL researcher, Jamie Ryan, talking about the facts and fictions of the science on screen. £6.50, prebook8.15pm

Find more London events in our Free Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note: due to high volumes of email, we can’t always reply.

Good Cause of the Day

From today until 1 November, the Interior Designers’ Pantomime takes place at the Bloomsbury Theatre. Leading figures from the world of design and fashion are coming together to raise money for the NSPCC by performing in Peter Pan and the Designers of the Caribbean. Tickets range from £10-£75 and need to be prebooked.

From the Archive

This weekend, ComicCon took place at ExCel. This time last year, we rounded up some photos of the best costumes seen at the event.


Things to do in London (weekday picks sent at 7pm the night before)


BLOOD: Today’s opportunities to donate blood are at Brewers Hall in the City, Sainsbury’s in Dog Kennel Hill, Hornsey Parish Church in Muswell Hill and the usual donor centres. See site for terms and conditions.

HALF TERM: October half term kicks off today. If you’re wondering how to keep the kids occupied, take a look at our October Half Term listing. There are things to do for all budgets and all interests — from bear hunts to London buses, and Tudor history to comic books.

HALLOWEEN: The week of Halloween is upon us (remember when Halloween used to just be one day?!?). Our Halloween event roundup covers everything from films to food to family fun.

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY: There’s an extra incentive to pop along to the Natural History Museum, as the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is now open. £12.60/£6.30, prebooking recommended (particularly during half term). Open until August 2015

PAST VOYAGES: Maritime genealogist Simon Wills launches his latest book by exploring three and a half centuries of passenger travel by sea. How did life on board change from Elizabethan times to the golden age of the ocean liner? Learn about passengers’ excitement, frustrations and dangers as revealed by their own words. At Guildhall Library. £5, prebook, 6pm

LIBRARY TOUR: Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Bishopsgate Institute Library. Find out what the ‘battle of the books’ was and why the Institute locked away one archive item from the public fearing it may cause revolution. Free, prebook6.30pm

CURIOUS CONNECTIONS: Hear Thomas Dixon, Michael Bond and Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) Andy Merry in a conversation about creating and maintaining relationships in war at the Tower of London. Part of the Curious Connections series in which historians and experts look at modern issues through stories from the past. £7/£6, prebook, 7pm

ANTHONY HOROWITZ: Anthony Horowitz is at the Museum of London to talk about new novel Moriarty with Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture, Clare Pettitt (King’s College, London) and Sherlock exhibition curator, Alex Werner. £10/£8, prebook7pm

FILM COMEDY: Simon Munnery, Tim Key and Sam Fletcher form the line-up for Fylm School, tonight’s film-based comedy show at Soho Theatre. Serial innovator Simon Munnery turns host and fylm director as he introduces a selection of the country’s funniest, most daring comedians to a camera, projector and screen. £15, prebook, 7.30pm

PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: Pinchas Zukerman directs the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Southbank Centre. The evening also features JS Bach’s Erbarme Dich from the St Matthew Passion. £10-£45, prebook, 7.30pm

FILM SCREENING: As part of Black History Month, Hackney Picturehouse hosts a screening party for REASON, a spoken word screenplay written and produced by Ray Estaire and LyricL. As well as the screening, there are performances by various musicians and DJs. £5, prebook, 8pm

CINEMA: Head to The Phoenix Artist Club and join The Duke Mitchell Film Club Halloween Special for a free entry night of horror cinema. It’s an evening of brand new and vintage short horror films from around the world. Plus all horror trailers, music, giveaways, madness and more. Free, just turn up, 8pm

Find more London events in our Free Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note: due to high volumes of email, we can’t always reply.

Good Cause of the Day

Cats Protection, the charity which treats, cares for and rehouses hundreds of cats and kittens across the country, is opening up a new adoption centre in Mitcham early in 2015, and is looking for volunteers. As well as people to help with the day-to-day running of the centre, fosterers are needed to care for cats from home. If you’re interested, take a look at the website or email

From the Archive

This time last year we were gearing up for Halloween and did a round up of London’s spookiest streets, from Hanging Sword Alley to Crucifix Lane.


Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford Makes Franchise History In London

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford broke a franchise record against the Atlanta Falcons during the matchup in London on Sunday.

According to tweets from The Detroit News reporters Rod Beard and Josh Katzenstein, Stafford surpassed the record amount of touchdown passes once held by Bobby Layne, who played for the Lions from 1950 to 1958. Stafford’s touchdown pass to Golden Tate in the third quarter was the 119th of his career.

Prior to the game, The Detroit News predicted that the Detroit Lions quarterback would make franchise history against the Falcons, having tied Layne’s record during the Lions’ win last week against the New Orleans Saints. The 26-year-old Stafford also holds the franchise records for career passing yards, attempts, and completions.

When asked about breaking Layne’s record, the Detroit Lions quarterback didn’t have too much to say.

“I think it’ll probably mean something when I’m all said and done; I’ll look back on (it). During the course of the game, I’m just hoping whoever I throw it to doesn’t turn and throw the ball into to stands so I have to fight and go get it.”

The Detroit Lions faced a tough battle against the Falcons, having two of their biggest offensive players inactive; one defensive player suspended; and one defensive player go out during the game. Separate reports from ESPN indicated that wide receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Reggie Bush were both listed as inactive due to sprained ankles they had received in previous games. The Lions were also without C.J. Mosley, who is now suspended for two weeks for an “unspecified violation of team rules and conduct detrimental to the team,” and was sent back to the United States prior to the London game. During the game, Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley went out with a knee injury and did not return.

After being down 21 points in the first half, the Detroit Lions came back to beat the Atlanta Falcons 22-21 on a 48-yard field goal by Matt Prater, according to the ESPN box score. Stafford threw for 325 yards and two touchdown passes, one to Golden Tate and the other to Theo Riddick.

In a related report from The Inquisitr, the Detroit Lions may be without Ndamukong Suh after this season. Suh’s contract with the Lions is coming to an end, and there are reports that it may not get renewed. Suh is rumored to be looking at New York for relocation after this season.

[Image credited to Andrew Weber -USA TODAY Sports via Fansided]


Tottenham celebrates Black History Month

Drums and saxophones blared through Tottenham as it celebrated Black History Month.

Food, poetry and dancing was also on offer at the Neighbourhood Resource Centre in Park Lane, Tottenham, which hosted the event yesterday afternoon.

Organised by Living Under One Sun, a community group, and the Four Sisters Cafe in Park Lane, Tottenham, the event also marked the launch of Well Park Lane, a community programme for health and wellbeing.

Romeo Martin, 36, owner of Four Sisters Cafe, said: “It’s been a team effort. We are trying to bring peace and love, and get everyone to feel a part of the community. So far it’s going well, we are getting good feedback. More than 200 people have visited.

“It’s important to celebrate the culture of everyone in the community, and show people there’s a voice for them. There’s a lot of stuff going on. It’s not just about politics and history, it’s about the here and now.”

Joanne Barrett, who works for Living Under One Sun, said: “It’s really good to see everybody working together. The basis was health, but when you mix it with fun things to do, people don’t feel embarrassed. There are all sorts of things going on.”

Martin Lofty, 32, also works for Living Under One Sun, and is based at the community allotment on Millmead Road, Tottenham. He held a stall to show honey and other produce from the allotment.

Mr Lofty, who lives in Philip Lane, Tottenham, said: “Days like this are hugely important, it brings all these organisations together so you can see how much positive action is taking place in the borough. We have had quite a lot of interest in our project.

“The atmosphere is great, and the music is fantastic. My favourite is sharing our honey and produce, and the drumming.”

Ras Happa, 50, from Tottenham, was busy running drumming workshops. He said: “We are trying to get the youth involved. Events like this are very important, because it creates social awareness and togetherness, and helps people come together. I especially enjoyed playing for the mayor.

“I’ve been drumming all my life. I teach it in schools and community centres. It gives people self-esteem and self-awareness. It wakes everyone up.”