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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 15 August 2008
Bradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins
Bradley’s in frame to set an Olympic record in Beijing

TRIPLE Olympic gold medalist and local lad Bradley Wiggins is set to try and pedal his way into the history books as he goes for gold in three separate cycling events at Beijing.
Wiggins will compete in the individual pursuit, team pursuit and the Madison, and if he comes first in all three events he will be the first English competitor to have scored three golds in a single Olympics.
It may seem a far cry from Maida Vale where Wiggins grew up, to the glamour and spectacle of Beijing, but Bradley Wiggins forms part of a famous cycling dynasty, as the son of professional cyclist Gary Wiggins, himself a world champion in track cycling.
It was whilst Wiggins was practising his cycling skills at the Herne Hill Velodrome in south London at the ­tender age of 12 that he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Since then he has won multiple medals, including five Olympic medals.
Residents in west ­London have been showing their support for the local golden boy and all eyes will be glued to ­television screens to see how he performs.
Word is that Bradley is quite an accomplished musician – who knows, perhaps we’ll see a ­victory dance too!

It’s jobs for the boys in blue in Boris’s squeaky clean regime

IT seems like only yesterday that Boris Johnson was falling over himself to tell anyone who would listen how he was going to clean up City Hall.

Squeezing the c-words, “corrupt” and “cronyism”. into every possible soundbite before the election, Londoners would be forgiven for thinking Bojo was a modern-day Serpico – a crusading politician hell-bent on expunging the rotten apples from the hallowed corridors of power.
Fast-forward a few months, and just over 100 days into his premiership it appears City Hall is more Eton mess hall than come-one-come-all. If you’re a Tory and you’ve worked for Westminster Council, the outlook is rosy.
There are five of them in total – a record that has not gone unnoticed by incredulous Labour councillors in Westminster.
First of all it was Nick Bowles, a former councillor who was a donor to the Johnson election campaign. He was given the job as interim head of staff before Bojo even had a chance to get his foot in the door.
Following in his footsteps, was the former deputy leader, and Westminster’s answer to Mary Whitehouse, Kit Malthouse, who was appointed Boris’s right-hand man.
No sooner had the ink dried on his contract than the mayor was on the phone again, this time to the then leader of the council, Sir Simon Milton, to offer him a job as his planning guru.
And still it wasn’t over. The next man to swap one City Hall for another was Peter Rogers, who worked as chief executive at the council for 12 years. Now he’s looking after the mayor’s finances. 
Finally, it’s another top supporter who is causing rivals to scream “hypocrisy!”. Last week erstwhile Hyde Park ward councillor Edmund Lazarus, another donor to the Johnson campaign, was handed a position on the London Develop­ment Agency Board.
Still, as Boris would say, nothing wrong with that: it’s a clear case of the best men for the jobs.

Theatre producer Bill’s on board!

BILL Kenwright, the chairman of Everton football club and one of the UK’s most successful theatre producers, will lend his considerable clout to the shoestring youth arts company, DreamArts.

Mr Kenwright, the backer of West End shows Blood Brothers, Shirley Valentine and Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, assumed the role of chairman last week in a move described by DreamArts’ ecstatic artistic director Graham Whitlock as “the best birthday present” a charity could have. And top of the billing for the new boss is a production of Quest at Holborn’s Cochrane Theatre, from August 29.

Tribute show a bright idea

KANDER and Ebb, ­perhaps the most feted duo in musical theatre, are to be honoured in a show celebrating their illustrious career at the Jermyn Street Theatre.

The audience is invited to take a trip down 1960s Broadway, to remember a time when Liza Minelli’s name was up in lights and to belt out their biggest musical scores from Cabaret to Chicago.
An accomplished cast of seasoned West End performers will unite for Coloured Lights – a show billed as a “kaleidoscope of emotion”.
John Kander and Fred Ebb first met in 1963 and wrote their first musical, Flora the Red Menace, in 1965.
Although for the main, it was the stage that paid their bills, the pair are probably best known for penning the theme tune to Martin Scorsese’s, New York, New York.
The show runs until August 23 and tickets are available from the box office on 020 7287 2875.

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