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`I'll be locking myself in the cellar'

It's the question on everyone's lips: how will you be spending New Year's Eve? Here's how the stars of stage, screen and politics will be seeing in the new millennium
BOY GEORGE, singer

``I shall be relaxing with friends over a quiet dinner in Mauritius. I'm really looking forward to lying on the beach after such a hectic year. This is going to be my first holiday in a long while.''

ALEXANDRA SHULMAN, editor, `Vogue'

"I shall be giving a party at a friend's house in Chelsea down by the river, and then hopefully walking down to see the fireworks. I think they're going to be wonderful. I really wanted to be in London on the Millennium evening because it sounds like one of the most interesting places in the world to be. I'm not worried about the crowds."

NIGELLA LAWSON, food writer and columnist

"I'm cooking dinner for about 16 friends, although the numbers are growing. We'll be at a friend's flat by the river. Lots of us have small children, so the idea is that we can rush out on to the bridge and watch the fireworks. I had to use strong arm tactics to stop my husband, John, dragging us all off to the Millennium Dome. With children aged three and six, I think it would all be a bit much."

MICHAEL PARKINSON, chat show host

``I've volunteered to work on New Year's Eve this year because being a Yorkshireman I like the idea of being paid to celebrate. I'm hosting BBC TV's evening of programmes.''


``I think we'll probably stay in our flat in London. We've got a flat roof and we'll probably let off some fireworks and get some bottles of champagne in. Gillian said she wanted to watch aeroplanes falling out of the sky.''

MAX CLIFFORD, publicist

``I hope to do as little as possible. I've had my busiest year so far and I want to recharge my batteries at home.''


``Will be having dinner with friends in Kensington, London.''


``I think we will be spending it at a private party at St John's College, Oxford. We will then be sampling what Oxford has to offer in terms of fireworks, and walking the streets with everybody else. I think a lot of friends will be staying at home, worried that they will be burgled.''

GARY LINEKER, sports presenter

``I'll be at home in Leicester with my family. I think the arrival of the new millennium is significant because it's likely to be the only one I see. I think the best thing the millennium bug could do is to destroy my eldest son's TV computer game.''


"I will be spending the whole of Christmas and New Year with my family, and will only venture out to visit one of my restaurants."

NED SHERRIN, broadcaster

``I never go out on New Year's Eve. I shall be staying at home cooking for a couple of friends. At midnight I shall have a glass of champagne, and will be going to bed half-an-hour later.''

ANN WIDDECOMBE, Shadow Home Secretary

``I will be spending New Year's Eve this year at Westminster Cathedral where I will be attending mass, a New Year supper and a special midnight service. My only concern is how I'm going to get through the traffic exclusion zones that seem to be in place for miles and miles around every site of Christian worship in London.''

MARTIN McGUINNESS, Ulster Minister for Education

"I will be celebrating the dawn of a new millennium no differently from that of every other New Year's Eve - with my family. As always I will cook dinner. Unusually for me, I hope to relax and watch television reports of the celebrations. Just before midnight my wife, Bernie, and I, along with other members of the family, will travel a short 15-minute journey to a place of almost spiritual significance for me - Griann of Aileach, a round stone fort on a hillside in County Donegal is where I hope to welcome the New Year, century, and millennium."


"My plans are a bit vague at the moment. I'll either have a quiet evening at home with the family, or we'll all go marching down to Ditchling village green for fireworks, drinks and snacks at midnight. If it rains we'll probably go to the village hall. I'll be with my daughter and her husband, my brother, and a niece from South Africa."

AUBERON WAUGH, editor, `Literary Review'

``I'll be at home in Somerset behind great locked gates with a few family and friends. I'm not going by car anywhere because of the police. Anybody who travels a yard is asking for trouble, I think, on that night.''

GLEN BAXTER, cartoonist

"I'm having a party with my family at home. I live about 15 minutes away from the Thames, so we'll walk down there for midnight to see the river of fire for 20 seconds. I'll take a knapsack full of biscuits for everyone, and no doubt I'll come home in tears because it'll be such an anticlimax. I'm looking forward to an anticlimax!"


"I live right in the middle of central London, just a few yards away from the Thames and the river of fire. Therefore I'll be bolting my door and locking myself in my cellar. Like everyone else I suppose I'll then watch television and go to bed."

BORIS JOHNSON, editor of `The Spectator'

``I shall be spending it in the bosom of my family in Highbury, London. We're closing off the road and having a street party. It's going to be great. I'm certainly not going anywhere near the Dome, I've read about what's in it and drawn my conclusions - it's bollocks.''

