Any word of Christmas...
Time for the second of our bumper seasonal run of mags.
After Peter Andre we go to Dickens, naturally. We retrace the steps Charles took as he came up with A Christmas Carol. As the autumn Spending Review gets ready to hit, we look at why we’re still in thrall to Victorian ideas - ideas that we should really be moving on from.
Want an energy boost? Read this week’s Letter to My Younger Self. It’s with Brian Blessed. What a man! Exiting the collieries of south Yorkshire with his pal Patrick Stewart right to the top of Everest. He’s nearly 80. He’s going into space next year. The Queen loves him shouting ‘Gordon’s alive!’. Read this piece.
We also bring details of Change Please, a brilliant new business hitting London next week. Set up by social entrepreneur Cemal Ezel and echoing The Big Issue mantra of a hand up not a hand out, this sees street coffee carts run by formerly homeless people. Plans are to expand in London and beyond next year. To kick it off, if you buy The Big Issue you’ll get a free coffee at any of the fantastically distinctive carts.
Our featured vendor this week is Terry Boult, who sells in central Exeter. He was in and out of jail until a brain tumour forced him take stock and get himself together. He speaks some German and Russian for the tourists at Exeter Cathedral.
This week John Bird considers the part social security has played in Britain’s creative industries – from Harry Potter to James Bond. He imagines how much more could we done with it with some focus and imagination.
Also, Stellan Skarsgard, star of the brilliant River, has much to say about freedom of expression and refugees. Brian Beacom teases old favourite Stanley Baxter out of hiding to discuss pantos (oh yes he does) Anne Whitehouse assesses the reality of the impending antibiotic armageddon and we have masses of Christmas gifts to win – from The Hobbit boxsets to posh birdfeeders.