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Nov 28-Dec 4 2011 Issue 1474 tntmagazine.com

GIVE SANTA THE SACK Visit Lapland for thrills, not the big guy in red

CANCER COMEDY Seth Rogen on the funny side of the disease in 50/50

BEAT THE HANGOVER

WIN!

ÂŁ5500 OF TR IPS TO PARIS, EU ROPE, EGYPT AND THE OLYMPIC S

How to avoid that morningafter feeling this Christmas

T I D L COU ? C I G A M E B

eveals all r r e ll e T & n e half of Pen n O ? it h s ll u b Or just


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CAROL DRIVER EDITOR carol.driver@tntmagazine.com

EDITOR’S LETTER As you know by now, it’s Christmas time, which means one thing – party season. Kick off this year’s festivities in style by taking part in the top pub crawls the UK has to offer. Turn to P58 for the lowdown on seven of the best. Then you’ll need to flick to P34 to read our guide to preventing and recovering from that dreaded morning-after feeling. Take our advice and no one will guess you’ve spent all night on the tiles. Enjoy!

THIS WEEK LONDONDIARY

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LONDONNEWS

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MY LONDON

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DRINK & EATS

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@TNT

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COMPETITION

18

SPOTTED

19

LONDON SOUND

20-21

LISTINGS CLUB & GIGS

22-23

CHATROOM BOOTLEG BEATLES LONDON SCENE

26-27

SPARE TIME

74

32

LIFESTYLE

33-41

SHOPPING

33

HEALTH HANGOVER CURES

34-35

CAREERS

36-37 39

MONEY LIVING

40-41

NEWS & SPORT

42-53

TRAVEL

55-78

FEATURES USE YOUR ILLUSIONS

CHEMO CAN BE FUNNY

BRAVE NEW WORLD

NEWS

57

LATE DEALS

60

TRANS-TASMAN TESTS

63

New Zealand and Australia prepare to batle for Test cricket bragging rights

64-65

TIPS & STUFF

66-67

SHORTBREAK

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48 HOURS IN... BELFAST CLASSIFIEDS

72-73

109-113

DESPERATELY SEEKING

114

46

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Seth Rogen explains why he chose to make a comedy involving cancer

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TOP FIVE

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Penn & Teller bring their much-loved brand of magic to London this month

DIARY

HOTSHOTS

Photos: Getty

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46

A new exhibition examines the increasing interaction between humans and robots

THE ALE TRAIL

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58

Our pick of the best pub crawls the United Kingdom has to offer

WILD CHINA

74

Discover ancient tribes and challenging treks in the untamed Yunnan Province

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EDITORIAL Editor Carol Driver Sub editor Jahn Vannisselroy Content editors: Acting Travel Laura Chubb Entertainment Alasdair Morton News & sport Tom Sturrock Web Frankie Mullin Staff writer Clare Vooght Staff writer/editorial assistant Rebecca Kent

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Get some quirk with your big-top action

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Head of design and production Jon Cooke Graphic design manager Justine Mackay Picture researcher Laila Pacheco DIGITAL & IT Head of digital marketing and development Syed Ahmad Social Media Coordinator Dan Thorne IT manager Stephen Dann SALES Commercial director David Alstin Sales manager Jaqui Ward Classified Ad Manager Matt Syder Sales executives Tyler Harrison | Eddie Clinton | Donovan Smith | Michael Fair Sales administrator Abby Nightingale MARKETING & EVENTS Marketing and events assistant Phoebe Cherrill ACCOUNTS Margaret Roberts | Suzanne Welsh TNT MULTIMEDIA LTD CEO Kevin Ellis Chairman Ken Hurst PUBLISHER TNT Multimedia Limited DISTRIBUTION Emblem Direct Ltd PRINTED BY Wyndeham Peterborough Limited NEWS AAP SAPA NZPA PICTURES Getty Images, TNT Images, Thinkstock TNT Magazine , 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB tntmagazine.com General enquiries Phone 020 7960 6008 Fax 020 7960 6977 Email enquiries@tntmagazine.com SALES ENQUIRIES

Shhh... SECRET LONDON ZIPPO’S CIRQUE EXTREME HYDE PARK

Zippo’s also does a family-friendly Christmas show, but for those who like a bit of quirk with their big-top fare, there’s this extreme alternative. It eschews the traditional circus frivolity in favour of the eye-popping and the death-defying. And it’s headlined by the Brazilian stunt-riding troupe, the Motorbike Globe of Death. Come on, if that doesn’t get you going, you must have no pulse at all. Better than stupid Xmas lights. £9

Until Jan 3 Winter Wonderland, Serpentine Rd, W2 2UH

zipposcircus.co.uk

Hyde Park Corner

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AEGON MASTERS

REAL FOOD MARKET

TASTE OF XMAS

The old dogs have indeed learned a few new tricks, with a field including John McEnroe, Pat Rafter, Tim Henman, Henri Leconte, Goran Ivanisevic and Pat Cash assembled for this trip down memory lane. Don’t be fooled, though, this is no Sunday park league – the tennis is still of high quality. And Henman might even make it past the semis.

Head down to the banks of the Thames for this semi-regular market which boasts about 40 stallholders selling to the public. There’s a stack of seasonal fruit and veg if you’re planning a cook-up, but there’s also some of the tastiest street food if you’re after something quick. Try the Ghanaian stews and the local beers.

This bumper celebration of all things festively gastronomic is overflowing with tasters and demonstrations from celebrity chefs. As if that wasn’t enough to get you through the door, there are distinct sections devoted to chocolate, cheese, beer and wine. Could be a long day, so leave plenty of room for seconds.

Nov 30-Dec 4 Royal Albert Hall, SW7 2AP aegonmasterstennis.com South Kensington

Dec 2-4 Southbank Centre Square, SE1 8XX realfoodfestival.co.uk/ markets Waterloo

Dec 2-4 ExCeL Centre, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL tasteofchristmas. com Custom House

COVER PRICE: £1 where sold SEE tntmagazine.com/findtnt for pick-up points or tntmagazine.com/emag to read TNT online SUBSCRIPTIONS AND DISTRIBUTION Caroline Penn 01603 559004 All thieves of TNT bins will be prosecuted.

TNT Magazine is printed on paper from sustainable forests. There is no business connection between the proprietors of this magazine and TNT Ltd, the worldwide transportation group. Copyright here and abroad of all original materials is held by TNT Magazine. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden, except with permission of the publishers. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office.

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Pity those who come under-dressed

TORTURE GARDEN XMAS BALL St Matthew’s Church

This behemoth of the London fetish scene gets all festive, and the costumes at these events are always incredible, but the mind boggles at how fetish and Christmas go together. Randy elves? Tinsel gimps? Naughty reindeer? Fallen angles? Pagan Santas? Good grief. It’s certain to be an eye-opener and one of the most memorable nights of this or any other year. But pity those who turn up under-dressed. £32

Dec 3 Mass, St Matthew’s Church, SW2 1JF

torturegarden.com

Brixton

GREAT XMAS PUDDING RACE

EAST LONDON DESIGN SHOW

Six-man teams assemble in Covent Garden for the ultimate test of teamwork and athletic prowess – negotiating a fiendishly difficult obstacle course while nursing a Christmas pudding. The groups have shelled out £100 each to compete, but it’s free to watch and proceeds go towards cancer research. Should be epic.

There’s a stack of furniture, lighting, ceramics, jewellery, stationery, fashion and accessories on show here. Given it’s in Shoreditch, some of it is likely to be really interesting, while some of it might be disastrous. But it you’re looking to kit out your flat, this is a great place to start. It’s better than IKEA.

Dec 3 Covent Garden Market, WC2E 8AA xmaspuddingrace.org.uk Covent Garden

Dec 2-4 Shoreditch Town Hall, EC1V 9LT eastlondondesignshow.co.uk Old Street

FREE

£5


LONDONNEWS POLICE DECLARE WAR ON CRIME

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Ten hours later, firefighters gave up and left the woman stuck in the tree

At least 278 people have been arrested after Met officers carried out a series of dawn raids across London. Up to 4000 took part in Operation Hawk on Thursday, as Scotland Yard commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe launched his “war on crime”. More than 260 premises were searched, leading to 39 weapons being seized and 14 drugs houses being closed down. Mr Hogan-Howe said: “It’s all about responding to local concerns and acting on them to crack down on crime rapidly and effectively.”

[It] may have been because of a scantily clad woman [inside] London mayor Boris Johnson wonders why he was stopped from entering the home of a suspect during Met police raids under Operation Hawk

STRIKES TO CAUSE HEATHROW DELAYS Passengers at Heathrow are being warned they face 12-hour delays next week, as airport staff go on strike. Chief operating office Norman Boivin has written to airlines, stressing there could be “gridlock” as a result of Wednesday’s public sector action over pensions. Thousands of border agency workers are expected to be among the two million taking part. Boivin advised airlines to hold passengers on arriving aircraft as delays at immigration are “likely to be so long”.

ON THE TUBE

‘Ridiculous situations’

Firefighters called out to remove cock rings and tambourines A man with a ring stuck on his penis and a woman who glued her foot to the floor are two of the bizarre callouts London firefighters have faced. In an attempt to prevent people from getting themselves into “ridiculous situations”, the emergency service has released details of the more unusual incidents it attends. Two fire engines were dispatched when staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, were unable to prise a piece of jewellery from a man’s genitals. It took 10 firefighters 20 minutes to remove the ring, in the third incident of its kind between April 2010 and May 2011, figures released last week show. The disclosure is one of 417 cases attended by London’s firefighters involving

people stuck in objects, machinery and furniture, not including traffic accidents. They also included a woman with her foot glued to the floor in Islington; a child with its head stuck in a tambourine in Southwark; and a woman with a hedge trimmer stuck on her arm in Greenwich. Firefighters have also dealt with a man who became stuck in a child’s toy car in Kingston-upon-Thames; a youth wedged in an ironing board in Bromley; and 36 people trapped in handcuffs. Dave Brown, the brigade’s assistant commissioner for operations and mobilising, said: “We’d ask the public to take greater care to avoid getting into these often ridiculous situations and to think carefully before dialling 999 and calling us out if there isn’t an emergency.”

THIS WEEK IN LONDON...

Inside the new ‘superlibrary’

THIS WEEK’S CLOSURES

CIRCLE: No weekend service between Hammersmith and Moorgate.

H’SMITH & CITY: No service between King’s Cross and Barking all weekend.

METROPOLITAN: No service between Baker Street and Aldgate all weekend.

NORTHERN: No Sunday service between High Barnet and Camden Town southbound until 8.30am and northbound until 9am.

TNTMAGAZINE.COM

Photos: Getty

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Bookworms rejoice! With 40,000 tomes, a cafe, evening classes and wifi, London’s first ‘superlibrary’ is opening its doors today (Monday). The £14.1m venue in Canada Water has a purpose-built 150-seat theatre and will lead directly to a Tube station. Designed to be a “library as a living room”, the four-storey building also has 30 laptops for hire. Piers Gough, of CZWG architects, told the Standard, the library was “like a park for the mind where users can learn and have space to think”. He added: “I think of a library as a Pandora’s Box of possibilities where you go looking for something or you come across something you didn’t know you were going to come across.”


Guns and magic: who wouldn’t trust these guys?

A kind of magic Eccentric conjurers Penn & Teller are due to perform in London. Here, Teller explains why their style of tricks still works in 2011 WORDS JAHN VANNISSELROY

Put the idea to US magician Teller that living in such a technologically advanced age is slowly rendering traditional magic redundant, and he’ll soon set you straight. The diminutive 63-year-old and his loudmouthed colossus of a partner, Penn Gillette, have wowed audiences for 35 years with their skillful mash-up of often-gory illusion and comedy. They’re known and loved for their intelligent discussions, and even revelations, about magic – an attitude that’s led them to a long-term residency in Las Vegas and multiple TV shows. But for everything he’s seen and done, Teller (he legally made his first name disappear some years ago) remains adamant the artform he’s carved a successful career out of is still a massive drawcard in 2011, and faces no threat from ever-improving technology such as CGI, video games or 3D. “Sit in a theatre or play a game and you are vividly aware that you are not in a room with something impossible seeming to happen,” he explains. “It’s no challenge to you; you go along with it. When you watch a magic show, you 8

TNTMAGAZINE.COM

know there’s entirely nothing between you and the performer on stage. You are stripped down. It’s very naked.” Teller explains while technology may have developed, the human mind has mainly stayed the same, especially in regards to the flaws magic can exploit. It’s all about playing with people’s perceptions, in a non-threatening way. “You can watch a performer and if you make a mistake about where reality and make-believe begins, the consequences are only a little burst of pleasure and surprise and a laugh, rather than tragedy,” he adds. ”People do enjoy that.” And Teller promises plenty of enjoyment at Penn & Teller’s 35 Years Of Magic And Bullshit in London this month. As always, an element of explanation will occur; the show contains a Q&A segment on how the two carried out the illusions. Such openness, while welcomed among audiences, hasn’t always won the pair friends among their magical brethren. But Teller couldn’t care less. “We felt the public has an axe to grind with magicians that act as

guardians of some great hidden secret that only they know – there’s a certain smugness that I also find insufferable. “We’re not treating our audiences as benighted savages; we know you’re sophisticated. Our style has always been to emphasise the trickery, and delight in the fact people are looking for flaws.” Such a stance means a constant need to come up with new tricks. But Teller says he and his offsider would create, regardless. In fact, incorporating their trademark humour, they’re currently working on vanishing an African spotted pigment elephant, played by a cow; and the ability for Penn to pour tea from Teller, to the tune of I’m A Little Teapot. “That’s our job,” he says. “Penn and I sit down, often at Starbucks, and stare at each other for as long as we have to. We talk about what we’ve been reading and what we’ve been learning about. From that comes magic. You just do it.” MORE BRILLIANT LONDON MAGIC ›› Penn & Teller’s 35 Years Of Magic And Bullshit. Dec 6-8. From £30.70 Indig02, SE10 0DX the02.co.uk North Greenwich


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‘Can I have my testicle back now?’


CARL-EINAR HÄCKNER - SWEDISH MEATBALLS SOHO THEATRE

MAGIC WORLDS V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD

La Clique star Carl-Einar Häckner combines comedy, magic and music in his solo show. He’s wowed audiences worldwide and here’s your chance to see how. £10+

Explore the history and origins of magic and discover how its themes have influenced many artists and writers. Take a journey into miniature magical worlds where the objects on display include costumes, tricks and illusions; film merchandise, optical toys, paintings and ceramics; otherworldly dolls and puppets and illustrated books; and a host of interactive activities. FREE

Until Dec 3 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE Sohotheatre.co.uk Tottenham Court Rd

JERRY SADOWITZ LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE Scottish magician Sadowitz’s vitrioloic humour makes the likes of Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle look like altar boys but that doesn’t stop audiences flocking to see him. In fact, it probably encourages them. Hear the latest from the man who referred to Nelson Mandela as ‘a cunt’ and witness some astonishingly slick tricks at the same time. £15+

Until March 2012 Cambridge Heath Rd, E2 9PA vam.ac.uk/moc Bethnal Green

Dec 7-Jan 14, 2012 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX Leicestersquaretheatre.com Leicester Square

LA SOIREE ROUNDHOUSE With a line-up featuring some of the cabaret world’s favourite magic stars, La Soiree is an unforgettable treat. This is a night of thrills, shocks and tears of disbelief.

THE MAGIC CIRCLE EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC CIRCLE

£15+

Charles Dickens may have created Scrooge and the Christmas ghosts but he was also a talented amateur magician. In this fun show, writer Brian Sibley evokes literary illusions from some of Dickens’ bestloved stories, while The Magic Circle’s David Weeks presents interludes of bewildering bafflement straight out of the Victorian conjuror’s box of tricks.

Comedian Nick Mohammed puts aside the funny stuff for an evening of magic with Brendan Patricks. However, this inventive pair should still produce a few laughs during a spellbinding show.

Enjoy an eyeopening stroll through London’s house of 10,000 secrets, otherwise known as the headquarters of the Magic Circle. Here you can discover the fascinating history of mystery, magic and the world-famous organisation in the hallowed clubrooms where visiting international masters meet to discuss their latest tricks and illusions and share stories of their time on stage. You’re guaranteed to be enthralled by tales of past magicians during a guided tour of the building which houses priceless treasures, memorabilia and magical posters. Whether you’re a magic buff or just have a passing interest, this is the place for you.

Dec 9 & 10 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB bl.uk/whatson King’s Cross

Dec 12 099F Camden Stables, NW1 8AH theinvisibledot.com Camden Town

Mondays, by appointment 12 Stephenson Way, NW1 2HD themagiccirlce.co.uk Euston

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – AND THE CONJUROR BRITISH LIBRARY £7.50

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Nov 28-Jan 29, 2012 Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH roundhouse.org.uk Chalk Farm

NICK MOHAMMED AND BRENDAN PATRICKS THE INVISIBLE DOT £6.50

£13

DAVENPORTS MAGIC CHARING CROSS Davenports was established way back in 1898, and is the world’s oldest family-run magic shop. The staff are all professional magicians only too happy to help their customers navigate a huge variety of magic props and provide ideas for conjurors of all levels. Enrol in one of Davenports’ magic courses if you want to take your act to the next level. Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm; Sat til 4pm 7 Charing Cross Rd, WC2N 4HZ davensportsmagic.co.uk Charing Cross

FREE


THE MAGIC CAVERN BARONS COURT THEATRE

THE MAGIC CIRCLE CHRISTMAS THE MAGIC CIRCLE £25 Be fascinated at year’s show featuring the current Magic Circle Stage Magician Of The Year Peter Wardel; star of Penn And Teller’s Fool Us, Mark Shortland; and a variety of other renowned illusionists from Britain.

Master magician Richard Leigh produces the kind of polished, breathtaking tricks not usually seen outside of budget-rich TV shows. You’ll be blown away by both the skill and the spectacular venue at this intimate London magic show.

Dec 27-30 12 Stephenson Way, NW1 2HD themagiccirlce.co.uk Euston

Every Sunday, 3pm 28A Comeragh Road, W14 9HR Falseimpressions.co.uk Barons Court

£8

MAGIC NIGHT MADAME JOJOS This outstanding night of magic and comedy will feature creative conjurer Oliver Meech (above), who will make water float; AJ the escapologist, who will free himself from various forms of bondage; mindreader/ thought-thief Pete Antoniou; and the subversive, boundarypushing trickster John Lenhan. £12

Dec 2 8-10 Brewer Street, W1F 0SE madamejojos.com Leicester Square

INTERNATIONAL MAGIC CHANCERY LANE

CONJURING AT THE COURT DRAYTON COURT PUB Top UK magic men Stephen Barry and Russell Levinson personally handpick the country’s top acts to perform monthly miracles right before your very eyes.

Dutch magician, and friend of Pam Anderson, Hans Klok, his Divas Of Magic and a group of world-class variety and circus acts perform illusions and daredevil stunts.

Master magician Firman will aim to steal the show from funnyman Skinner with his unique brand of comedy and illusion. Since first appearing on TV in Monkey Magic, Firman has travelled the world, meeting his magic heroes and learning new skills to bolster his brand his own brand of anarchic illusions. Then, on Channel 4’s Dirty Tricks, he amazed viewers with his ability to perform disgusting tricks with animals, cigarettes and big spiky things, and never fails to draw gasps for his sleight of hand. What will he bring to this show? Only Firman knows, but you can be confident of an incredible, mind-boggling evening.

Creepy, cool and funny, these Scottish Bafta-nominated magicians caused a national outcry with their TV specials, The Magic Of Jesus and Tricks From The Bible in which they visited Egypt to walk on water, raise the dead, and even make a virgin pregnant. During Show And Tell, they’ll perform a range of outstanding illusions and then explain exactly how they managed to fool their adoring audience.

Feb 23-Mar 2, 2012 Peacock Place, N1 1YG sadlerswells.com coventgarden

Dec 2 & 9 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4AU frankskinnrlive.com Leicester Square

June 23, 2012 15 Gordon St, WC1H 0AH thebloomsbury.com Euston

£10

This family-run shop, open for more than 45 years, is one of London’s go-to destinations for aspiring and working magicians. However, those simply after learning a few party tricks to impress friends and people at partes are also welcome. There’s a huge range of playing card and coin tricks, and, for the more advanced, a host of stage tricks – from vanishing cabinets to hovering lightbulbs. International Magic also offers a variety of courses, for all levels, so you can learn properly before unleashing your newfound magic skills on the unsuspecting. This is your chance to shine.

Photos: Getty

FREE

Mon-Fri 11.30am-6pm; Sat til 4pm 89 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1R 5BX Internationalmagic.com Chancery lane

PETE FIRMAN WITH FRANK SKINNER NOEL COWARD THEATRE

Dec 29 2 The Avenue, W13 8PH conjuringatthecourt.com West Ealing

HANS KLOK – THE HOUDINI EXPERIENCE PEACOK THEATRE £17+

£12

BARRY AND STUART BLOOMSBURY THEATRE £14

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HOW TO ENTER Go to tntmagazine.com/competitions. See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.

ELIZABETH COLDWELL AUTHOR XCITE BOOKS What baffles me about London is why people cram on to a crowded Tube for one stop, rather than taking a walk and looking at all the weird and wonderful architecture the city has to offer, like the Guinness buildings near London Bridge, or the huge new Docklands waterside development. London’s best-kept secret is the Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium in Hoxton. Perfect for when I wanted to buy saucy accessories for a colleague who dabbles in burlesque dancing, and they have the best selection of bedtime reading. When I want to chill out I head to Crystal Palace Park, to wander among the dinosaurs built for the Great Exhibition. The most interesting person I’ve met is Cynthia Payne, who I interviewed many years ago. She was notorious for running a brothel where her clients paid for services with luncheon vouchers. Very warm, very down-to-earth, and the stories she told would curl your eyelashes! My favourite place for a drink is the Cider Tap at Euston station – my tipple of choice is real cider, so I’m thrilled by its arrival. For when you’re hungover in London, you can’t beat a good, filling breakfast. I’d recommend Marie’s on Lower Marsh, close to Waterloo station, or the Regency Cafe in Pimlico, where the woman yelling out the orders has the most amazing teak-veneered voice. My perfect weekend would involve Rotherham United winning on the Saturday (I’m still a fan of my home town club and travel to games with my fellow London Millers most weekends), then a lazy Sunday with a big breakfast and the Sunday papers – nothing too strenuous! The last naughty thing I did was reading slams for Xcite Books at the Erotica Exhibition at Olympia. You can’t fail to do something naughty there – even if it was only walking past the beautiful boys in tight rubber cycling shorts on the Latex 101 stand. Five words that sum up London ... Vast, busy, cosmopolitan, competitive, awe-inspiring. xcitebooks.co.uk 12

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TWO TICKETS FOR FULHAM V BOLTON WANDERERS ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17 Fulham Football Club are giving one lucky reader the chance to win two tickets for their upcoming home

Fulham are undefeated at home against Bolton in the Barclays Premier League, winning eight and drawing two of the 10 league meetings at Craven Cottage. Martin Jol’s men will be looking to secure three valuable points as they head into Christmas and you could be at the Cottage to cheer them on to victory. The winner’s tickets can be requested as either adult or junior and will be valid for this match only. The winner’s seats will be located in the neutral Putney End (non-transferable) /00 XXXXXXX /00 where you will get an amazing view of the entire pitch. XXXXXXXXXXX Enjoy the exciting atmosphere of Craven Cottage on a Barclays Premier League matchday. Don’t miss out, entering the competition couldn’t be easier! Enter at tntmagazine.com/competitions fulhamc.com/tickets

If you aren’t lucky enough to win, tickets for the home game against Bolton are available from £30 for adults and £1 for juniors. Secure yours at fulhamfc.com, or call 0803 208 1234 today!


