It was big news in Nigeria, but Ally Pally is unmoved

The faded grandeur of a Victorian building on the top of a windswept north London hill was not the venue contestants had expected when they signed up for the world's greatest beauty pageant.

But tonight Alexandra Palace will provide the hastily booked bolthole for Miss World 2002 after the competition's flight from Nigeria, which followed the deaths of more than 200 people in inter-faith clashes sparked by a journalist's comment that the prophet Mohamed might have married one of the contestants.

And as if that wasn't enough woe for one competition, it was revealed yesterday that the assets of the Miss World organising company have been frozen by the High Court. The order was granted to Nigerian art dealer and promoter Angela Onyeador, who claims she is owed nearly half a million pounds after agreeing to act as guarantor for the Miss World gala dinner at the Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane, London, on 10 November.

Ms Onyeador took legal action, complaining that she had been told the dinner would be attended by the Duke of Edinburgh and provide an opportunity to promote the work of Nigerian artists. The Duke did not attend. The case is due to return to court next week.

On the streets of Crouch End yesterday, the well-heeled area neighbouring Ally Pally, anger was replaced by shrugs. Remarkably, even the bookies were shunning the prospect of a punt. "You are the first,'' said the man at Ladbrokes, not half a mile from the event, destined to be beamed to 143 countries, as The Independent sought to discover the odds.

Miss Nigeria will be one of 92 women taking part, along with Miss Canada, who left the competition in Nigeria because of the killings. She returned after the contest was moved to Britain.

Organisers said they were contractually obliged to go ahead with the event, already destined to lose money because of the Nigerian debacle. It will not be shown on terrestrial television.

But Crouch End remains unmoved. The Hornsey and Crouch End Journal asked this week: "Is there still a place for Miss World?'' but Justin Dawson, 32, a stylist at Organic Hair and Beauty Salon, said he was more worried about car parking. "If you complain about getting rid of Miss World, you would have to get rid of half of the magazines on that rack," he said.

Esme East, the assistant manager of O's Bar, was less charitable. "It shouldn't be happening but if they want to go ahead, let them," she said.

Sally Taylor, 27, a personal assistant, denounced the organisers for going ahead. "I cannot believe that Miss World is saying the violence had nothing to do with them," she said.

In the Harringey Arms, the landlord, Jim Doyle, said: "If it affects people's lives, it should be cancelled.'' But he added: "To be honest, I haven't been thinking much about it.''

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee