The Londoner: Hark, we'll hear the West End sing Christmas carols

The Londoner: Hark, we'll hear the West End sing Christmas carols thumbnail

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CHURCHES in central London are still planning to celebrate Christmas during lockdown — but they’ll keep it Covid compliant.

The Reverend Sam Wells, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, in Trafalgar Square, told The Londoner: “Christmas is definitely still on. We are now planning to have three carol services on Christmas Eve.”

He added: “Everything is online too. People aren’t allowed to sing in the services, but choirs are allowed to sing beautifully and so we will have carol services.”

Wells said they have a natural advantage on obeying the coronavirus rules. “We’re in the love thy neighbour business”

Simon Grigg, rector of the actors’ church St Paul’s Covent Garden, told us they could fit “about 110 people in, which is under half our normal amount”.

“We’re working quite hard at trying to deliver some part of our Christmas service in difficult circumstances.”

Churches have struggled during lockdown — as much of 80 per cent of revenue has been lost in some parishes.

St Martin-in-the-Fields, which works closely with a homeless shelter next door, usually has a capacity of 825, but with social distancing that falls to 125.

Father Simon Buckley, rector of St Anne’s Soho, told us that his plan was for a carol service marquee outside, but was making sure he could get a refund in case rules changed.

(Channel 4)

JIMMY CARR says he was so bored during lockdown he resorted to hair transplants and botox “just to get out the house”. But when it came to the botox, he said something made him question his doctor. Speaking at the online comedy festival Just for Laughs, Carr said the man told him he did Simon Cowell’s botox. “I went: ‘I think I’d better leave. What have you done? He looks like a melted candle’.”

(Dave Benett)

DOLLY ALDERTON may be a successful writer — her first book was a bestseller and her novel is released today — but she’s not such a skilful cook. After she enjoyed a steamed globe artichoke at a friend’s house, she took down the recipe and tried it herself. “I steamed it for like three hours,” she says, “It was like eating bark. It was f**king rank.”

Stars strike a pose ahead of black Theatre awards

Dave Bennett

Kim TATUM posed for the cameras for a shoot in the lead up to the Black British Theatre Awards later this month. Tatum, a trans woman, said she “can’t wait” to present the first LGBT award.

Nominees Natalie Pryce, Miriam-Teak Lee and Sean Green also looked the part ahead of the ceremony which will take place at the Young Vic in Waterloo. Roll on the gongs.


With consultants paid £7,000 a day for failing test and trace, we turn to a Dominic Cummings blog from last year, before he was in power. He slammed “extreme … incompetence” accusing No 10 of “protecting corporate looting”. How things change.

Open war on the Left as Unite boss Len McCluskey slams Owen Jones’s book on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. He claims Jones shows “no empathy” for those trying to run Corbyn’s operation. A revealing use of Len’s time.