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A rare bar that’s stylish but also relaxed

BAR THE SCENE This basement bar in Mayfair is a rare thing in London: a stylish spot that also manages to feel relaxed. It’s perfectly suited to a catch-up session with mates, thanks to (a) a long, imaginative and affordable cocktail list, and (b) an unintrusive soundtrack that eliminates the necessity of yelling in a friend’s ear until you’re hoarse and they’re deaf. We also dig the schizophrenic decor, which takes in exposed brick, factory pillars, sparkly disco tiling, and a green-leatherpadded tunnel. Staff are aspirationally skinny/ beautiful, but not snooty. THE GRUB A good selection of snacks, from calamari and fried gyoza to chilli mushrooms. Prices start at £3.50 and go up to about £6.25. BEHIND THE BAR The martinis range from standard to out-there: cardamom and pineapple is subtly strange, and the breakfast martini contains homemade marmalade. Dirty’s signature cocktails are also adventurous; we like the orange and chilli sours with bourbon, egg white, marmalade (again) and a throat-tickling red chilli on top. BILL PLEASE The martinis are all £8; cocktails climb no higher than £9. Two-for-one happy hour on martinis between 4pm and 10pm Monday to Thursday means you can work your way steadily through the list. VERDICT Perfect for a long night with friends you haven’t seen in ages. LAURA CHUBB

10C Hanover Square, W1S 1JH

dirtymartini.uk.com

Oxford Circus

CINNAMON CLUB’S GLORIOUS DAY

3 OF THE BEST

cinnamonclub.com

HOT SPICED CIDER AT THE BABY BATHHOUSE

Enjoy this traditional Victorian punch, £5.50, made with gin, madeira, pineapple, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, at this cosy Battersea venue.

The Stoke Newington Baby Bathhouse bar is serving up a deliciously sweet and warming spiced cider in its dark, semi-spooky Victorian surroundings. £5.

powderkegdiplomacy.co.uk

thebathhousevenue.com

Photos: Powder Keg Diplomacy, TNT

HOT COCKTAILS

With whisky, lemon juice, clove syrup, egg whites, ginger ale and nutmeg, this is one pewter mug filled of winter warming goodness. It’ll cost you £14 at this upmarket Westminster bar.

HOT PUNCH BY POWDER KEG DIPLOMACY

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BITE SIZE

Pricey, but worth it for the food

FOR THE DRINKING PAL If you’re looking for a gift for the friend who likes a tipple, Sailor Jerry rum offers a neat package branded as a ‘good gift for bad people’. Inspired by the late Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, who was widely considered to be the godfather of American tattooing, the pack comes as a bottle of spiced rum and one of four limitededition posters bearing one of his tattoo designs. The packs will be sold throughout November and December at major, and some independent, retailers from £18.49. sailorjerry.com

CAKES FOR A CAUSE Do your bit for World Aids Day by purchasing these sweet little cakes, decorated with Elton John’s famous star-shaped glasses. £1 from each £4 cake sold goes to the Elton John Aids Foundation, which pays for patient care services and education programmes. The cakes will be available to buy from November 29 until December 1. coxcookiesandcake.com

MAKE A BIRD SIZZLE How well do you know your game birds? Sure, it’s niche, but there’s an opportunity to do a crash course at Brompton Bar and Grill’s Grill Club event. On December 5, Mayfair butcher Michael Gale will be on hand to demonstrate how to prepare birds, venison, rabbit, hare – and maybe even squirrel – and the venue’s chefs will show the art of making a terrine, and a roast pheasant. The evening, in Knightsbridge, costs £45 per person. bromptonbarandgrill.com

SENKAI JAPANESE THE SCENE A sleek and swanky Regent Street Japanese restaurant with low lights and a sophisticated air – a place to celebrate. It feels more like Mayfair or Knightsbridge than a pre-theatre West End joint, and service is fast and thorough – staff like to know you’re enjoying yourself. THE GRUB The raw bar is the main attraction at this high-quality eatery, serving dishes such as sashimi – cold, fresh salmon and sea bass, day boat white fish tartare with sesame, and crab and langoustine ceviche, mungbean noodles salad. The second course of melt-under-the-tongue organic vegetable and prawn tempura and a satisfying avocado salad with pumpkin seed oil are clean and filling. Next up is a beautiful grilled chicken with shiro miso and corriander, cobia (black salmon) with pickled fruits and sea vegetable samphire, accompanied by white Japanese rice and tender stem broccoli with a tangy sesame dressing. The fish and meat are perfectly cooked, and I wish the sauces would never end. To finish, we’re almost defeated (but not quite) by a pineapple carpaccio, light ice creams including green tea and a small but rich-as-can-be chocolate fondant – a deliciously overboard treat that makes us feel like we’ll never need to eat again.

A thorough selection of high-quality wines and long list of sake. Asian-influenced cocktails – like the Earl Grey Cooler with vodka, Chambord and orange marmalade, £9, and the Hibiscus Royale with a hibiscus flower in champagne, £12, give a refreshing, fruity addition to your meal. BILL PLEASE Small plates cost from £2.25 and grilled fish and meat dishes about £20. Enjoy the raw bar from £7.50. Wines from £28 per bottle and sake from £5 a glass. VERDICT It is a little on the pricey side, but the food is as fresh as you can get so it’s worth it for a special occasion. And to satiate any cravings for Oriental food if you’re missing your travels. CLARE VOOGHT BEHIND THE BAR

65 Regent Street, W1B 4EA

senkairestaurant.com

Piccadilly Circus

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Smokers: where would we be without ‘em?

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SO I HEAR THAT George Michael is in hospital with pneumonia. POSSIBLE THat this COULD be his last Christmas?

Stu you’ve got to hand it to midgets... because often , they can’t reach it

Marco Paulo My brother likes to pretend he can see dead people everywhere. He’s got a sixth sense of humour!

Les Behan I miss Tippex. Sniffing the backspace key is no fun

Bodyrocker I can’t believe a student got trapped in a Clothes horse AND PEOPLE LAUGHED. SHE COULD HAVE DRIED, YOU KNOW.

I heart TNT ENGLISH BAFFLES ME. Good grief, what’s an oxymoron?

Pete Pedovski I can’t wait to give my son his air hockey table for Christmas. It will go great with last year’s air guitar

Tanya T Catholic Priests: They SURE know how to alter boys

Hope and Faith RE THE RACISM ROW IN FOOTBALL: I’M GOING TO COME TO JOHN TERRY’S DEFENCE SINCE HE CAN’T DEFEND HIMSELF

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Among all the debate about smoking, the point not being mentioned is the large amount of tax smokers pay on tobacco. This tax raises a huge revenue for the NHS. This is something that non-smokers don’t like to admit, claiming that we should not be given treatment on the NHS. In actual fact, smokers pay far more towards it than non-smokers. If everyone in this country gave up smoking the NHS would struggle to survive. Toby Buckman, via Facebook

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NO CARR CRASH

It seems that all my stresses have compiled into one huge ball of fear of not completing every task set before the Xmas break. At the end of every day that dread of the next working day hanging over my head is like a cloud. Why is it that during this festive season employers want more out of the even shorter day? Don’t they understand about SAD? For myself, the more stress I have the less I seem to get done. Oh well, time or a drink then, that will work ... won’t it? Tammy Stillwell, via Facebook

The Sunshine Variety charity should be pleased Jimmy Carr made a joke of people with Downs Syndrome. I’d never heard of the charity before. You can’t buy that sort of publicity. Onya Jimbo. Doing your bit for the world, one step at a time. Gretel, via email

MEDIA ETHICS JK Rowling never expected her books to become movies, so I say celebrities who don’t mean to be celebrities should be left alone. People like the Kardashians who are fake celebrities should be harassed. Stacey Mitchell, via Facebook

WAKE UP! Disappointing to see on tntmagazine.com that the Discovery Channel in the US refused the chance to screen the seventh episode of the BBC’s Frozen Planet series. It dealt with climate change but apparently the topic is too sensitive in the lead-up to next year’s election. Americans need to be aware of this important threat to mankind. The scientific data is there. Shame, Discovery Channel. Matt, via email SETH ROGAN /28 CHINA /74

Toby wins a three-day tour of Ireland with Shamrocker shamrockeradventires.com

YOUR TWEETS Tweet us @tntmagazine @ladygaga: Alan Carr’s Chatty Man is so funny I peed down my bow @MattRudge: Does The Telegraph know that Alan Partridge is not a REAL person? @Spytap: Corporations are people, Pizza is a vegetable, the Internet will be censored and protest is illegal. Welcome to 21st century America.

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Andrew White: Christine Bleakley was Britain’s rose. She will always be our national treasure. I used to rise every morning with her. Nicole Waters: OMG NYC police on Occupy protesters was horrible to watch! They ought to be bloody ashamed of themselves. What a gross misuse of power and an embarrassment to the US force! Louise Higgins: Arriving back into London, have a chip in your passport - save a good half hour.

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A DAY AT SANDOWN PARK RACECOURSE TINGLE CREEK FESTIVAL horse and sleigh rides will greet visitors from the train station to transport them to the racecourse to join in the festive fun where they will be welcomed by Father Christmas and his merry Sandown Park helpers. As you walk into a winter wonderland, carols will echo across the racecourse and you can browse an array of stalls and gifts from the Travelling Souk. As a special treat for families, the popular pantomime production of Dick Whittington will be performed by the cast from The Panto Company between races. And at the end of the day, the New London Singers, one of London’s premier vocal ensembles and conducted by the legendary Ivor Setterfield, will perform a range of festive carols. Enter at tntmagazine.com/competitions. sandown.co.uk

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TNT and Sandown Park Racecourse have teamed up to give one lucky reader the chance to win a day out at the Tingle Creek Festival on Saturday December 3. Your prize will include two premier badges and lunch, plus a complimentary bottle of wine. Ten runners-up will also win a pair of grandstand tickets for the day (children under 18 accompanied by an adult get in for free). The Tingle Creek Christmas Festival is widely credited as one of the racing calendar’s top events and the demanding Sandown Park course attracts many of the very best horses and jockeys. The day is also a chance to celebrate Christmas early. Alongside the top-quality racing there will be plenty of entertainment to get racegoers into the festive mood. Traditional


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The group gave her the silent treatment for forgetting the ‘must wear sunnies’ dress code

ALASDAIR MORTON FOR THE RECORD Ash’s Tim Wheeler and Emmy the Great have made a Christmas album. Out last week, it’s an offering of original fully fledged, bells-ringing, ‘let’s indulge in the festive spirit, silly knitted jumpers and all’ Christmas songs. So festive is it in fact, you almost feel sorry for the pair as they recorded it over the course of the year after beginning work last December when they were snowed in. This Is Christmas (no, not the most inspired of titles) manages to be sincere, is devoted to catchy choruses and, most handomsely, is utterly devoid of cynicism. Saccharine sweet and delicious, a holiday indie-pop indulgence has come our way already. Which is more than can be said of the X Factor “hit” that will be shipped out a few weeks hence when its prince or princess has been crowned, and which will – so say the bookies – more likely than not become this year’s Christmas number one. Again. More’s the pity.

ALABAMA 3 The Forum, 9-17 Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY FRI, DEC 2 | DOORS AT 7PM | £18-£20

Country-tinged guitars and house-infused beats – not the usual sounds you’d expect to hear jostling for a place on the same records. Yet this uncanny combination of styles has made Alabama 3’s career, and has seen their net of success cast far and wide, from sound-tracking Tony Soprano to headlining festivals around the world. The London-based group have taken their unmistakable sound on the road – culminating in this end-of-tour show at The Forum – in support of soon-to-bereleased album Shoplifting 4 Jesus, which has taken its inspiration from a peculiar compendium of corners. “It’s the sound of middle England’s worst nightmare, a celebration of all that is dynamic in club culture, and a finger on the pulse of those on the wrong side of the tracks,” frontman Larry Love says of the record. Taking its cues, in part, from the “symphony of sirens” that rocked the capital in August as riots broke out from Tottenham to Croydon, Shoplifting 4 Jesus also has a biblical theme running through it which has seen the unlikely team of actor Ray Winstone, crime writer Martina Cole and Happy Mondays’ maracas-waver and pill-taker Bez reading out select passages from the Lord’s good book. Their homecoming slot promises to see the band back on stage with a full-force focus, and Alabama 3 aficionados will be glad to hear that their biting wit and penchant for provocation, refreshingly, are showing no signs of diminishing. ticketmaster.co.uk

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NEW BAND

M83 GIG THURS, DEC 1. 7PM £14.50

This year’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, the Gallic soundsmith’s sixth studio offering, brought Anthony Gonzalez’s electro-soundscaped rock to a wider audience, but this intimate show will gift you the chance to get up close and personal as he draws from his already-eclectic-at-fouralbums career. Heaven Under the Arches, Villiers Street, WC2N 6NG heaven-live.co.uk Embankment

I LOVE MONDAYS

HALCYON CHRISTMAS BALL

CLUB

CLUB

MON, NOV 28. 10PM £5

FRI, DEC 2. 10PM £20

Get rid of those Monday blues with a dose of Nineties indie and bona fide Britpop classics. Unabashed party anthems are the surefire winning antidote to dour beginning of the week stay ins. With drink promos and cheap entry fuelling the hedonistic throng, Monday is the new Friday. Or Thursday ...

Cancellation of the August event left us all feeling more than a little disappointed, but the team are back and ready to unleash “a mind-bending extravaganza” to make amends. Featuring the most diverse range of psychedelic dance around, this Christmas ball can’t fail to get you in the festive party mood.

Moonlighting 17 Greek Street, W1D 4DR moonlightingnightclub.co.uk

Coronet 28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ coronettheatre.co.uk Elephant & Castle

Leicester Sq

FILMS OF COLOUR THE BUZZ SO FAR Veteran producer Tony Visconti has worked with the likes of Manic Street Preachers and Morrisey. So impressed was he with Films Of Colour’s cover of David Bowie’s Slow Burn (off his 2001 album Heathen) that he flew to the capital to see the band perform, and promptly agreed to work with them in the studio. We’ll have to wait for the fruits of this labour, but the elegant indie-foursome are the hottest unsigned act around. THE CRITICS SAY “I knew the song because I produced it with David Bowie but Films Of Colour had altered it so much they had clearly made it their own.” Tony Visconti THE PLUG Fri, Dec 2. £5 Koko, 1a Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JE Mornington Crescent koko.uk.com

TWIN ATLANTIC

SHAKE IT PRESENTS ... PACO OSUNA

YELLOWCARD/ SAVES THE DAY

GIG

CLUB

GIG

TUES, NOV 29. 7.30PM £15

SAT, DEC 3. 10PM £15

THUR, DEC 1. 7PM £16

The Scottish emo-tinged indie scamps take to the Islington Academy to close out the year that saw them release their second long-player Free. Drip-feeding singles from the record over the course of the year – fourth single Make A Beast Of Myself was out in September – their live show repuation will see them end 2011 with a bang.

Wowing at Amnesia this year was a step up in the world for Spaniard Paco Osuna. Catching the attention of those that matter, he was snapped up straight off the bat by Layo and Bushwacka! for Shake It 2011’s end of year finale, so he’ll be looking to bring his game to this prestige gig. Expect to be impressed.

Emo-double header. The former surprised fans in October with an acoustic release from this year’s When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes; the latter have been through a variety of guises since their At Your Funeral breakthrough. Expect a mix of nostalgia and tradition-flaunting surprise. Support comes from The Wonder Years.

O2 Academy Islington N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street, N1 0PS o2academyislington.co.uk Angel

Village Underground 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ village Shoreditch High Street underground.co.uk

The Forum 9-17 Highgate Road, NW5 1JY ticketmaster.co.uk Kentish Town

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CLUBLISTINGS

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MONDAY 28 Bite Resident DJs spin electro, leftfield indie, disco, dubstep, post-punk and pop. Miabella, Greek St, W1D 4DL (020 7025 7844). 10pm3am. £5, NUS £3, free before 11pm.

Xxtra Terry-James Lynch hosts a night of house, electro and pop, plus fashion. The Shadow Lounge, Brewer St, W1F 0RF (020 7287 7988). 10pm-3am. £5, free before 11pm.

BOOK NOW!

YoYo Seb Chew and Leo Greenslade spin hip-hop, dubstep, garage and grime, plus live music. Notting Hill Arts Club, Notting Hill Gate, W11 3JQ (020 7460 4459). 7.30pm-2am. £7, £5 before 11pm.

Hard Core Salsa DJ Mario plays mambo and salsa, plus dance lessons. Salsa!, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0JG (020 7379 3277). 7pm-late. £4, free before 9pm.

FRIDAY 2

I Love Mondays DJ Victor spins commercial dance, R‘n’B and funky house. Moonlighting, Greek St, W1D 4DR (020 7437 5782/cc 020 7287 3727). 10pm-3.30am. £5, NUS £1.50. Mojo Mondays Resident DJs spin indie and electro, plus live bands. Boisdales Of Canary Wharf, Cabot Hall, E14 4QT (020 7715 5818). 9pm-late. £5-£20. Popcorn Jonesey, Jamie Hammond, Harvey Adam and Terry T-Rex spin dance, electro, R‘n’B, pop and hip-hop. Heaven, Charing Cross Arches, Villiers St, WC2N 6NG (020 7930 2020). 11pm-5.30am. £8. Rehab DJs Val, Satoko, Zoe Demonettes, Joe, Saral and Hale supply indie, electro and pop. The Roxy, Rathbone Place, W1T 1HJ (020 7255 1098). 10pm-3am. £5, NUS/ w/flyer £3, mems £1 before 10.30pm. Salsa Cellar Resident DJs play Latin funk and reggae. Downstairs At The King’s Head, Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA (020 8340 1028). 9pm-late. £7, concs £4.

TUESDAY 29 Dirty Fuxx DJ Will Manning spins house, techno, electro, hip-hop, R‘n’B, dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass. The Hoxton Pony, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3AH (020 7613 2844). 9pm-1am. £5, NUS £4, NUS free before 10.30pm.

BUGGED OUT WEEKENDER Butlins Bognor Regis. Jan 20-21, 2012. £139-199 Chase and Status (above), 2manydjs, Joy Orbison and Simian Mobile Disco are just a smattering of the acts at this staminia-requiring ATP-styled weekender. PO21 1JJ

buggedoutweekender.net

WEDNESDAY 30

Bad Sex Resident DJs and live bands play new wave, lo-fi and electro. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (020 7482 3867). 7.30pm-2.30am. £5, guestlist NUS/w/flyer £3.

Dance Nights Princess Karina and DJ Gary Baldi spin dance hits. EC3 Live, Crosswall, EC3N 2JY (020 7488 1766). 11.30pm-3am. £10.

Choice Cuts Big Beat Reunion Cut La Roc Rocstar and Peo De Pitte spin dirty house and electro. The Dogstar, Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8LQ (020 7733 7515). 7pm-4am. £5, free before 11pm.

Everything Taboo DJ Andrew Elmore plays retro electro-pop and acid disco. The Shadow Lounge, Brewer St, W1F 0RF (020 7287 7988). 10pm-3am. £5, free before midnight. Fat Poppa Daddys Resident DJs spin hip-hop, funk, electro, house, dubstep 1980s hits, indie and reggae. One, Leicester Sq, WC2H 7NA (020 7437 0453). 10pm-3am. £5. Homework Electro and indie from the residents. Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, Pollard Row, E2 6NB (020 7739 2727). 7.30pm-late. £5.

OMFG! DJs Lady Lloyd, Joshyou Are and Niyi Maximus Crown play pop, disco and electro, with host Queen B Munroe Bergdorf. The Shadow Lounge, Brewer St, W1F 0RF (020 7287 7988). 10pm-3am. £5, free before 11pm.

Madd Raff Wednesdays The Heatwave supply bashment and dancehall, plus a dance session with dancehall instructor Safwaan Shoshoni of Pineapple Studios. The Social, Little Portland St, W1W 7JD (020 7636 4992). 6pm-1am. £5.

Once Is Never Enough Resident DJs spin dance anthems, R‘n’B, commercial hits and funky house. One, Leicester Sq, WC2H 7NA (020 7437 0453). 10pm-3am. £11, £5 before 11pm, ladies free before 11.30pm.

Majestic Vibe DJ El Moreno spins funky house, R‘n’B and old skool classics. Diu, Greek St, W1D 4DJ (020 7025 7844). 9pm-3am. £5.

Short Back And Sides Dubstep, electro, indie and drum ‘n’ bass from Long X DJ, Wades World and residents, plus Concrete Disco plays live. The Nest, Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ (020 7354 9993). 9pm-2am. £5, free before 10.30pm.

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N*A*S*I*N SoniX, Brahim and Punk Gareth play punk, rock, metal and ska. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). 11pm-3am. £5, w/flyer £4, NUS £3, mems £2. Swerve Winter Warmer Fabio, Jumpin Jack Frost and Chris Intaface spin techno and drum ‘n’ bass. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 10pm-3am. £7, £5 before 11pm, NUS £5, NUS £3 before 11pm. Trannyshack Miss Dusty O, Tasty Tim and Lady Lloyd spin commercial dance and pop. Madame Jojo’s, Brewer St, W1F 0SE (020 7734 3040). 10pm-3am. £6, w/flyer £3, free before midnight.

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Durr Presents Breakbot, Classixx, Rory Phillips and The Lovely Jonjo supply electro, indie, disco and synth-pop. Village Underground, Holywell Ln, EC2A 3PQ (020 7422 7505). 10pm-4am. £7, adv £6. Forward Resident DJs spin house, dubstep and electro. Plastic People, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3QE (020 7739 6471). 9.30pm-2am. £7. Hundred Hand Slap Buggsy, The Last Skeptik, Dister, Killa Dan and Trol23 supply reggae and drum ‘n’ bass. The Bedroom Bar, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 5706). 8pm-1am. £5, free before 9pm. The Leg Up Presents Earl Gateshead, VIVEK, Kelvin Brown, Re-Up, Throwing Snow, Martial and Polka & Moomin spin reggae and techno. The Nest, Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ (020 7354 9993). 9pm-4am. £8, £5 before midnight. Roller Disco Funk and disco for a wheeled audience. Renaissance Rooms, opposite Arch 8, Arches, Miles St, SW8 1RZ (0844 736 5375). 8pm-midnight. £10, £7.50 own skates. Semiskimmed Gang Colours, Asa, Speccy D, Mauve Ember and Deadproud play dubstep and electronica, plus Tropics perform live. The Rhythm Factory, Whitechapel Rd, E1 1EW (020 7375 3774). 10pm-4am. £5. Vibe DJs on rotation including Anas, Spider, Prezedent, Ice, Pioneer and DJ L spin hip-hop, R‘n’B, garage, bashment and reggae. Moonlighting, Greek St, W1D 4DR (020 7437 5782/cc 020 7287 3727). 10pm-3am. £7, £5 before midnight, ladies £5, free before 11.30pm.

