THEY SAY imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so we can allow ourselves a winter-warming smug grin on news that Berlin is to copy our own London Eye.

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Naturally, the Berlin big wheel is going to be bigger than the one on the Southbank – 185 metres versus 135 – but first trumps biggest and it is obvious every person who uses it will be thinking of England when rotating high in the German sky.

By the time the Great Berlin Wheel is built, in 2009, the London Eye will be celebrating its tenth birthday. Worse news still for Berlin is that though 185 metres is bigger than any wheel currently revolving, it’s some way short of Beijing’s entry, also due to be completed in 2009, which will be the first to break the 200 barrier at 208 metres.

Berlin’s only the most recent copycat. There are wheel’s going up all over the shop, well in Nanking and Singapore anyway.

Info-packed Giant Observation Wheels of the World feature here

Feature on the London Eye and how to buy tickets here