Have your elf a merry little Christmas!

Issue 1183

Have your elf a merry little Christmas!

Every year we run a competition inviting 13-year olds and under to design one of our Christmas time covers. This year we got over 1200 entries. They knocked our socks off. Picking a winner was almost impossible. We went for 11-year old Millie Bevan’s glorious elf tower because when you look at you just want to smile.

Congratulations to Millie and thanks to the hundreds and hundreds of young artists who sent in their creations. We carry as many of them as we can fit this week.

We also have great exclusive interview with Prince William. He is interviewed by young Sophia Kichou, formerly homeless now training to be a journalist after help from that fantastic organisation Centrepoint. William, a Centrepoint patron, has kept a promise to be interviewed by her. It’s a great piece covering his genuine desire to help eradicate youth homelessness, why his mother influenced him in this and details of Christmas at Kensington Palace with George and Charlotte. It’s an interview that’ll fly.

Our Letter To My Younger Self is with Pink Floyd legend Roger Waters. Very open about how autocratic he can be, there is also much that is touching about his old friend Syd Barrett. A great read.

James Campbell, our sometime Big Issue vendor and Edinburgh rough sleeper, returns. His eye-opening, honest, moving and funny diary for The Big Issue has caught readers’ imaginations. And also brought him a nomination as feature writer of the year at the upcoming PPA Scotland Awards. That is impressive.

This week John Bird celebrates The Conversation, a growing website that encourages an in-depth look at the world of knowledge – and how everybody could benefit from it.

We also focus on Kids’ Books of the year. We list the best and reveal The Big issue Kids’ Book of the Year. It’s a cracker.

Money expert Martin Lewis explains why he’s obsessed with Scrabble, Downton fans will be intrigued/confused to read Lady Cora/Elizabeth McGovern talking about swinging. And Harry Shearer – yes, Harry Shearer – explains why singing is just the tonic for the Christmas blues.