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Festive cheer is here! We’re in the Christmas spirit this week with our fabulously festive 17-page supplement… enjoy!

it’s all here!

18  THE VOICE DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010

xmas is here!

Jingle belle SHE recently showed off her fancy footwork on BBC’s hit show Strictly Come Dancing, so it’s no wonder Michelle Williams is now happy to take a seat and give her feet a rest. The Destiny’s Child star is currently co-hosting the breakfast show on London radio station Choice FM, along with regular breakfast host Martin Jay, and she admits she’s loving the experience. As one third of US trio Destiny’s Child, Williams racked up plenty of experience on the other side of the radio mic, doing interviews at countless stations. But while her radio hosting experience might not be as extensive, the singer and actress is no novice. “I have done some radio cohosting before, so I have a little experience when it comes to radio,” Williams says. “I don’t think I would’ve done it if I didn’t know anything about radio hosting. That would have been a disaster! And so far, I’m really enjoying the experience.” Fronting the show throughout December, Williams says that she’s having a ball with her co-host. “Martin is so cool – he reminds me of my dad! Doing the show with him is just like hanging out and having a conversation with my dad.” With 40-year-old Jay being considerably younger than 30year-old Williams’ dad, did the soca-loving DJ take that comparison as a compliment? “Oh yeah, he did,” Williams laughs. “Martin and my dad

Christmas spirit: Michelle with Choice FM co-host Martin Jay

PHOTO: Ken Passley

From Strictly to the studio, Michelle Williams tells Davina Hamilton about co-hosting Choice FM’s breakfast show, and reveals that she’s looking forward to a real festive feast this Christmas

are both Scorpios and their personalities are very similar. He didn’t mind at all when I told him that.” Thankfully though, Williams’ stint on Choice won’t stop her from heading back home to Chicago to spend time with her family this Christmas. “I really look forward to the holiday season, especially for all the dinners that families have.” You would never know it! Looking at the slender star, it’s hard to imagine her indulging in festive food treats. “Oh, I really look forward to eating,” she confirms. “I love all the cakes and candy that are on offer at this time of year. And over the years, I’ve got a little more involved in the cooking myself. I’ll be home a few days before Christmas so I’ll get church time in as well.” Will she be spending any time with her fellow Destiny’s Child members Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland

this Christmas? “Absolutely. We all really love Christmas so we’ll get together at some point.” Still, Williams insists that DC fans should give up the hope that the trio will re-unite in the near future. “I doubt it,” she says of a DC reunion. “Maybe one day… but I doubt it. I’m really happy doing solo stuff so maybe there’s the possibility of us doing a song together or something like that, but not any time soon.” The group enjoyed phenomenal success with hits including Survivor and Lose My Breath, as well as their 2001 festive album, 8 Days of Christmas. But, of course, solo projects eventually beckoned for all three members, and Williams went on to release solo albums, star in the Broadway production of The Color Purple, and grace the West End stage in the hit musical Chicago. This year, however, the star’s highlight was strutting her stuff on the dance floor on Strictly Come Dancing, maintaining her place in the competition for seven weeks. “Being here in London and performing on Strictly Come Dancing was wonderful. It really was a great experience. I had a few injuries, like spraining my ankle but I’m fully recovered now!” First Chicago, then Strictly – she also attended this year’s MOBO Awards. It seems that Williams enjoys it here on UK shores... “I feel like I need an honorary citizenship or

Belle of the ball: Michelle with Strictly Come Dancing dance partner Brendan Cole

something,” she laughs in agreement. “I love it here in the UK. The fashion here is great and I get some great stuff here that I could never get back home in America. I love Top Shop and Mango in particularly. I haven’t bought any property out here yet but that is definitely the plan.” That’s probably a good plan as Williams is looking to head back to the UK at the start of the New Year. She even has her eyes fixed on UK talents she’d like to work with for a new album she’s planning to release next year. “I would love to work with Labrinth and Plan B. I think they’re both amazing. Labrinth is an amazing producer and musician. He knows how to create some great tunes.” Considering her future plans, Williams says: “I just wanna keep maintaining and I’m really blessed that I’m able to do what I want to do now. When you’re a new artist, you kinda have to do as you’re told. Once you’re established and you’ve got some music under your belt, you can start calling the shots. So I’m really happy with where I am right now.” And what would she like to find under her Christmas tree this year? “Lots of shoes,” she exclaims. “I love heels!” 

Michelle Williams hosts Choice FM’s breakfast show weekdays from 6am-10am throughout December. Choice FM is available throughout London on 96.9FM and 107.1FM, and across the UK on digital radio, digital TV and online at

Leggy: Michelle strikes a pose during a Strictly Come Dancing photo shoot

Festive: Destiny’s Child AKA (l-r) Michelle, Beyonce and Kelly promoting their range of dolls in New York in 2001

20  THE VOICE DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010

xmas is here!