Blow Up Christmas Party Paul Tunkin and Ian Jackson spin pop, 1960s soul, ska, funk and garage, plus live performances from The Bongolian and Thee Faction. Ginglik, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8PH (020 8749 2310). 7pm-3am. £8, £6 before 11pm, adv £6. Dirty Water Club DJs Oihane Follones, Afonso Pinto and PJ spin punk and garage, plus live music from Jack Oblivian, Harlan T Bobo and Limes. Boston Arms, Junction Rd, N19 5QQ (020 7272 8153). 8.30pm-3am. £12, adv £10. Fabriclive Jack Beats, Busy P, Riton, 12th Planet, Mickey Moonlight, Tim Sweeney DFA, Mr No, Mickey Pearce, Gerry Read and Tom Kerridge supply electro, house and grime, plus In Flagranti perform live. Fabric, Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HJ (020 7336 8898). 10pm6am. £16, adv £15, NUS £10 before midnight, £7 after 3am, adv £20 inc CD. The Gallery Sander Kleinenberg, Sister Bliss, Nicka, Gavyn Mytchel, Miss Dix, Subbass and Flat 7 Records spin progressive house, trance, electro and techno. The Ministry Of Sound, Gaunt St, SE1 6DP (0870 060 0010). 10.30pm6am. £15, adv £13, mems/NUS £10. Halcyon Younger Brother Sound System, Sub6, Prometheus, Dejavoo, Liquid Ross, Libra 9, Matt Lorraine, Andi Leppard, Andy Force and Neurodriver spin electro, rock and dubstep, plus Astrix and Hallucinogen perform live. The Coronet, New Kent Rd, SE1 6TJ (020 7701 1500). 10pm-late. £15. I Love Pacha The Christmas Party James McLaughlin, Sergio Gomez and Sanchez Crespo spin house, electro and techno. Pacha, Terminus Place, SW1V 1JR (0845 371 4489). 11pm-late. £15, adv £10.

SATURDAY 3 Bodymove Xmas Copywright, Rae, Femi B, CK, The Hustle, J’Adele, Jay Evans, Texx, Jan Pacula, Kristian Barker and MC E-Mix spin house, tech-house, deep house and disco. Egg, York Way, N7 9AX (020 7871 7111). 10pm-10am. £20, concs £15, adv £13. Debut Silent Disco DJs spin house, electro, techno, soul, funk and retro. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free. Exposure The Christmas Party DJ Luck & MC Neat, Pioneer, Matt Jam Lamont, Pied Piper, Wesley Jay and DJ2Four7 spin house and hip-hop. Club Colosseum, Nine Elms Ln, SW8 5NQ (020 7720 3609). 11pm-5am. £20, £15 before midnight. Fabric Craig Richards, Shaun Reeves, Le Loup, Terry Francis, Marcel Dettmann and Thugfucker spin house and techno, plus Brandt Brauer Frick and Wincent Kunth perform live. Fabric, Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HJ (020 7336 8898). 11pm-8am. £19, adv £18, NUS £10, £9 after 4am, adv £23 inc CD. Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! DJ Lord Ant supplies retro soul, funk and disco, plus dance line-ups throughout the night with Ali Golding. Saint Swithun’s Church Hall, Hither Green Ln, SE13 6QE (020 8852 5088). 7.30pm-11.30pm. £12, adv £10. Papa Michigan The Jamaican DJ spins reggae and dub alongside Supa C, Keith Lawrence and The Tighten Up Crew. Open The Gate, Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8BJ (020 7503 6099). 9pm-3am. £10. The Third Grand Anarcho Dandyist Ball DJs spin vintage hits, swing and rock ‘n’ roll, plus live swing from Fat 45. The Camden Centre, Bidborough St, WC1H 9AU (020 7974 5633). 8pm-3am. £20. We Party London: Disco The 1st Anniversary D’Johnny, Gonzalo Rivas, Kris Di Angelis and Fat Tony provide house and disco, with hosts Jodie Harsh, JJ and Johanna. The Coronet, New Kent Rd, SE1 6TJ (020 7701 1500). 11pm-7am. £15.

SUNDAY 4 Forro DJs spin Brazilian, samba, African and indigenous rhythms. Guanabara, Parker St, WC2B 5PW (020 7242 8600). 5pm-late. £5, free before 8pm. The Magpie’s Nest Resident DJs spin indie and folk, plus Three Cane Whale perform live. Shacklewell Arms, Shacklewell Ln, E8 2EB (020 7249 0810). 7pm-midnight. £5.

Silver Seduction Pre-Party Kesh, RM Bergman, DJ Chen, Corey Jai, Gee-4rce and Southern Kaos supply house. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 6pm-late. Free.

SQ Music V Sick Vibes Hilton Caswell and Garth Hill spin house and electro. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free.

Silver Seduction Lizzie Curious, Garth Hill, Sacha, Future Filth, Retox & Vaughan, Denielson and Warren Scott play house. Inigo, Wandsworth Rd, SW8 3JW (020 7622 4884). 9pm-4am. £8.

WetYourSelf Dan Farserelli, Jack & I, Cormac, Jacob Husley and Peter Pixzel spin house and techno. Fabric, Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HJ (020 7336 8898). 11pm-6am. £10, adv £8, NUS £5.

Photos: Getty

White Heat DJs spin indie, electronica, new wave and rock, plus live music from Com Truise. Madame Jojo’s, Brewer St, W1F 0SE (020 7734 3040). 8pm-3am. £6.50.

THURSDAY 1

Cheapskates Old school hip-hop, electro and disco courtesy of DJ Downfall. Moonlighting, Greek St, W1D 4DR (020 7437 5782/ cc 020 7287 3727). 9pm-3.30am. £6.50, NUS £5.50, w/flyer £4.50.

Forca Brasil DJ Fred spins salsa, samba and Latin tunes, plus live bands. Salsa!, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0JG (020 7379 3277). 6pm-2am. £4, free before 9pm.

Panic Max Panic, Gaz Panic and That Perfect Fumble spin indie, retro and pop. The Roxy, Rathbone Place, W1T 1HJ (020 7255 1098). 10pm-3am. £5, NUS £3.

Bognor Regis

Alabama 3 Aftershow Party An indie, rock, blues, funk and electronica DJ set from the band, with DJs McConnell and Jamie Kelly, plus live music from Little Buddha, Dollface, Bourbon St Beat and The Skellies. Jamm, Brixton Rd, SW9 6LH (020 7346 8920/ cc 020 7274 5537). 8pm-4am. £10.

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MONDAY 28 The Blanks The group known as Ted’s Band from Scrubs performs a cappella. Dingwalls, Camden Lock, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AB (020 7428 0010/cc 020 7428 5929). £15.

Wretch 32, Brand New The London-based MC, Jermaine Scott performs grime and hip-hop. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £15.

BOOK NOW!

Yellowcard, Saves The Day The American five-piece plays anthemic pop-punk and rock in support of its album When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). £16.

The Brute Chorus, The Supernovas, Road Agent, Wildlife The Londonbased outfit plays hopeful folkrock. The Barfly, Camden, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AN (0844 847 2424). £6.50. Alex Cornish Indie-pop from the Edinburgh-based singersongwriter. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £15. Alan Glen/John O’Leary Allstars The outfit plays blues. Bull’s Head, Lonsdale Rd, Barnes, SW13 9PY (020 8876 5241). £10. Jesse Malin, Anthony D’Amato Punk-pop from the New York-based singer-songwriter. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/cc 0844 477 1000). £13. Miguel, Bluey Robinson, Cleo Sol R‘n’B by Los Angeles-born singer-songwriter Miguel Jontel Pimentel. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). £19.50. JT Nero And Allison Russell The singer and poet unites with the Po’ Girl singer to perform alternative acoustica. The Slaughtered Lamb, Great Sutton St, EC1V 0DX (020 7253 1516). £10. Heather Peace The vocalist performs soaring acoustic pop. Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN (020 7226 1686). £21.50.

TUESDAY 29

Royal Albert Hall. Apr 17, 2012. £16-22.50 The alt-folksters will take to the stage at this prestigious London venue to play hits drawn from this year’s breakthrough record Last Night On Earth. SW7 2AP

royalalberthall.com

WEDNESDAY 30 Blancmange The re-formed 1980s synth-pop duo plays old and new material. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £19.50. Deep Purple The veteran quintet plays rock and metal, with accompaniment from a 38-piece orchestra. The O2 Arena, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £50. Duke Special Vaudevillian pop-rock from the Belfastbased singer-songwriter. Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, off Ensign St, E1 8JB (020 7702 2789). £18. Lisa Hannigan Indie-folk from the singer-songwriter. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £19.50.

Adam Ant The veteran rocker performs an acoustic set accompanied by The Good, The Mad & The Lovely guitarist Tom Edwards. Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, off Ensign St, E1 8JB (020 7702 2789). £50.

The Magic Band Psychedelic blues from Captain Beefheart’s backing group. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). £17.50.

Hanson Pop-rock from the three American brothers. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £25. Heather Nova Pop-rock from the Bermuda-born singer-songwriter. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/cc 0844 477 1000). £16. Emeli Sande Contemporary soul and R‘n’B from the Londonbased singer. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £15.

Photos: Getty

FRIDAY 2

Acid Mothers Temple The Japanese experimental outfit plays psychedelic space rock. Cafe Oto, Ashwin St, E8 3DL (020 7923 1231). £12, adv £10.

Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry Contemporary hard rock by the Florida-based band formed of members of Creed. Wembley Arena, Arena Sq, Engineers Way, HA9 0DH (0870 060 0870). £26.

Diary Of Dreams, Specimen, XII Goth-rock with an industrial twist by the German band. O2 Academy Islington, Parkfield St, N1 0PS (020 7288 4400/cc 0844 477 2000). £14.

Alabama 3 The band plays electrocountry. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). £20.

NOAH AND THE WHALE

Spoek Mathambo, Auntie Flo Afrobeat, hip-hop and electro by the South Africanborn producer and rapper. The City Arts & Music Project, City Rd, EC1Y 2BJ (020 7253 2443). £8, adv £5. Jono McCleery Experimental folk from the London-based singer-songwriter. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). £12. Nneka Afrobeat and soul from the Nigerian singer-songwriter. Dingwalls, Camden Lock, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AB (020 7428 0010/ cc 020 7428 5929). £16. The Olivia Tremor Control Indie-rock from the American outfit. Cargo, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 3440). £17, adv £15.50.

Vintage Trouble The Los Angelesbased four-piece plays soul and R‘n’B. Electric Ballroom, Camden High St, NW1 8QP (020 7485 9006). £15.

Pure Reason Revolution Alt prog by the London-based band. Heaven, Charing Cross Arches, Villiers St, WC2N 6NG (020 7930 2020). £17.50.

Yuck Indie-rock from the London and New Jersey-based combo. The Barfly, Camden, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AN (0844 847 2424). £12.50.

Jill Scott R‘n’B and soul from the American singer O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000). £35.

South Kensington

Tyketto The New York-based band plays melodic heavy rock. The Underworld, Camden High St, NW1 0NE (020 7482 1932). £17.

THURSDAY 1 Lizzy Borden Classic metal by the Hollywood-formed band. The Underworld, Camden High St, NW1 0NE (020 7482 1932). £15. M83 Electronica and pop by French musician Anthony Gonzalez and colleagues. Heaven, Charing Cross Arches, Villiers St, WC2N 6NG (020 7930 2020). £14.50. Omar And The Band Nu-soul and R‘n’B by the established singer and group. Floridita, Wardour St, W1F 0TN (020 7314 4042). £15-£35. Panda Bear Experimental pop from Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox. Electric Ballroom, Camden High St, NW1 8QP (020 7485 9006). £16.50. Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends Traditional Cornish folk and sea shanties from the vocal group. Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN (020 7226 1686). £19.50. Reuben Richards & Soul Train Blues, funk and soul from the seven-piece. Boisdales Of Canary Wharf, Cabot Hall, E14 4QT (020 7715 5818). £20. Roberto Pla Latin Ensemble The Colombia-born percussionist leads his Latin outfit. Ronnie Scott’s, Frith St, W1D 4HT (020 7439 0747). £20-£40. The Stylistics Seventies soul from the Philadelphia-based band, whose hits include Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) and You Are Everything. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £20-£40. Superchunk Alt rock from the American four-piece. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/cc 0844 477 1000). £15. Wolfsbane Blaze Bayley reunites his original band of heavy metal musicians from 1980s to play old classics and new material. O2 Academy Islington, Parkfield St, N1 0PS (020 7288 4400/cc 0844 477 2000). £12.

SATURDAY 3 Cathedral Prog and doom metal band from Coventry. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7344 0044). £20.

Angels In Concert A showcase of contemporary pop in aid of charity Global Angels, featuring Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis, Joss Stone, Daniel Bedingfield and John Forte. Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7UT (0844 415 6790). £55 & £70. The Beat Ska and 2-Tone hit-making outfit. The Clapham Grand, St John’s Hill, SW11 1TT (020 7223 6523). £20. The Dualers The South London brothers play ska and reggae with their backing band. Under The Bridge, Fulham Rd, SW6 1HS (0207 957 8261). £20. Sam Kelly’s Station House The Notting Hill outfit plays blues. Boisdales Of Canary Wharf, Cabot Hall, E14 4QT (020 7715 5818). £20. Andrea Martin R‘n’B by the American singer-songwriter. Mass, St Matthews Church, Brixton Hill, SW2 1JF (07879 630674). £20. Plastikman English-Canadian DJ Richie Hawtin’s alter ego performs a live electronic audio-visual and real-time audience interaction show. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000). £27.50. Rose Royce, The Real Thing, Jaki Graham, China Black The veteran group from America plays soul and disco, including its hits Car Wash and Wishing On A Star. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £25-£50. Kate Rusby The award-winning folk singer-songwriter performs carols and traditional seasonal music. Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS (020 7638 8891). £26. The Saw Doctors The Irish quintet performs upbeat folk-rock. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £22.50. The Unthanks The Northumbrian siblings and arbiters of contemporary folk interpret the music of Robert Wyatt and Antony And The Johnsons. St James’s Church, Piccadilly, W1J 9LL (020 7381 0441). £19. Wednesday 13, Michael Monroe, Crash Diet The American musician and Murderdolls frontman plays hard rock, horror punk and glam metal in support of his album Calling All Corpses. Electric Ballroom, Camden High St, NW1 8QP (020 7485 9006). £18.

Empire State R‘n’B and soul outfit. Dover St Restaurant And Bar, Dover St, W1S 4LQ (020 7629 9813). £15, diners free before 10pm. The Kills Indie-rock from the London-based duo. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000). £18.50. Machine Head Heavy metal from the Californian fourpiece. Wembley Arena, Arena Sq, Engineers Way, HA9 0DH (0870 060 0870). £29.50. Thurston Moore, Tall Firs The alt rock singer-songwriter and Sonic Youth frontman plays his album Psychic Hearts in its entirety. Electric Ballroom, Camden High St, NW1 8QP (020 7485 9006). £17. Paul Millns Quartet Blues and soft rock by the London-based singer-songwriter. Brook’s Blues Bar, The Telegraph, Telegraph Rd, SW15 3TU (020 8788 2011). £12. Puressence The Manchesterbased four-piece plays acoustic indie-rock. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £16. Slums Attack, Gandzior Rapper Peja leads his Polish hip-hop combo. The Rhythm Factory, Whitechapel Rd, E1 1EW (020 7375 3774). £17. Neville Staple Ska and reggae from the former Specials member and his band. Jamm, Brixton Rd, SW9 6LH (020 7346 8920/ cc 020 7274 5537). £14, adv £12.50.

SUNDAY 4 Brodka Indie-pop singer from Poland. Cargo, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 3440). £17. A Christmas Mod Ball: Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, Small Fakers The veteran singer returns with his band to play blues and soul. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). £17. De La Soul Playful hip-hop from the influential New York-based three-piece. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £20-£50. Ace Frehley The American singer-songwriter and former Kiss guitarist plays attitudedriven hard rock and metal. O2 Academy Islington, Parkfield St, N1 0PS (020 7288 4400/ cc 0844 477 2000). £22.50. Little Dragon The Swedish four-piece plays electro-pop. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £16.50. Trivium Thrash and metalcore from the American four-piece. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000). £23.50.

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The daily slog isn’t always a laugh, we know, so here’s what we’re doing to prevent you banging your head against the wall in despair. Do your co-workers a favour and log on to tntmagazine.com.

? H G U A L A HAVING r this week

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NAFFEST SOUVENIRS

FUNNY PEOPLE This lot are trying to seduce us into buying their DVDs. And in the process they’ve offered up some gems.

TIM MINCHIN

ALAN CARR

The joys of putting on a show that requires a convoy of tour buses and a ping-pong table.

On the time he was so nervous “it was coming out of both ends”.

STEPHEN MERCHANT

RUSSELL KANE

Tells us there are “scary women in the front row” trying to be his wife.

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George Harrison ... well the next best thing. The Bootleg Beatles’ Andre Barreau on peeling onion, impersonating Harrison and meeting his idol INTERVIEW REBECCA KENT

Tribute bands are notoriously tacky. How have the Bootleg Beatles managed to remained credible? We started before any tacky tribute bands! We began 31 years ago after completing a West End production that came from America called Beatlemania. When it finished, we thought we’d carry on and see what happened just as a stopgap before we got into other bands, and it just kept going. It wasn’t until the Australian Doors and Björn Again came over from that end of the planet that the tribute band was mentioned.

Barreau: looking the part, playing the part

How much of your life is parallel to George Harrison’s? I’m not a multi-millionaire, I don’t live in Henley and I don’t meditate, so not much. I love The Beatles, I happen to impersonate George because I can look like him and sing like him, but on personal terms – nothing. You met Harrison in the late Nineties. How did that go? It was a great experience for us. He was really funny and very kind. The first thing he said was: “Who’s the bootleg Brian Epstein, because he’s got all the money.” He also said to me “hey you’ve got my eyes, that’s a good start”, which was a lovely thing to say. He was very chatty. How did you feel when Harrison died? It was terribly sad. We were on tour at the time (2001) and every night I would do a solo version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. It was incredibly emotional, not just for me – everybody was grieving for George at every venue we went to. I was really drained at the end of it. George Harrison would say that on stage, it was the Beatle George, and the bloke living his life was George Harrison. So, usually, performing while on tour was just about being the Beatle George. But that tour was different because of the constant outpouring of grief. Has being a Beatles impersonator got you into places you wouldn’t normally? It’s got me out of places! One of our guys’ surnames is Harrison, so we turned up to an airport in Prague, and they ushered us into the VIP area. Then they found out we were just the bootleg version and kicked us out. Funnily

enough, I played the slide guitar solo on Robbie Williams’ track, Angels. The producers wanted that done with a George-type solo in mind, so that’s how I ended up on the record. The Beatles have such a huge catalogue of tracks. Where do you even begin? You’ve got two levels of people that come to our gigs: people who like The Beatles and have four or five LPs, and the lunatics. We have to play to them both. You’re going to do Hey Jude; you’re going to do Twist And Shout; and you’re going to do Sergeant Pepper. But even obscure Beatles tracks have got a lot in them, because most people will be vaguely familiar with them. Hey Bulldog, for example, ended up on the soundtrack to the cartoon film Yellow Submarine. It’s got a great piano riff and such a great guitar solo and visceral vocals by John. People who don’t know it, go “wow, what is that, it’s amazing” and the people who do, say “I can’t believe you’ve done a track that I love and that’s sort of secret to me”. We play with an eight-piece orchestra, so can do all kinds of stuff even The Beatles couldn’t do. Do you use the instruments they used? Absolutely. You have to because they had such particular sounds – idiosyncratic things like the Höfner bass or 12-string Rickenbacker or another

make of 12-string guitar. The biggest thing, though, is playing like them. Anyone can hold an instrument, but you have to have the style of that player. We put a lot of attention to detail. But they were such a varied group, so it does take a lot of peeling back of the Beatle onion to get how they’re making that music. What’s been your most memorable gig? We got dressed up like The Beatles and played on the roof of the Apple building in 2009 for their 40th anniversary. No other group besides them had ever played there. What was also absolutely amazing was playing at Knebworth (1996) with Oasis. Years later, I spoke to one of the Chemical Brothers, who said they were on afterwards and it was a nightmare because doing their first couple of numbers, the crowd was still singing Hey Jude. He never forgave us for that. Have you ever encountered weird fans? I don’t think anybody’s ever been silly enough to think, “Oh, these must be the real Beatles”, so we don’t get screaming 12-year-old girls or anything. But I think John Lennon’s had the odd Japanese woman showing up occasionally. The Bootleg Beatles play at Hammersmith Apollo on December 19. £32.50 45 Queen Caroline Street, W6 9QH bootlegbeatles.com Hammersmith

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Inception 2: Erotic Hypnosis bombed without Leonardo

50/50 FILM review by Pierre de Villiers STARRING: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick | 15 | 100mins

THE THING FILM STARRING: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton | 15 | 102mins

The original The Thing, a horror classic released in 1982, featured Kurt Russell as his most awesome, doing battle with a shape-shifting alien in Antarctica. Nearly 30 years later, along comes the prequel. This time, there’s a sexy female scientist in the lead role – how scrupulously modern – with ‘Australia’s own’ Joel Edgerton riding shotgun. There’s one golden rule: if you don’t see the alien in the first 40 minutes, it will be a shitty film. Now that’s science. 26

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Seth Rogen’s mind works in strange ways. When his friend, writer Will Reiser, was diagnosed with spinal cancer in 2005, the comedian’s idea of consoling him was insisting they make a funny film about the ordeal. A cancer comedy? Surely not. And yet, 50/50 works extremely well, the film striking just the right balance between laughs and sombre moments. Adam (Gordon-Levitt) is a young radio journalist given a 50/50 chance of survival after being diagnosed with a cancerous tumour. The people in his life have no idea how to handle the news; best friend Kyle (Rogen) suggests he tries to get sympathy sex, while uptight girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) wants to run away but feels guilty. Thrown into the mix is inexperienced counsellor Katherine (Kendrick), who starts falling for Adam. Despite the subject matter, Jonathan Levine’s film never becomes too mawkish. Gordon-Levitt puts in such a wonderfully understated performance that when Adam finally cracks, it packs a huge emotional punch. Rogen is spot-on as his slacker mate who shoots from the lip, while there is also a memorable turn from Anjelica Huston as Adam’s mother. Thanks to an excellent script, the cast has a lot to work with, from a hilarious, cringe-inducing scene where Adam and Kyle try to pick up sympathetic women to Katherine’s awkward counselling sessions. Turns out Rogen was right to get Reiser to put pen to paper. GOOD FOR: a different take on dealing with cancer. See our interview with Seth Rogen on P28


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GIVE US A

ED BYRNE: CROWD PLEASER

GIGGLE!

