The in-car magazine for Parker Car Service
BaBY Into a
PLACES, PEOPLE, ARTS, CULTURE IN LONDON
Issue 5 | Summer 2017
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On the cover: Surprise City Sounds
by Julia Allum, a winner in the
Prize for Illustration 2017 awards,
on display at the London Transport
Museum, WC2E 7BB, until Sept 3.
Editor: Dominic Bliss
Art editor: Anthony Collins
Printed by: 47g Print Consultants
19 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DX
In these uncertain times it’s
reassuring to know you can
rely on a great London minicab
service. There are now more
Parker Cars than ever serving
this great city, all staffed by some
of the very best and most polite
drivers you’ll ever come across.
In this issue we have the
amazing story of Levi Roots, the
brains and the charm behind the
famous Reggae Reggae Sauce.
Levi started his business years
ago in his own kitchen and now
heads up a food and restaurant
empire worth well over £35
million. On page 24 you can see
an interview with him.
Also in this issue we have
articles on design (London’s new
Design Museum), photography
(animals and humans, both
unclothed), sport (the bizarre
hybrid known as chess boxing),
art (babies in film posters), and
weird museums. Something for
Enjoy your journey with
us today, and please take the
magazine home with you if you
Partner, Parker Car Service
Partner: Joe Polley
Operations manager: Ian Lowe
Where to, Parker? is published by
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In this issue
6 London by day
New shops, shows, galleries and events.
8 London by night
New restaurants, bars, concerts and nightlife.
10 London news
18 Form and function
You need both of these attributes to design a
brilliant product. As evidenced by these wonderful
devices – at once beautiful and practical – on show
at London’s new Design Museum.
24 The man behind the sauce
From prison to Dragon’s Den to multi-millionaire
food magnate, Levi Roots is the ultimate rags-toriches
businessman. In this interview he reveals his
28 Boxing clever
Discover the hybrid sport known as chess boxing
– a bizarre combination of cerebral tactics and
32 Catch your death of cold
The dancers who have posed naked on London’s
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“It was frequently very cold; it was usually
late; it was dangerous, illegal, exhausting,
and, of course, they’re naked. Yet they still
said yes.” P.32
36 Here, Kitty Kitty
The Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer
of the Year exhibition offers a glimpse into the secret
world of wild animals.
42 Stealing the show
Meet the baby who has now starred in E.T., Jurassic
Park, King Kong and Singin’ in the Rain.
46 London villages
Where Auntie used to live – White City.
48 Meet the chauffeur
We talk to one of Parker Cars’ lovely drivers.
50 Six of the best…
Weird museums in London.
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GEt oUt MorE
London by day
All the best stuff to do
during daylight hours.
One of West
pubs has had a
makeover. The muchloved
offers all-day food in
its cosy bar area, its
outdoor terrace, or its
Expect classic pub
grub alongside more
Beware of tennis
balls flying over from
Discover how we humans connect with
nature through a new exhibition at the
Wellcome Collection called A Museum
of Modern Nature. Curators include
a shaman, a dairy farmer and a plant
scientist. Until Oct 8.
Blink and you’ll miss it. Usain Bolt makes
his last international appearance when
the IAAF World Athletics Champs come
to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
in Stratford between Aug 4 and 13. The
World Para Athletics Champs take place
just before, July 14 to 23.
Quaff over 900 lovely beers, ciders and
perries (plus a few English wines) at the
Great British Beer Festival at Olympia
London, Aug 8 to 12. Expect to jostle
for space with lots of large bellies and
Even skinny art lovers
will feel well-upholstered
after viewing the Alberto
at the Tate Modern. Until
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Fans of Pac-Man, Asteroids and Space
Invaders should head for Four Quarters
East, the new retro video games bar that
has just opened alongside the canal in
Over 200 different
breeds of dog will be
pawing and panting
at Eukanuba Discover
Dogs, a two-day dog
show at Excel London
from Oct 21 to 22.
Under 12s go free.
(Children, not dogs.)
It will be Nobu’s first European hotel. A
new 150-room, five-storey building is set
to open any day now on Shoreditch’s
Willow Street. Look out for the
cantilevered steel beams protruding from
the northern façade, giving the hotel “a
seemingly frayed edge”.
Nine restaurants, 252 bedrooms, a club,
a rooftop pool, a spa, a barbershop and
an “all-hours cocktail lounge”…
The Ned is a very cool hotel in the
former Midland Bank building in the City.
And that cocktail lounge is deep in the
Printworks is a new 6,000-capacity
music and arts venue. There are six
events spaces “arranged over multiple
levels with a maze of corridors and
rooms throughout which retain all
the original machinery and industrial
features”. Expect some exciting shows
but don’t be put off by the Rotherhithe
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GEt oUt MorE
London by night
All the best stuff to do after
the sun has gone down.
“An adrenalin-fuelled journey through
the sizzling world of tango,” is how
Sadler’s Wells describe their 30-strong
Argentinian dance show Tanguera. From
£12, Jul 19 to Aug 6.
Are you man (or woman) enough to
take on the ostrich egg at Florentine,
the new restaurant and bar in Lambeth?
Priced £90 it will easily feed six hungry
diners and comes either scrambled or
fried. Other great menu items include ox
cheek, the one-kg Tomahawk beef steak,
and British sparkling wine. DJs and live
Paper returns to
on the site of Peter
club, at number 201. In
its previous incarnation
it welcomed the likes
of Beyoncé and Kiera
Knightley, so expect
some A-list names.
Sword fighting, courtly games, music
and jousting all vie for your attention at
Hampton Court Palace’s Tudor Joust,
July 15 to 16.
It’s no secret that London’s live music
venues are suffering. What a joy, then,
to hear about a new opening in the
form of Omeara, a 9,000-square foot,
350-capacity space beneath railway
arches in Southwark. There’s pedigree
here, too, since the venue owner is
Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett.
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Islington’s legendary gig venue The
Garage has relaunched after an extensive
re-fit which includes a live music venue,
nightclub, café and bar. Rock and indie
acts still dominate.
One of London’s lesser known but very
important contemporary art fairs is the
Moniker International Art Fair in the Old
Truman Brewery in Spitalfields. Urban art
and huge installations play an important
role. Oct 5 to 8.
Savour your cocktails
while listening to
DJs spinning vinyl
downstairs at Ray’s
Bar in Dalston. It’s like
something out of the
Fancy going out? Out
out? Lucky then that
is doing a 10-night
residency at The O2
between Sept 14 and
Oct 14. It’s called An’
A spaghetti junction of bus lanes,
tunnels, dual carriageways, railways lines
and MI5 security cameras… Vauxhall
Cross can seem soulless at the best of
times. One place trying to inject a bit of
flavour into the area is Chino Latino, a
totally refurbished pan-Asian restaurant
and accompanying Latin American
cocktail bar within the Park Plaza London
Riverbank hotel. Enjoy the wonderful
wagyu beef, monkfish tail and duck
breast while gazing across the Thames.
Soho’s much-loved alternative live music
venue The Borderline has been totally
revamped with a new sound system and
bar area. Open until 4am on Fridays and
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Return to slender
There are few sculptural styles as instantly
recognisable as Alberto Giacometti’s stick-men.
Even passing admirers of the Swiss sculptor’s work
will feel right at home (if a little overweight) at the
Tate Modern’s new retrospective.
Working in the years after World War II,
Giacometti tried through his work to make sense
of the human cruelty displayed during that period.
As Frances Morris, curator and director of Tate
Modern, explains: “Many artists found it very difficult
to depict mankind after the atrocities of Auschwitz,
after the atomic bomb, after man’s inhumanity to
man. This depiction of a very fragile, thin, extended
figure – almost the skeletal remains of a man –
was seen by many of the critics as epitomising a
feeling of exhaustion and failure and guilt on the
part of humanity.”
Giacometti, Tate Modern, SE1 9TG, £18.50, until
As a child, Alexandra Llewellyn remembers walking
through the markets of Cairo with her Egyptian
grandfather, hearing the constant rattle of dice on
wooden backgammon boards. Now a designer
based in London, she has created a whole range of
luxury boards. The boldest of them all is a limitededition
ebony board made in collaboration with
photographer Terry O’Neill whose photos of 1960s
actresses and models adorn it. There’s Brigitte
Bardot, Raquel Welch, Ursula Andress, Goldie
Hawn, Audrey Hepburn and Twiggy. Each board is
signed by O’Neill, and priced at £5,800.
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here’s something for the seriously deficient of
attention. a new book called 30-second london
brings together the events, architectural styles and
cultural ideas that have shaped our city, each entry
explained in 300 words or less. the diversity of
material is astounding, with entries on everything
from Boudica, the Fire of london, christopher
wren and the suburbs to the tube, nightclubs,
sherlock holmes and punk music (pictured).
30-Second London, Ivy Press, £14.99.
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At Parkers we aim to cater for every
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are perfect for large corporate events
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way to move large numbers of people yet
retain the intimacy whilst travelling in a
group. Always more cost effective, and
with an event management team available
to help for every function, it is the ideal
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Travel in comfort, luxury and style. The
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David Attenborough has cuddled gorillas. He’s
swum with dolphins. He’s been spat at by a cobra.
He’s been moved to tears by birds of paradise.
During his decades as a naturalist and broadcaster
he has travelled all over this amazing planet of
ours. Yet he says London’s wildlife – admittedly
rather pedestrian by comparison – gives him just
as much pleasure.
“I’ve got a pond which has dragonflies in it,
which gives me joy every spring,” he says of his
back garden in Richmond. “We have wild English
flowers and we get not only butterflies but all
sorts of insects.”
The capital’s wildlife is much healthier now
than it was when Attenborough first arrived
in London in the early 1950s. “When I moved
here, the River Thames was a sewer,” he tells the
Evening Standard. “If you fell into it you’d get a
disease. They sorted out the problems of sewage
disposal. Now there are all sorts of birds. Where I
live I can see kingfishers.”
Attenborough’s love of urban wildlife was
celebrated in his recent BBC series, Planet Earth
II, which included an episode on animals thriving
in cities. In it he encouraged us to look out for the
wild animals sharing our environment. “In cities,
a lot of people don’t see anything of the natural
world unless it’s a rat or a pigeon,” he adds. “Since
we depend on it, understanding and sympathy for
wildlife is absolutely paramount to our future.”