What Christmas means to me… JUST what is the meaning of Christmas? For Christians – as the saying goes – ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’, as the holiday marks the time of the Lord’s birth. But for others, Christmas is a time for family and revelry. It’s also the time when supermarkets and department stores get us to part with our hard earned money, to splash out on gifts for our loved ones. And for some, the festive season is the time to volunteer and help those less fortunate than themselves. With Christmas serving many different purposes for people, Juliana Lucas took to the streets to find out from the public what the season means to them…

Worship: Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas

Said, 51, south west London “For most, it is a festive day where people are merry, but it is like any other day to me!”

Fatima, 31 south west London “Christmas is a commercial con. It means people are pressured into buying presents even if they don’t have the money. And for those that are unemployed, it’s hard!”

Rita, 21, south London “For me, Christmas is a time to be with my family.”

Odette, 24, south east London “Christmas is just another day!”

DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010 THE VOICE  21

Joseph, 34 south east London “Christmas is a time to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.”

Kimberly, 20, south east London “Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and the love that he brought to the world.”

Party: for many, Christmas is a time to have fun with the family

Pele, 37, south London “Christmas is a time for reflection; a time to look back at the year and to share time and good food with friends and family.”

Festus, 46, north London “Christmas is a time to reflect, as a Christian, as to how you are connected to the birth of Christ. For me, Christmas serves the purpose to reflect on the birth of Jesus and enjoy time with my loved ones.”

Olu, 28, south London “Christmas is the time to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Available on DAB Digital Radio across the Capital •

22  THE VOICE DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010

DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010 THE VOICE  23

xmas is here!


By Davina Hamilton

To enter this competition, email ALL 12 answers to: Closing date: Wednesday, December 22

‘TIS the season to be jolly, and that’s exactly how we at here! are feeling. And as Christmas is also considered the time for giving, we’ve decided to fuse our jolliness with generosity and offer £50 to one lucky reader who can identify the 12 celebs hiding under the Santa Claus disguises. We’ve even given you a clue for each one. So go ahead – get guessing!


No doubt this star gets totally wired during the festive season. 5

Do you think this fashionista goes through a number of outfit changes on Christmas day? 9


Maybe this star will belt out a few songs for her family this X-mas. 6

We wonder if this star ever spends Christmas in West Philadelphia where he was born and raised. 10

There’ll be reggae cheer aplenty when This hunk is sure to get all his Christmas wishes if he boxes clever. he’s in the kitchen this Christmas.


Strictly speaking, the festive season should be full of wonder and mystique for this British beauty 7

This Hollywood star is sure to have a very berry Christmas… 11

Perhaps she’s found an American boy to spend Christmas with.


Do you think this suave star likes his cocktails shaken, not stirred? 8

His family will have to catch up with him to give him his presents! 12

We bet this joker is full of cheer during the festive season.

24  THE VOICE DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010

DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010 THE VOICE  25

xmas is here!

When a child is born

Sandra and Alex with baby Austyn – east London

Celebrity new additions… Here are a few celebs whose babies will celebrate their first Christmas this year

Davina Hamilton spoke to a some proud new parents to find out what they’ll be doing for their baby’s first Christmas

Christina Milan and The Dream The R’n’B songstress gave birth to baby Violet – her daughter with now estranged husband, producer/singer The Dream – in February.

FOR many, the Christmas season has become a commercialised holiday, centered on gift-giving and excess eating. But for Christians, it is, of course the time to recognise the birth of Jesus. Now while it’s unlikely that any new mum can lay claim to giving birth to a saviour in a manger in Bethlehem, the recent arrival of their bundle of joy is still a momentous occasion, and one that is sure to bring extra cheer to Christmas this year. We spoke to a few parents whose baby will celebrate their first Christmas this year to find out what the festive season means to them now they have a new addition to their family.

Sophie and Kerrea with baby Kaylo – Middlesex

“Austyn will be five months and four days old when Christmas Day arrives and we intend to mark this special festive occasion by spending Christmas with all of our family. We look forward to filling his first stocking, helping him open his first presents and taking lots of photos of him with us and his immediate family. He will be wearing a mini Father Christmas all-in-one with the slogan ‘My first Christmas' across the front, so we’ll really be getting him into the festive spirit! We’re really excited about making our little man's first Christmas memorable.”

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Fallin’ hitmaker Alicia Keys and husband, producer Swizz Beatz welcomed their son Egypt into the world in October.

Natalia and Mark with baby Jeriah – Nottingham

”This Christmas, we feel that we have a lot to celebrate. Although this is not technically our son’s first Christmas, it is his first Christmas at home, as last year he spent Christmas peering at us through his incubator windows, having been born in November, two months premature. So this year, we are making up for it big time! “We will be starting off with a visit to see ‘Santa Claus’ in his grotto on Christmas Eve, and then celebrating with both sides of Kaylo’s family over the Christmas weekend. There will be presents galore under the tree and decorations everywhere, and I'm sure the highlight for Kaylo will be his Grandpa’s Christmas dinner, as he’s grown to love Grandad’s cooking! “Kaylo has so many cousins under 10-years-old, so I'm sure he will be getting involved with the mischief. Also, Kaylo’s dad Kerrea will be going to live and work in America come the New Year, so we want to make this Christmas a celebration to remember!”

