• Expelliarmus! Harry Potter’s back and we’re still under his spell

Expelliarmus! Harry Potter’s back and we’re still under his spell

Issue 1216

Expelliarmus! Harry Potter’s back and we’re still under his spell

In this weeks issue…Harry’s back. As Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens in London, we dive back into Potter world. We carry a great classic Big Issue interview with JK Rowling from the height of Pottermania and use it as a jumping off point for a look at how much it has influenced since. We also assess what is to come and Big Issue Features Editor Steven MacKenzie, a Potter obsessive, reviews the new play. He’s not happy.

One of the first thing travellers will see when they arrive at Heathrow is a huge poster of a Big Issue vendor beside the word WELCOME. Travel into London and there is a similar welcome, organised by Historic England, featuring another of our vendors. In fact, across Britain there has been a surge in the number of similar vendor-centred images and messages. This is worth noting – and also worth getting to the bottom of how The Big Issue has become a shorthand for a certain kind of welcoming, warm and open British identity. More of it!

Our Letter To My Younger Self is with Olympian Ade Adepitan. A well known broadcasting face and Olympic medal-winning wheelchair basketball player, he is revealing about the issues he faced as a young immigrant arriving from Nigeria to Britain a generation ago.

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup (at least it gives English fans something to cling on to). John Bird looks back at how he, and the rest of the nation, were then and how far all have come.

Post-Brexit vote, the landscape remains muddled. So we asked Chris Bickerton, who literally wrote the book on the EU, to unravel some of the strings. Clear-sighted from him, as ever.

Our featured vendor this week is Tudor who sells at Gloucester Road in central Bristol. He was a dental technician for 30 years, and at 63 is refusing to give up. The Big Issue is offering him a means to work, that he is grabbing firmly.

Our good friend Simon Brew, founder of the must-read Den Of Geek site, brings us news from Comic-con – letting us all know what we’ll be powerless to resist in the months ahead.

And Arthur Smith, the sometimes cranky funnyman, celebrates socks.