Issue 1130

Nov 24, 2014

The town where It's A Wonderful Life all the time


In this week's Big Issue...

  • There’s a town near Buffalo in upstate New York called Seneca Falls. It’s the inspiration for It’s A Wonderful Life. Steven MacKenzie uncovers its secrets, then speaks to Karolyn Grimes, Zuzu, from the film. And, hot dog, she has quite a story to tell. 
  • Speaking of incredible life stories, we bring you Mark Dempster. He was a homeless drug addict and sometime paramilitary bagman until he started selling The Big Issue and turned his life around. He’s now a counsellor with a practice on Harley Street. Peter Ross delivers a tale that is part, he says, Long Good Friday, part Withnail and I. 
  • Our Letter To My Younger Self is with Strictly’s Len Goodman. An old Mod, he turned to dance as a way to meet girls. Likeable and roguish throughout. 
  • Oscar nominated Sally Hawkins explains the links between Woody Allen and Paddington bear. 
  • Spot The Ball. As if you needed reminding – it’s here. In The Big Issue. Go on then. 
  • Britain’s favourite scientist Brian Cox explains how to easily become an amateur astronomer in our Pause column. 
  • We welcome our new columnist Damian Barr. He makes his debut with a tale of childhood, gambling and loss. It’s first class.  
  • John Bird, meanwhile, looks at a generation of boybands, Doc Martens and a culture of complaining. The Beatles don’t come out of it unscathed. 
  • Business editor Dominic Laurie looks to Greece and millions of pints down the drain. Also on the Economics pages, Adam Forrest investigates whether Myleene Klass has a point and that mansion tax is ridiculous because houses in London are so ruddy, bloody expensive. 
  • Hello/Goodbye. This week, our featured vendor on page 3 and final page is Paul Younger, in Covent Garden. I’m guessing his dog Treacle will become a star. 

Also in this week's magazine...

We have a cracking interview with LA crime noir king James Ellroy, Andy Serkis talks bruised egos and CGI, and there is more from Big Issue Boffin Dr Ben Ambridge. There are a huge number of Christmas giveaways too.

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