Perhaps more than any other artist, Michael Jackson’s legacy stretches beyond record sales and number of chart-topping singles and albums. Of course, both are astonishing and barely believable. But more than mere numbers, he was the King of Pop, a global superstar and a musical genius who revolutionised the music video. And as this highly-acclaimed exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery makes clear (neatly titled On the Wall), he was an inspiration even to those far outside of music.
Running for 10 years, Winter Wonderland is a delightful way to celebrate the magical splendour of Christmas. Starting from 7 December, it takes over Hyde Park with attractions including food and toy stalls, rollercoasters and rides, ice statues and an ice rink and ferris wheel.
I’d wanted to go to The Chocolate Show before, but hadn’t had the chance. Happily, this time I was attend the annual celebration of chocolate. And being at Kensington Olympia, you just knew it was going to have plenty of space. Which meant the opportunity to create some very pleasant surprises. What is your favourite type of chocolate? You’ll probably find it well represented below.
There was so much to see on the Wimbledon visit I had recently that I had to seperate it into two parts. This post will focus on the guided tour (you can find my experience of the shop here), which takes you around different courts and the overall area. As there was so much to see, I’ve reviewed the tour in a non-linear way so as to group the photographs better.
As a gift from my good friend Tosha, I had tickets for the Wimbledon tour. As regulars of the blog will know, I am a big tennis fan. I’ve quoted numerous legends like Arthur Ashe and Chris Evert to current stars like Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro and been to the 02 to see the ATP World Tour Finals numerous times. I’ve read Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open, Fred Perry’s biography The Last Champion, Levels of the Game by sports writer John McPhee and Break Point by tennis journalist Kevin Mitchell.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is an American franchise that deals in bizarre events and strange and unusual facts. It was founded by Robert Ripley in 1918 with a sports cartoon in the New York Globe. It soon sounded expanded to include items from other areas and then onto different formats like radio, television and books. Continuing that expansion have been the exhibitions first in the US, before countries like Mexico, Canada, India and Australia. And of course the UK. It was about time I saw the one in Piccadilly Circus, London.
As an odd number year, there hasn’t been a World Cup or European Championship this summer. While there has been a Confederations Cup and various youth competitions, there’s still been plenty of appetite for more football. And so the first Star Sixes competition was created. Hosted at the 02, it featured 12 countries, including half who come from a nation that have won the World Cup – Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. In China, Denmark, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal and Scotland there was mostly solid representation too. The even ran for four days, with three groups of four teams. The top two from each group and then the two best third placed teams went through to the quarter-finals. Each team had 11 players in their squad, with only 6 allowed on the field at the same time.
Pink Floyd really are something. Formed in London in 1965 by students Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, the group have gone on to be one of the most famous bands ever. They’ve sold 250 million records worldwide, had 17 UK Top 10 albums (6 at Number 1) and with 5 US Number One albums, are one of the few British bands to truly break the US over a sustained period. But the group has always been about more than chart success, as this exhibition by the V@A Museum in South Kensington demonstrates.
Stonehenge is one of those places I’ve meant to go to for ages. Living in London it seems like I have no excuse, especially as friends of the family who live outside of the country have been before me. I finally decided it was time to go. I went with a friend (hi Tosha) who was also keen to visit the prehistoric site.
Star Wars is a phenomenon that shows no sign of abating. Ever since its introduction with A New Hope in 1977 it has blown audiences away with its fantasy charm, good v evil battles, memorable heroes, sinister villains and, in the lightsabre, the best weapon ever. Even its recent spin-off was a huge smash. So when I saw there was an exhibition entitled Star Wars Identities at the 02 featuring over 200 props, models, costumes and artwork, I just had to go. Tosha Michelle who was in town, came along for the ride.