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Insects on the menu is always going to be a tough
call. (Unless you’re a Burmese peasant, that is.) So
spare a thought for bold French chefs Clement
Scellier and Bastien Rabastens who are doing their
utmost to persuade us Brits that dining on creepy
crawlies is the height of sophistication. Their range
of snacks includes whole grasshoppers, mealworms
and crickets, as well as fruit bars with cricket flour, all
under the branding of Jimini’s. (Get it?)
“European and British consumers are not used to
eating insects but it does not mean they will never
do it,” says Scellier whose products are available in
Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Planet Organic and
Partridges. “Fifteen years ago, raw fish was not a
tradition in Europe. Nowadays, people eat sushi
regularly and it is no longer considered adventurous.
It shows that tradition can be changed.”
Scellier, whose insects are reared in Holland,
stresses how insect farming is so much more
environmentally-friendly than meat farming. “It uses
way less food and water than any other livestock.
Plus it generates 99 times less greenhouse gas.”
But what do they taste like? In their natural form,
Scellier says they are rather nutty. Jimini’s products
are strongly flavoured with the likes of smoked
onion, paprika, soy sauce, garlic, cumin, mango and
curry, however, so that not much of the nut shines
What does shine through are the legs and
the wings which you can remove if you’re a tad
squeamish. Just make sure you have plenty of
It’s not a dangerous job being a postman. apart
from the odd cantankerous dog. But, back in
the old days, Britain’s couriers rode horse-drawn
coaches and were armed so they could fight
off highwaymen and pirates. as you’ll discover
if you visit london’s new postal museum, due
to open this summer in clerkenwell. Included in
the entry price is a 15-minute railway ride along
the mail rail – deserted tunnels that were once
used to transport mail beneath the congested
capital. there used to be over six miles of these
passages, criss-crossing the tube lines, linking
various sorting offices, and facilitating the delivery
of more than four million letters a day. so cut
off were they from the city above that, during
the First world war, they were used to hide the
The Postal Museum, WC1X 0DA, opens in July.
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Following its phenomenally successful David Bowie
exhibition in 2013, the V&a has joined forces with
another British rock treasure for its latest exhibition
pink Floyd: their mortal remains. the band’s music,
design and stagecraft are all examined in detail.
however, in a museum dedicated to design and the
arts, what stands out head and shoulders above
the rest is Floyd’s album cover artwork. a bemused
cow (atom heart mother), a flaming businessman
(wish You were here), a pig flying above Battersea
power station (animals), hospital beds on a beach
(a momentary lapse of reason), and of course the
prism on the Dark side of the moon… the images
are almost as famous as the music.
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains, V&A, SW7 2RL,
from £22, until Oct 1.
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Very long play
It all started with a 1960s LP record called Brixton
Cat. On the cover, with her back to the camera, is a
black lady in knee-length boots, a mini-skirt dress
and a beehive haircut. In front of her is Brixton
market, in south London.
When photographer Alex Bartsch randomly
bought the LP from his local record store in Brixton,
nearly half a century later, he decided to reshoot the
album cover in its exact original location.
What followed became a slightly obsessive but
intriguing photography project that saw Bartsch
shoot album covers, holding them at arm’s length,
in exactly the correct perspective, against the
London backgrounds in which they were originally
shot. There are 42 covers altogether, all reggae,
dating from 1967 to 1987, shot in locations all over
the capital. The results are to be published in a new
book this summer called Covers: Retracing Reggae
Record Sleeves in London (One Love Books).
Bartsch, originally from the French city of
Strasbourg but now living in Brixton, spent months
pursuing his mission, contacting photographers from
the period, researching old press articles, looking
on Google Street View, and stubbornly cycling the
streets of London in search of the original locations.
“It was detective work. I photographed more and
more until it eventually took over my life.”
What made his job all the more tricky is that
so many of his chosen covers were shot in non-
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descript suburban locations: a park in Hackney
Downs, a railway bridge in Battersea, a back garden
in Wembley, stone steps in Holland Park, a church in
“I realised that for many records they didn’t put
much effort into the cover. They shot them very
close to the recording studio or the record label.
Some literally just outside the back door.”
There is one record cover that has still eluded
Bartsch: a 1969 album called Liquidator by the
Harry J Allstars which shows two gangsters with
machine guns on a roof fire escape – one lying dead,
the other, a woman, looking calmly into the middle
distance. Bartsch is desperate to know where it was
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and Herbert Terry
& Sons, this multidirectional
seems almost human
in its form. Indeed,
Pixar have used an
cartoon version of
a similar lamp in
their opening film
credits. And if you
need proof of its
Navigator lamps were
deployed on British
bombers during World
War II. Decades after
the war, a crashed
submerged in the mud
of Loch Ness. The lamp
You need both of these
attributes to design a
brilliant product. As
evidenced by these
wonderful devices –
at once beautiful and
practical – on show at
London’s new Design
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Who hasn’t wanted
to glide around
Rome on a Vespa one
with a bellissima (or
clinging to their
back? This gorgeous
machine was designed
for Piaggio by
It was named Vespa
(Italian for wasp) after
the company boss
said it resembled the
annoying insect. In
Rome at rush hour it
can sound like the city
has been invaded by a
Artist Shepard Fairey
created this image
of the American
president in a single
day and first sold
posters of it on the
streets of America
before it came to
campaign. He was later
fined after legal battles
with the agency which
owned copyright for
the original image.