AS BYATT, novelist

"I'm sick of the millennium. I hate it. I wish it would go away. It'll be gone in two weeks' time and then we can all get back to work, and talk about something interesting, like the awful depletion of fish stocks."

ALEX SALMOND, Scottish National Party leader

``One place I certainly won't be for the New Year is the Millennium Dome, it's distinctly overblown and uncool. Like the majority of people, I'm planning to stay home for the millennium celebrations, in my case in Linlithgow, west of Edinburgh. This year, perhaps more than most, people want to be with family and friends, and I'm not surprised that so many are giving the exotic destinations a miss. But if return flights to Barbados come down to pounds 50 I might just reconsider. Happy New Year.''


"I will be spending New Year's Eve with friends and family in England."


``A few people will be coming in for a drink, and we'll probably join my children downstairs who are also having some friends in. It would be a mistake to call it a party. Taxis too expensive to go out."

MALCOLM McLAREN, impresario

"I'm so blasted out by the hype, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I should think I'll just bolt the hatch, sit down, have a cup of tea and that'll be the end of it. I mean what's one supposed to do? Scramble down the street, trying to catch sight of the fireworks? Queue up for five weeks to go on the Ferris wheel? East, west, south, north - everywhere you go, everything'll be closed up. You're better off staying put and praying that Tesco's is open."

CHARLOTTE CHURCH, classical singer

"I was asked by the Pope and President Clinton to sing for them on New Year's Eve. It was a hard decision to make, I've sung for both of them before and I wouldn't mind meeting them again. But then my grandparents said they wanted me back home for the millennium and I realised that that's what I wanted to do. So I'll be seeing in the New Year with my whole family in Wales, at the Manic Street Preachers' concert."

RHODRI MORGAN, MP and Welsh Assembly member

``I will be celebrating the millennium a bit later than everyone else, in Cwm Gwaun, Pembrokeshire: the only place that still celebrates the New Year according to the Julian calendar. It will be a pint in the Dyffryn Arms on January 13, followed by a meal at the Tregynon Country Hotel.''

WILLIAM HAGUE, Conservative Party leader

"Ffion and I will be celebrating the new millennium at the Dome. It should be a fascinating evening. The next day we're off for a week's break to America." (However, when he was interviewed earlier this year, he admitted that he'd rather be elsewhere: "It may be that we all go down to the Dome. I'd like to celebrate it standing in the Dales, out in the woods.")

LENNY HENRY, comedian

"I'll be working on the night of the millennium, presenting the BBC's 2000 to 1 quiz. It's for the Children's Promise charity, so I don't mind at all. If I wasn't working, I'd be at home with my family."

ZOE BALL, Radio One DJ

"I'm having a party with my friends."

Interviews by Julia Stuart, Nathalie Curry and Clare Rudebeck


"I'll be avoiding the epicentre. There'll be a lot of suicides, bodies in the river, snipers, bank raids. It'll be mad, won't it? So I'm going to have a quiet night in with my family and the man that I love."


``After the recent exciting weeks, I cannot wait to be performing at my New Year's Eve gala in Birmingham, where I will be singing hits by artists from Bill Haley to Bryan Adams. Just before midnight, the concert will be beamed into Centenary Square, and we will all bring in the new year together with a millennium prayer. It's going to be the perfect way to end the millennium for me.''


"We'll be setting off fireworks on Primrose Hill with our family and friends in the early evening. And then we're moving on to Ronnie Wood's New Year party."

MOHAMED AL FAYED, Harrods boss

"My hope for the new millennium is that people of all nationalities, religions and colours will learn to live together in greater peace and harmony."

DIANA ROSS, singer

"Normally I work on New Year's Eve, but not this year. I turned down every offer of work I got. I'll be seeing in the millennium with my family in Connecticut. It's a special time and I felt it was important not to be away from them."

GERRY ADAMS, Sinn Fein leader

"Probably the best people to ask where I'll be and with whom at the turn of the millennium are the spooks and spies in the British system who go to so much trouble to keep track of me. Given the hectic, crazy year we've just had, during which I saw little of my family, I hope to be with them and with friends, enjoying a quiet glass or two of port and the craic of good company. It will be a time to reflect on what has passed, but more especially to look forward to the possibilities of a new century. It will be a time to relax and recharge batteries in expectation of more hard work in the time ahead, as we seek to build on the success so far and overcome the difficulties still ahead of us."


"I've had an invitation to go on the Millennium Wheel - which I will accept."