News TK Maxx store on Kensington High Street

TK Maxx was to blame for my worst outfits while growing up near the Lewisham branch. Miles of cut-price "designer" clobber by unheard-of labels, where every other Wetherspoon's-ready shirt seemed to be made by Lambretta, who I thought did scooters.

This is where we begin

London is a great and fascinating city, full of interest and opportunities for enjoyment; London is gruelling and frustrating city where simply getting from place to place can be a trial. London is one of the centres of civilisation in Europe, excelling in music and theatre, boasting a pantheon of cultural giants. And yet it makes a very poor fist at educating most of its children.

Captain Moonlight: Maxwell

MAXWELL: the Musical Revue, the all-singing, all-dancing version of the Gross Man's life, produced by Evan Steadman, a man whose company was bought by Maxwell, opens at the Criterion, Piccadilly Circus, next month. As part of the jollification, Steadman is offering a pounds 1,000 prize for the finest Maxwell anecdote, to be presented on the first night.

Travel: Around the world in a day: Clutching his two-zone Travelcard, Simon Calder gets a taste of foreign climes without having to leave London

You are thinking of going to Miami, or Maastricht, or Milan: what's the first stop on your trip? The national tourist office. In London there is a whole world of them, accessible to anyone with a two-zone Travelcard; if you live outside the capital, all you need is a 100-unit Phonecard.

Jackson innocent, say 200 in London and 47,000 in Singapore

Keith Preddie, 25, was among about 200 Michael Jackson fans who gathered in Piccadilly Circus, London, yesterday to protest the singer's innocence of child abuse allegations.

Rowing: Harvard get the wind up in fours: Henley Royal Regatta

THE regatta was blown into life yesterday by a strong tail wind, and several records for the first part of the course were broken, although only Harvard University were pushed hard enough in the Britannia Cup for fours to break records over the full distance.

Now I'm t-t-talkin' 'bout their g-g-generation

WHEN I was young there were many things I swore I would never do when I became middle-aged, and now that I am middle-aged, I find myself doing them. Chief among these was becoming intolerant of the young. When I was under 20 I classified everyone over 30 as old. They all seemed to me then to be gloomy, frowning, bossy and irritable; loud-voiced, hectoring, organised, inflexible and dreary. We, the gloriously young, were fresh, taut, spontaneous, enterprising, energetic, pleasure-loving and funny.

Kurdish protest

AT least 10 people were arrested after more than 100 Kurdish demonstrators brought traffic to a halt in Piccadilly Circus, London. Members of the Kurdish Workers Party were protesting about the treatment of Kurds in Turkey.

Return to base: Eros is brought gently down to earth in Piccadilly Circus

Eros, which is 100 years old next month, is lowered on to its plinth in central London yesterday. The statue was removed for repairs five months ago after being vandalised in 1991, the second time in five years. Westminster City Council hopes to deter vandals with floodlights and security cameras. The statue is a memorial to the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury for his philanthropic work with poor children.

Bothered and bewildered: Gerald Kaufman encounters the different reality of the people who set CD prices

ON MY way to the office the other day, I nipped off the bus at Piccadilly Circus and ventured into that emporium of recorded music, Tower Records. There I found a newly released compact disc of the original London cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Price, for a 30-year-old recording, pounds 10.99.

The tills are ringing for Next: The store that ruled the high street in the Eighties is back, and in great shape, says Roger Tredre

TWENTY and thirtysomethings are shopping in Next again. Last week I watched them queuing at one of the company's central London stores, buying navy blazers, wrap skirts, check capri pants and button-through dresses.

BOOK REVIEW / Oliver's new twist is no laughing matter: Sugar cane by Paul Bailey Bloomsbury pounds 14.99

PAUL BAILEY's odd and always memorable tragi- comedies are peopled by characters who survive grim childhoods by the skin of their teeth. The eponymous narrator of Gabriel's Lament survived life with his grotesque father, Oswald - an unfailingly opinionated social climber and homophobe with a pathological aversion to suede shoes - and the belated discovery that his mother had not, as he believed, simply run away, but committed suicide by swigging bleach. We can be sure that Gabriel survived, because here he is again, loitering contentedly on the margins of this new novel, scar tissue manifest only in his inability to make love to his mistress, Esther, without first putting on a woman's frock.

Eros brought low

Eros, the statue that has stood in London's Piccadilly Circus for 100 years, may have to be 'retired' to a museum. Fractures to the 9ft (2.7m) aluminium winged figure's leg have proved almost impossible to repair and experts say a replica may be the only solution.

No cheap shows at the Circus: The revamped Criterion buildings are designed to bring Londoners back to Piccadilly Circus. Jonathan Glancey tests the mood

For millions of tourists, Eros is Piccadilly Circus. Alfred Gilbert's famous aluminium statue, erected a century ago, is a magnet for young people in denim - and high-rise rucksacks - who sit around the statue like Brownies around a toadstool while Londoners and traffic hurry by.
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