COMEDY

He’s one of the most in-demand stand-ups around at the moment, so don’t miss your chance to see Ed Byrne and his delightful Irish brogue at this fit-for-purpose comedy den. Byrne does a nice line in observational banter – it never feels like an assault on decency but there are also sure to be a few zinging punchlines.

Ha ha!

Hammersmith Apollo 45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH. Dec 4. £20 hammersmithapollo.net Hammersmith

HAMLET

HAPPY FEET 2

THEATRE

FILM

THE REAL MCGUFFINS

Elsinore is a secure psychiatric institution – a prison of buzzers and clanging metal doors, where Sally Dexter’s nervy, clingy Gertrude fusses round the man in charge (James Clyde’s sharp-suited Claudius) as he administers her medication. Michael Sheen’s Hamlet, all wild hair and stubble, is mesmerising in his madness.

In the past 12 years, George Miller, the Aussie director behind Mad Max and Babe, has only made a couple of films. There was 2006’s Happy Feet and now its sequel. But if your all-singing, all-dancing penguins rake in £400m at the box office, why work more than you need to? Elijah Wood – who, a method actor to the last, actually appears in the film in full penguin costume and make-up – leads an all-star voice cast.

What makes you funny? We’re a sketch comedy trio – Dan ‘EastEnders’ March, Jim ‘Oliver!’ Millard and Matt ‘nothing’ Sheahan. We perform fast-paced, pun-filled sketches – not sure why they’re funny, but we enjoy humiliating Matt and people laugh.

Young Vic Young Vic, 66 The Cut, SE1 8LZ. Until Jan 21. £10+ youngvic.org Southwark

On general release from December 2

CATWALK TO COVER: A FRONT ROW SEAT

JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK

EXHIBITION

THEATRE

Budding fashionistas are offered a behind-thescenes look at the process of staging a catwalk show, with backstage shots pulling back the curtain on events by Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs and the late Alexander McQueen. Photos are accompanied by samples of clothing and a retrospective on the origins of the fashion show.

Fortune smiles, briefly, on the impoverished Boyle household during the Irish Civil War when young men are dying for conflicting causes. In this solid co-production with Ireland’s Abbey Theatre, it’s impossible not to feel for Ronan Raftery’s Johnny, the family’s twice-injured son who’s lost both a limb and his peace of mind.

Fashion and Textile Museum 83 Bermondsey St, SE1 3XF. Until Feb 25. £7 ftmlondon.org London Bridge

Lyttelton at the National South Bank, SE1 9PX. Until Feb 26. £12+ nationaltheatre.org.uk Waterloo

What’s the best heckle you’ve ever had? It was an unintelligible rant from a drunk man who staggered through the audience and through a fire exit. We found out he was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and was due to make a speech on parliamentary effectiveness the next morning. Apparently he had no memory of the incident – memory-loss being a common trait among politicians. How do you deal with hecklers? Jim has two young sons so he uses his ‘Dad voice’, which usually works, but once we had to restrain him when he tried to put a coach-load of Dutch tourists on the ‘thinking step’. Telll us a joke. How many MacGuffins does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three – Matt to screw it in, Dan to keep flicking the light switch on and off and Jim to point and laugh at Matt’s crazy dancing. Boom-tish! Best Act Of 2011 Grand Final. Dec 9. £10. The Music Palace, N8 9BT Hornsey

boomtish.co.uk

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‘Hardest-working man in Hollywood’: Seth Rogen 28

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Can you make cancer funny? Seth Rogen has carved a niche by mining laughs from awkward material. In 50/50, cancer gets the treatment WORDS PIERRE DE VILLIERS Seth Rogen should really be on his honeymoon. Having recently tied the knot with long-time girlfriend, Lauren Miller, the curly-topped comedian could be forgiven if he decided against promoting his latest film 50/50 in favour of romantic sunsets in a tropical location. However, as a cackling Rogen arrives for his chat, it’s clear he’s more than happy putting his holiday on hold for the most personal movie he has ever made. “Me and writer Will Reiser are spending my honeymoon together talking about 50/50,” Rogen says with a shrug. “But, you know, I have always been a vocal proponent of making the film because I really think it’s unlike anything else that’s out there.” Part biopic, part cancer comedy, 50/50 is certainly unique. Inspired by Rogen’s and Reiser’s experiences after the latter was diagnosed with spinal cancer in 2005, it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, a 27-year-old radio journalist who gets devastating news from his doctor. Given a 50/50 chance of surviving a cancerous tumour in his back, he receives support and dubious advice from best friend, Kyle (Rogen). The friendship between Adam and Kyle mirrors that of Reiser and Rogen, who met working on Da Ali G Show. “Will was always really sick – it was like in Raiders Of The Lost Ark when those people were melting,” Rogen recalls. “We were obviously shocked and saddened when he told us he had cancer but in a way it was a huge relief to find out that there was a reason he looked so bad. We thought he was just living hard. Will told us he would live, which was good news, and we began a long process that we were all pretty ill-equipped to deal with.” While Rogen was supportive as a friend, his instincts as a filmmaker made him realise that what Reiser was going through – and how awkwardly people around him behaved – would make for an interesting film. “If you experience something, especially if you are a movie fan, you relate it to a movie that is similar to whatever that experience is,” Rogen says. “For instance, if someone steals your identity, you think of Trading Places. For us, we couldn’t think of any movie that was like what we were going through, except for really sad, depressing movies about older people who die, so we thought this might be interesting. I’d never seen a movie about a young dude who has to deal with a potentially fatal disease.”

The first time Rogen and Reiser discussed the possibility of turning Reiser’s battle against cancer into a film, it turned into an evening neither of them would ever forget. “We went out and it was an eventful night because Will also introduced me to my wife,” remembers Rogen. With 50/50 featuring scenes where Adam and Kyle use Adam’s illness to pick up sympathetic girls, you have to wonder if life imitated art when Rogen first met Lauren Miller. “Is there such a thing as sympathy sex?” the comedian muses before letting fly with one of his trademark guffaws. “Is there any other kind? No, I didn’t really need to play on the fact that my friend had cancer when I met my wife. She was aware of it because she was friends with Will before. Although, it did illustrate how compassionate I was.” While Rogen pokes fun at how uncomfortable many people are around those with cancer in 50/50, the comedian admits he makes the same mistakes in real life. “We’ve done so many screenings at cancer organisations and afterwards people come up to us and say they’ve gone through the same experience,” he says. “And we do ››

Rogen with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50

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Screenwriter Will Reiser with actors Bryce Dallas Howard, Anna Kendrick and Rogen

Our hero: Rogen in The Green Hornet

Rogen and wife Lauren Miller

all the stuff that you shouldn’t. It’s almost like you are compelled to do the exact wrong thing. I think so long as you can take a step back and laugh at yourself, that’s what’s important. My character cares, but doesn’t know how to articulate it so he tries to make light of it and have fun in the situation. At its core, I guess that’s a good attitude. He’s trying to look on the bright side and see what good can come out of it, but Kyle is rather insensitive about it and I was too. I was telling Will to write a movie about it.” To ensure 50/50 was not turned into a melodramatic blubfest, Rogen and Reiser kept the film below the radars of big Hollywood studios.

Movies with robots will always do well

30

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50/50 is on general release

Photos: Getty

“We made a very wise choice early on to approach it from a modest place financially,” Rogen says. “We knew a studio wouldn’t want to finance it or distribute it and if they did they would probably fuck it up. Once you decide to make a film for $8m (£5.1m) it is not that hard to get it done. It was less than half the price of any other movie we’ve made.” The new film is just the latest addition to Rogen’s CV, which mostly comprises low-fi comedies (Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), but also a superhero film (The Green Hornet) and a lot of superb vocal work (Monsters Vs Aliens, Paul). Since his breakthrough performance in The 40-Year-Old Virgin in 2005, the comedian

has starred in 10 movies that have grossed close to US$100m or more at the box office, with Forbes magazine recently crowning him ‘The Hardest-Working Man in Hollywood’. Ask Rogen about his success and he stresses the importance of sticking to what you know. “I’ve been doing stand-up since I was young and always felt the funniest jokes was based on things that happened to me,” he says. “I have always been a believer that even if the movie you are making is abstract, it is good basing it on something that you had gone through.” Rogen is hopeful his latest film will find an audience but admits it is fighting an uphill battle against the trend of CGI-laden blockbusters. “All I know is that movies with robots always do well,” he says with a wry smile. “But, you know, comedies have done pretty well over the last year. Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher and Horrible Bosses did well. I thought Midnight In Paris was great. There were a lot of comedies this year that people seemed to like.” Whether 50/50 is a huge critical or commercial hit or not, it will always have special significance for Rogen. In making the film with Reiser the two have become even closer friends while his relationship with Lauren Miller is also intrinsically linked with the movie. “I met her when we first started talking about the film and we got married on the weekend 50/50 opened in the United States so it came full circle,” he says, before adding with a chuckle. “The moral of the story is that it takes the exact same time to develop a relationship and get married that it does to make a movie.” ❚


(before 9:30pm)

425 New Kings Road SW6 4RN Tube: Putney Bridge (District Line)


SPARETIME

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Sony Move Fitness PlayStation 3

Step into your own high-tech gym and trim right up. £14.99 amazon.co.uk

Single

Nab the debut single from the gal tipped to make waves on the alternative-folk scene. £TBC myspace.com

ABBA: You Can Dance Wii

Rihanna: Talk That Talk

Star in your own mini-musical or just treat your mates to a cheesy pop dance off. £24.99 amazon.co.uk

CD

Expect this sixth studio album from the Bajan babe to be a chart-topper. £11.99 amazon.co.uk

Off Exploring iPhone app

Write a blog while you travel, even while offline. Free itunes.apple.com

Craig Taylor: Londoners Book

The Canadian author interviews everyone from beekeepers to bankers about this turbulent city we live in. £20.00 waterstones.com

Sting 25 iPad app

Sting’s 25 years as a solo artist are covered in photos, lyrics, and footage. Free itunes.apple.com

Gypsy Boy On The Run: Mikey Walsh Book

Arctic Force Snow Trac-Ball

A gripping coming of age tale about a boy’s escape from a Traveller camp. £4.29 amazon.co.uk

Gadget

Launch perfect, aerodynamic snowballs straight at your target. Game on. £8.00 cotswoldoutdoor.

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DVD box set

Harry and the team attempt to save national security in the final run of this spy drama. £29.99 amazon.co.uk

Pickmaster Plectrum Punch Gadget

Guitar picks have been made from many things. Now add credit card to the list. £21.99 firebox.com

The Inbetweeners Movie DVD

The gang goes to Spain to ‘ave it large among beaches, booze and babes. £11.97 hmv.com

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App of the Week Instant Wild iPhone app

Answer the call of the wild with this app that allows you to see live pictures of animals taken by hidden cameras all over the world. Free itunes.apple.com


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Velvet tie coat Wrap yourself up in this feminine mustard coat. Don’t forget to tie the bow on top... topshop.com

Men’s crew neck jumper Keep toasty inside this wintry teal patterned pullover. topman.com

Fairisle knit coat Keep the chill off in this lined and padded coat with knitted exterior and faux fur collar. prodigyred.com

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SHOPWATCH NOMAD POP-UP CINEMA

The Nomad Cinema, the group responsible for the open-air film screenings around London in the summer, have set up at Whiteley’s Shopping Centre. Their popup venue will sell film posters and original cinematic artwork alongside film screenings. But this temporary film experience offers more than just a standard night at the flicks – enjoy a mix of movies whilst you hang out in a ball pond sipping cocktails and eating sweets provided by a popup bar, or perhaps sitting atop the glass platform munching on some popcorn. Whether you get your kicks from cult classics such as Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Dawn Of The Dead or you would rather catch up on recent blockbuster releases like Tree Of Life and Bridesmaids, this venue is a top-rate movie fan’s hangout. OPEN Until December 21; 8pm screenings (Sat & Sun 3pm matinees) COST £8 adult; FREE when you spend £10 or more at a Whiteley’s restaurant whiteleys.com 151 Queensway, W2 4YN Bayswater/ Queensway

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Men’s sheepskin slippers Treat your toesies right in these genuine British sheepskin slips. justsheepskin.com

whitestuff.com

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LIFESTYLEHEALTH CLASS OF THE WEEK

SHAOLIN KUNG FU Based on the ancient Shaolin Lohan style of Kung Fu, called Fut Gar (Buddhist Fist), you’d assume that Shaolin Kung Fu is a fast, heavy-weight practice. But running more along the lines of Buddhist than fist, Shaolin Kung Fu champions controlled technique and body mechanics. Instead of pounding weights in the gym, you’ll be learning a new skill (you never know when you might need some Kung Fu moves). And these moves help you tone up – especially around the thighs, bum, upper arms and stomach – and burn calories quick. You’ll be punching, kicking and using your own body weight to get fit. Combat techniques such as take-downs, throws and nerve points are taught (don’t take these outside the studio). Instructors make it clear that Shaolin Kung Fu isn’t a sport, but a martial art and that students have to keep to rules of courtesy. Sounds like a polite way of having a laugh while learning some moves and getting fit to us. And it’s been around for thousands of years so we can’t argue with its fitness benefits. Classes run every Tuesday from 6.30pm-8.30pm and all levels are welcome.

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Hangover cures The party season is underway, try these simple tips to avoid feeling like death the morning after WORDS CLARE VOOGHT

Before you start drinking Prevention is the best cure, so make sure your body is in tip-top condition before you head out for a night on the tiles. HAVE VEGGIES IN YOUR DINNER We all know if you embark on an evening of carnage after skipping dinner it’ll end in tears the next morning. But what you eat also counts – vegetables will provide antioxidants to protect your cells. CHEW THE FAT This is one of the few times you can justify eating something fatty – fat is digested slowly and it protects your stomach from being irritated by the alcohol.

Booze to avoid It’s not always how much you drink that can make you feel rough the next day, but what you guzzle. STAY OFF THE CHEAP STUFF Australia’s National Drug Research Institute

has found that bargain booze, especially whisky and champers, contains more congeners (toxic chemicals that give you hangovers) than the pricier stuff. DRINK MORE VODKA Clear spirits like voddy are supposed to have fewer congeners in them, so they’re less likely to cause hangovers than coloured drinks, which have more additives.

When you stumble in Damage limitation is key when you’ve just arrived home, ultra-lashed. REACH FOR THE OJ Not only will it hydrate you, but having a glass of orange juice just before you crash out in bed will help replenish blood sugar and vitamin C stocks. ... OR THE MILK It’ll probably seem disgusting at the time, but milk contains a chemical that produces serotonin, which helps you get a good night’s sleep.

Ashcroft Technology Academy, 100 West Hill, SW15 2UT kungfuputney.co.uk East Putney

Don’t neck the cheap stuff

Go easy on the bacon 34

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Top hangover cure

Rubbing lemons on yourself? Worth a shot...


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Reaching for a glass of OJ the night before, could ward off a hangover

LOOKING GOOD

Hope & Glory shea bath melts A relaxing gift from Blighty £20 heylandandwhittle.co.uk

RUB YOURSELF WITH LEMONS In Puerto Rico, they swear by rubbing lemon juice into their armpits to stop dehydration through sweating. Anything’s worth a shot...

The morning after When you feel like a bag of spanners, and probably look a lot like one too, here’s how to get back on form. REHYDRATE Getting hydrated is the only way to shift that pounding headache. GP, Dr Roger Henderson recommends drinking fluid replacement drinks, such as Oralyte (£3.99, boots.com). These aren’t just made of water, they’re filled with electrolytes and essential minerals that you’ll have lost the night before.

DITCH THE BACON SARNIES Contrary to popular belief – and cravings – this meatilicious hangover Holy Grail will actually make you feel worse. West Londonbased celebrity personal trainer Mark Anthony always advises against a bacon sandwich because the amount of salt inside will dehydrate you even more. EAT BANANAS INSTEAD Alcohol saps potassium from the body, which regulates the fluid balance and aids nerve and muscle function. So, to help you feel better, NEXT WEEK cosy up on the sofa Festive fashion: with some bananas, Dressing for Xmas which are packed with the stuff.

Show good face foundation & primer Gorgeous winter skin £11 soapandglory.com

Agent provocateur L’agent Luxury Sexy soap on a rope £20 houseoffraser.co.uk

Photos: Thinkstock

TOP TREATMENT: THE GOOD HOUR If massages don’t usually do it for you, this will change your mind. You’ll be lulled into sheer relaxation – in a faux sea mist with the sounds of music and creaking planks, it feels like you’re peacefully floating over the ocean on a paradise ship while you’re massaged with soft jelly discs. Then BAM, you’re brought back to the modern world with comical Captain Pugwash music and given a cup of tea laced with rum. £75

Mixing drinks ... with massage

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Slick Skin spray No more chaffing for sporties £11.49 slickskin.co.uk

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35


LIFESTYLECAREERS

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Vivid: Topshop’s window brings a high street to life

Keeping it visual An expert army of elves are behind the Christmas windows that dazzle on the high streets at this time of year WORDS REBECCA KENT Enlivened by spectacular 3D scenes of everything from a white Christmas to an eerie one, high street windows glow like beacons at this time of year. Behind the displays, experts work around-the-clock to make them happen. They say it should take around eight seconds for a window to lure a shopper inside to part with their hard-earned dosh – so it’s essential it not only looks good, but that it does the job. With that in mind, designers are tasked with being as creative as possible. But, with all kinds of props and technology available these days, help is at hand to whip up a masterpiece. “It is supposed to make shoppers screech to a halt and say, ‘I’m going to look inside’,” says Jonathan Baker, 44, a course director at the London College 36

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of Fashion. “To do that, you must know the product, who you are targeting, what the trends are, how much space is being paid for, and whether or not to go into the hard sell. For example, you are not going to put an Alexander McQueen dress in the window with hundreds of other products because it would only devalue it.” There are usually three teams behind dressing a window: design, production and styling. Ultimately, their aim is to increase sales in store – with senior visual merchandising staff bearing the brunt of that responsibility. Apprenticeships were once an acceptable way to start out in the industry, but, nowadays, because it’s so competitive, you are more likely to land work by being qualified. It

can be a straightforward path up the career ladder. “If you are a junior, be prepared to be the one who holds the pins,” says visual merchandising expert Baker. “But you can move between companies easily; you might be a junior somewhere, move up to a supervisor role, then get a job in another company as a visual merchandise or display manager, then go to another brand and be a creative director. That’s where the money is.” Indeed it is. The salary of a creative director is about £150,000 compared to £18,000 for a junior. As a visual merchandiser, it’s essential to know what tools you have at your disposal and when to use them: animatronics, “a bit dated,” says Baker; lighting, “a crucial component”;


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LIFESTYLECAREERS ON THE JOB BEN WELLER CAREER Architect AGE 28 LIVES Clapham FROM Leeds

An institution: Harrods

How did you get into your line of work? I’ve always had an interest in art and physics at school, but art was deemed a financially insecure profession. I became fascinated by architecture by visiting such iconic buildings as the Sydney Opera House.

Simple: displays must lure shoppers headless mannequins, MARK BRIGGS, STORE the biggest challenge, “perhaps for the likes MANAGER, HARRODS: especially when you of Primark which has a have to work with “At least a year of planning goes broader market”; busts; into each season’s displays and other teams,” Shapiro and augmented reality. says. “The creative there are steps the store image These days, you can put team might like what’s team must follow. First, they must a cardboard cutout of biggest and best, but brainstorm to identify the theme, a watch on your wrist, then we visualise the agreed theme, often we’d have to say and hold it up to a we can’t afford that. and finally, we work out a budget. shop window, to see “But in saying that, Harrods has a mile-and-a-quarter a computer-generated we’re lucky. Selfridges of windows; 72 in total must be version instead. is innovative with its dressed. We have a 100-strong With so many windows, so we get to team, 15 of them on window unwieldy props, the displays. Our windows need to have treat them like an art job is physical. There is gallery.” The pressures an equal balance between showa lot of time spent up might be great and the casing the products we sell, and ladders and changing hours anti-social, but offering customers a sensational mannequins. the pay-off is instant set of seasonal displays.” Abi Shapiro, 28, satisfaction. works in the production Shapiro adds: “It’s a team at Selfridges – it’s Christmas great feeling when people are taking windows have a ‘musical panel’ photos of our windows, or when they function, where if you touch the glass, tell us how much they like them. We it triggers a tune to play. are all passionate about our jobs, so it’s “Essentially, we have to take a 2D always great to get feedback.” image and turn it into a 3D reality, The London College of Fashion trying to achieve depth by using props offers a degree course in fashion retail of the right scale,” she says. “We have branding and visual merchandising – a room full of manual tools such as see fashion.arts.ac.uk. For hammers, screwdrivers and drills – the other courses standard tool kit for any DIY.” see british NEXT WEEK Between the three teams, putting displaysociety. together a window is a 24-hour job and co.uk and Working abroad: Vietnam spotlight a high-pressured one, too. skillsmart “Working to time and budget is retail.com.

What do you do day-to-day? I am currently designing the internal apartment layouts for residential blocks in Battersea, but at the same time, I answer technical or detail queries from contractors during construction. What is the best part of your job? It is incredibly rewarding to witness your designs being built in front of you. What’s the most challenging? The strict and challenging design deadlines when combined with a number of urgent technical queries can be very stressful at times.

HOW TO...

FREELANCE • Analyse your current situation. What core skills, talents and experience do you have that would be of immense value to employers, not just in your industry, but others?

• You have the benefit of

flexibility. Schedule your week, factoring in when you’ll do paid work, personal development, admin, etc.

• Start selling your skills, but

don’t stretch yourself too thin. Give yourself time to get a grasp on the lifestyle.

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37


The Serious Fraud Office is New Zealand’s leading agency for investigating and prosecuting serious financial crimes. We currently have opportunities for talented individuals in several roles.

Investigating Lawyer

Investigator

Forensic Accountant

We have a number of roles which would particularly suit:

Reporting to a Case Manager, this role is responsible for leading the interviewing and evidence gathering process. You will be required to prepare investigation plans, reports, correspondence, briefings and submissions. You will be able to actively develop collaborative working relationships with SFO’s partners in law enforcement as well as other public and private sector stakeholders.

We have a number of roles which would suit:

• Experienced litigators who wish to broaden their experience into the investigative stages of a criminal case; • Experienced commercial practitioners with broad business experience interested in taking their career in a new direction. This is a varied role and combines many responsibilities, including: • Contributing to the investigation strategy of a case; • Participating in investigations, including witness and suspect interviews; • Providing legal opinions to the investigation team; • Drafting case reports and, where required, charges; • Acting as instructing solicitor, including drafting and overseeing the preparation of court documents; and • Appearing as required in Court on preliminary matters (bail, name suppression etc) and supporting prosecution panel members at trials. Successful candidates will be:

The successful applicant will: • Have a law enforcement/investigative background; • Ideally also have some experience in either a commercial organisation or in a relevant regulatory agency; • Be financially literate; • Have excellent analytical, communication and organisational skills; • Enjoy the intellectual challenge of working in a complex and commercial area of criminal law; • Be an extremely confident person with excellent relationship management skills.