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and later ‘The Duke’,
the original version
of the Xbox video
game controller was
considered clumsy and
versions were much
Interestingly, plans to
Dieter Rams is
thanks to his use of
and simple, selfexplanatory
The SK4 record player,
from 1956, is a perfect
example of this. It
was nicknamed ‘Snow
White’s coffin’ since
you could see through
the lid when it was
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British road signs
So simple and easy to use, British road signs have
become models for modern road signage all
over the planet. They were developed by graphic
designers Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert in the
late 1950s and 1960s. Before then our roads were
populated with a confusing mishmash of different
styles, typefaces, symbols and colours. Kinneir and
Calvert first tested their designs in Knightsbridge
and Hyde Park, before unveiling them in 1958 on
the Preston bypass in Lancashire.
Apple iMac G3
The egg-shaped, transparent, coloured-plastic
design of Apple’s iMac G3 was so popular that
it revitalised the Apple brand in the late 1990s
and saved the company from financial ruin. There
was controversy on its launch since there was no
receptacle for floppy disks.
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Dr Alex Moulton
set up his bicycle
business in Wiltshire in
1962, producing bikes
noted for their small
wheels and suspension.
that’s what they’re
called) ride them with
pride. Designers love
With spindly legs like
a baby giraffe, this TV
defied gravity. But it
also produced amazing
colour pictures in an
era when broadcasting
was finally turning
its back on black and
that turns you on.
Do it Murphy style,”
claimed the adverts.
Consumers did it
Murphy style in their
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We curse low-energy
lightbulbs as they
struggle to warm up.
We gaze at them,
willing them to burn
into life. This, from
Plumen, is one of the
prettiest you could
The original version
of this portable music
in the late 1970s,
enabling human beings
to listen to tunes on
the move. Commuting
to work, jogging and
roller skating would
never be the same
Some of the coolest bottoms in history have
parked themselves on the Barcelona chair.
Originally created by German designer Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe in the late 1920s, this piece of
furniture became de rigueur in stylish households.
The author Tom Wolfe described it as “the Platonic
ideal of chair. When you saw the holy object you
knew you were in a household where a fledgling
architect and his young wife had sacrificed
everything to bring the symbol of the godly
mission into their home.”
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the man behind
From prison to Dragon’s Den to multi-millionnaire
food magnate, Levi Roots is the ultimate rags-toriches
businessman. Was it luck that got him there,
or shrewd planning? Dominic Bliss finds out.
When Levi Roots first came to the UK, aged
11, he could neither read nor write. As a
young man he did two stretches in prison,
one for assaulting a police officer, the other
for a drugs offence. Now aged 58, he owns a
£35 million food business, built on the back
of his famous Reggae Reggae Sauce. A late
developer, you might say.
And there’s more to come. Levi is currently in the
throes of launching a Caribbean restaurant chain,
with plans to open 35 venues around the UK over
the next five years, all under the brand of Levi Roots
Caribbean Smokehouse. He also records music, has
a regular DJ slot on BBC Radio 2 (both reggae, of
course), and there’s a new TV show coming in the
“I’m quite a busy man,” he says, seated in his
maiden restaurant, in east London’s Westfield
Stratford City, smiling at his good fortune.
Dreadlocks tied back, he’s wearing a navy blue
Ozwald Boateng suit (one of three dozen he owns)
and enough silver jewellery on his hands to choke a
None of this would have happened if Levi hadn’t
been invited, back in 2007, to appear on Dragons’
Den, the BBC show for budding entrepreneurs.
Sporting a black suit, his trademark dreadlocks, and
singing to his guitar, he charmed the pants off the
dragons, eventually securing a £50,000 investment
in his sauce from Peter Jones and Richard Farleigh.
(The former is still his business partner while the
latter, rather foolishly, allowed himself to be bought
out.) Within weeks the product was on the shelves
of Sainsbury’s, outselling Heinz Tomato Ketchup
after just a year.
“Levi Roots? What a great name. Is that your
real name?” asked Theo Paphitis, one of the other
dragons, after Levi had delivered his pitch. “No, it’s
my pseudonym. My real name is Keith,” he replied to
Keith Valentine Graham, to be precise, born
in Jamaica in 1958, the youngest of five kids. His
parents emigrated to the UK, leaving Keith with his
grandparents. Aged 11, he then crossed the Atlantic
to join them, moving to the family home in Tulse Hill,
in south London. Until then he hadn’t even attended
school. “I could only write five letters, to spell my
first name,” he remembers. “But I had this sort of
photographic memory, I was surprised how quickly I
That part of south London in the 1970s was
rough, to say the least. Levi was a bad boy, often
in trouble with the law, and twice detained at Her
Majesty’s Leisure. It was during the second stretch
(on the Isle of Sheppey) that he met someone who
would help turn his life around.
Her name was Theresa, a drama teacher from
New Zealand, brought in to inspire the convicts. Levi
was inspired more than most.
