It's the LondonNet Newsletter...
9 December 2004, Issue 169

www.londonnet.com / www.londonnet.co.uk


Schroders London Boat ShowWhat's Up: London for Free, Offers, Attractions...
London Diary: Christmas Gift, by David Clee...
Entertainment: Everything to know about going out in London...
London Hotels: London and Worldwide hotel deals...
News: Latest news from London...
Competition: We'll sail you away to boat heaven...
Talkback: UFO's and LondonNet - a perfect match...

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What's Up


Happy Happy Holidays from LondonNet to our faithful readers! May your holidays be filled with joy, family and friends, and lots of mince pies. Click here for more Christmas info and highlights...

For living life on the water:
win tickets to the prized London Boat Show - details in our compie, below...

Travelling over Christmas? Click here for changed airport transfer times: 2004 Christmas Airport Transfer Time Table


The Gore - Winter Special
(1st Sept - 31st Dec)
Single - 109 UKP Inclusive of vat
Double - 149 UKP Inclusive of vat

Bed and Breakfasts:
Hyde - From only UKP17 per person per night!

Generator - From only UKP9 per person per night


Free updates of available rooms/tenants in your area

For the latest information and tickets for a wide range of London's premier attractions, see our regularly updated London Attractions page.

London Ice Skating
Spin away from bleary English winters on any of the assorted ice rinks around London.
Somerset House Ice Rink
- Info and tickets
Greenwich Ice Rink - Info and tickets
Hampton Court Ice Rink - Info and tickets
Kew Gardens Ice Rink - Info and tickets

Christmas at Royal Albert Hall
Knowledgeable guides will lead you through a tour of this iconic building, with stories about the infamous hall and its many festive seasons. Enjoy an exclusive seasonal supper and then a feast of music, choosing from a selection of traditional seasonal music or favourite Christmas songs and carols from Raymond Gubbay's Christmas Festival:

Royal Choral Society Christmas Carols: Monday 13 December at 7.30pm
A Gospel Christmas:
Tuesday 14 December at 7.30pm
The BT Christmas Concert:
Wednesday 15 December at 7.30pm
Christmas Classics:
Thursday 16 December at 7.30pm
Friday 17 December at 7.30pm
Carols by Candlelight:
Monday 20 December at 7.30pm

All concerts UKP 49.50 per person, book via Royal Albert Hall Box Office (020 7838 3105) and quote 'Hall Christmas Offer', mentioning which concert you would like to attend. Dinner includes choice of five main courses and mince pies. All major credit cards and Switch cards accepted; £2.95 admin. charge is made per booking.

Christmas Eve at Westminster Abbey
A quiet, candlelit vigil in the House of God and Kings, to honour Christmas future, past, and present...
Dec 24th, 11:30pm, UKP7, students UKP5
Westminster Abbey, Deans Yard, SW1
Tel: 0207 222 5152, Tube: Westminster
Visitors recommended to arrive an hour prior

So This is Christmas
Feed your jolly Christmas cheer with LondonNet's guide to Christmas, and check back for updates...
For more information on Regent Street Christmas Lights, Trafalgar Square Tree Lighting, and Christmas Eve at Westminster Abbey, click here...


Top Attraction Sellers
(25 November - 9 December 2004)
1) London Eye
2) Madame Tussaud's/Planetarium
3) Tower of London

London Diary

Christmas Gift

There’s a square inch of Oxford Street with your name on it this Christmas shopping period. Then there’s another square inch after that.

Finding those tiny bits of blessed personal space is the tricky bit, but try you should because braving the festive crowds is one of the Herculean tasks that fall to all would-be Londoners.

The rules of this game are well-understood, if not written down. In essence, you must negotiate a treacherous path of speed versus physical contact. Points are earned for making your way down London’s busiest pedestrian street as quickly as possible without using shoulders, elbows or spike-pointed shoes as aides-de-combat. For the ambitious, bonus points can be gained by keeping your head and therefore eyes down, using a kind of Jedi force to ‘feel’ your way through the throng. It can be done, though going on a crash diet beforehand might be worth your consideration.

For those who pass this gruelling test, there is a reward I am prepared to share: the period between Christmas and New Year. For a few days from the 25th December, before the sales start, central London is deliciously empty. Anyone who finds themselves not in front of the TV at that time, I advise to make a trip up town and take a long, slow walk through the areas you usually avoid or rush through. It’s peaceful, eerie and oddly uplifting, especially if there’s rain. Lazier types might want to take advantage of the lack of a Congestion Charge and traffic and drive, preferably really slowly to capture a beautiful I’m-in-the-movies effect. There’s my gift - Happy Christmas.