• Energetic and results driven; • Intellectually capable of working alongside leading criminal prosecutors; • Excellent team players; and • Experienced in investigations and litigation.

• Experienced Forensic Accountants who wish to continue their work in the context of some of the country’s biggest and most complex fraud cases; • Experienced accountants with broader business experience open to taking their career in a new direction; • Accountants of all levels of experience from major firms who want to expand their experience and take on a new role. The expectations of these roles include: • • • •

Contributing to the investigation strategy of a case; In-depth accounting and financial analysis; Conducting witness and suspect interviews; and Providing expert evidence in Court.

The successful applicants will have: • A relevant tertiary qualification and membership of NZICA or equivalent organisation; • Excellent written skills, including report writing; • Established relationships within either the accounting profession or other industries, and commercial acumen.

Please send your CV and covering letter to Leigh Macleod, Executive Assistant at leigh.macleod@sfo.govt.nz A copy of the position description is available on our website at www.sfo.govt.nz If you would like to discuss the positions in confidence please contact Victoria Currey, General Manager Corporate Services, on 021 675 906 or victoria.currey@sfo.govt.nz Applications close Monday, 9 January 2012.

Highly Skilled Healthcare Assistants Earn up to

£900 PER WEEK

We are currently recruiting experienced Healthcare Assistants on behalf of private clients who are living at home in Richmond/Twickenham, Wandsworth, Sutton and Merton and the surrounding London Boroughs. ● ● ● ● ● ●

Applicants must hold an overseas or UK nursing qualification and be willing to work as a highly skilled healthcare assistant for Clients with ventilators at home Applicants with an NVQ 2 or 3 certificate/s who have experience with spinal cord injury Live-in positions available – earn up to £150 per 24 hours Shifts Monday – Sunday (Days £12-£15 p/h; Nights £15 p/h). Previous experience caring for highly dependent clients with neuro-disability would be an advantage. Contracted full-time hours available

To apply please send CVs to

info@hfhhealthcare.co.uk (Please quote reference TNTNOV) 38

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HFH is an equal opportunities employer


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CASH-SAVING TIPS SNAP UP A CHEAP TIPPLE Xxxxxxxxx Make a drinking friend very happy this Christmas XXXXXXXXX – and save yourself a Xxxxxxxxxxx fortune. Aldi is offering a whopping £250 discount XXXXXXXXX on a 40-year-old luxury Xxxxxxxxxxx Scottish whisky. From December 8, the German XXXXXXXXX supermarket will sell Xxxxxxxxxxx Speyside Single Malt Whisky for £49.99 instead XXXXXXXXX of its usual price of £300. Xxxxxxxxxxx But with only seven bottles per store, you’ll need to be quick. FIND LOCAL SALES Use the Local Sale Finder app – free for iPhones – to hunt down bargains on clothes, travel and restaurants in your area. Just punch in the postcode of where you are and away you go. See itunes.apple.com

HOW YOU SPEND IT! Any money-saving tips? Pack a lunch. I always bring a sandwich rather than spending money in a café. It saves me a £25 a week. Last big blow-out? My student Oyster card. While £75 isn’t bad for a month of unlimited travel, it’s still a lot on a budget.

MARY PAVLU, 20 JOB Online team assistant, Allison At Home FROM New York LIVES Kensington How do you budget? I give myself a weekly

Photos: Getty

stipend. This helps me to decide if what I’m about to purchase is worth it or not. I usually have money left over at the end of the week, which makes me feel better about splurging on weekend trips.

What non-essential items do you spend money on? Winter accessories! I can’t say no to the adorable mittens, scarves, and hats I find at various markets. I guess you could say that I’m pretty anxious for the first snowfall.

HOW THEY SPEND IT! Mad Hatters Remember Princess Beatrice, 22, and her Kate & Wills wedding hat that looked like a pretzel? The royal sold it on eBay for £81,000 – though other hats have topped that

EAT GREEK Until 29 December, you can pull off a classy date at The Real Greek restaurants for just £20. Print a voucher at therealgreek. com, take it to a venue of your choice, and you’ll get seven dishes to share between two people, plus a free drink each. SETH ROGAN /28 LAPLAND /68

LIFESTYLEMONEY

❚ In August, John Lennon’s cowboy hat, worn in the Beatles’ 1965 US tour, fetched £5500 at auction. Can’t Buy Me Love? Maybe not. But money can buy you a lovely hat. ❚ The original tattered

A pricey bow

fedora worn by Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull sold for £12,300 at a charity auction last year.

❚ U2’s Bono misplaced his hat in London while he was in Italy this summer ... so he bought a £1070 plane ticket for some guy to fly and fetch it for him. As you do. ❚ The ‘Chapeau d’Amour’ (hat of love) was created in 2004 and was made using woven platinum and is covered in diamonds. Worth £1.5m, it’s the most expensive hat in the world.

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39


LIFESTYLELIVING

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HOME

STYLE . £18

00

Fiat 500 mug set The best way to serve Italian coffee mad4gifts.co.uk

Common people Clapham, SW4/8/9/11

99 £9.

There’s nowt like a stroll through the common

WORDS AZZAM ALKADHI

Campervan chalkboard For messages to plan road trips wonkybunny.co.uk

.99 £15

Cube clock Make your mark and assemble this yourself thediscoverystore.co.uk

99 £4.

Mo ho ho mug For if you can’t quite give up Movember firebox.com 40

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Clapham covers a broad part of London and each area has different experiences to offer, Clapham Junction’s rough-around-theedges feel seeming a world away from the Common’s pristine, clean-cut image. Such variety is what makes the location special. Independent delis mix with ethnic supermarkets, fast-food outlets, gastropubs and upmarket cafes, while boutique fashion retailers stand next to large chains and second-hand shops. British middle-class families (attracted by larger homes and a community feel) live sideby-side with antipodean visitors, Hispanic students and a thriving Afro-Caribbean population. Visit Roti Joupa on Clapham High Street for a taste of the Caribbean. Young professionals are enticed by the bars and nightlife – it’s notorious as a place they move to after uni. Fraser Allen, from Featherstone Leigh estate agents on Lavender Hill, is a big fan of the area’s diversity. “The cross-section gives the area a great atmosphere,” he says. “Those who rent in Clapham often choose to buy here.” It’s no wonder. Clapham has a villagelike atmosphere, but is in no way small or isolated. Three northern line Tube stations – Clapham North, Clapham Common and Clapham South – get you to central London quickly, while overground and rail services from Clapham Junction go to Waterloo, Westfield, East London and Victoria. You can also escape the city and catch a train to Guildford, the south coast or Gatwick

Airport if you’re going further afield. Aside from hanging out on Clapham Common, there are loads of ways to keep entertained. The Sun in the Old Town (thesunclapham.co.uk) serves up tasty grub and has a patio with palm trees, plenty of seating and heaters for when there’s a nip in the air. The Plough (theploughstjohnshill. co.uk) has a wide selection of wines and beers and plenty of room inside. Considered a cultural landmark, the Clapham Picturehouse, with its eclectic mix of arthouse and mainstream cinema, is definitely worth a visit. For a night out, there are plenty of notorious meat-markets such as the Clapham Grand (claphamgrand.com) or Infernos

Clapham: great variety (infernos.co.uk). For something a bit classier, hit Lavender Hill and Northcote Road. Try the slightly cramped but quirkily decorated Bar Social (barsocial.co.uk) or Mishmash Bar (mishmashbar.com) if you fancy a boogie.


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MY AREA JESSICA WOOD Trainee

barrister, 25 “I love Clapham! It feels like a different world compared with the rest of the city, like an overgrown village. The Falcon [Bedford Road] does an amazing Sunday lunch.”

NED

SCOTT Architecture

student, 26

Locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out. A favourite with those in the know is the modestly named Amazing Thai on Lavender Hill, where you’ll also find loads of tapas bars and Italian, Mexican and British restaurants to choose from. Clapham has had some bad press recently, thanks to the riots. But things are now on an even keel. Paul Jones, of Keating estate agents in Clapham Common, says: “The community spirit really came to the fore. The clean up was great to see and everyone has been determined to get things back to normal as soon as possible.”

Properties to rent are a mix of Victorian conversions, ex-council flats and luxury and affordable new developments The most popular spots are the streets around Clapham High Street or Northcote Road, with their buzzing vibe and good transport links. And there are bargains to be had in the streets north of Lavender Hill. So whether you’re after a cheap and NEXT WEEK cheery flatshare or something a bit more Xmas decorating swanky, Clapham’s on the cheap got you covered.

“I’ve lived here all my life and wouldn’t dream of moving. I love Newton’s [Abbeville Road] for dinner or a salad box from The North Street Deli for a quick bite.”

PHILIP

WROE Journalist, 25

“What I love about Clapham is the diversity of the area. There is such a great mix of people here and so much to do. It’s also really handy for getting into central London.”

SW4 INFO BOROUGH

Lambeth COUNCIL TAX

£1,235.11 TRAVEL TIME TO LONDON

10mins FLATSHARE £700pcm

ONE-BEDROOM FLAT £1,712pcm

TWO-BEDROOM FLAT £1,650pcm

Set on a quiet residential street just moments from the Common, and within walking distance of the bars and amenities of the High Street and Old Town.

Located in a development near Clapham Junction station, offering great views of the city. With a double bedroom and open plan kitchen/living/dining area.

A two-bedroom conversion flat with large reception room in Clapham Common, close to the High Street and useful rail, bus and underground links.

moveflat.com

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TUBE

Zone 2, Northern Line stations and Overground AVERAGE ROOM SHARE 1 BED

£650pcm AVERAGE RENTAL 1 BED

£1,200pcm AVERAGE FLAT 1 BED

£350,000

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41


WORLDVIEW

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It’s tradition: A giant inflatable Spider-Man was one of the star attractions at last week’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. It’s part of the tradition that celebrates the Pilgrims and the Native Americans coming together in Plymouth in 1621 and blowing up enormous balloons decorated to look like superheroes

Ali G led the West Staines Massive

STAINES HOPES TO SHED ALI G STIGMA UNITED KINGDOM The Berkshire town of Staines, indelibly associated with wannabe gangsta Ali G, is poised to change its name to Staines-on-Thames. Council officials may say they want to capitalise on the town’s place on the Thames, but some in the community feel the change is an absurd PR stunt. “Changing the name exposes the town to ridicule, it turns its back on 1,500 years of history and is not necessary,” said Steve Parsons, the secretary at Staines Town Football Club. “That is the reason why people see this as ridiculous – places that change their names are places like Stalingrad.” TWEETS OF THE WEEK @Stephen Fry I’ve been diagnosed with chronic fear of giants; Feefiphobia @SamuelLJackson From one thankful muhfukkah to the resta yall, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! @Lord_Voldemort7 Everyone complains about the economy & yet a movie about sparkling vampires made $200 million internationally in three days.

ROMP ENDS BADLY FOR HOLIDAYMAKERS CANARY ISLANDS A cheeky shag in a hotel stairwell nearly ended in tragedy for a 49-yearold woman, who tripped during the act and ended up dangling naked, her leg trapped between the banisters. Her husband contacted the emergency services and firemen freed the red-faced woman. She was taken to hospital where 42

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she was diagnosed with a broken ankle, and to add to the embarrassment, the sirens on the ambulance weren’t working so she had to be given a police escort. A police spokesman said: “Her good luck was that getting her leg caught stopped her from falling. Her bad luck was that she broke her ankle, was naked and couldn’t get free.” Where would we be without police spokesmen to clarify these things?

DIY COSMETIC SURGERY BACKFIRES UNITED STATES A woman posing as a doctor used cement, mineral oil and flat-tyre sealant to enlarge a patient’s bum. Oneal Ron Morris (right) has been

charged with practising medicine without a licence with serious bodily injury after taking $700 to perform the operation. Morris, 30, was born a man but identifies as a woman, and is believed to have used the procedure on herself as well. Miami Gardens Police sergeant Bill Bamford said Morris told the woman: “We just keep injecting you with the stuff and it all works itself out.” After falling ill afterwards, the victim went to hospital where doctors smelled a rat. “No licensed physician in his right mind would ever do this,” Bamford said.


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THIS WEEK

IN NUMBERS 417

Cost, in pounds, of booze stolen from an Oldham petrol station. The thieves slunk back when their car ran out of gas

Nickelback: number one with bogans

FINAL SOLUTION FOR NICKELBACK PROBLEM

UNITED STATES

New software enables internet users to program their browsers to censor all references to Nickelback, the muchderided Canadian soft-metal act. Music blog Aux.com has launched a free internet plugin called ‘Nickelblock’ that removes any trace of Chad Kroeger and his Canadian bandmates during websurfing sessions. The website said it would help browsers avoid references to the band’s new album, Here And Now. “Once installed, Nickelblock will eliminate all mention of Alberta’s finest swamp heshers from your web browser. That’s it. You’ll never read about Nickelback again,” it says.

BURGLARS BUSTED BY BEACHY BIG BROTHER

Photos: Getty

AUSTRALIA A vigilant Melbourne man used CCTV to bust burglars ransacking his house, despite being on holiday in Mauritius at the time. Using an iPad to stream the footage while 8000km away, the victim was horrified to find his house being cleared out. “I was shocked,” the homeowner said. “I was watching them for a good two minutes before I called the cops. I didn’t know what to do.” The man bought the cameras on eBay for $89 (£55) each about three years ago to help keep his house safe. Springvale constable Bianca Aitken, one of three officers called to the incident, said she had never heard of such a case: “You obviously have CCTV footage, which helps,

Incidents last year where London firefighters were called to free people with body parts stuck in household items

10

Minutes it took eating champion Sonya Thomas to scoff five pounds of turkey at a contest in New York

Russians who queued in Moscow to see the Belt of the Virgin Mary, which supposedly boosts fertility in women

A ghost-octopus has turned up in Kent but to actually get them on an iPad from the other side of the world is a pretty good find, I think.”

SLEEPLESS NIGHTS WITH GROPING GHOST UNITED KINGDOM A grandmother in Kent insists her home is haunted by a touchy-feely ghost that tries to steal her duvet in the middle of the night. Doris Birch, a former nursing home assistant, said her struggles to fight off the groping ghoul are affecting her sleep. “It’s like an octopus,” she said. “It started four months ago. I was lying in bed when I felt this creepy pair of hands. I kicked frantically and it went away. Next time it came I hurled the duvet on the floor.” Doris, 78, said she may need to “call in the Ghostbusters”. “I told the vicar and he said it is a lost spirit. What I want to know is, why has it got lost in my flat?” she added.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK You can tell by reading the article she just hates us. What a fat, bitter thing you are. You’ve got a nothing job anyway. You’re a piece e of shitt Australian radio host Kyle Sandilands attacks a journalist who reported his low ratings


tntjobs.co.uk www.mykidscoach.co.uk

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JOB OF THE WEEK: Sales Support / Property Sales Progression Handler Location: Earlsfield, SW18 Salary: Up to £24,000 per annum Contact us today if you’re interested in joining a South African run Investment Company specialising in the buying and selling of UK residential properties. Estate Agent or Mortgage Case Handling background would be advantageous. Annette Pretorius | 020 8875 2090 | jobs@qi-properties.co.uk

JOB OF THE WEEK: Events Crew Location: London Salary: £6.50 - £10 per hour

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We are looking for reliable, hard working, well-presented team players with excellent spoken English who are not afraid of manual labour. SHERPA work is ideal for but not limited to Antipodeans in London on their working holiday visa as it is a great way to see London, meet new people and the hours are flexible.

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Multi award winning, Michelin starred restaurant (part of the small group which includes Michelin starred establishments La Trompette and The Glasshouse).

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OURVIEW

COMMENT: CLARE VOOGHT clare.vooght@tntmagazine.com

Thick as thieves: leaving the window open is just encouraging them

The burglar’s correct: it’s thick to leave windows open

Photos: Thinkstock

And a misspelt letter makes us consider where to place sympathy

A teen burglar from Leeds last week demonstrated just how ineffective the justice system can be, writing a letter telling a family that he wasn’t sorry for burgling their house and that they were stupid for leaving a window open. Forced to write the apology to his victims by the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Plan that’s supposed to be rehabilitating him, the 16-year-old serial offender laid into the family, explaining why it was “your fault anyways”. And while the letter described the family as “thick”, “stupid” and “dumb” for making it easy for him to burgle their house, it also made it painfully obvious that its writer was a sandwich short of a picnic in terms of his intelligence. The boy put capital letters in the middle and at the ends of words, and misspelled “remores”, “sympath” and “basicly”. Now the police have used his missive in a campaign to warn people how easy it is to get burgled, and the barely literate scrawl has been splashed around the press. Nicked and embarrassed on a nationwide scale. Who’s looking stupid now? However, as irritating as his cocky, adolescent, misspelt letter is, our burglar does have a point. The family – who live in an area with a notoriously high number of burglaries – left their curtains and a downstairs kitchen window open, practically saying: “Please come in and steal our brand new 42-inch TV, Playstation and recently acquired iPads. Oh, and don’t forget to help yourself to our 18-carat gold jewellery!” There’s a reason insurance won’t cover you if you do things like that: you’ve simply made it too easy. Now I know we’re supposed to feel sorry for the victims in all this, but it’s quite difficult to when all they had to do was shut the bloody window. No, my sympathies extend to a 16-year-old who’s had a bad education, is caught up in a cycle of crime, and becomes aggressive and defensive about what he’s done. Where’s he going to be in five years time? Stuff can be replaced, but what this boy’s lacking can’t. » Agree or disagree? Can burglaries be a victim’s fault? letters@tntmagazine.com

FINALLY, A PHONE APP FOR STALKERS Scientists have been hard at work, creating a new phone app that helps you make friends and find love by tracking like-minded people and telling you when they’re nearby. A wonderful way for busy types to meet people they have something in common with? Try just plain creepy. The system, called Jyotish (after the Sanskrit name for Hindu astrology) maps people’s movements by wi-fi and bluetooth to within ten minutes. The aim is to go even further, and match identities to social profiles so people can engineer meetings. Useful, maybe, in the world of rushed

It’ll allow anyone to track you down

catch-ups and internet dating. But if you choose to use the app, it’ll allow anyone and everyone to track you down, anywhere and everywhere. Not only does that bring the danger of someone stalking you, but it’s also incredibly artificial. What happened to just going somewhere fun and talking to people? TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Brave new world A new exhibition charts the expanding frontiers of robotics WORDS TOM STURROCK

Thanks to Hollywood, robots are as much fixtures of pop-culture as vampires, aliens and things that go bump in the night. From the comic relief of the Star Wars droids to the hulking, malevolent cyborgs of the Terminator films, robots have been invoked to thrill, entertain and fire our imaginations. However, as a new exhibition, Robotville, opening on Thursday at London’s Science Museum, attests, advances in the field of robotics have blurred the line between science and fiction. As robots become increasingly sophisticated and interactive, their applications increase and the questions about the relationship between man and machine demand ever more serious consideration. “Robotville will communicate the current state of play – where everything is at when it comes to robot structures, robot abilities and robot appearances,” claims Nick Hawkes, a lecturer in artificial intelligence and programming at the University of Birmingham. Some of Hawkes’s recent work will be on show at the exhibition – he helped build Dora, a robot able to map an area and then, if in a home, for instance, locate and fetch familiar items. “If Dora goes into a room and finds a kettle, she will label the room a kitchen. If you then ask her to go and fetch a box of cornflakes, she will be programmed to know that the cornflakes are likely to be in the same room as a kettle, and when she gets there, she will work out what kind of areas are likely to hold the cornflakes,” Hawkes explains. “And, provided she’s been shown a 3D model of the box, she’ll then be able to recognise it.” Unfortunately for roboticists, though, fiction-writers and film-makers have already set the bar high – it must be a source of constant bemusement that their work, undoubtedly cutting-edge, is still about 100 years behind people’s imaginations. While Hawkes predicts that, within certain parameters, robots will become more and more useful, he concedes that cyborg bounty hunters are unlikely. 46

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“At the moment, you’ve got special-purpose robots who can do one thing. But I think there will be an integration of those technologies. I can imagine robots doing menial, automated tasks in prisons, hospitals, hotels – places where there are a consistent set of requests,” he says. “But robots that can do everything are a long way off. Humans have all this natural understanding, common sense. And one of our challenges is robot perception, getting it to see objects and interpret what they are. So developing a humanoid robot, one that can go upstairs or open a door or even identify and pick up a glass it hasn’t seen before is going to be hard.” Professor Alan Winfield, an expert in electrical engineering at UWE Bristol, agrees, although he insists startling advancements have been made in robots’ interactivity, in their ability to process and respond to cues. “It’s wrong to imagine humanoid robots like C-3PO – we won’t have that,” Winfield says. “But what we will have are devices that can clean, do the gardening and, once they become increasingly sophisticated, maybe prepare food. “One area that really excites me is the development of human and robot interaction – there are a number of exhibits at Robotville that will show how this is starting to occur more naturally. Some of the most exciting work is happening in the area of communication, making it so robots can understand not just human speech but gestures, expressions and body language as well.” Even though walking, talking, camp android butlers are a bridge too far, Winfield insists robotics will come to fundamentally alter some aspects of how we live and work. He cites transport as an area where robotics could have the most seismic implications. “Most people already have washing machines and some would have robot vacuum cleaners, but we probably don’t think of them as robots. And I think that, in 10, 15 or even 20 years, we’ll have far more automated transport – whole


Photos: Getty/Marc Manheide

Robotville exhibits highlight the advances in robotics but C-3PO is unlikely to be realised

metro systems,” he says. “I think we’re very close to having driverless cars already – the main problems to do with those are insurance and social acceptance. I think that, once we have them, we won’t necessarily call them robots.” As with any emerging technology, society will be confronted with ethical questions about the deployment of robots. For Winfield, there are two distinct grey areas that, given the trajectory of innovation and the speed at which horizons are expanding, may need to be addressed sooner than many expect. The first is in healthcare, where robots could be used to replace humans in some capacities. It would be, Winfield insists, a step in the wrong direction – a misuse of the technology and a disservice to human patients. “When robots are used to care for the vulnerable or the elderly or children – some roboticists are worried about robots being used as substitutes for people in those roles,” Winfield says. “Robots can be very useful in therapeutic roles, particularly with autistic children, for example, but they should not replace that human contact – they should be an addition. Society needs to avoid that temptation.” Winfield’s other concern resides at the other end of the spectrum. There is a symmetry here – we should not, he insists, use robots as proxies to care, nor to kill. “We’re already seeing the increased weaponisation of robots,” he says. “Do we think that’s a good thing? “I think it’s a path we should not go down – we should not put guns on robots. The decision to pull the trigger is a huge responsibility. It’s one we give to our service-people and robots simply aren’t smart enough and never will be. They do not have the sensory sophistication or artificial intelligence to make that kind of decision. That’s partly a technical argument but it’s also a moral one – should we have robots to fight our wars for us?” To avoid the front lines, maybe Dora should stick to fetching boxes of cornflakes for a few years yet.