Charlotte and Lamaar with baby Naomi – Harrow “Naomi will be six months old at Christmas, and while we know she'll be more interested in wrapping paper than presents, we've bought her a wooden toy box that we've decorated and personalised ourselves. We're sure she will get plenty of toys to fill it over the next few years! We'd like to start some family traditions, so we'll be going to church to sing carols and be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, and we'll also visit our families. As we started weaning early, we’re hoping that Naomi will be able to enjoy a festive feast with all the trimmings too!”

Adorable: The arrival of a baby brings extra cheer for families at Christmas

Norma and Richard with baby Mikah – Nottingham

Claire and Doug with baby Levi – Kingston, Jamaica

“Mikah will be six months old this Christmas and to make it special for him, we will be breaking our tradition of not putting up Christmas decorations. He will get his first lesson in making his own Christmas cards for his Godparents and close family members. We will also be taking lots of photos and video clips throughout the day to make up an album and DVD for him and his grandparents in the UK and Jamaica.”

“Our baby Levi will only be two months old this Christmas, but we know he will have a huge impact on the holiday. In fact, Christmas will never be the same again! Last year was our first Christmas as a married couple, and while we have always enjoyed this time of year, now we get to see it through the eyes of our son. Lights hold his interest now so we cannot wait to see how he reacts to the tree! We will also be taking the opportunity to let family nearby baptise him, which will be special in itself. In addition, we’re looking forward to the gatherings of family and friends with our precious new addition. While he won’t know what’s going on and certainly won't remember it, we’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and we certainly will never forget our first Christmas as the family Levi has made us. What better time of year to truly celebrate the blessing of the arrival of our son than Christmas!”

“Jeriah loves his family and will love the fact that all the attention will be on him this Christmas. There hasn’t been a baby in either side of our families for about 10 years, so, understandably, everyone is looking forward to celebrating Jeriah’s first Christmas and spoiling him rotten! “On Christmas Day, we will spend the first part at home, opening some of Jeriah’s presents and having a breakfast together. Then we’ll be going to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus – the reason for the season. Jeriah will spend some time talking to his family in Jamaica – in baby talk, of course! And the rest of the day will be spent with family, opening more presents, having a big dinner and enjoying some quality family time with lots of fun, and laughter.”

Cynthia and Colin with baby Corey – south London

“Friends and family have asked, ‘what would you want for Christmas?’ But for us, we already have our precious gift, our beautiful son Corey! As our first child, this festive season is more poignant for our whole family, as it will be Corey’s debut. For us, Christmas is all about spending time with family and enjoying those moments and that is how Corey will be spending his first Christmas. It is a blessing that we have him here with us. I’m sure he would be content to spend the day sleeping with no idea as to what all the festive fuss is all about – and we could not wish for anything more!”

Paula Patton and Robin Thicke Actress Paula Patton and singer Robin Thicke had their first child, a son named Julian in April. Ne-Yo and Monyetta Shaw R’n’B star Ne-Yo and girlfriend Monyetta welcomed their daughter Madilyn into the world last month.

The Game The US rapper announced the birth of his baby daughter Cali in August.

26  THE VOICE DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010

xmas is here! Look out for... NEW RELEASE For Colored Girls (soundtrack) FOR every big film, there must be a soundtrack and Tyler Perry’s latest flick is no exception. The hugely anticipated film adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s award-winning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, illustrates the power of women of colour to survive in the face of pain and despair, touching upon topics of love and abandonment. The accompanying soundtrack, features a host of inspiring and heartfelt numbers from artists including Estelle, Macy Gray and Lalah Hathaway. The up-tempo soulful track Settle from Gladys Knight is a feel-good number encouraging people to hold on through hard times; Without a Fight by Janelle Monae sees the songstress lamenting on reaching for the sky; and the piano-driven ballad I Know Who I Am from Leona Lewis speaks on rising above troubles and finding self-assurance. With the New Year fast approaching, what better time for a bit of positivity and uplifting messages, eh?

COMING SOON Rastamouse on CBeebies YES, you read correctly! Cultural diversity is heading to kids’ TV with the introduction of the cool, crime-fighting character, Rastamouse (left). The charming pre-school show is based on the books by Genevieve Webster and Michael De Souza and has fun at its core. Complete with his aptly coloured red, gold and green hat, guitar-playing, skateboarding Rastamouse is voiced by Radio One presenter Reggie Yates. Yates is joined by Sharon DuncanBrewster, who voices Scratchy; William Vanderpuye as Zoomer; and Cornell John who voices President Wensley Dale. Parents and kids alike are sure to enjoy the antics of mystery-solving Rastamouse and all his friends when the show debuts on CBeebies in the New Year. Dates are still to be confirmed, so watch this space!