“If I met her now I’d probably have to give her
half my fortune,” he says, his voice starting to break
with emotion. “When I think about her I feel I’m
welling up with tears. She was an absolute angel.
After I left prison I never saw her again.”
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Levi couldn’t read or
write when he came to
the UK as an 11-yearold
kid. Now he’s
worth £35 million.
Theresa was the catalyst Levi needed to
abandon his old life of crime and bad behaviour.
“One day she looked at me and said: ‘You’re not
Keith Graham. You’re Levi Roots. Don’t be Keith.
Keith is what got you into prison in the first place.’
She started teaching me the right books to read,
she gave me elocution lessons, because at the time
I was very patois. She taught me Shakespeare, and
When I got out of prison I
became a totally different
person. I wasn’t Keith Graham
any more. I was now Levi
acting, and how to be a better person. Thanks to her
tutelage, when I got out of prison I became a totally
different person. I wasn’t Keith any more. I was now
In the 1970s Levi had been immersed in the
Brixton music scene, performing as part of a
Jamaican-style sound system. Later he recorded
reggae albums, even once performing on stage with
James Brown. All the while, in the kitchen of his
Brixton flat, he was mixing up his special Caribbean
sauce, following a recipe handed down to him by
his grandmother. Every summer the sauce proved
immensely popular with revellers at Notting Hill
Carnival. So popular that Levi thought he might
launch it commercially. But he needed investment.
“I went to all the banks in southwest London –
HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, all of them. And I took my
guitar along, just like on Dragons’ Den. But none
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I went to all the banks in
southwest London. And I
took my guitar along, just like
on Dragons’ Den. But none
invested. Some of them got quite fed up with me
coming in and serenading them with my guitar.”
Then, by chance, while promoting his sauce at a
food fair, Levi was approached by a producer from
Dragons’ Den. “I think they thought, ‘He is going
to be the worst loser ever on that show. Everyone
will laugh at him.’ It was an Eddie the Eagle type of
But they didn’t laugh at him. They gave him
£50,000 and provided a stepping stone to his
eventual £35 million business empire.
Not that he comes across as a multi-millionaire.
Aside from the expensive suits, Levi claims not
to enjoy a flash lifestyle at all. He still lives in the
same Brixton flat he has occupied for decades and,
despite his fame, he steers clear of what he calls
“that boiling soup of celebrities in north London”.
“Where I am in Brixton has given me everything,”
he adds. “I’ve grown up my kids there. The sauce
was born there. It turned me into the man I am.
Everything I’ve got is because I’ve stayed grounded
where I am. Why would I leave that now?”
This down-to-earth attitude makes him sound
like one of those hackneyed lottery winners who
banks the millions, eschews the new car, and loyally
returns to the factory job on the Monday morning.
“I didn’t get famous or lucky in business until I
was 48 years old,” Levi says by way of explanation.
“Because I got money later in life, I know the value of
it now, and how to use it. If I’d got my money when I
was young, I doubt I would be the Levi Roots people
see now. I definitely would have been really flash
with the cash.”
Being father of eight kids has certainly kept
him grounded. That’s eight kids by seven different
women. The eldest is now 38 years old, the youngest
just four. “I was very popular in my younger days but
very careless,” he says contritely. It seems he was
quite the local celebrity when he was performing
with the sound system band.
However, he attributes much of his business
success to the responsibility of having to raise so
many children. And, despite problems in the early
days, especially when he was in prison and unable to
provide for his offspring, he claims now to be friends
with all seven mothers. He was never married to any
of them. “In the past we weren’t close. But we’ve
pulled everyone in and this has created a reason for
everyone to be united. And perhaps forget about
the problems of the past that I caused. Because it
wasn’t a happy place when I was in prison.”
Apparently all seven mothers attended the
opening of Levi’s new restaurant. That must have
called for a certain diplomacy and charm. But then,
this is the man who entered the Dragons’ Den and,
with just a guitar and a bottle of hot sauce, charmed
£50,000 out of them.
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The hybrid sport known as chess boxing is a
bizarre combination of cerebral tactics and
aggressive pugilism. Thanks to a London
promoter now staging regular contests,
you can see it to believe it.
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competitors fight each
other in alternating
rounds of chess and
This must surely be the ultimate combination of
brains and brawn. Right now, their chests heaving,
their upper bodies dripping with sweat, Greg Drach
and Danny ‘Boy’ Bent are seated in the centre of a
boxing ring, hunched over a chess board, their faces
clenched in concentration. Two minutes earlier they
had been punching seven bells out of each other in
the very same ring during a bout of boxing.
The unlikely duo – Drach, a digital product
manager, and Bent, a writer, both from London –
are the headline bout at the London Chessboxing
season finale, staged at York Hall in east London’s
Bethnal Green. Chess boxing is a little known but
intriguing hybrid sport that sees two contenders
alternating rounds of boxing and chess, with just a
few seconds’ break between each round. Winners
are normally declared through checkmate or time
penalty in the chess, or through stoppage or points
in the boxing. It’s rare that a knockout occurs.
To the uninitiated it looks surreal; like a Little
Britain sketch about eccentric British sports, perhaps.