MAN VERSUS MACHINE I’LL BE BACK ... IN YOUR GUTS Remember that scene in Terminator 2 when Arnie, to explain the rise of the machines, slices up his arm, peels back his skin and reveals his metallic endoskeleton and hyper-alloy combat chassis? It is one of the franchise’s defining moments, laying bare the perverse fusion between man and machine. But, according to Winfield, it’s no big deal – fusing man and machine is standard medical procedure these days. “If you have a heart condition, you might have a pacemaker installed. Or, if you’re deaf, you might have a cochlear implant,” he says. “I know roboticists who are developing tiny, pill-sized robots with cameras and censors that you can swallow, allowing a doctor to get an inside view of your gut to help diagnose illness. They have manipulators on there as well so the doctor, while he’s having a look, can maybe fix the problem remotely.” That’s how it starts. How long before SkyNet becomes self-aware?

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47


SPORTNEWS

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Set to debut: David Warner

AUSSIES STRUCK DOWN WITH INJURY CRICKET Australia will be forced to field an inexperienced team against NZ on Thursday after five first-choice players were ruled out with injury. Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Ryan Harris and Patrick Cummins will all be unavailable, clearing the way for fresh faces to be given a taste at international level. David Warner, for example, is expected to make his Test debut, replacing Shane Watson at the top of the order, despite once being considered a T20 specialist. “It’s a childhood dream,” Warner said. “With people pigeonholing me as a Twenty20 player, I always said that when I got the opportunity to play Shield cricket for NSW, I could show I can score runs and bat time.”

HEWITT EYES 15TH AUSTRALIAN OPEN TENNIS Lleyton Hewitt might be hobbled by injuries and his ranking may have slipped to 189, but he last week insisted he has no plans to retire. “I’m more hungry now than a few years ago, purely because I’ve had to fight back from the surgeries,” Hewitt said. “The great thing about tennis is that it’s an individual sport and I can call time on it whenever I want to. “It’s not like I’m going to get sacked or pushed out of the game or dropped and it doesn’t matter what anyone writes, it’s up to me and how motivated I am.” Hewitt will begin his domestic summer campaign at the Hopman Cup in Perth starting on New Year’s Eve, followed by the Sydney International and the Open. 48

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Dr Steelhammer in the house: Wladimir Klitschko – and yes, they do actually call him Dr Steelhammer – is ready to fight Frenchman Jean-Marc Mormeck on December 10 and looked in good nick during training. Klitschko, who holds most of the heavyweight belts, did the world a favour by humiliating British blowhard David Haye earlier this year

FARAH DENIES RIFT WITH COACH SHEENS

BIG WEEK FOR ...

RUGBY LEAGUE

If Ricky Ponting is to enjoy an Indian summer – featuring, appropriately, four Tests against India this Australian summer – then he needs to score some runs, starting against New Zealand in Brisbane on Thursday. Against the inexperienced Kiwis. Ponting has a golden opportunity to play some long innings and build some confidence, but if he fails, the drums beating for him to retire in the near future will grow louder still.

Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah has reacted with anger over claims his relationship with coach Tim Sheens became unworkable during Australia’s recent Four Nations campaign. Sheens gave his star hooker limited playing time while coaching the Kangaroos in the UK, prompting reports that the pair had fallen out. “When Tim told me that I would not be taking my place in the side [to play England at Wembley], I was understandably disappointed – as any player would be,” Farah said. “To now suggest that I would be seeking to leave the club that I love is just ridiculous and unfounded.”


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QUOTES OF THE WEEK I can’t believe Deans hasn’t been asked to explain what happened to our backline. The Irish game was just brainless Former Wallaby David Campese sinks the slipper into national coach Robbie Deans over Australia’s World Cup performance

Wales veteran Shane Williams will play his last Test

PREVIEW Wallabies turn out for short tour WALES V AUSTRALIA

SATURDAY 4PM, SKY SPORTS 1 It’s hard to know what’s at stake in Australia’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tour of the northern hemisphere. The World Cup’s done and dusted, so what would a win over Wales count for? Hopefully, it will embolden coach Robbie Deans to play attacking rugby and experiment with some new players and combinations. He’s unlikely to lose too many players over the next few years, as the Wallabies are still a relatively young but, at this stage in the cycle, Deans would be crazy not to at least look at

some of the players on the periphery who weren’t necessarily in the frame during the countdown to the World Cup. Australia beat Wales in the third-place playoff in New Zealand and will presumably start favourites when they meet again in Cardiff, although it’s hard to predict how either side will approach this strange floating fixture. Sure, they’ll both be keen to win, but will they risk life and limb? Will a star player carrying a niggle insist on going the full 80 minutes, or might it be more prudent to have a spell and save himself for higher stakes showdowns to come?

THE CHAT | Pressure mounting on Villas-Boas

We just wanted Johno to have the bollocks to take action… He was too loyal and that was his downfall An unnamed English rugby player on Martin Johnson’s failure to discipline Mike Tindall during the World Cup

I had a little bit less passion for the game, probably because I was a little bit more tired than usual Rafael Nadal cites waning motivation after being knocked out of the ATP Tour finals in London

TV HIGHLIGHTS

Photos: Getty

CRICKET Villas-Boas has only been managing Q Andre Chelsea for five minutes, but are stormclouds gathering already? goose isn’t cooked yet, but the carrots are chopped and A His the water is being brought to a simmer. Last week, Chelsea lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, meaning they must beat Valencia, or at least secure a goalless draw next Tuesday, to progress to the knock-out stage. At the time of the loss to Leverkusen, Chelsea were sitting fifth in the Premier League, outside the qualifying spots for next year’s European competition. More accomplished managers have had more success at Chelsea and still been sent packing, so if the tide Under pressure: Villas-Boas doesn’t turn, Villas-Boas will be gone at season’s end.

Australia v New Zealand The first Test begins in Brisbane Wednesday 11.55pm, Sky Sports 2

TENNIS Spain v Argentina Baseliners galore in the Davis Cup final Friday 1pm, Sky Sports 4

FOOTBALL Newcastle v Chelsea More top-four jostling in the league Saturday 12.30pm, Sky Sports 2 TNTMAGAZINE.COM

49


SPORTVIEW

TNT puts the world to rights

COMMENT: JAHN VANNISSELROY jahn.vannisselroy@tntmagazine.com

Doomed to fail: the class of 2011

‘It wasn’t me, but I’ll tell you who it was if you let me stay’ England’s telltales demonstrate how to destroy a team from within

» Ratting on your teammates should be discouraged, right? letters@tntmagazine.com 50

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Kiwi rugby league player Issac Luke has always had a fearsome reputation on the field. Smaller than many players, he’s made up for his lack of size in his staunch approach to physical contact. Disappointing then, his admission that he set out to break England stand-off Rangi Chase’s leg with a dangerous tackle in the recent Four Nations tournament. His excuse: he was angry Chase chose to play for England, rather than his native New Zealand. Luke, already under scrutiny for his ‘cannonball’ tackles, decided his best course of action was to maim a man who also happens to be his cousin.

Violence is the only answer for Luke

Nicknamed ‘Bully’ as a kid for his propensity to beat people up, it seems Luke’s attitudes to situations that irk him remain the same: violence is the only answer. The powers that be must re-evaluate his two-week ban. An intensive anger management course would be an excellent starting point.

Photos: Getty

Initially, the reaction to England rugby manager Martin Johnson stepping down was one of surprise, even sympathy. After all, results were in his favour: of the past 13 Tests England have played, they have won 10 – only New Zealand have performed better – and, playing barely any minnows, scored 37 tries and conceded just 12. However, if the players are to be believed, Johnson’s flaws were magnified tenfold under the harsh microscope of a World Cup campaign. In the RFU’s recently ‘leaked’ confidential post-Rugby World Cup dossier, tales abound of his team-talks consisting largely of the word ‘fuck’ (who knew raa-raas could have such delicate ears?), a favouring of his old mate Johnny Wilkinson over the attacking abilities of Toby Flood and a laissezfaire attitude to his charges’ approach to training. But then, as you sift through the pile of excuses and justifications, you wonder: shouldn’t a team of elite athletes, selected as the very best of the best from the world’s largest national pool of players, and at their sport’s supreme event, be hungry enough to motivate themselves to win? Have they not been preparing for this shot at glory their entire lives? The manner in which the RFU report was conducted was, to many sporting people who hold the unwritten codes of a team sacred, appalling. A group of lazy failures, each with an obvious reason to deflect attention from themselves, donning the cloak of anonymity to slag off their comrades – it smacks of telling tales in school: nasty, cowardly and never welcome. Then for the RFU to make public those stories? Disgraceful. So feel sorry not for Johnson, who’ll be a great coach at Premiership level – where he should have been for the past four years, instead of being fast-tracked with no experience into the top job – but for his replacement. The new man may wish to suit up in protective clothing, for he is stepping into a nest full of nervous hornets. And they’re unafraid to sting.

ANGRY? GIVE US A BREAK, ISSAC


Saturday 17th December (Kick-Off 3pm)

Tickets from £30 Adults and £1 Juniors*

Buy online at fulhamfc.com or call 0843 208 1234 (option 1) * Prices apply to tickets in the neutral Putney End. Terms and conditions apply, junior prices rise to £5 on matchday. Under 12s must be accompanied by an adult.

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51


Hang on! We can’t lose to the Kiwis Questions abound for New Zealand and Australia in summer series WORDS TOM STURROCK

In the mid-Eighties, Australian cricket was a shambles – the retirements of Dennis Lillee, Greg Chappell and Rod Marsh had left the national side threadbare and desperately short on quality. And, in the summer of 1985-86, in a home series against New Zealand, they ran into Sir Richard Hadlee in his pomp. Hadlee claimed 33 wickets in three Tests and, in the decisive Test in Perth, took 11 wickets to propel the Kiwis to victory. lt was the last time New Zealand won a Test, let alone an entire series, across the Tasman. But with Australia more vulnerable now than at any time in 25 years, maybe the Kiwis will break their drought in Brisbane this week. Australia have won two of their past 13 Tests and, although the situation is nowhere near as dire as in 1984-86, when they won just three of 32, the recent win against South Africa in Johannesburg, as remarkable as it was, does not conceal the team’s recent heavy going. Are they back in the winning habit after drawing the series against the Proteas? It is just one of many questions this series may begin to answer.

How long has Ricky Ponting got left? The numbers are against the former skipper. Since the start of 2009, in his past 29 Tests, he has averaged 35 with the bat. It has not been a brief slump but rather a long decline. Perhaps the number that counts most against Ponting, though, is not runs scored, but the candles on his next birthday cake – he turns 37 next month. It is unlikely that Ponting will go immediately – Michael Clarke wants him in the team, there are injury concerns around other batsmen and he is such a towering figure in the Australian game that he will probably last the summer. But, barring a stack of runs, that, sadly, should be curtains for one of the all-time greats.

Is Mitchell Johnson cooked? Where Ponting is a proven champion heading into the sunset, Johnson faces the prospect of being cast aside when 52

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he should be in his prime, his potential largely unfulfilled. There have been glimpses – at his best, Johnson is among the best two or three fast bowlers in the world. He has terrorised South Africa in the past and was near unplayable in Perth during the last Ashes series. But the consistency simply isn’t there – at 30, and with 47 Tests under his belt, Johnson should be a major asset as the leader of the bowling attack, but is instead a liability. If Australia are to improve, they must find alternatives.

How good is Pat Cummins? Part of the reason Australians will be sorry to see Ponting go is that he is a souvenir from a more successful era, a flesh-and-blood reminder that Australia can produce truly great cricketers. The timing of Cummins’ emergence, then, could not be more fortuitous – in the shape of the 18-yearold speedster, Australians believe they have their next great player. He’s only played one Test, but what a debut it was – he took a six-wicket haul, roughing up Jacques Kallis along the way, before keeping his head to hit the winning runs. All with a kind of low-key sheepishness and a competitive intelligence beyond his years. Watching him bowl to India’s vastly experienced batsmen will be one of the joys of the Australian summer.

Where does Australia go under Michael Clarke? The time is coming for Australia to make a clean break with the past and fast-track its brightest and best prospects. Ponting, Johnson and Brad Haddin are all under pressure, while Mike Hussey, only six months younger than Ponting, has been scoring heavily enough to remain an automatic selection. For now. Before the 2013 Ashes, though, a new generation of Australian cricketers must be unearthed. Cummins and Usman Khawaja are two pieces of the puzzle and hopefully Phil Hughes has a part to play. But others


Clockwise: Pat Cummins is one to watch for Australia; Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor must anchor the batting; Doug Bracewell starred on debut

still uncapped – David Warner, Tom Cooper, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, James Pattinson, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Faulkner – should be trialled when form and opportunity permit. It could begin this summer. Maybe the future is now?

Can Jesse Ryder become a proper Test batsman? Since debuting in 2008, Jesse Ryder has emerged as New Zealand’s most talented batsman, with the possible exception of skipper Ross Taylor. He’s been in and out with injury but he’s also scored three Test centuries – all against India, no less, so it’s not just a case of cashing in against minnows. He’s had problems with off-field discipline and general fitness in the past but, at 27, Ryder needs to knuckle down and start getting the best out of himself week-in, week-out. He’s good enough to have a long Test career and he and Taylor could form the trunk of the Kiwis’ middle order for the next seven or eight years. A good series in Australia could really set him up and could establish him as the side’s trump card.

Photos: Getty

Do the young Kiwis have the right stuff? If Australia are in a “transition phase”, as the official excuse goes, then the Kiwis are stuck in a non-stop revolving door. They have, after all, used 30 different players in their past 17 Tests. It is remarkable then, that they go into this series with a clearer sense of their best XI than the Aussies have of theirs. Martin Guptil is developing as an opening batsman, while 21-year-old Kane Williamson will be given every chance to nail down his spot at first-drop. Among the bowlers, Doug Bracewell claimed a five-wicket haul on debut against Zimbabwe and Tim Southee, who seems to have been around for ages, is still only 22. The senior players are good for a few more years yet so if they can bed down some of their promising newcomers, a period of relative success beckons. The problem, though, is an overall shortage of Test cricket.

NEW COACH, NEW ERA ARTHUR INTO TOP JOB Former South African coach Mickey Arthur has been charged with dragging Australia back up the rankings and seems likely to chart a more decisive course than his predecessors, who appeared to have no plan at all. “The key to ultimate success is strong leadership, clear role definition and consistent selection,” Arthur (above) said. “You take the little steps one at a time and hopefully we will then have a team capable of going to England and winning the Ashes there.” Meanwhile, John Buchanan, who coached Australia between 1999 and 2007, insisted Arthur would have to grapple with ‘cultural issues’: “No matter where you go ... no question about that – even down to your language and your body language. Those things take time to be understood and merge into a new system.” Piffle. Sounds like Buchanan’s trademark mixture of quackery and kitchen-sink sociology.

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TRAVEL LATE DEALS | HOTSHOTS | TRAVEL TIPS | TOP FIVE | TOURS | BIG TRIP IMAGE OF THE WEEK

THANKSGIVING FEAST A red ruffed lemur enjoys Thanksgiving dinner at the San Francisco Zoo in California. Fifteen animals gobbled down green beans, fruit salad and sweet potatoes. The furry little gingers were even served up a makeshift turkey fashioned from monkey chow.

Photos: Getty, Visit Finland, Thinkstock

INSIDE

ALE TRAILS /58

LAP IT UP /68

WILD CHINA /74

The pub is one of Britain’s finest innovations. Check out as many of them as you can with the UK and Ireland’s best pub crawls.

There’s more to Lapland than men masquerading as Santa. We get the adrenaline pumping in northern Finland.

Discover a raw, untamed People’s Republic that refuses to conform to type in Yunnan’s ancient tribes and challenging treks. TNTMAGAZINE.COM

55


TRAVELDIARY Laura Chubb

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The floats are decorated with lanterns

ACTING TRAVEL EDITOR

FEELING CHEAP While reminiscing about past travels this week, I remembered a couple I met who perfectly embodied what I like to call ‘utter insanity’.

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CHICHIBU YOMATSURI Chichibu, Japan Climaxing with a three-hour fireworks display, this festival is in honour of the Chichibu shrine, which is dedicated to Shinto, the 2-3 indigenous spirituality of Japan. Twenty-tonne floats decorated with carvings and lanterns, are pulled up a steep slope to the shrine, while the chant of “wa-shoi, wa-shoi” – a Japanese version of “heave-ho” – fills the night air. DEC

WHY: This is all about celebrating cultural heritage – the shrine is dedicated in particular to members of the Imperial House of Japan, hence why it is so revered. The happy pulse of patriotic pride is infectious, though be warned that the crowds will be sizeable, to say the least.

DO IT BECAUSE: This is a real window into Japanese culture, and is one of the most atmospheric experiences you can have in the country. Keep warm with glugs of sweet rice wine and dance with the locals late into the night.

TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL

INTERNATIONAL ACTION ART FESTIVAL

Though this annual movie festival has turned to an 30 increasingly wide-reaching programme of world cinema in recent years, it remains one of the best events to get to grips with modern cinema from the Baltics, and even smaller eastern film industries such as those from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.

This week-long event features more than 30 28 contributers from 23 countries, focusing on the most important action – or performance – artists of today. The first two days are devoted to a seminar on pedagogy and performance, and you can catch live action art for the final five days.

Tallinn, Estonia NOV

2011.poff.ee/eng

ST ANDREW’S DAY

festivalsinjapan.com

Guangzhou, China NOV

culture360.org

KONARK FESTIVAL

Konark, India

Scotland

The Sun Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1-5 state of Orissa – serves as a backdrop to five days of traditional music and dance. DEC

A patriotic celebration for the Scots, this is the feast 30 day of Saint Andrew, their patron saint. There’ll be much flying the flag of Scotland, The Saltire. NOV

konarksuntempleindia.com

Photos: Japan National Tourism Organisation

The scene: after a tough two days of trekking in rural China, I set out to hail one of the minibuses that takes travellers on this route back into town. I then bumped into two other backpackers, arguing with the driver of one of said minibuses. It transpired that these travellers were angry about being charged Y30 each, and were insisting that they should pay Y25. At this point, I should reveal that the former price amounts to £3, the latter to £2.50. Incensed that any Chinese people picked up on the route would inevitably be charged less, the tight twosome point blank refused to stump up the extra 50p, and set off to do the entire trek in reverse, rather than cave on the price. I watched from the window as they hiked through the dust kicked up by our bus, and fought an overwhelming urge to throw something heavy at them. What troubles me here is the assumption that when holidaying in an area where the locals earn less in a year than you do in a few days, you should still be treated as equals. I don’t agree. The 50p these plonkers were arguing about would, in the end, not be missed by them, but means significantly more to someone who might earn that in a week. Travellers who have been on the road for a while tend to get tunnel vision about money; once you discover how cheap things can be, you start to feel justified arguing to the bitter end over a few pence. I’m not saying be a mug about money, but I am saying think bigger picture. Ask yourself: what can you afford, and what can’t they?


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MAIDEN VOYAGE Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson (right) might have to schedule another reunion tour, as the airline for which he works as a senior pilot, Astraeus Airlines, has gone into administration. The Number Of The Beast singer was flying passengers from Jeddah to Manchester when he learned the airline was ceasing operations with immediate effect. Dickinson told the Guardian that he still hoped to rescue the airline and claimed to have heard from a number of prospective investors. He insisted it wouldn’t be the end of his career as a pilot: seems he can’t face another 20-odd years of fret-wanking.

Photos: Getty

EGYPT WARNING The renewed unrest in Egypt has prompted the Foreign Office to advise that travellers from the UK avoid various parts of Cairo, including the Egyptian Museum and Downtown. As TNT went to press, swarms of protesters remained active in Tahrir Square, where they are demonstrating against the ruling military council. There have been violent clashes between protesters and police, resulting in some dead and many more injured. Travellers should seek advice from tour operators and avoid all crowds and demonstrations. For more, see fco.gov.uk

A TITANIC DIVE For the tidy price of £41,784, travellers can now book a trip to see the wreckage of the Titanic. Next year marks a century since the unsinkable ship sank, and travel operators are making the most of it. While two cruises are set to trace the ill-fated voyage’s exact journey in 2012, Kensington Tours will go a step further and take customers on a submarine trip from Newfoundland to the Titanic’s remains. However, some relatives of passengers that died on the Titanic have complained that making the wreck into a tourist attraction is insensitive.

IS THOMAS COOKED? Travel giant Thomas Cook’s fortunes are going from bad to worse as, following an admission that it was meeting with banks to resolve cashflow problems, shares in the company plummeted 75 per cent last week. The company has admitted it needs an additional £100m from its lenders, a little more than a month after securing a separate £100m loan. Interim chief executive Sam Weihagen assured customers that all bookings made through Thomas Cook shops are protected. “We are confident that we will survive,” he said.

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The Temple Bar area of Dublin – or ‘Publin’ – is a great spot for a pub crawl; below right, take the train on the TransPennine trek

UK’S QUIRKIEST PUBS

Pub Crawls

With a bar that measures just 15ft by 7ft, The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds holds the Guinness World Record title for the smallest pub in Britain. Squeeze in and check out the eccentric décor, which includes a mummified cat and an aeroplane propeller. (thenutshellpub.co.uk)

UK & IRELAND

The Mermaid Inn in Rye, East Sussex, serves up spirits in more ways than one. Claiming to be ‘Britain’s Most Haunted Pub’, it’s allegedly home to two separate pairs of duelists, a couple who sit on the end of guests’ beds, countless spirit smugglers and a dead servant girl or two. (mermaidinn.com)

Quirky Canal House Bar

The Mumbles Mile 58

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Although it dates back to 1242, in the Fifties The Bear in Oxford introduced a tradition of cutting off gentlemen’s ties as they walked through the door. The walls display more than 4500 snippets – in return, the owners of the ties were given half a pint. (6 Alfred Street, Oxford, OX1 4EH)

Only pub number two, boys?