Jas does panto... oh yes she does! Jasmine got into the festive spirit and enjoyed a Christmas pantomime at Hackney Empire THIS week, I indulged my childish side by going to watch a panto… oh yes I did! Former MTV Base and Choice FM host Kat was playing the snowman in Jack and the Beanstalk at Hackney Empire. Yes, you read correctly – there’s a snowman in Jack and the Beanstalk! I adore Hackney Christmas spirit: Empire. So many great Jasmine with Kat in shows and memories of snowman costume watching the venue’s iconic show, the 291 Club. Thankfully, the Empire’s 2010 panto didn’t disappoint. The cast for were all very well rehearsed and professional. Kat was hilarious as the Jamaican snowman, complete with white afro wig! But the star of the show was undoubtedly the panto dame, played by the Empire’s veteran actor Clive


Rowe, who had us all roaring with laughter. The sets were pretty breath taking for a nonWest End show and the emergence of the giant – an absolutely huge giant – was most impressive. He wasn’t made up of many men piled on top of each other, nor did he look mechanically operated. I was fascinated trying to work out how they achieved that! As with most pantos, the storyline was both entertaining and amusing for very young kids as well as the odd adult gag chucked in for us big kids every now and again. If you’re looking for a traditional panto with an urban flavour (the occasional street ‘slanguage’ phrase and soca music is thrown in for good measure), then take your family and friends to see this!

Here come the girls: SWV (l-r) LeLee, Coko and Taj, and below, Faith Evans

I WAS most excited about going to see ‘90s stars SWV and Faith Evans perform at IndigO2. US trio SWV (Sisters With Voices) – thankfully, the original line up, featuring members Coko, LeLee and Taj – graced the stage and they looked beautiful. They sounded as good if not better than they did in their hey day, and they really rocked the venue. Hundreds of fans looked ecstatic and sang along word for word to hits like Weak, I’m So Into You, You’re the One and many more. The headlining act on the night was one time Bad Boy artist and former wife of the Notorious B.I.G, Faith Evans. I must confess, when I first read that Faith was headlining and not SWV, I did a double take. Granted, Faith has a gorgeous voice but SWV had all the hits.

Still, I went along in good faith, but faith wasn’t enough. SWV had kicked off the show so strongly and unfortunately, Faith’s set didn’t follow suit. Her vocals sounded strong but her heart just didn’t seem into it. Her stage presence and organisation was bad and she continually went off for breaks, blaming her band for putting on the wrong backing track. Frankly, she was disappointing.

BRILLIANT VS. BASIC ALSO this week, I’ve had to run around doing chore after chore, both fabulous and basic. I’ve been juggling a few different staff parties and trying to appease various bosses when I wasn’t able to attend every function. (The ITV party was the best though!) My more basic tasks included returning my library books – yes, I still belong to the local library. My mum got me interested in books very early on and while it’s always a treat to buy books, I also regularly borrow. Back to the fabulous life: I popped into ringtone/luxury

goods guru Alexander Amosu’s (left) recent party, as well as attending a Christmas party held at the home of hip-hop photographer Paul H. Then, my friends and I had our girly Christmas dinner at Skylon restaurant at the Royal Festival Hall- brilliant views, average food! Then, it was back to the basics when I made my regular dental appointment. Who wants dentures when they hit old age? Not me! Finally, I ran up to a studio in Kentish town to join music artist Emanuel Jal on his video shoot. (More on that next week!)

• Jasmine Dotiwala is a TV producer, director and broadcast journalist. Email her at

DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010 THE VOICE  27

xmas is here!

Just for the record


ROBBO RANX, BBC 1XTRA “My tune is Warm Jamaican Christmas by Wayne Wonder and Babycham. Growing up in a West Indian household, Christmas is always warm, even though it’s winter outside. I guess it’s like that for everyone, but in a West Indian household, I think it’s even warmer, with the sorrel and the rum cake and all of that! So for me, that song makes me think of a real warm, Caribbean Christmas… which is great, as I’m heading to Jamaica for Christmas this year!”

SIMPLE SIMON OF GAL FLEX, LIGHTNING FM “My tune is Kingston Town by Lord Creator, which was recorded in 1970. That tune always reminds me of Christmas time with the family, especially my granddad, R.I.P”

TREVOR NELSON, BBC RADIO 1/ 1XTRA “My song would be The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole. Growing up, I isolated myself quite a lot because I was always in my room playing music. But, of course, Christmas was the time when all the family got together. Mum would be cooking and once my dad put on that song and I heard Nat King Cole singing ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’, it really felt like Christmas. That song really brings back a lot of nice Christmas memories.”

MISTRI, COLOURFUL RADIO “One song that comes to mind is Bob Marley’s Jammin’. I remember as a youngster in the late ‘70s, I put on my good silk suit and my crocodile skin shoes and snuck out to a Christmas dance – and it was rubbish! There was hardly anyone there and it was just rubbish. But then that song came on and as I was listening to the words, it just elevated me and made me wanna jam. I decided I should just make the best of it and before the end of the dance, I started talking to these young ladies, which made the night so much better!”