But once you tune in to the unusual juxtaposition of
chess tactics and boxing aggression, it all starts to
make sense. As a spectator sport it’s entrancing.
Winners are normally declared
through checkmate or time
penalty in the chess, or
through stoppage or points in
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The promoter of tonight’s show is Tim Woolgar.
From a boxing club in Crouch End, he runs chess
boxing classes and, at various venues around
London, stages a handful of events every year. There
are plans to expand the sport nationwide.
“It has started to take off big style,” he says,
pointing to the 700 or so fans present at his season
finale. “I fully expect sponsors to be knocking on my
door in the near future.”
The fact that over 100,000 viewers streamed
his event live through the internet is bound to help.
As is a future deal to put the sport on one of the
Freeview channels. Woolgar is also involved in a
London-based governing body called the World
He claims the sport first started in 1978 at a
youth centre called Samuel Montagu Boys’ Club
in Kidbrooke, in southeast London. But there’s
a rival governing body, the World Chess Boxing
Organisation, in Berlin, which points to more recent
origins. Its president, Iepe Rubingh, claims he
invented the sport after reading a fictitious account
of it in an early 1990s comic book.
Whatever the truth, one thing is certain: chess
boxing is growing internationally. Woolgar has
affiliated members in six nations, while Rubingh has
them in 11. The latter has over 1,000 members, stages
around 1,500 fights a year, and is in the throes of
establishing a professional league.
Back at York Hall, Drach and Bent are still
going hell for leather. During the boxing rounds,
it’s Bent, sporting a mullet and a skimpy pair of red
running shorts, who looks far more confident. In the
intervening chess rounds both players struggle to
calm their bodies after the exertion of the boxing.
Wearing headphones to block out the noise of the
spectators and the chatter of the commentator, they
breathe deeply to steady their heart rates and focus
on tactics. They have already exchanged their queens
but, soon, Drach finds himself in a very vulnerable
position, with fewer pieces to call upon. Eventually,
in round seven, he’s forced to resign, reluctantly
knocking over his king to concede the match.
It was brains rather than brawn that won the
match this time.
London Chessboxing events are staged at York
Hall, E2 9PJ.
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death of cold
Didn’t your mother warn you not to go out in the
cold under-dressed? These dancers appear to have
ignored all maternal advice as they display their
finest moves at various locations around London.
“It was frequently very cold; it was usually late; it was
dangerous, illegal, exhausting, and, of course, they’re
naked. Yet they still said yes. Why? Because they
shared my belief that if we leap, the net will appear.”
So writes photographer Jordan Matter, whose
new book, Dancers After Dark, features dancers
strutting their stuff across the cities of London,
New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm,
Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles, among
others. Crucially, all dancers are wearing just their
“These images represent our willingness to throw
ourselves into the streets without fear of failure.
Doing so led to beauty and exhilaration we could
not have imagined.”
Dancers After Dark by Jordan Matter
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Left top: Kipat
Kahumbu across the
Thames from the
Palace of Westminster.
Left below: Sam
Baskett at Covent
Below left: Stephen
Williams in east
London. Below right:
Sophie Zucchini and
Stephen Williams on
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Your journey is
Our booking app is the fastest and cheapest way to book
with Parker Cars and comes with tons of great features.
• Fixed Price Quotes • ETA • Vehicle Tracking • Favourite Places
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Parker_Issue_5_Book.indb 35 29/06/2017 12:25
Glimpse into the secret world of wild
animals at the latest Wildlife Photographer
of the Year exhibition, at the Natural
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The alley cat by Nayan
night in the suburbs
of Mumbai leopards
slip ghost-like through
the maze of alleys,
in search of food. A
particular favourite are
the stray dogs. Even
humans have been
attacked, yet still most
of the Mumbai locals
accept their unusual
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Eviction attempt by
Ganesh H Shankar.
Returning to its
nesting hole in India’s
Park, this rose-ringed
an uninvited guest – a
monitor lizard. For two
days it attempted to
evict the reptile but to
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Left: The moon and
the crow by Gideon
Knight. This photo of a
crow in east London’s
Valentines Park won
Knight the Young
of the Year award.
lives by Tim Laman.
After three days of
tree climbing, Laman
managed to position
the GoPro cameras
captured this image
of an orang-utan in
It won him the overall
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Wild West stand-off
by Charlie Hamilton
James. A camera
trap and five patient
rewarded this British
photographer with an
image of a grizzly bear
and ravens feeding on
a dead bison in Grand
Teton National Park in
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An intrepid London artist has devised
a way to immortalise babies in famous
movie backdrops. The result is startlingly
Grayson Ainsworth had better grow up to be a film
buff. He’s only 18 months old and already he’s been
immortalised against dozens of famous Hollywood
He’s got his mother Fee to thank for that.
Pregnant and facing a long spell of unemployment,
this actress realised she needed to diversify. So
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she came up with the novel idea of drawing famous
movie scenes in charcoal, before placing her baby
son on top of them. Her husband Glen then takes
At first the Ainsworth family team produced
just 12 images, enough to create a calendar for
the grandparents. But then, thanks to publicity on
Instagram, commissions started flooding in from
parents desiring a bit of Hollywood sparkle for their
own babies. So Fee, now 33 years old, launched
a commercial business, calling it Grayson on
“I’m busy drawing commissioned pieces of
their favorite movie scenes, purchasing wardrobe,
and arranging studio shoots,” she says. “Basically,
a business has been born when I never actually
intended to start one in the first place.”