The Abbotsford

No need to barge to the bar: unless you’re in one that is. Canal House Bar in Nottingham is built over the canal itself – you have to walk via a footbridge over the water to get to the bar. Great for summer drinking and watching the boats go by; it’s common to see canal-boat owners pull up inside for a pint. (canalhousebar.co.uk)


UKTRIP

Ale trails The pub is one of Britain’s finest innovations, so it would be rude not to check more of them out ... WORDS SOPHIE ELLIS

There’s something about a pub crawl that makes you feel almost virtuous. After all, you’re really working for your ale. In fact, with all that exercise and orienteering, you could almost be running a marathon. Here are our favourite pub crawls in the UK and Ireland: they’re not for the faintedhearted – or weak-of-stomach – and if you end up crawling home, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

the Temple Bar area of the city. Notable spots are the Palace Bar – unspoilt by the passage of time – and The Foggy Dew for the live music, but make sure you end up in Dublin’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head. The coach house was first made a public boozing spot in 1198. See: dublinweekendbreak.net/pubs

The Seven-Legged, Nottingham

If you like a little history with your beer, Edinburgh is your perfect destination. Tucked behind the famous Princes Street, Rose Street’s 20 or so pubs are conveniently within staggering distance of one another. The Abbotsford boasts beautiful Edwardian décor, and the Auld Hundred is one of the oldest bars in the city, dating back to 1800. This year-round challenge is a favourite with sports fans, who endeavour to have a drink in every pub on the street. See: 101edinburgh.com

This annual Nottingham-based extravaganza has a dedicated following, and a large one at that. Made up of seven bars – and purported to be the largest student bar crawl in the world, as more than 6000 students took part last year – the aim is to remain standing. Teams of six, all in matching fancy dress, are tied together, while a seventh member is charged with dashing to the bar. Venues include Oceana and Gatecrasher, with the route changing each year. See: 7legged.moonfruit.com

Photos: Getty; Thinkstock; Visit Wales

Newquay Mile, Newquay

Rose Street Challenge, Edinburgh

TransPennine Pub Crawl, Yorkshire and Lancashire

A surfer favourite that’s best undertaken in summer, boozeswillers stumble between 12 Cornwall pubs and bars, starting at The Fort Inn in Fore Street and finishing at Berties Bar in East Street. Fun facts along the way: the Towan Blystra takes its name from Newquay’s first written reference in the 14th century, and Skinner’s has a great selection of ales from its own brewery. See: barcrawl.co.uk/pubcrawl

Making good use of Britain’s railways, this pub crawl demands you hop off the train at each of the eight stops along the route from Manchester Victoria to Batley (with a change in Huddersfield mid-way), and enjoy a different pint in the pubs and small breweries near – or in – the stations. Crawlers start in Stalybridge’s Buffet Bar and end in Batley’s Cellar Bar. Try it on a Saturday if you’re looking for some companionship! See: realaletrail.net

The Mumbles Mile, Wales

Oban Pub Crawl, Scotland

This nine pit-stop pub crawl in Mumbles near Swansea is a Welsh institution. Once a haunt of poet Dylan Thomas, the seaside stretch of road is perfect for lazy weekend crawlers. Start at The White Rose in Newton Road, and end in The Pilot in Mumbles Road. Must be enjoyed with a plate of Welsh Rarebit. See: barcrawl.co.uk/pubcrawl

Although it’s dubbed the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’, the locals know it’s Oban’s distilled whisky that sets them apart. But even if a wee dram isn’t your tipple, this crawl can’t fail to impress. Overlooked by the mountains of Morvern and Ardgour, drinkers attempt to fit in as many pubs as possible. There’s no set route, but seven is the minimum for free swag – if you collect a ‘passport’ in the first bar that you NEXT WEEK visit and get it stamped in every pub, you get a free T-shirt at your Best UK getaways for New Year’s Eve last stop. See: obanpubcrawl.com ❚

Temple Bar, Dublin There’s no shortage of good ‘craic’ in Dublin, or ‘Publin’ as it’s often termed. For a boozy bonanza of epic proportions, just follow the locals as they sway in and out of pubs around

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DAILY TRAVEL DEALS GO TO tntmagazine.com/travel/latedeals where new travel deals are updated daily. There are more than 30 deals live at any time. Also sign up for TNT’s weekly travel newsletter, which will be emailed to you every Wednesday with the most up-to-date deals and guides to over 170 destinations. Sign up at tntmagazine.com/travelemail.

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ROME Three nights in Rome is £139pp with cheapflights.co.uk. Includes three nights’, four-star B&B accommodation and return flights. Valid for travel on selected dates between December 2011 and March 2012. CROATIA An eight-day ‘Sail SplitDubrovnik-Split’ tour is £184pp (save 50 per cent) with Travel Talk (0208 0998852; traveltalktours. com). Visiting Split, Makarska, Trstenik, Dubrovnik, Mljet, Korcula and Hvar. Includes seven nights’ accommodation, breakfasts and lunches, and guide. Excludes flights and local payment. Book by December 4; departs May 12, 2012. POLAND A two-night trip to Krakow is £105pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 1041000; easyJet. com/holidays). Includes room-only accommodation and flights. Departs January 31. MOROCCO A four-night trip to Marrakech is £155pp with lowcostholidays.com (0800 1116271). Includes four-star, B&B accommodation and flights. Departs February 1. EGYPT A seven-night trip to the ancient city of Luxor is £235pp with Cosmos (0844 5734261; cosmos. co.uk). Includes seven nights’ B&B accommodation at the three-star Hotel Gaddis and flights from Gatwick. Departs December 5.

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HOT TIPS: Finding style Having your own style in any creative field is always preferable – it’s what you will be known for and also sets you apart from others. While it may take time to find exactly what it is, once you are there, it’s a feeling of great relief – as from that point, you can focus on developing that style. Many of the great photographers

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have their own approach and can be identified with just a glance of their work. Well-known Englishman David Bailey, for example, loves to crop the top of his subjects’ heads off and shoot black and white in the studio with a clean background – many techniques, but combined they form his own distinctive style.

WINNER JEWISH PEOPLE ON THE BEACH Ruta Mackelaite, London

WHY IT WORKS This is a great composition, using lots of empty space, which draws our eye to the subject. Because the Orthodox Jews walking along the sand are so small, they being swallowed by the beach. Simple black and white has lent a dramatic aspect to the scene. It’s not often you see something like this, so the shot has a secret element.

RUNNER-UP SAGRADA FAMÍLIA, BARCELONA Chris Flack, Christchurch, New Zealand

WHY IT WORKS The cloud peeping out of the Sagrada Família brings a playful aspect to this shot. However, I would have cropped out the crane on the far right. Exploring different possibilities is such a fun way to learn what works and what doesn’t. Composition is derived from your creativity and allows the viewer a glimpse of how you see the world. A THREE-DAY TOUR OF SCOTLAND AND A PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Upload your images to tntmagazine.com/hotshots First prize is a three-day tour of Scotland for two worth £218 from Haggis Adventures (haggisadventures.com). Must be taken within three months of receiving prize letter. The runner-up wins a £60 photography course voucher from Nigel Wilson Photography (photographycourses.org.uk).

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TOP FIVE

BEST PALACES

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WINTER PALACE, ST PETERSBURG

The spa – all included!

HILTON LONDON HEATHROW OVERVIEW Situated amid the grassy fringes of Terminal 5, there’s little to excite around this brand spanker, besides the thrill of the odd airbus making a scalp-skimming landing, and the beautiful 900-year-old Ostrich pub – apparently Britain’s third oldest – down the road. You’re best off enjoying what’s inside the hotel, which includes Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen, dishing up exceptional panIndian fare; the swanky River Bar; atmospheric mezzanine restaurant; gym; and top notch Imagine spa. WOW FACTOR The spa is insanely indulgent, featuring a mineral grotto, aroma steam room, sauna and even an ice fountain, all set around a hydrotherapy pool. Even better, it’s all included in the price. Cough up a little more for an almost endless list of treatments. Although we’re going to dock points for the too-chatty therapist. ROOMS They are designed for the corporate traveller, with ergonomic desk chairs and a conservative colour-scheme. The windows are sound-proof, so you can sleep soundly despite the bone-rattling aircraft overhead. BILL PLEASE Rooms start at £119pn, including WiFi.

Terminal 5, Poyle Road, Colnbrook, Berkshire, SL3 0FF hilton.co.uk Heathrow Terminal 5

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This huge green, white and gold palace, boasting a Rococo profusion of columns, windows and recesses, looms large in the Dvortsovaya square. One of the most splendid buildings in St Petersburg, The Hermitage Winter Palace served as the winter residence for every ruler of Russia since Peter III. It was built between 1754 and 1762 for Empress Elisabeth, daughter of Peter The Great, though it was the principle residence of her father, who died here in 1725. Resting like an elaborately decorated rectangle on the banks of the Neva river, rows of larger-than-life statues sit on the rooftop amid the confection of arches, columns, bays and balustrades on the 200m-long building. The interior is just as spectacular. Take the magnificent State Gala Staircase of white marble, covered with a red velvet carpet and decorated with sculptures, huge mirrors, ceiling paintings and gilded wood carvings – all in the Elizabethan Baroque style – and you get a sense of how astonishing the sight must have been for the tsars’

guests, who came for the pompous balls and receptions. The palace is said to contain 1786 doors, 1945 windows, 1500 rooms and 117 staircases. In its glory days, many of its rooms were state halls, the interiors of which have been preserved and are now open to visitors as part of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum, opened in 1992. The former state courtyard, excavated between 1976 and 1986, is now used to display Peter’s official carriage and sledge. Some of the chamber rooms have been restored to their appearance during Peter’s era, complete with Dutch tiles and parquet floors, and exhibit some of Peter’s personal items. Many visitors come to see the museum’s art, which started as the collection of Catherine The Great’s, who seized the throne from her husband, Peter, in 1762. While it is considered one of the world’s best art museums, the palace is worth a visit in its own right. hermitagemuseum.org


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POTALA PALACE, LHASA

Potala is the highest ancient palace in the world, perched spectacularly upon a 4000m-high rocky hilltop, shadowing the city of Lhasa below. Built in the 7th century, it was the primary residence of the Dalai Lama until the monks were expelled in 1959. Now, the UNESCO site, often referred to as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is a museum with shrines dedicated to Tibet’s pantheon of deities. whc.unesco.org

Photos: Thinkstock, Palacio Cousino

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BEST PALACES

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ALHAMBRA, GRANADA

Hidden beyond the walls of this 14th-century fortress is a breathtaking complex of courtyards, astonishing lace stonemasonry and gardens. The former rural residence of the emirs who ruled this southern part of Spain over two centuries, the Alhambra, the Generalife gardens and Moorish/ Christian town of Albayzín, are enduring tourist destinations, where 6000 tourists traipse every day. To experience the full magic, visit in the morning or late afternoon. alhambradegranada.org

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TOP FIVE

RAMBAGH PALACE, JAIPUR

Having undergone several transitions, from a hunting lodge to a royal residence, Rambagh is now a hotel, so everyone can live like a maharaj – if only for a weekend. The magnificent complex was occupied by Maharajaha Sawai Man Singh II around the Thirties, when its 47-acre woodland setting was landscaped. The hotel is now a fave among actors and sports stars. tajhotels.com

5

PALACIO COUSINO, SANTIAGO

It was a fortune amassed from winemaking, coal and silver mining that afforded the prominent CousiñoGoyenechea family the wealth to build this ostentatious palace in 1871. The idea seems to have been ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ and to that end, the walls inside are covered in velvet and embroidered silk, embellished with French art, and the parquet floors are decorated with ebony. The mansion also boasts the country’s first elevator.

NEXT WEEK The top five ruins in the world to go clambering around

palaciocousino.co.cl

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READERS’ TIPS

YOU ASKED FOR IT... LAURA LINDSAY FROM LONELY PLANET

visiting Dublin for the third time Q I’m and don’t want to end up doing the

and the boys fancy a trip to Q Me Munich, but is there much to do

same things as last time, namely the same touristy pubs, cafes and restaurants! Can you recommend some alternative activities to experience some of the real Dublin? Amy, via email

there when the Oktoberfest isn’t on? Paul, via email

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visiting at an alternative time of year as you will find accommodation and transport cheaper without the crowds of Oktoberfest. You will undoubtedly want to experience the famous beer halls of Munich – Hofbrauhaus being the most well known. Spending an afternoon here, trying local beers and soaking up the raucous atmosphere, is an unmissable Munich experience. For something a little less touristy, the Augustiner Brauhaus is a smaller and friendlier beer hall. For something less alcohol-fuelled but just as fun, check out local football club Bayern Munich. The Allianz Arena can be reached on the U-Bahn system; it takes 15-20 minutes from the city centre. Check fixtures before planning your trip. The heart of the city is the square Marienplatz in the Altstadt (old town), where you will find the pretty church, St Peterskirche. The church’s tower is a great place to view the entire city. Be warned, it’s a tough climb up! Finally, take a walk around Munich’s stunning Englischer Garten to clear your head and see a different side to the city. You’ll see surfers practising tricks on a specially designed section of stream which creates waves. There’s certainly a lot more to Munich than Oktoberfest!

A quick word of warning: never stray from clearly marked paths in the Cambodian countryside, as there are still a lot of landmines left over from the war. Don’t let this put you off getting off the beaten track – just don’t do it too literally! – Travel Ed

LET SITE DO LEG WORK If you’re flying economy, always check seatguru.com before booking – it tells you which is the best for legroom, so you can have a comfy journey! Jade Zimmerman, via FB A LONELY PLANET GUIDE

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don’t need to go far to find some real A You gems in Dublin. A reasonable walk from the city centre (just over two miles), you will find yourself at the spiritual home of sporting Dublin – Croke Park. This landmark for Gaelic sports has a great museum to get you acquainted with the art of hurling and Gaelic football, giving a fantastic insight into the country’s sporting heritage. Stadium tours are offered too. Next up, use the DART (Dublin’s suburban train network) to explore the outskirts of the city. This speedy little transport system can whizz you to the Irish coast before you’ve finished your morning coffee. In little more than 20 minutes you can reach Howth, where you will find yourself in a pretty port village complete with medieval castle and abbey. On a Sunday, you will find one of Dublin’s best fish and farmer’s markets in Howth – sampling fresh foods from one of the variety of stalls is a great alternative to Sunday lunch. If you are seeking an alternative to the popular pubs of Temple Bar, you can find a superclub just outside of the city, the Wright Venue (thewrightvenue.ie) in Swords. The club provides transport to the venue from the city.

is a great destination in its own A Munich right; in fact, there’s a lot to be said for

CAMBODIAN COUNTRY TIP If you fancy something OF THE really adventurous, WEEK start in Pursat province in Cambodia, go south through Kampong Chhnang and finish in Kampong Cham. In each place, hire a bike and explore the countryside, such as rice fields and the Ceramic Factory in Ondong Rossey, and a floating village in Kompong Luong (you don’t see many tourists there). While touring the countryside, you can also explore spectacular hidden temples. Eva Slniecko, via email


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BEST / WORST TRIP

THE TRAVELLER

OSKAR NEDERLING, 26

ANDREW CLARK, 25

Helsingborg, Sweden

Birmingham, UK

BEST I absolutely loved my trip to Lisbon. The people are really friendly and the food was much better than I’d expected! The nightlife was also brilliant. I’ll definitely be going back there soon.

Scariest travel experience? I was on a bus in China when the driver decided that he was going to drive straight through a toll booth, smashing the barrier in the process. We then got chased by the police for what seemed like forever, but somehow managed to get away. Essential travel item? A good friend told me to clean away bacteria from a meal that might have been a bit dodgy with a shot of schnapps. So I carry a bottle with me whenever I travel.

WORST That has to be my trip to Morocco. I had such high hopes but I have to say I was a little disappointed. Maybe I didn’t go to the right places but I actually found it quite boring. » Tell us your best/worst trips, email laura.chubb@tntmagazine.com

SPLASHING OUT

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BOUTIQUE BOATHOUSE This newly renovated Boathouse Resort on the Beach in Phuket has a rooftop sunset lounge, infinity pool and spa. Prices start from £1089pp with Tropical Sky (0844 3329349; tropicalsky.co.uk/deals), based on selected departures in July and September 2012. Includes return flights, seven nights’ B&B accommodation, transfers, taxes and surcharges.

THE INSIDER

VIJAY DANDAPANI, President, Apple Core Hotels

My most challenging travel experience was attempting to get home to New York from a trip to India with a snow storm at both the stopover point in Brussels and New York! Days later, after a diversion to Bruges, I finally made it home. My favourite place in the world is New York City. It’s without question the most exciting city in the world. It is also a place I have lived and worked in for the past 20 years and yet I find something new almost all the time. The next trip on my travel wishlist is Chitral Valley in northern Pakistan – a beautiful valley surrounded by the Hindu Kush mountains. I always pack a universal worldwide adapter plug. My top travel tip is never wear shoes with laces at US airports. It can set you back several minutes and you can even miss a flight if you arrive late, plus there’s the potential for pulling your back in attempting to untie them! TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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The winter wonderland of northernmost Finland

Lapland FINLAND

A

N

D

Levi Kittilä

LAP

L

FINLAND

HELSINKI

GETTING GETTING THERE THERE Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Finnair flies from Heathrow to Kittilä Airport via Helsinki, with return tickets from £208. (finnair.com) The slopes are quieter than most in Europe, plus have a stab at ice karting (above)

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Lap it up There’s more to Lapland than men masquerading as Santa. We find snowloads of adrenaline-pumping action in northern Finland WORDS CATHY WINSTON

Say Lapland, and all you hear is Santa, Santa, Santa. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s all family breaks and overcharging for children to sit on a stranger’s knee. But whether it’s before Christmas or after Mr Claus hangs up his red suit for the year, there’s far more to discover in northernmost Finland. And most of it’s guaranteed to get your pulse racing. Which is why I rock up to Lapland with one thing in mind: action. I’ve got a tick-list of things to try: there’s adrenalinefuelled snowmobiling through the countryside, ice karting – think kamikaze go-karting – plus skiing and snowboarding on the guaranteed powder between November and April. The slopes in Lapland are far less busy than the more popular European Alpine resorts, so as a novice it’s perfect for my first nervous outings, especially as the patient Finnish instructors talking me through the basics are fluent Englishspeakers. But for more experienced skiers, there are black runs and World Championship-standard slopes to challenge your skills, too. And with just an hour separating the country’s two main resorts – the quieter traditional Ylläs, with its two villages of Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi on either side of the mountain, and the more buzzing, busier Levi – I’m able to try them all, armed with an obligatory wardrobe of thermals. When everywhere’s a foot deep in snow, the only real way to explore is behind the controls of a snowmobile. Not too different from driving a motorbike, apart from having significantly more grip on ice, the machines have skis at the front, a wheel at the back and very simple controls – two levers to brake and accelerate. As I rev the throttle, I get a bit overexcited and hit a good 75kmph before a sharp corner slows me down. (It’s only later that I discover there’s a 60kmph snowmobile speed limit – woops.) We race through the frozen landscape along a 36km loop of track around Levi, then end at the ice hotel at Luvattumaa, complete with ice chapel for anyone keen to get married in a thermal wedding dress. I opt for a warming vodka from an ice-carved glass instead. Having got a taste for speeding through the snow, I try a spot of dog-sledding next. The huskies strain at the leash, flinging themselves bodily into the air as their frenzied barks drown out every noise, desperate to start running. As soon as the brakes are off the sled, the sheer speed at which I’m

travelling fills my ears with the whooshing of wind and the sound of paws crunching on snow. It could easily be a scene out of Narnia, with the dogs pulling my old-fashioned wooden sleigh through the Arctic wilderness, past fairytale snow-dusted pine trees. Until one of the team of five decides to lighten his bodyweight a little, all over the pristine white expanse. They wouldn’t have stood for that in Narnia.

I promptly spin off into a snow drift

“Don’t bother yelling ‘mush, mush’, that’s just a Hollywood invention,” says Maria, the owner at Husky Super Safaris in Köngäs, Finnish Lapland, shattering all ››

The writers gets revving

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my husky-driving illusions. But as the dogs bound joyfully through the forest, I doubt they could go much faster whatever I choose to shout. Besides, with the wind whipping my breath away as we speed along, I’m just grateful for my huge and cosy snowsuit in the sub-zero temperatures. All too soon it’s over, and with the good-natured huskies rolling ecstatically in the snow to cool down, I try to work out whether I can persuade anyone to let me take one of their ludicrously cute puppies home. The answer? Yes, if I’m happy to hand over €1000 (about £850). Tired, but not yet beaten, I head for some ice karting at All Wild Adventures in Levi to discover just what go-karting without any gripping power is like. After a few hilarious practice circuits to get used to slithering around slick icy corners and along the slippery straights, I put my foot flat to the floor, and promptly spin off into a snow drift. Fortunately, Lapland has saunas galore to defrost in – followed by a roll in the snow if you want to get your heart-rate back up again. But while it might be Finnish fashion to strip off entirely, I decide there’s been quite enough excitement for one trip. ❚

Stop off for a drink in the Ice Hotel

NEXT WEEK Learning how to look good in the snow with a Meribel ski guru

MIDRANGE

LUXURY

There are two branches of Julli’s in both Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi, on either side of the slopes in Ylläs. As well as traditional dishes on the menu, there are pizzas and burgers for about £9 if you’re simply looking to refuel after a day in the snow. Great for a cheeky drink too. (jullis.com)

With its fairylit trees outside and wooden beams inside, Poro restaurant in Ylläs hits the spot whether you’re looking for a romantic evening meal or a cosy traditional Finnish spread. Start with the fabulous creamy salmon soup before trying reindeer with sweetly sour lingonberries. (lappvillage. fi/en_restaurant.html)

Restaurant Pihvipirtti, aka The Steakhouse, in Levi might not have the most inspired name but the fantastic food easily makes up for that. There’s a starter fish buffet, with more ways to pickle a herring than you thought possible, followed by three choices of steak, including reindeer. (hulluporo.fi/poro/esivu)

DRINK

Levi’s nightlife hub is the Crazy Reindeer Hotel. As well as beer for the relatively cheap price (for Finland) of about a fiver, there’s a new pub opening there this season, the Rock Café Wanha Hullu Poro, plus live music at weekends – even if you’re unlikely to recognise most of the acts! (hulluporo.fi)

The Finns love their karaoke – and take it very seriously indeed, in case you’re planning to join in. Ihku Bar, on Levi’s main street, stays open until four in the morning from Thursday to Saturday. There’s also live music and stand-up comedy on some nights. (ihkubar.fi)

If you’re looking to party the night away, Ylläs isn’t the most buzzing area. Most bars dotted around the villages are attached to restaurants so if you’re looking to drink and dance, head to the nightclub at the Akäs Hotel in Äkäslompolo – a beer will set you back about £7.50.

SLEEP

Finland’s not a bargain destination, but checking into an apartment rather than a hotel can cut costs. The Äkäs Alp Apartments just outside Äkäslompolo in Ylläs each have a mini-sauna and cost from £359 for seven nights with Inghams (inghams. co.uk). You’re also on the free ski bus route.