RAS KWAME, BBC 1XTRA “The song that makes me think of Christmas is the international smash One Love by the legendary Bob Marley – my favourite artist of all time. Christmas is about love and linking up for everyone and that record definitely gives me that vibe. Put it on, kick back and see for yourself. Merry Christmas to all, stay blessed!”


MIKE ANTHONY OF RAMPAGE, BBC 1XTRA “Is This Love by Bob Marley. I remember my mum and dad playing that song in the house at Christmas time. My mum’s birthday is on Boxing Day so I always associate that song with Christmas parties at home.”

“When I Think of You by Ruddy Thomas. My wife’s niece gave us that record about 10 years ago, because she knew how much we loved it. But rather than just giving us the song, she got the 12inch record made into a clock, which is still hanging up in my front room now! So that song always makes me think of Christmas. “

DAVID RODIGAN, KISS FM “Christmas Time by Sugar Minott, which was recorded in the 1970s. For me, it’s such a wonderful, original recording. He has children in the song and when he says, ‘Altogether now, children’, they all sing along with him. It’s just lovely.”


Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas

Luther Vandross – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Donny Hathaway – This Christmas

Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby

Ella Fitzgerald – Baby It's Cold Outside

Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child

Destiny’s Child – 8 Days of Christmas

28  THE VOICE DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010

xmas is here!

Your Essential Christmas Survival Guide

Traditional: turkey is, of course. a festive favourite, but don’t forget the veg!

By Rodney Hinds As the festive season approaches, it's easy to lose sight of the year's physical and emotional goals. Rich food, lots of alcohol and a distinct lack of exercise will all contribute to a sluggish system. Then there’s the stress of having to deal with unwanted presents, plus emotional and family hazards that might fly your way. Try following these tips to minimise the physical and emotional damage.


YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH Your diet may take a hammering over the next few weeks, but be mindful otherwise 2011 will start with talk of diets and gym membership! Get organised If you leave all your preparations to the last minute, things can get stressful. Financially, too, a lack of preparation could leave a big hole in your pocket. Space everything out by writing lists and buying presents ahead of time (this will also save you cash). Buy foods that won't go off in advance, too, such as Christmas puddings and so on.

Be Ready For Winter With Your Local Lloydspharmacy


oughs, colds and flu are particularly prevalent during the winter months and Lloydspharmacy are encouraging people to be prepared and stock up on essential medications as well as order their repeat prescriptions in the run up to Christmas. Being ill is never fun but it can be particularly unpleasant if it affects you over the Christmas and New Year period while everyone else is having a good time. More often than not, people tend to find they have run out of medicines when they need it most and can be even more frustrating when their pharmacy or GP surgery is closed. To avoid running out of essential medicines over the festive season, your medicine cabinet should include paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets (syrups for children), cough syrups and lozenges, decongestant tables and

indigestion remedies. All these are available at your local Lloydspharmacy and those on a tight budget this winter can pick up a range of cough, cold and flu medications from 99p. Your pharmacist would be able to advise you on the suitable remedy for your illness and recommend correct dosage. Winter Medicines Check Lloydspharmacy also offers a free Winter Medicines Check for those on long-term medication. A 10-minute private consultation with the pharmacist will give you advice on what to do should you catch the cold or flu, what treatments you can and can’t take and whether you may be eligible for additional services like a free flu jab. Even simple things like buying an offthe-shelf cold remedy could have an adverse reaction to the prescribed medicines you

regularly take if you don’t select the correct one. Ask Your Pharmacist With this year’s Christmas bank holiday falling over the weekend, many GP surgeries will be closed. However, people feeling under the weather can always seek advice from their pharmacist, who will be able to recommend suitable treatment for minor ailments. Many of our pharmacies offer bank holiday services so it’s best to check opening times with your pharmacy team in advance or in the local newspaper. To find your nearest Lloydspharmacy, visit, or call 0845 6003565.

storm brewing, calm yourself down by getting out and about for 30 minutes or so. Bulk up on veg: Whatever your chosen Christmas meal, make sure your include vegetables and cut back on the meat (highly unlikely in African and Caribbean households I know). It doesn't have to be dull – look up inventive ways to make a splendid salad or dress up those sprouts.