David Clee




Christmas Specialties ...

ENB at The Coliseum
21st Dec - 8th January
ENGLISH National Ballet's extraordinary production of The Nutcracker is a feast for the senses. Vibrant, eccentric and magical; designer Gerald Scarfe and choreographer Christopher Hampson have conjured up a colourful and bold Nutcracker, now in its third year.
Get tickets fast, because it is selling quickly!

Order Tickets

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
Saddlers Wells
21st Dec - 16 January
Order Tickets

The Producers, Theatre Royal Drury Lane
Brooks Is The New Bard - Despite pre-opening drama, The Producers hems a new clean seam of satire in London's West End.

SHAKESPEARE was the master of manipulating the metaphorical tool of a "play within a play." But now it is the Brooks, not the Bard, who takes mirror imaging to the stage with his riotous musical, "The Producers," now playing at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The godfather of modern American satire, Mel Brooks recently brought the script of his 1968 film to the stage, with wild success in New York City. The London cast is headed by Lee Evans and Nathan Lane, who was rushed from the U.S. to fill the tap shoes of an ailing Richard Dreyfus.
Click for full review...
Order Tickets

LondonNet Christmas Panto Special...
The only true way to get into the Christmas spirit is to hearken back to the days of yor: those classic, snowy days of London pantomime. Sure, today's Christmas pantos include the likes of Spiderman, a Wicked Queen full of Botox and pyrotechnics, but they still hold on to that great London theatrical tradition of ... men in womens' clothes. Enjoy this year's pantos as they take the classic and twist it with loads of lime.

The Old Vic
17 Dec 2004 - 22 Jan 2005
UKP10 - 35
Written by Billie Brown, The Old Vic's Aladdin stars all the characters of British Panto. The renowned Sir Ian McKellen will don a gown as Widow Twankey, alongside Roger Allam, Sam Kelly and Maureen Lipman. Tickets are selling fast!
Order Tickets

Sleeping Beauty
Barbican Theatre
16 Dec 2004 - 11 Jan 2005
The Young Vic brings this twisted tale to the Barbican, while their South Bank home is refurbished. Parrault's old tale of a pricked finger finds a new life in true panto fashion: the Barbi's Beauty includes farting fairies and a prince more interested in catching his meal than finding a sleeping girl to kiss.

Order Tickets

Dick Whittington
Richmond Theatre
9 Dec 2005 - 16 Jan 2005
A CLASSIC panto about Dick Whittington, his cat, and London streets paved with gold.
Order Tickets

For full list of pantos, click here...


Top Theatre Sellers
(25 November - 9 December 2004)
1) Phantom of the Opera

2) The Producers

3) Mary Poppins

4) Les Miserables
5) Saturday Night Fever

London Theatre A - Z Guide
London Theatre Reviews



Barenaked for the Holidays: LondonNet interviews and reviews Canada's favourite musical export. Click here for more!

New Gig Highlights:

Tickets make clever gifts! Get yours for the best 2005 shows!

Elton John
9 - 18 December; 5 & 11 June 2005
Carling Apollo Hammersmith, Hallam Arena (Sheffield), Nottingham Arena, SECC (Glasgow), Reebok Stadium (Bolton) and Highfield Road (Coventry).

Get your Sir Elton kicks this Christmas as he wallops through thirty-some odd years of hits, not to mention a few endearing cuss-words and that big-sunglassed charm.
Order Tickets

Hammered At X-Mas
(Arch Enemy, The Haunted and Dark Tranquility)
17 Dec 2004
The Forum

Get your fix of swedish black metal this Christmas with the trio of all trios. Age restrictions apply - this ain't for the kiddies.
Order Tickets

Friday 15 April 2005, 7.00 PM
The Forum
15 UKP

An odd mix of tuneful post-punk and metal, Bradford, Yorkshire quartet were dropped by EMI in 2000, despite their successful 4th album, Shaving Peaches, featuring the chart-topping single “Tequila” in 1999, which threw the dumb, charming bloke punk of the Ramones into the mix. Nonetheless, they soldiered on a little longer, before disbanding in 2001. Four years later, they return for a brief UK tour that stops at the Kentish Town Forum, and who knows what the reunion could amount to.
Order Tickets

