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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published:4 September 2009
Above, the six-year-old Ted Kennedy at London Zoo. Below, Mr Kennedy on his return to the zoo 60 years later
Above, the six-year-old Ted Kennedy at London Zoo. Below, Mr Kennedy on his return to the zoo 60 years later
Teddy’s bears: when senator visited zoo

MUCH ink has been spilled on the veteran US Senator Edward Kennedy, since his death at the age of 77 last week.
But Ted Kennedy the animal lover was not a moniker that featured prominently in his obituaries. Now, thanks to the archivists at London Zoo, this new side of the “peacemaker” has emerged.
Two photographs taken at very different times in his life have been released by the zoo, which, being so close to the home of the US ambassador in Regent’s Park, has always been a favourite among Americans in the capital.
The first shows a dapper six-year-old Ted opening the children’s zoo in 1938. His brother Bobby is also pictured.
The second captures the moment he returned 60 years later for the zoo’s millennium celebrations to see how it was getting on.

Needle work An art contest, and not a shark in sight

FOR those of you fed up with the art world’s obsession with subversive work – you know the sort of thing, stuffed cats eating crayons, sharks swimming in pools of condoms, – next week’s Threadneedle Prize comes as a breath of sanity.
It might not be the kind of thing to go up at the Tate or any of the capital’s other laudable art institutions, but that’s because the prize accepts the kind of paintings that most normal people like to hang in their living rooms – figurative art.
Some axe-grinding art critics have gone as far as claiming that the Prize is the first strike in a battle which will purge the art fraternity of its pretensions and follies. A grand claim, but Diary thinks they might have a point.
The 2,000 or so entries have been whittled down to just seven, and now members of the public are being invited to vote to decide who will take home the £25,000 prize.
Artists in the running are: Jaemi Hardy, Lucy Jones, Melanie Miller, Tim Shaw, Louis Smith, Sheila Wallis and Rose Wylie.

The Threadneedle Prize is at the Mall Galleries, The Mall, until September 19. The winner will be announced on September 14.

Boris backs labour for youths

HARD labour for young reprobates sounds like a Tory policy from yesteryear, but now it could be making a comeback.
From mid-September young miscreants who have their travel passes confiscated will get the chance to win them back through a bit of toil in the soil.
Diary hears London mayor Boris Johnson got the idea from his time at Eton, where it is said his Just William-style pranks and teacher-baiting got him acquainted with the draconian face of private education, picking up cigarette ends in the cloisters.
Free travel is withdrawn for a minimum of six months, but youngsters in Westminster can atone for their deeds by signing up to volunteer with the British Trust or London Wildlife Trust on one of their environmental conservation projects in the borough.
Mr Johnson said: “Free travel is unquestionably one of the most valuable concessions available to young people in the capital.
“We do have to take Zip cards away from young people who behave badly on the bus, but I don’t think we should just write those kids off.
“By offering them a chance to volunteer to earn back their travel we are saying roll up your sleeves, dig in, help your city and we’ll help you.”

To find out more visit www.vinspired.com

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