Stay off the snacks At this time of the year, many of the kilos piled on are due to snacks that lie around the house. Go easy on the chocolates and nuts. They are tempting but unnecessary when you are also enjoying large meals! As a substitute, have bowls of fruit available (grapes and berries are good) and help fill kids' stockings with an orange or apple, too. Plan a walk Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean normal life has to stop completely! Build some time into your day to take some exercise, even if it's a simple – but obviously not during the Queen’s speech! Taking time out can also be helpful for avoiding family tension. If there's a

Be sensitive to others Not everybody finds Christmas a pleasant time so be sensitive to the feelings of those around you, especially if there's been a recent bereavement or loss. Don't start boozing too early Tempting though it can be to crack open the bubbly as soon as you're dressed, save it for later in the day. When eventually you do have a drink, remember to space alcoholic beverages with soft ones, allowing your liver a chance to fight back! Note that if you've been on the chocolates all day, any alcohol will remain in your system for longer. Choose your drinks carefully: If you're watching your weight, some drinks will kill your diet. Obvious ones to look out for are creamy cocktails, but keep an eye on your intake of pre-mixed drinks and cocktails in general. Stick to straight spirits, mixed with lowjoule drinks, or wine.

DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010 THE VOICE  29

PRESENT BUT NOT CORRECT E-BAY CAN BE USEFUL FOR THAT UNWANTED GIFT Go on, be honest: you must have received a Christmas that that got a zero rating out of ten, right? In our lifetimes, most all of us will receive an unwanted present for Christmas. There are several solutions on what to do with these unwanted gifts. The receiver can take the unwanted gift back to the shops for a return. If the present was given with a receipt, this makes returns an easier process. Without a receipt, some shops will not issue cash refunds, but will offer a credit note or the opportunity to exchange the present for a similar item in the shop. Beware, without a receipt or a gift receipt, many shops will not offer a full return price, but will give the customer returning the item a refund in the amount of the new, post-Christmas sale price on the item. The person who received the unwanted present can, thankfully sell the present on the Internet via sites such as ebay. This site is a popular auction site where the seller can list items for sale in auction style listings or at a fixed price. has a sellers' area where the individual can also list the unwanted gift at a fixed asking price. There are fees to list goods on both of these sites. One can also save the unwanted present and try to sell it at a local car boot sale. The receiver can also donate the unwanted Christmas present to a charity shop. If the individual provides the shop with his or her taxpayer details, the shop can use GiftAid to claim back the taxes, thus increasing the charity shop's take on the item. If all else fails, why not have an unwanted gift exchange with friends? Invite family members or friends over for a post-Christmas unwanted present exchange gathering. Either avoid inviting the person who gave one's unwanted gift in order to avoid hurt feelings, or ensure that everyone attending has a good outlook on such a gathering and will not be offended if a gift they gave shows up at the exchange.

The gift of giving: but not all presents are wanted!

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THINGS TO REMEMBER: DO NOT: Do not starve yourself during Christmas day so you can over indulge on snacks, goodies and Christmas dinners 

For the office worker avoid sitting at your desk and snacking for 8 hours on cakes and goodies that your work peers have bought in!

Avoid late night dinners and going to bed straight after

Do not get drunk on every given opportunity and avoid "one for the road"

Do not be bullied into eating and drinking more because friends and family members are saying “go on... you know you want to.” It's a trap!

DO: Drink plenty of water during the day, this will help release toxins from your body

Do try the odd cup cake but don't get excited and get caught up in the moment and find yourself elbow deep in tray full of assorted cakes!

Continue to eat three regular sized meals during the day

Do 30 minutes of cardio/resistance training every day. This can include jogging, swimming, skipping cycling or any fitness activity that will have your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes.

Grace Full Page-Gleaner.indd 2

26 • DECEMBER 16-22, 2010

30/11/10 14:58:39 THE WEEKLY GLEANER

DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010 THE VOICE  31

xmas is here! Special highlights LOOSE ENDS Legendary 80s UK soul group featuring Carl McIntosh, Jane Eugene and Steve Nichol perform live in Yorkshire. The Middlesbrough Empire, 2 Corporation Road, Town Centre, North Yorkshire, (01642 253 553). Dec 21, 8pm. £10. JAZZ JAMAICA London-based multi instrumental jazz–reggae group formed by Gary Crosby performs live at London’s Hideaway. Hideaway, 2 Empire Mews, Streatham, London SW16 (020 8835 7070). Dec 18, 8pm. £18. EGYPTIAN ARTEFACTS This is a collection of artefacts from one of the world’s greatest civilisations – Egypt. Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Department of Egyptology, University College London, Gower St, London WC1 (020 7679 2884). LIVE MUSIC AND DJ SETS Every week hear live music from some of the best DJs and unsigned musicians in the UK. Theatre Royal Stratford East Bar, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15. 6pm. Free.