Roots Manuva
Friday 4 March 2005, 8.00 PM
Carling Brixton Academy

Before Dizzee Rascal and the Streets, there was Roots Manuva. Emerging from the underground scene slightly before his contemporaries, Roots Manuva (aka Rodney Smith) earned acclaim for mixing underground hip-hop with dub and electro, and fiercely autobiographical rhymes with club-oriented jams. Three albums on, he comes to Brixton Academy in the spring.
Order Tickets

Our Picks:

Once In A Lifetime
(David Cassidy, David Essex, The Osmonds, Bay City Rollers)
June 5, 2005, 7:30pm, Wembley Pavilion

IT SHOULD be sensory overload met by a fury of more aged screams as a horde of 70's teen heartthrobs invade Wembley Pavilion in June. It'll be difficult to believe that the clock hasn't been turned back thirty years as many of the faces who filled television screens and made teenage girls scream in their bell-bottoms return to rekindle that passion on a grandiose package tour...
Click here for full preview...

Order Tickets -  First Call

The Streets
11/03/05, 7:00pm
Alexander Palace

OVER the last three years, The Streets, aka London via Birmingham DJ/rapper Mike Skinner, have turned the 2-step/garage club scene on its ear, managing to earn British hip-hop international respect as a mere by-product. Combining singing, rapping, and mock accents to release clever rhymes that drop as many cultural references as his talented American counterparts, earlier this year Skinner released a second critically acclaimed album, A Grand Don't Come For Free.

His club scene roots also translate to a stunning live show as energetic, bouncy and spontaneous as his recordings and there will be plenty of space for him to move around in the cavernous Alexandra Palace...
Click for full preview...
Order Tickets

The Hives
Weds April 20, 2005, 7.00PM
@ The Carling Apollo Hammersmith, Queen Caroline St., W6
Tube: Hammersmith
17.50 UKP

The Hives are the perfect example of a band in the right place at the right time. In their 11 years as a band, they have released 3 albums with the mainstream explosion of garage rock falling solidly between their 2nd album, Veni Vidi Vicious in 2000 and their reissue of Your New Favourite Band in 2002. The Swedish garage-punks were able to rest on their laurels for a little while, spending the time touring constantly with like-minded bands like the Mooney Suzuki and the Hellacopters and finding time to play massive festivals at Reading and Leeds.

On the strength of the single "Walk, Idiot Walk" the Hives have managed to prove they can pick up where they left off with Tyrannosaurus Hives, their first album of new material in four years. The band is tighter and more technical than in the past, but expect their punk energy to shine through loud and proud at this Hammersmith gig.
Order Tickets

Black Eyed Peas
Jan 31 2005, 7:00pm, Carling Apollo Hammersmith

IT'S BEEN a long, strange trip for Los Angeles natives Black Eyed Peas. They have been catapulted into the international mainstream enough to headline a show at the Carling Apollo Hammersmith. The band is seemingly just as concerned with aesthetics and theatrics as music, as two members of the group have roots as a break dancing crew. One might expect a hip-hop culture extravaganza set to music.
Order Tickets

Tony Bennett
13 & 14 April 2005, 7pm, Royal Albert Hall

"THE CHAIRMAN of the board" and "The Velvet Fog" may be gone, but Tony Bennett, their standard-singing contemporary is still going strong. Although he never achieved the fame of Frank Sinatra or Mel Torme in his early years, Bennett did make a name for himself with a few late 50s and early 60's vocal classics like "I left my heart in San Francisco". Now in his late 70s, Bennett is still hitting the road, after playing a one-off gig at Royal Festival Hall in early December, he will be playing two dates at Royal Albert Hall in the spring.
Order Tickets

Saturday July 9 & Sunday July 10, 2005
7pm, National Bowl, Milton Keynes

OASIS has always been the Liam and Noel Gallagher show, but it has become even more so with the changes. Not that there's particularly a problem with that, as the battling brothers have managed to write many memorable songs. The question is whether past triumphs will be able to outshine their occasional onstage bickering. As their live album Familiar to Millions showed, no matter what happens, it is sure to be a rock n' roll spectacle.
- Steve Marshall

Order Tickets -  First Call (Ticketswitch)
Order Tickets - Ticketmaster (Ticketmaster)

Destiny's Child
Earl's Court
2 & 3 June 2005
UKP 30.00

Destiny's Child have not released much since 2001's Survivor (lead singer Beyonce Knowles has instead chosen to focus on successful solo projects), but fans in the UK have not forgotten the new R&B trio with a string of Top 40 hits. They swarmed Virgin Megastore at Picadilly Circus to meet and greet the band last month, leading to the impression that their Earl's Court gig will be more of the same.
Order Tickets

