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Inside The Big Issue: Ring in the old – it's 2024

This is everything you will get inside The Big Issue’s New Year's issue – out this week and sold by your local vendor

Cover of The Big Issue's New Year's special

Inside The Big Issue's New Year's special, out now

New Year brings a new opportunity to take stock, perhaps consider a new job. Roughly one-third of us are unhappy with our role in life, according to data from recruitment site Indeed.

With uncertainty in the economy and the rise in AI, re-evaluating careers could be on the cards for many. So have you considered carving clogs?

In the latest Big Issue, we meet the craftspeople who went back to the future for a career off the beaten track. A milliner, neon artist, watchmaker, a fairground sign painter.

What emerges in the feature is an urge to rediscover and truly value the skills and experiences that are at risk.

Did you know, in the last couple of years, mouth-blown sheet glass making became effectively extinct in the UK? A list of endangered trades compiled by Heritage Crafts makes fascinating reading and offers a glimpse into days gone by. 84 crafts are listed as endangered, up from 74 in 2021. These include: arrowsmithing, glass eye making, horsehair weaving, oak bark tanning and watch face enamelling.

In tandem, the government’s strategy has emphasised certain professions over others, particularly those in maths, tech and finance, with prime minister Rishi Sunak pledging to cap the number of “low-value” degrees. The aim seems clear: get out of the arts and into the office.

But a desire for slower, more traditional ways of living is becoming more prevalent, and many would prefer their next job to be low-tech rather than high-tech.

Changes in the world of work is always of an interest to Big Issue. Our vendors are out there, working to earn their way out of poverty, or simply get by in difficult times. Thank you for supporting them now and, we hope, throughout 2024!

What else is in this week’s Big Issue?

Will Donald Trump win? Are the Tories finally finished? The man behind Jonathan Pie predicts politics in 2024

If you’ve sworn in frustration at the heroes and villains of politics over the past year – at this point who hasn’t? – chances are Jonathan Pie has connected with you.

The comedy character has become a sensation through giving us a peek behind the scenes at what the political reporters really think and say when the camera stops rolling.

He’s been more effective at attracting supporters than Rishi Sunak too. For some of Pie’s 1.7 million Facebook followers, the foul-mouth rants are likely to be more of a way into politics than the nightly news, Question Time or Newsnight.

t’s going to be a big year for politics with a US election on the cards as well as a general election. So, the Big Issue invited the man who writes and performs Pie’s infamous rants, Tom Walker, into our HQ to chew over the big political moments of 2023 and look forward to the year ahead.

Read his full predictions inside this week’s Big Issue.

Will the cost of living crisis finally make us all go vegan?

The UK’s soaring cost of living isn’t just affecting wallets, but diets too. Grocery staples such as milk, eggs and butter have increased collectively in price by as much as 30% over the past 12 months. 

With Veganuary – the annual challenge encouraging people to follow plant-based diets for the month of January – upon us, and with meat and dairy hit hardest by inflation, many have started wondering if they should turn a new leaf permanently come the new year. 

Freya Cox, who became The Great British Bake Off’s first vegan contestant in 2021, says the first step to transition to a more plant-based diet is to “eat the same meals you enjoy, but make vegan versions of it”.

Find out more inside this week’s Big Issue.

From ghosts to gladiators: Looking forward to the pic of next year’s flicks and the best shows to binge-watch over the holidays

If 2023 was the year of #Barbenheimer then what might happen for film in 2024? Will there be anything that could possibly create another culture-dominating conversation where surging ticket sales are matched by prestigious awards buzz? At first glance: no.  

Partly that’s because 2024 has forcibly become a transitional, rather hotch-potch year. Many major US studios pushed their big releases back while they were prolonging the (now resolved) writing and acting strikes. It has also, unexpectedly, become Kryptonite for superhero movies, as the once unassailable Marvel Studios and their main rival Warner Bros (custodians of Superman and Batman) both take some time out to regroup in the face of relative box office indifference to all things lycra-clad.

But perhaps a non-typical, mutated movie year could be a good thing?

In this week’s Big Issue we gaze into the Hollywood crystal ball to break it down. 

National Vendor Week 2024

A celebration of people who are working their way out of poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

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