WORDS ARE FREEDOM Christmas / Kwanzaa Book Fest & Educational Conference (18/12/10) Possibly the last educational event of 2010. Some of the UK’s leading authors, educationalist and parenting instructors will be presenting. Plus must see film.This event should not be missed, for both children and parents. Avoid disappointment and register now call:

0208 880 9076 Time: 11am to 5pm Location: Tooting Hub St Peter’s, Church Hall Beechcroft Road London SW17 7BU

Steppin’ out

with Michelle Martin

ARTS • EVENTS • CLUBS • THEATRE • COURSES • RESTAURANTS • & MORE... Gigs A REGGAE CHRISTMAS Oxford plays host to this reggae Christmas extravaganza. O2 Academy, 190 Cowley Rd, Oxford, Oxfordshire (01865 420 042). Dec 24, 8pm. £6. EVELYN ‘CHAMPAGNE’ KING, TOM BROWNE, THE SUGARHILL GANG The Ultimate Boogie Night Xmas Party is an extravaganza featuring some of the biggest names in 80s soul. Indig02, Millennium Way, London SE10 (0844 844 0002). Dec 17, 7pm. £32.50. MISS DYNAMITE UK garage singer/rapper performs live in Middlesbrough. The Arena, Middlesbrough, 208 Newport Road, North Yorkshire (01642 358 928). Dec 18, 8pm. £7. OLA ONABULE London-based jazz and soul singer Ola Onabule performs live in Streatham. Hideaway, 2 Empire Mews, Streatham, London SW16 (020 8835 707). Dec 19. £15. GROOVE LINEAGE This is a night when DJs will be playing the very best music from across the globe. Hobgoblin, 73 White Lion St, Angel, Islington, London N1. Dec 31, 8pm. Free before 8pm/£5 after.

Open mic GET FAMILYAR SHOWCASE This is a weekly event that provides a platform for young people to showcase and perfect their skills in front of a live audience. Comedy, drama, dance, live debates, fun and games and music, all with a live band. The Gold Coast, 40 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2 (07956 364 792). Weekly, 7pm. £5.

Comedy GOOD TIMES FEATURING KOJO Award winning comedian Kojo


FELA! STILL haven’t got all your Christmas presents for the family yet? Why not book to see the excellent musical Fela! The musical is a glowing tribute to the life and works of one of Africa’s biggest musical exports, Fela Kuti. Fela! is a triumphant tale of courage, passion Excellent: Scene from Fela! and love. Using his captivating music as a backdrop, the musical follows Kuti as he, influenced by his civil rights campaigning mother, defied a corrupt and oppressive military government to devote his life and music to the struggle for freedom and human dignity. Harder They Come star Rolan Bell plays Kuti, and the performances by cast members has been described as ‘breathtakingly good’ and ‘excellent’ by theatre goers and critics alike. Due to the overwhelming support, the musical’s run has been extended until the new year. Don’t take our word for it, head down to the National Theatre – you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!

National Theatre, Olivier Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (020 7452 3000). Continues until January 2011, 7pm. £10/£30.

performs his one-man show at London’s Soho Theatre. Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1 (020 7478 0100). Dec 1618. £10 before 9pm. FELIX DEXTER Comic legend Felix Dexter returns to the stage with his new stand-up character show. The Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London WC1 (020 7388 8822). Jan 1, 8pm. £16. QUINCY’S COMEDY LOUNGE – CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Comedian Quincy returns with another bumper show for Christmas. Special guests include top comedy acts from across the world, and there will be a game show, giveaways and a free after party. Stratford Circus, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, London E15 ( 020 8279 1001). Dec 24, 8pm. £12 / £15.

Art and exhibition A PORTRAIT OF CONTEMPORARY SLAVERY This exhibition was made in collaboration with Anti-Slavery International artist Nicola Green. Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship Lane, Tottenham, London N17 (020 808 8872). Continues until Jan 2011. A CHILD FROM EVERYWHERE The exhibition is a selection of photographs and films by Caroline Irby, who spent a year searching for children born in every country in the world who are now living in the UK. The Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 (020 8983 5200). 10am – 5pm. JOURNEY THROUGH THE AFTERLIFE The British Museum presents the

Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. In this exhibition you will see ancient masks, funeral jewellery, statues, coffins and more. The British Museum, 44 Great Russell St, London WC1 (08445 791940). 10am -5pm. JIMI HENDRIX IN LONDON The life and legacy of Jimi Hendrix is explored in this exhibition. The show features rarely seen images and film clips, as well as handwritten lyrics and clothing charting his rise to fame while exploring his contribution to music. Handel House Museum, 23 and 25 Brook St, London W1 (020 7495 1685). 10am – 6pm.

Events WORDS ARE FREEDOM This is a Kwanzaa book fest and educational conference, where some of the UK’s leading authors, educationalists and parenting instructors will be presenting. A must for parents and children. Tooting Hub, St Peter’s Church Hall, Beechcroft Road, London SW17 (020 8 880 9076) . Dec 18, 11am-5pm. BLACK AND ASIAN BRITAIN SEMINAR The Institute of Commonwealth Studies in conjunction with the Black and Asian Studies Association presents a series of seminars in the new year, with topics which include the West African Students Union – A photography history with Hakim Adi (Jan 18), British government attempts to suppress George Padmore’s criticism of colonialism 1945 -1949 (Feb 15), Slavery - should there be an apology and reparation? (Mar 29), and Black people in a Kentish conurbation: The Medway towns before 1914 (Apr 19). Senate House, Room G34/G37, University of London, Russell Square, London WC1 (20 7862 8000). Free THE HARD WAY Nu – Beyond proudly present another Blak Fri Special. The Neo Generation, featuring The Investigator, Bro Andrew Muhammad and Dr Lez Henry. Two of the finest edutainers come together to bring you an uplifting evening. Food and refreshments available on the night.