So far her favourite image of all is the Jurassic
Park one. “The film scared me witless as a kid and,
if I think of the movie, this is the scene that instantly
pops to mind,” she says. “It was an enjoyable draw,
and the shooting of it happened so right. Grayson’s
hand is perfectly placed on the corner edge of the
kitchen unit and his little face is just so spot on. We
literally had the shot within seconds.”
Fee says there are plenty more pictures to
come. “My husband feels I am severely lacking in the
Stallone/ Schwarzenegger department. So if he is
happy to forego his dining room table, I am happy to
keep drawing away.”
Fee Ainsworth accepts commissions.
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Where Auntie used to live
the bit where we spotlight one of london’s lesser-known but
very wonderful quarters.
White City, the area north of Shepherd’s Bush, is
soon to become a thriving new residential area
thanks in part to the apartments being carved out
of the old BBC TV Centre. Yes, of course they’re
expensive (what did you expect?) but hopefully
they will catalyse the grubby area surrounding
them when residents start moving in, in late 2017.
Next door there’s already the gargantuan Westfield
London shopping centre with all its bling. Soon to
come to Television Centre (as the quarter is being
marketed) is a cinema, restaurants, a Soho House
members’ club and new campuses for both the
Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.
The future looks bright.
The big Daddy of the drinking spots is the pub
known as The Defector’s Weld. Here you’ll mix with
locals as well as music-lovers on their way to gigs
at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Across Wood Lane
is The Green, with both a ground-floor bar and a
cute basement section called The Green Room.
Further south on the Goldhawk Road are craft beer
specialists BrewDog Shepherd’s Bush.
Great football club
QPR might resent being called small. Well, at least
they would if they weren’t perfectly formed. Their
Loftus Road stadium has a capacity of just 18,000
which means fans have to chant loudly to be heard.
But it also means they’re much closer to the action
on the pitch.
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Left page top: new
apartments in the old
BBC TV Centre. Left
page below: Burgista
burger bar. Right page,
clockwise from top
left: Bush Hall Dining
Rooms; The Green
Room; Nut Case.
Next to the gorgeous music venue Bush Hall is
Bush Hall Dining Rooms, a rare gem on the strip
of fast-food joints that comprises the Uxbridge
Road. North of Shepherd’s Bush Green you’ll
find a more than decent burger restaurant called
Burgista. But best of all is Albertine, a wine bar at
the base of Wood Lane. It recently opened under
new management, with a wine bar, a restaurant
and a private dining and party space. Another
new restaurant is Pergola on the Roof, an open-air
offering on top of Television Centre.
Great music venues
Shepherd’s Bush Empire is the big one, with
household names regularly taking up residence here.
But far more intriguing is the much smaller Bush
Hall, a former Victorian dance hall where you’ll often
find folk and Americana bands rocking the house.
There can’t be many live music venues in London
where you can drink out of real glass and stand on a
plush carpet while listening to the gig.
It’s difficult to look beyond Westfield London. And
why would you? This 150,000-square metre (and
growing!) behemoth of a shopping centre is home
to everyone from Apple, Ann Summers and Nike to
Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Prada. But if you can brave
the grotty Uxbridge Road you’ll stumble upon the
occasional independent gem: Stuart’s London, for
example, has been dressing football casuals since
1967, and is now a mecca for men’s street fashion.
If you’re feeling peckish try Nut Case which stocks
every nut you ever knew existed (plus a few more).
Did you know?
The now demolished White City Stadium was home
to the 1908 Olympic Games, back when athletes
wore white trousers, cravats and moustaches the
size of small mammals. It was at these games that
the standard marathon distance of 26 miles and 385
yards was first established. Factory scenes in the
1988 movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? were filmed
close to the current site of Westfield London.
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Meet your chauffeur
the bit where we talk to one of parker’s lovely drivers.
Amar Saggar started driving for
Parker Cars in April this year. He
lives in Slough with his wife and
three grown-up kids.
Where do you most love driving
Westminster, especially the wide
roads around Parliament Square.
There’s always a buzz to that part
of town. I’m not very political
but I studied a bit of politics at
university, and I have an interest
in how government works. We’re
not supposed to talk about
politics to Parker passengers,
If money was no object, what car
would you drive?
A Bentley Mulsanne Extended
What qualities do minicab
Patience and the confidence to
drive in new areas, as you never
know where you’ll be going. It’s
important to research the route
online before picking up a new
passenger. Then you can give the
passenger an idea of which roads
you plan to take.
Favourite radio station while
LBC. I like to keep up with current
affairs. There’s a dance-music
station called Kisstory which I
listen to every now and then.
Your top five driving songs?
Smooth Operator by Sade; Billie
Jean by Michael Jackson; Eye of
the Tiger by Survivor; Don’t Stop
Me Now by Queen; Bat Out of
Hell by Meat Loaf.
If you could be a professional
driver in another domain?
I’d like to drive in the Gumball
3000 rally. And I’d fancy my
chances in the Dakar Rally.