Gig Tickets:

Top Rock & Pop Sellers
(25 November - 9 December 2004)
1) Babyshambles
2) Oasis
3) Interpol
4) Mark Knopfler
5) Black Eyed Peas


Classical Picks:

ENB at The Coliseum
21st Dec - 8th January
ENGLISH National Ballet's extraordinary production of The Nutcracker is a feast for the senses. Vibrant, eccentric and magical; designer Gerald Scarfe and choreographer Christopher Hampson have conjured up a colourful and bold Nutcracker, now in its third year.
Get tickets fast, because it is selling quickly!

Order Tickets

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, Saddler's Wells
Lez Brotherston designs this award-winning ballet, courtesy of the creative mind of Michael Bourne. Beginning in 1995, Swan Lake is the longest-running ballet in the West End, and is sure to please crowds this Christmas.
Order Tickets

Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House
2nd Dec 2004 - 14th Jan 2005

IF YOU'RE PLANNING a Christmas treat you could do far worse than witness the return of Cinderella, in this lavish new production from last Season. A downtrodden young girl, a glass slipper and a handsome prince combine to make the perfect piece of story-telling, and with a fairy godmother around, anything can happen: pumpkins become coaches, rags turn to ball gowns and there's bound to be a happy ending. Ashton's first full-length ballet, given its premiere in 1948 to great acclaim, draws together a wealth of 39 beautifully drawn characters, portrayed against the wonderfully evocative themes
and colours of Prokofiev's great score.
Order Tickets

New Shows at Saddlers Wells:

The Four Elements
Sadlers Wells
17-19 Jan 05

Four artists, four elements, four styles unite in this unique performance, bringing together some of the most talented flamenco puro and contemporary artists.
Order Tickets

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras In Suenos (Dreams)

Sadlers Wells
20-23 Jan 05

Opening the festival is one of Spain's most popular traditional flamenco dancers, Sara Baras. Known for her brilliant footwork and powerful presence, she is joined by her company of eight dancers and seven musicians.
Order Tickets

Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena in 5 Woman 5
Sadlers Wells
24-27 Jan 05
Eva Yerbabuena is regarded as one of the most important female dancer / choreographers in flamenco today. Her visit to Sadler's Wells in 2002 won her the Time Out Best Performance of the Year and she returns to demonstrate her pure and timeless flamenco style.
Order Tickets

Compania Miguel Angel Berna - Mudejar
Sadlers Wells
28-29 Jan 05
The Paganini of castanets, Miguel Angel Berna and his company set pure flamenco dance to traditional Spanish folk music. Reinventing Spanish dance, he creates a whole new form through his fresh and intelligent interpretations of the traditions.
Order Tickets

Classical Tickets:

Top Classical Sellers
(25 November - 9 December 2004)
1) Nutcracker, The Coliseum
2) Matthew Bourne, Sadlers Wells
3) Pirates of Penzance, ENO
4) Cinderella, Royal Opera House
5) Romeo and Juliet, The Coliseum



Napoleon DynamiteNapoleon Dynamite (PG)
Comedy (2004) 95mins US
Director: Jared Hess
Starring: Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Efren Ramirez
Napoleon Dynamite is the story not only of the colossally nerdy, but also the quite affable character and quirky side of life in a mostly ignored and forgotten part of the United States. Set in rural Idaho, a state most famous for its potatoes and dubiously shared borders with both Western Canada and the Mormon stronghold of Utah, Screenwriter Jared Hess peoples his film with the outrageously eccentric creatures like Napoleon, a discerning milk-taster whose favourite sport is tetherball and whose activities include drawing pictures of pegasuses and "ligers" (lions and tigers, combined).
Click for full review...
Showing at these cinemas...


Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera (12A)
Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson And The Story Of SMiLE (NC)
Blade: Trinity (15)
Garden State (15)
Los Angeles Plays Itself (NC)
Mondovino (PG)
The Polar Express (U)


A to Z of London Cinemas
A to Z of Films showing in London this week


The Comedy Store
London's most popular comedy club has been
splitting sides for twenty two years now.
The likes of Paul Merton, Jack Dee and Jo
Brand have all taken to the stage here.
Click here for info...