The Nettlefold Hall, West Norwood Library, 1-5 Norwood High Street, London SE27 (020 7926 8070). Dec 17, 7.30pm. CAN WE AFFORD CHRISTMAS? This event supplies edutainment for the mind, body and soul, with invited guest speakers. Bro Leader Mbandaka talks Christmas, Kwanzaa and the importance of African spirituality, Rev Rose Hudson Wilkin, speaks on the essence of Christmas from an African Christian’s perspective, Bro Ely discusses ‘Jesus, a revolutionary Hebrew Zealot with a militant message’. This is an evening for all regardless of religious persuasion. Chestnuts Community Centre, St Ann’s, Tottenham, London N15 (07852 937 981). Dec 18, 6pm. £3. FELA OPEN MIC NIGHTS Three of London’s most powerful performance poets present their Fela Kuti, inspired by the musical at the National Theatre. If you are 16 -25, bring your own poems, songs or dance on the night to fill the open mic slots. John Lyon Education Studio, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (020 7452 3000). Dec 18, Jan 15. £5. FELA WORKSHOP WITH INUA ELLAMS Spend a day developing your own new material, inspired by the musical Fela! To be performed at an open mic night that very evening. National Theatre Studio, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (020 7452 3000). Dec 18, 10am -6pm (workshop), 7-9pm open mic. Only 10 places available. £25. WHAT IS KWANZAA AND HOW IS IT CELEBRATED? This event is a must for people who want to know more about Kwanzaa and how it is celebrated. Come and share in this experience and learn all aspects of Kwanzaa, presented by Tafadzwa ShakaRa Mbandaka. Mama Afrika Kulcha Shap, 282 High Road, Leyton, London E10 (020 8539 2154/07908 814 152). Dec 21, 7pm. Free. LIVE VIBE AT THE MOVIES World Street dance champions Flawless headline 2010 Live Vibe at the

32  THE VOICE DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2010

Fela Kuti’s career, and trace the development of Afrobeat across the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. National Theatre Studio, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (020 7452 3000). Jan 17, 7pm. £5.

Movies. Hosted by Hakeen ‘Mr Impact’ Onibudo and Annaliese Dayes, some of the biggest names in street dance, spoken word and music will be showcasing their talents. Guests include FFI, Mitosis Cloning, Enigma and Slum Civilians, with a live vocal performance from Dionne Reid. Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, London WC2 (0844 412 4322). Jan 16. ÂŁ16/ÂŁ50.

FELA AND POLITICS The panel will explore the political horizon across West Africa, focusing on Nigeria and Ghana and looking at Fela’s vision for a united Africa. Invited speakers include Otunba Oladele Balogun, Africa Confidential editor Patrick Smith, and Nani Kofi. National Theatre Studio, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (020 7452 3000). Jan 18, 7pm. £5.

FELA AND MUSIC This night features a panel of experts whose involvement with Afrobeat over the last 30 years has been significant in the recent emergence of Afrobeat music in the UK. The discussion will explore the sociocultural influences which dominated the West African region in the early days of

FELA AND KALAKUTA This debate features friends and

associates who lived with Fela Kuti in the Kalakuta Republic at different stages throughout his career. The discussion will explore popular myths about Fela’s lifestyle within the private confines of Kalakuta, and offer an insight into who he really was. National Theatre Studio, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (020 7452 3000). Jan 19, 7pm. £5. AFROBEAT DANCE WORKSHOPS Learn to move like the Fela! cast in our Afrobeat dance and call and response workshops. No previous experience necessary. Wear comfortable clothing and bring something to tie around your waist. National Theatre Studio, National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 (020




Live: Jazz Jamaica

7452 3000). Jan 22, 10am and 2pm. £10. VOICE OF AFRICA ANNIVERSARY DINNER AND DANCE Voice of Africa radio are holding a 10th anniversary fundraising dinner and dance. It’s a black-tie affair where you can purchase silver, gold and VIP


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tickets. 73-95 Lawrence Road, West Green Road, Tottenham, London N15 (020 8471 9111). Dec 18, 7pm. ÂŁ25/ÂŁ30/ÂŁ60. BESOURO Based on the life of Besouro - the legendary capoeira fighter and social leader from Bahia, Brazil - this film tells the mystical tale of the young man and

his connection to Orixas, African deities with mystical powers. NFT1, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London SE1 (020 7928 3232). Dec 18, 2pm. BOXING DAY SOUND CLASH This is the Midlands’ largest dub night. Kontakt hosts a special Boxing Day sound clash with two of the

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INSIDE: LIFESTYLE • ARTS • MUSIC • FEATURES… New mums and dads tell us what they’re doing for baby’s first Christmas i i t t ’ ’ s s a a l l...