Getting close to a reasonable
time would be a bonus.
What’s your best advice for new
Be alert at all times. There’s a
lot happening around you so it’s
crucial to stay on top of this in
order to ensure your own safety
is not compromised. Check
websites and apps for traffic
If you were the transport
secretary, what London traffic
rules would you change?
I’d eliminate the unnecessary
speed cameras. I’d enforce stricter
rules on cyclists and pedestrians.
The one place in London you’d
Near Harrods, in Knightsbridge.
The traffic congestion there may
as well be permanent. It doesn’t
make for a pleasant driving
experience, and it’s not good for
I picked up Joe Launchbury and Joe
Marler, from the England rugby team.
They were both big guys with a lot of kit.
Lucky I had a large MPV to get them in.”
The most famous person you’ve
had in the back of your minicab?
Joe Launchbury and Joe Marler,
from the England rugby team.
They were both big guys with a
lot of kit. Lucky I had a large MPV
to get them in.
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Meet your mobile office
Within the huge Parker fleet there are several Mercedes V-Class
vehicles available for private hire. You could call them ‘mobile
As far as the mobile office goes,
you can’t beat the Mercedes
Viano. These multi-purpose
vehicles combine all the comfort
and luxury you’d expect from a
Mercedes with some mod cons
you’d normally find only in an
office. Parker’s extensive fleet
now includes several Mercedes
Vianos available for private hire.
They’re designed expressly for
busy corporate customers with
features such as Wi-Fi, a table
work-station, iPads for browsing
on the move, phone chargers,
240V mains power, and (on one
of Parker’s vehicles) a printer
which scans and copies – ideal
for printing last-minute reports or
airport boarding passes. There are
even well-stocked drinks fridges
Parker is offering these
vehicles to passengers for whom
time is a premium. As well as
providing luxury comfort, they
allow them to continue working
while on the move.
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Six of the best
The bit where we bring you the very greatest of London life.
Be astounded by the capital’s weirdest museums.
Not for the faint-hearted,
the utterly original Hunterian
Museum, within the Royal College
of Surgeons, in Holborn, features
some truly bizarre displays such
as the thyroid of a dromedary,
the gall bladder of a puffer fish,
and the skeletons of a 7ft 10in
Irishman and a 1ft 10in Sicilian.
You’ve been warned.
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields,
Old Operating Theatre
Museum & Herb Garret
Up in the roof of an old Baroque
church in Southwark, this
operating theatre is from a
pre-anaesthetic age when any
surgical procedure meant a lot
of pain as well as a lot of blood.
Listen carefully and you can still
hear the echoing screams of the
patients (all of them female since
this was a woman’s ward) whose
limbs were amputated here.
Utterly gruesome but thoroughly
9a St. Thomas St, SE1 9RY
The Clink Prison Museum
Thieves, debtors, prostitutes,
heretics and all manner of
scumbags. In the old days, if
you found yourself in the Clink
(the prison built on this site in
Southwark in 1144), you knew
you were in grim company. Fast
forward to the present day and
you can see how said scumbags
were tortured. Not for little kids,
1 Clink St, SE1 9DG
The Viktor Wynd Museum
of Curiosities, Fine Art &
If you like very curious but very
random objects, you’ll love this
quirky museum in Hackney. Dodo
bones, two-headed kittens and
occulist paintings are displayed
alongside McDonalds Happy Meal
toys and the doodles of mad
women. “Everything that has
glittered and caught the eye of its
founder,” the owners explain.
11 Mare St, E8 4RP
Grant Museum of Zoology
Make no bones about it, this
museum in Bloomsbury’s
University College London
features a huge number of dead
animals. 68,000, to be precise –
more, they claim, than the Natural
History Museum. And since it was
founded as a teaching collection,
you can get very close to the
specimens, be they stuffed or
stripped to the bone.
21 University St, WC1E 6DE
The Viktor Wynd Museum
Pollock’s Toy Museum
What is it about dolls that is so
exceptionally creepy? If you don’t
know now, you certainly will after
a visit to this museum in Fitzrovia
which houses a vast array of
antique ones. Also on display are
board games, model soldiers, toy
theatres and the world’s oldest
surviving teddy bear.
1 Scala St, W1T 2HL
Pollock’s Toy Museum
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Book online, by app,
by phone or by email.
The airport experts,
When you arrive at Heathrow
let us make your life easier. By
choosing Parker Cars you are
guaranteed a seamless transfer.
With our distinctive green jacket
representatives in each terminal
to take the stress out of your
transfer and introduce you to
your waiting driver.
We are able to monitor your
flights, adjusting arrival times
where necessary, so you do not
have to worry, with the peace
of mind provided knowing the
professional people of Parker
Cars are taking care of your
With Parker Cars you know you
are in safe hands.
Parker Car Service
T: 020 8560 0000 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parker_Issue_5_Book.indb 2 29/06/2017 12:26
A SLICE OF THE
RICHMOND’S DINING AND DRINKING
DESTINATION FOR EVERYDAY
OCCASIONS AND SPECIAL AFFAIRS.
Bingham, 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UT | www.thebingham.co.uk | +44 (0)208 940 0902
Parker_Issue_5_Book.indb 2 29/06/2017 12:26