100 Artists See God
Institute of Contemporary Arts
19 Nov 2004- 9 Jan 2005, Noon - 7:30pm, everyday.
UKP1.50/UKP1 concession Monday to Friday,UKP2.50/UKP1.50 concession Saturday and Sunday

THE POST 9/11 view of god is a touchy one: the crumbling of two buildings and the toppling of a leader has made people of all religions stand up to face their gods, whatever they are. 100 Artists See God is a sample of this examination, wrought in all mediums and mainstays of contemporary art, and celebrated in Meg Cranston and John Baldessari’s cleverly collected exhibit. Click for full review...



To purchase tickets for a selection of leading London Club venues try our
online service. You'll have the peace of mind of knowing you've got your
tickets and at most venues you'll be able to jump the ticket queue. Venues featured include:
- Fabric
- The End
- Borderline
- The Cross


Based on Page Visits on LondonNet (6 December)
1) Fabric
2) The End
3) The Cross
Click for Club Venues and Listings
Club Tickets

London Hotels

Exclusive Deal >>

Melia White House **** (Regents Park)
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The Ritz***** (Piccadilly)
Style, sophistication and old-fashioned levels of genuine service
come together at one of the world's legendary hotels. New even
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The Gore**** (Knightsbridge)
Winter Special
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Single - 109 UKP Inclusive of vat
Double - 149 UKP Inclusive of vat

The Hyde Hotel *** (Paddington)
Comfortable three star hotel offering the best value ever on LondonNet
Just 55UKP for a double room!


Top Sellers
(25 November - 9 December 2004)
1) Columbia Hotel
2) The Commodore
3) Swissotel The Howard

Best Value Accommodation for 2004:
Bed and Breakfasts
Budget Hostels

New additions and highlights from our sister site Hotelgenie.

The Burj Al Arab, Dubai:
Burj Al Arab is the world's only seven-star hotel
and any reservations you may have about such a title
will be quickly dispelled by the sheer magnificence
and splendour of this project. No other hotel has such a
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experience. Hotelgenie.com has secured exclusive
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of many dream-seekers.


Ten Years Until English Take-Over - Language course figures point to half the world speaking our tongue
Beware the Twelve Scams of Christmas
- Shoppers given festive list of dodgy deals



Schroders London Boat ShowThis year's Schroders London Boat Show is packed with water-wielding vessels of all shapes and sizes, including yachts, powerboats, dinghies, surf boards and narrow boats. Not one to shrug off wind and water, the show will also host a leg of the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) World Tour, in association with Virgin Radio, British Wakeboarding Championships and the British Canoe Polo Championships. The show runs from the 6 - 16 January 2005 at ExCel in Docklands, and LondonNet has 15 pairs of tickets to bring you closer to that houseboat, river cruiser or professional wakeboarding career.

Question: What is the nearest Docklands Light Railway stop to ExCel? (Hint: Click Here!)

How to Enter: Send an email with the correct answer to "[email protected]", with the subject header "Boat Show Competition".

More Necessary Info: NB Include email, telephone number and postal address (which will only be used for this compie - guaranteed). If you don't include your details we can't send you info about the prize!

Even More Info: First correct answers out of the Editor's hat win the prizes, details will be sent to the winner. The Editor's decision is final.

Closing Date: 3pm, 17th December, 2004.

Last Ahoy! winners: Catherine Blackmore, of Tufnell Park, who laughed her socks off at Wil Hodgson, Soho Theatre, on December 2nd.


Details of some of the best free competition sites on the web. Register today for your chance to win cash, cars and lots, lots more.

Readers say their piece
Send mail to: [email protected]


The Editor reserves the right to amend your contributions for reasons of elegance, space, legality and plain sheer bloodymindedness. We welcome your views on any subject, questions about your visit and of course feedback about the newsletter or website.


Hi, I was just reading your article about ufo's in kent and I remembered my
experience of a ufo sighting which was similarto Irene Brenan's sighting, it
was at dartford tunnel and I remember seeing to silver colour crafts with
what appeared to be like ridges round the side and they were just hovering
in the sky but they was quite far up I was with a friend who saw them as
well and funny enough the clock stopped in the car and we lost all signal on
our mobile phones while we were in the UFO's vacinity. - Shadylol


While NASA has been predicting the possibilities of planets like our own elsewhere in the universe, LondonNet goes way, way back with UFO sightings and aliens. While we don't appreciate them stopping clocks and losing mobile phone signals, we can't help but love their large almond eyes and teardrop shaped heads. We're awaiting more of your sightings to go along with our own, X-Files type collection. To us, the more strange objects in the sky, the better. - LondonNet

That's All,Folks...


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