The Levitunturi Spa Hotel is walking distance from the slopes as well as Levi’s shops and restaurants. Rooms are split among 10 buildings and cost from about £110pn based on two sharing. There are saunas attached to some of the rooms, and the spa complex is free to guests. (hotellilevitunturi.fi/en)

For an unforgettably romantic stay, the secluded Golden Crown igloos outside Levi are perfect. The heated glass of the igloo walls and furry rugs to snuggle under mean they’re ultra-cosy and perfect for gazing up at the stars or spotting the Northern lights. The igloos cost from £220pn. (leviniglut.fi/en)

EAT

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Photos: Visit Finland, Inghams, Thinkstock

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TRAVELWEEKENDER

Titanic Town This is Belfast in 48 hours WORDS REBECCA KENT

DAY 1: 09:00 You’ve got a big day ahead, so fuel up on a giant plate of bacon, sausages, potato bread, hash browns, mushrooms and tomatoes – otherwise known as an Ulster Fry. Enjoy Belfast’s finest at Maggie May’s (maggiemaysbelfast.co.uk), in Botanic Avenue. 10:00 Get your bearings in this beautiful city and burn off your calorific eats by treading the pavements. Some of Belfast’s oldest, cobblestoned streets are in the cultural centre, the Cathedral Quarter. The city’s 19th-century renaissance architecture is mostly concentrated here, the focal point being St Anne’s Cathedral, which dazzles with glass mosaics, and has the largest Celtic Cross in Ireland. In May, during the annual arts festival, this area comes to life with street theatre, comedy shows, visual art and live music. 11:00 Belfast’s rise to muck-and-brass prosperity during the industrial revolution is exemplified in the City Hall. Pop over to Donegall Square to see this impressive building, built in a classical Renaissance style in 1906. It is fronted by a dourlooking Queen Victoria. 12.00 Tuck into some lunch at Cafe Grand Dame, Ulster Hall (cafegranddame.com). The hall itself, built in 1859, is an iconic venue, having hosted everyone from Charles Dickens to the Dalai Lama. 13:00 Head towards the River Lagan and take in the city’s most distinctive landmark, the Albert Clock. This is Belfast’s ‘leaning tower’, built in 1865. The area around it was once the stomping ground for the ladies of the night who ‘serviced’ visiting sailors. 14:00 Belfast came to international prominence from 1909 72

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when it began to build the Titanic – the most luxuriously appointed ship ever. Cross over to the east side of the river and take a tour around the shipyard of Harland & Wolff with Titanic Tours Belfast (titanictours-belfast.co.uk). Susie Millar, a direct descendant of a crew member, will explain the history of this feat of Edwardian engineering, which was proudly sent on its ill-fated maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. 16:00 Jump on bus number 23, or a hail a cab to the dazzling white neoclassical Parliament House at Stormont – the seat of power for 40 years until 1972. On May 8, 2007, it returned to the forefront of Irish politics when enemies Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, and Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, were sworn in as first minister and deputy first minister respectively. 19:00 After an action-packed day, you’re definitely deserving of a pint of Guinness. A little revelry at The Crown Liquor Saloon (crownbar.com) is a must. It’s Belfast’s best-known bar – and most bombed throughout the city’s period of unrest. Owned by the National Trust, this Victorian gin palace has scalloped gas lights, gleaming brasswork and a fine long bar inlaid with coloured glass. Plus, the service bells still work in the booths. You can eat in the upstairs dining room. 22:00 Now, the real party starts. Head to the Queen’s Quarter. It’s Belfast’s university area and, as you would therefore expect, home to a suitably pulsating nightlife. 03:00 Lay your weary head to rest at Ark Hostel (44 University Street) in Botanic Avenue, the heart of Belfast’s Golden Mile. Beds cost from £5 per night. DAY 2: 11:00 Grab yourself something greasy for the


Photos: BVCB, Thinkstock

Stunning: City Hall at twilight

hangover, then get back on the tourist trail. Belfast’s recent history was marked by sectarian violence from 1960 through to the mid-Nineties, known as The Troubles. To get a grip on it all, hop into a black cab with Big E Taxi Tours (big-e-taxitours.com) for a mural tour. It’ll take you past the political-oriented murals of the loyalist lower Shankill area, the republican lower Springfield/ Falls area, and the 6m-high ‘peace wall’ along the way. 13.30 It’s a sobering experience, so cheer up with some lunch at St George’s Market (2-20 East Bridge Street). Weave through the various cooked food and produce stalls. We dare you to choose just one thing! 15:00 For a fresh perspective on the city, get out and climb Divis or Black Mountain. Divis, the larger of the two, is 1500ft high, and provides stunning views of Belfast city. It’s a 15-minute ride on bus route 10. Prefer some retail therapy? Then go shopping at Lisburn Road. 19:00 Thankfully, it’s time to eat. Line your stomach with some of the best pizzas in town at Speranza (speranzabelfast.com) in Shaftesbury Square. 09:00 Not flagging are you? Tick off the rest of Belfast’s nightlife in Laverys Bar (laverysbelfast.com). It consists of four individual venues in one complex – the elegant Public Bar, the bohemian Back Bar, the alternative Bunker and the Ballroom. There’s something for everyone, so you’ve got no excuse to wimp out. Return flights from London Stansted to Belfast with bmibaby bmibaby.com start from £39.98

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CHINA

Yunnan CHINA

Lijiang Xinjie

YU

KUNMING

NNAN

BURMA VIETNAM

The Yuanyang rice terraces in wet season 74

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GETTING THERE Fly from London Heathrow to Kunming, with a stop-off in Beijing, from ÂŁ704 return with Air China. (airchina.com)


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Wild China Discover a raw, untamed People’s Republic that refuses to conform to type in Yunnan’s ancient tribes and challenging treks WORDS LAURA CHUBB

A traveller’s expectations of the mysterious East tend to be unceremoniously shattered upon arrival in Beijing or Shanghai. These crammed, modern cities, choked with traffic and neon, don’t quite live up to poetic imaginings of mist-shrouded pagodas and weeping-willow-lined lakes. But while there are pockets of classical China spread across this monster country’s 9,600,000sqkm, one province more than most provides an escape from the hallmarks of the People’s Republic’s booming, first-world economy. Yunnan, in the south-west, is home to more than half of China’s ethnic minorities; the landscape itself seems to be a rebellion against uniformity. Bordering Tibet to its north-west and Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to its south, Yunnan’s terrain veers erratically between thick jungle, rolling green mountains and snow-blanketed peaks. Here, you’ll meet tribes living their lives according to thousandsof-years-old tradition, and take on the land’s untamed natural environment for some thoroughly un-urban adventures. Make no mistake: this is China’s must-not-miss province. Here’s a guide to the best bits. Lijiang Old Town Bundled into the dawn darkness after an overnight bus from the provincial capital of Kunming, I find my way to Mama Naxi’s guesthouse by pure luck. Mama Naxi is a legend among backpackers – the Naxi, a tribe from Tibet that settled here, are a matriarchal society, and this ‘Mama’ is said to be the archetypal strong but nurturing head of the family, taking in weary travellers and feeding them up. Lijiang’s old town is a labyrinth of twisting cobbled streets, a step back of centuries attended by trickling canals and the clawing aroma of deep-fried yak meat. It’s hard enough to navigate in daylight, so it really is chance that guides me to Mama Naxi, who I find gathering water from the canal. True to her renown, she recognises the sleepless night in my eyes, and puts me to bed without demanding I first register or so much as hand over a passport. Because Lijiang is what every traveller covets – the chance to wander ancient China – it is absolutely rammed with tourists. The Old Market Square is permanently packed, and – heartbreakingly – turns into Tenerife come nightfall, with

bangin’ beats and costly cocktails. But stick to the quieter backstreets and you won’t be struggling for charm. Naxi women in traditional dress – loose gowns of burgundies and blues – are everywhere, and local delicacies such as the local pancake (a thick, fried creation) and coffee with creamy yak milk don’t disappoint. Try to find Stone The Crows, a bohemian rooftop bar with killer views over the old town and some very special cookies. How to do it: Catch a sleeper bus from Kunming’s west bus station to Lijiang. You’ll get dropped off in the new town, as cars aren’t permitted in the old town, but you can walk to it. Find Mama Naxi at 70 Wangjia Zhuang Lane, Wuyi Jie (Tel. 510 7713). Be warned – she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and can switch from motherly to belligerent in an instant. Either way, you’ll always leave with a banana. Tiger Leaping Gorge When the donkey headbutts me in the arse, I almost lose it. I thought I’d shaken off my pursuer at lunch, but he is relentless. I guess I can appreciate why the old guy with his decrepit beast keeps insisting I pay him for a ride; I’m just a few steps into the ‘28 bends’ – the toughest part of the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek – and I’m not a pretty sight. The same can’t be said for the views, at least, which might be why I resist the urge to throw a rock at him and instead plough onwards and upwards. Immersing yourself in a setting of stunning 3900m-high green-mottled mountains is good for the soul, I conclude. This two-day trek through one of the world’s deepest gorges is made all the more refreshing because you don’t need to take a guided tour. Arrows painted on rocks and fences help me find my way, and the various guesthouses along the route do a cheap and reliable line in food and shelter. Taking the trail at my own pace lets me fully absorb my surroundings – the Jinsha River roars between the Haba Shan mountains to the west and the Yulong Xueshan mountains to the east, and I have an uninterrupted view of it all from the high rocky path that traverses it. The ‘28 bends’ arrive mid-way through day one, so I make sure to rest and refuel at lunch. Climbing a steep uphill path strewn with scree for 90 minutes is tough enough, but this ›› TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Lijiang’s Black Dragon Pool Park

Dried yak meat, anyone?

The writer in the Shilin stone forest part of the trail is so-called because it winds in a succession of tight bends that punish the knees even more. The jawto-the-floor panorama at the top – the highest point of the gorge – makes it all worthwhile, of course. Day two is moderately gentler. The upwards slog is almost over and I merely have to concentrate on not plunging to an agonising death. The path is slight and tricky, with rocks jutting from all angles to trip me up, and a sheer drop into the gorge at my side. This is why you shouldn’t try the trek in July and August – rain could make this path lethal. Even in September, at one point I have to walk through a waterfall as it cascades over the path. The trek ends at Tina’s Guesthouse, a dingy concrete block that marks where the high hikers’ trail meets the low road, the latter being a construction-congested highway littered with the remains of snakes left two-dimensional by trucks’ tyres. For the equivalent of £1, you can pay a friendly, toothless old woman to access a steep path down to Tiger Leaping Stone, from which the mythical tiger jumped over the river, giving the gorge its name. Just ask at Tina’s to be pointed in the right direction. How to do it: Guesthouses in Lijiang will arrange a minibus to the village of Qiaotou, from where you join the trail. A minibus from Tina’s or any guesthouse on the low road will take you back to Qiaotou for about £3, and from here you can flag down a bus back to Lijiang or onwards to ShangriLa. There is technically a £5 admission fee for the trek, but I wasn’t asked to pay it.

a reason. The ‘stone forest’ – a huge expanse of tightly packed grey karst pillars, battered into jagged shapes by thousands of years of wind and rain – is an unique sight, and one that injects precisely the magic that’s missing from China’s overly familiar urban locales. Don’t let various guide books’ whinging about the clamouring crowds put you off; the key is to arrive early. Admittedly, my first attempt to see Shilin goes awry. When I arrive at Kunming’s east bus station around 10am

Shilin Stone Forest This might be a tourist trap of claustrophobia-inducing proportions, but like all heavily touristed spots, there is 76

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Ancient China: in Lijiang’s Old Town


– a reasonable time, I had thought, but I realise my naivete when I see the swarms of people bulging out of the bus station’s entrance. No way in hell am I seeing the stone forest today. The next morning, I’m at the station for 7.30am and on a bus by 7.40am. That’s the difference a couple of hours can make. Arriving at Shilin around 9am, I have the place pretty much to myself, and am free to explore every nook of this most bizarre of natural wonders however I wish. By the time I board the 1pm bus back to Kunming, the masses have begun to overrun it. I’m pretty damned pleased with myself, and my tourist-group-free photos. Yuanyang Rice Terraces It takes a good six hours by bus to get from Kunming to Xinjie, which is why I’m not hugely happy to find my seat number, but no seat. The broken remnants of what was number 19 are stuffed behind the back row; thankfully, the driver notices and pulls me towards a comfier arrangement up front. Xinjie itself is pretty grim; dirty-looking high-rises surround the decaying bus station, where later my onwards

When the donkey headbutts me, I lose it

ticket to Lao Cai in Vietnam is handwritten on a torn scrap of paper. Thankfully, this is just a jumping off point to taxi into the hills of the Hani people, a tribe that has cultivated the land over thousands of years into steep, neatly contoured rice terraces. Hani villages are scattered throughout these hills, often set within the terraces, so that the people can work the land all day and don’t have far to lug their crop home. That’s not to say it’s a doddle – you’ll see folk with 100kg of rice strapped to their backs wearily winding their way up and down. There seem to be more women than men grafting, ››

Old architecture in Lijiang

CHINA SURVIVAL GUIDE China can be a challenging place to travel, given its sheer size, near-impenetrable tonal language, and love of spitting. Here are a few tips to survive:

LANGUAGE The best you can hope for is to pick up ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’, because besides the difficulty of non-Roman characters, the meaning of Mandarin depends on tones. Always get the English-speaking staff at your hostel to write down where you’re headed in Mandarin before hopping in a taxi, and take a map of where your digs are, or at the very least a phone number, whenever you head out. TOILETS This is no time to be squeamish. Of all the dire toilet experiences on the backpacker trail, China might well take the cake. Be prepared to walk into a bathroom and get greeted by a row of arses shitting into a trench: toilet stalls often don’t have doors, and even if they do, a lot of folk don’t use them. SPITTING Get over this quickly. Hocking up a generous glob of phlegm in the street is ubiquitous, and constant, in China, from the cities to the villages. Don’t get offended or expect it to ever stop; it is what it is. TRAINS Trains are great in China if you choose the right class. Soft sleeper is the most expensive, but well worth it; you share a cabin with just three other passengers, and prices don’t tend to push above £30. Hard sleeper is a bit less luxurious, as you’re in a cabin full of bunks. Don’t even think about hard seat; the horror stories keep us awake at night.

Public toilets: avoid

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too: chopping, whacking, bundling and carrying rice from dawn until dusk. I choose to stay at a simple guesthouse in the village of Duoyishu, which overlooks one of the area’s most arresting views. Bright yellow rice crops swirl deep into the valley in ordered steps, an explosion of hyperreal colour made brighter against the vivid-blue sky. In the wet season, the drenched fields reflect sunrise and sunset, attracting frenzied packs of photographers. You can trek throughout the region, but I prefer to relax on Sunny Guesthouse’s veranda and soak up the scene. Duoyishu is a small assembly of yellow, thatched ‘mushroom’ houses, where pigs and chickens roam the walkways, and criminally cute kids come out to play. The local women are all proudly adorned in the Hani traditional dress of beads and feathers. A trip to neighbouring Bada is also a good idea. Stone paths let you explore the terraces without danger of falling, slapstick-style, into the paddies – which I’m ashamed to report I did in Duoyishu. How to do it: Try and hook up with fellow backpackers to split the fare of a minibus from Xinjie into the hills. Some areas, such as Duoyishu, have an admission fee, but the local drivers will speed past the toll booths. A stay at Sunny Guesthouse in Duoyishu village can’t be recommended enough. (Tel. 159 8737 1311) ❚

Traditional Naxi costumes, music and dancing

BEST OF THE REST YUNNAN KUNMING: The provincial capital has plenty to go against it: it’s big, dirty, smelly, and taxi drivers avoid white faces like the plague. Some, however, find pockets of likeability in it, especially the relatively peaceful Green Lake Park. Either way, you’ll have to pay a visit to Kunming, as it’s the jumping off point for the rest of the province. Stay at Cloudland Youth Hostel, where the staff can help plan your travels. (Tel. 410 3777) DALI: Once the backpacker capital of Yunnan, Dali is now blasted for being too touristed. If you’ve no interest in hanging with beardy types for long periods of chilling, you’ll soon tire of it, but it’s position between bright-white mountains and a pagoda-spotted lake justifies a few days.

It’s Shangri-La

SHAXI: A step back in time without the tourist hordes to spoil it, Shaxi is a subdued collection of wooden houses and winding streets, so far unmolested by an infiltration of backpacker bars. It was once an important stop on the TeaHorse Road, a collection of caravan routes that linked China with India through Tibet. 78

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A waterfall flows over the path, Tiger Leaping Gorge

NEXT WEEK Aruba: Swapping romance for adventure on the paradise island Cute kid alert

Photos: Laura Chubb; Getty

ZHONGDIAN/ SHANGRI-LA: Touted as the inspiration for Brit writer James Hilton’s fictional Shangri-La, Zhongdian is a meandering old town akin to Lijiang, only at a breathtaking elevation of 3200m, teetering on the edge of Tibet.


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£735 (all inclusive)

£775 (all inclusive)

Includes: F Accommodation in Contiki’s traditional Gasthof guesthouse. F Hot buffet breakfast daily. F Free pick up available from Innsbruck or Worgi Station. F Free Salzburg day trip. F Access to Contiki’s legendary bar & themed parties. F Awesome Xmas & NYE celebrations. F 6 Day Ski pass & Equipment hire F 3 Day 4hr Ski Lessons

Book at contiki.com/ski

1 OR 2 WEEK DEPARTURES STARTING 09-DEC TO 25-FEB 2012

contiki.com | 0845 026 8900

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IN WINTER


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CHRISTMAS OR NEW YEARS IN WALES RELAX AND RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES WITH US. WE PICK UP IN WEST LONDON

2012

Xmas 23-26 Dec £195 New years 30-1 Jan £175 Great for groups of mates, singles and couples We have a lovely cottage that sleeps 16 and has a large hot tub next to a river and open log fire. 2 double rooms available. We will serve excellent home made festive food. During the day you can go walking, horse riding £50 full day or just chill, the choice is yours We will also be having a fancy dress party on both trips. Prices include transport, accommodation, no hidden extras all food and non alcoholic drinks. Please book soon to avoid disappointment

Email: info@bushwakkers.co.uk website: www.bushwakkers.co.uk phone: 01874 636170

l s & Kiw ld do  оce!

THE ULTIMATE PILGRAMAGE! £249 £299 £399 £449 £599 £699

Pure ANZAC 4 days ANZAC Digger 5 days ANZAC Discovered 6 days ANZAC Coo-ee 8 days ANZAC Bonzer 11 days ANZAC Cobber 14 days

WHY WE’RE NUMBER 1 FOR ANZAC DAY ANZAC specialists for 14-years t Best guides at the Cove No Single Supplements t Western rated 4-star hotels Camp at the Cove or stay in a hotel t Hoodie included Waterside ANZAC Eve BBQ t ANZAC & Egypt Combo tours

www.onthegotours.com 020 7371 1113 100% Financially Protected with ABTA, AITO and ATOL. Phone lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm. On the Go Tours, 68 North End Road, West Kensington, London W14 9EP. 䘠 100% On the Go Assurance.

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l! ies! Ris rtou

t Pa esin SkNifYE

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OUR SKI RESORT & ACCOM ✔ Self-contained apartments (sleeps 4-6) ✔ Balcony, kitchen, ensuite bathroom & WC ✔ High altitude resorts 1,850m-3,500m ✔ Top quality snow & over 300km of piste ✔ Ski runs literally at our door step ✔ Funky resort bars, shops & restaurants

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WEEKEND BREAKS AND DAY TOURS SHORT BREAKS BELGIUM CHRISTMAS MARKETS From

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DESPERATELYSEEKING

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Post your message at tntmagazine.com/seeking or email seeking@tntmagazine.com. Text TNT and your message to 81707* “Jesus will judge us” for those late nights! Thanks for being a sterling member of the Castle. London’s going to be a poorer place for not having you around, but bring on Mackay – we just hope it’s ready for you! Love the Castilians and cling-ons. Hop-a-long: Gil, you are the hottest one-legged man ever. You can hop in my swag any day. Ski trip participant wanted: We are two girls and a guy looking

shared a sneaky kiss at the Red Back Tavern. Almost three years on we are still together and moving on to Sydney, baby! Meeting you was the highlight of my time in London. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us! xoxo PP Who’s a naughty boy?: Sim Dog, you’d better spank me. It’s the only way I’ll ever learn. I’ll see you in the ‘kitchen’. King Helmet. XSJD, KK, CC, RP: Colleagues, it has been amazing working with

THINGS THE QUEEN SHOULD DO BEFORE SHE DIES

#455 Umpire the first Test between Australia and New Zealand

for three-to-four others to join us on a ski trip to Val Torens in the French Alps. We booked a massive eight-bed chalet, with a spa, pool and all the comforts, but people have pulled out. It costs £380 for seven nights’ accommodation, from December 31 until January 7. You’ll have to pay for your flights to Geneva, which cost about about £70 with easyJet. Transfers, lift passes, equipment hire, etc will also be extra. Please email xmasskitrip@ gmail.com if you’re interested. XCC: We met at a house party when I was fresh off the boat and

you all. I wish it could have been longer. I was sure I would have had you all eating Nerds with stacks of canned soup at your desk, as though the world might be nearing to an end. Canned foods are running low on stock! PLS. Back in time: In August, in Croatia you were the yellow morph. My friends all thought you were the creepy one going off and then wandering back over, but I just thought it was magnetic! Your competition wasn’t tough though – there was the green one who had dunked some of his morph suit in

the portaloo and therefore reeked for the rest of the festival. Shall we see what we can morph this into? Still waiting: You said you would call three days ago. WTF? I thought our blind date was awesome, I even rated you a 8.7 out of 10 to my cat. Now we are just sitting and waiting (me and my cat, Prince Frederick) for you to ring, or tweet, or anything! Pippa. Oopsie ooh: To the girl with auburn hair on the Circle line last Monday. I was the guy who ‘accidentally’ fell on you just before Victoria. I hope it sent your heart racing as much as it did mine. I’d like to do it again some time if you’re keen? Circle line once more? Mistaken identity: Taylor, you big turkey. That wasn’t me snogging Lisa’s face off. Mick, my twin brother’s around. He came to see me, so naturally I showed him some London nightlife. We bumped into Lise and, well, it didn’t take him long, did it?! They put some strong shit in those snakebites, don’t they? That or he’s much more like his older brother than I thought! Marcus. Missing you: Come back to Facebook, RazzamaTaz! I lived on a daily diet of your status updates until you banned yourself last month. Deprive yourself and you deprive me. Don’t do it, I’ll only shrivel up and die. The other mista. Dearest Mignon: Three years ago I accidently barged into you while doing the Nutbush. we argued, we kissed and now, 1095 days later, I still only regret three of them. Score!

*Messages cost 25p each + standard network rate. 18+ bill payers only. Send STOP to end. Number may show on bill. A2B 08700460138

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Thanking She Bu Walkie: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank the She Bu Walkie enough for the great sporting events, snakebites and cheesy tunes. But most of all, thanks for bringing me the love of my life, Anjali. For all the gents out there, never give up the game, because your Anjali is out there for you too. Desperately seeking, no more. Woodrow xoxo To the Aussie guy from Melbourne I met on November 9 at Belushi’s in Hammersmith: You introduced yourself as Juliano, told me you were a builder and lived in the Chelsea area. Earlier that night you were at the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s concert and were thrilled about that, so we started talking about our favourite bands. I told you that Tool was my favourite band ever and you kissed me. I’d like to stay in touch. Email me at kenobi.studio@ yahoo.it. Oriella Something smells: Don’t get a brazilian, Sammo, it ends up looking like a fish finger. Jules. El Capitan: After five amazing years, it’s time for you to head back to sunny Queensland shores. We’ll miss your gentle “housework suggestions”, your enthusiasm for all things Aussie, your organisational skills (many a party and Euro-trip would not have happened without you!) and your undying commitment to Bundy rum! You’ve showed us the ways of trashy US reality TV, Ben & Jerry’s and lemon-bum chicken, started a tradition of epic Women’s Weekly birthday cakes, and we now know


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TNT Magazine / Issue 1474  

TNT Magazine / Issue 1474

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