Guide London has successfully launched a live broadcast series during the COVID-19 lockdown. Streaming live via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays at 4 pm London / 11 am New York time, the series features many of the 600+ Blue Badge Tourist Guides who are members of the Association of Professional Tourist Guides. Topics covered include British culture, history, Monarchy, and then the lighter side of London.
Lead on the project for Guide London is Nick Salmond who has worked as a director for BBC News since 1998. After training for two years, Salmond qualified as a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide in 2018 and won the prestigious Guide of the Year award in 2019.
Joining Salmond in directing the live broadcast series is Ursula Petula Barzey of Moxee Marketing who manages the Guide London website and social media channels. Barzey, who initially suggested the project to Guide London, views the live broadcasts as a way for association members to stay connected with existing clients and potentially reach new ones during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Guide London live broadcast series was launched on Sunday, 29 March with a promotional video by the Chair of the Association of Professional Tourist Guides, Danny Parlour. As of today (27th May), the 25 live broadcasts streamed across Guide London’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages have reached over 203,000 people and been viewed by approximately 100,000 people.
Below is a summary of each live broadcast in the series along with the corresponding video on Guide London’s YouTube channel. These broadcasts can also be easily watched via our Twitter and Facebook page where most viewers engage the broadcasts.
Monday, 30 March 2020: London on Film and in Print
In the first in a series of live broadcasts from Guide London, Blue Badge Tourist Guides Pepe Martinez and Vicky Bailey join Nick Salmond to talk about movies and books featuring London.
Wednesday, 1 April 2020: London Against The Odds
Blue Badge Tourist Guides Ruth Polling and Caroline Piper join Nick Salmond to talk about historical challenges faced by Londoners. In particular, The Great Fire of London in 1666 and the bombing of the city in the Second World War.
Monday, 6 April 2020: Food in London
Food glorious food is the subject of the latest live broadcast from Guide London. Blue Badge Guide David Drury joins Nick Salmond to discuss food in London, from fine dining in restaurants to street food markets. London has it all.
Wednesday, 8 April 2020: The Preposterous Prince: King George IV’s Outrageous Life
There have been a lot of King Georges but, for the Brits, this is the one with the worst reputation. Blue Badge Tourist Guide Alex Hetherington introduces Russell Nash to show how George loved to throw a party, happily spent other people’s money but how he also had quite a sense of style!
Friday, 10 April 2020: London Food Quiz
Quiz compere and London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Alex Lacey introduce an international cast of London quizzers: Anne Pollak (USA), John Sheahan (Ireland) and Leo Heaton (England) for a high stakes 30-minute knowledge knock-down. Expect something on Food and Drink to round off this week’s broadcasts.
Monday, 13 April 2020: Two Great London Galleries
Blue Badge Tourist Guides Sophie Campbell and Maureen Corcoran take us through the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Modern. The treasures of the National Portrait Gallery span 500 years and Sophie will draw from the full range to tell her stories. Maureen will give us her top tips for making the most of a visit to the world-renowned gallery of 20th and 21st-century art, Tate Modern.
Wednesday, 15 April 2020: Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is one of the most important and most visited buildings in London. Site of Coronations, Royal Weddings and burial place of many famous figures, the Abbey is a must-see on any visit to London. In the latest live broadcast from Guide London, London Blue Badge Tourist Guides Kate Davey and Simon Whitehouse join Nick Salmond to explain the history and importance of the building.
Friday, 17 April 2020: British Monarchs in a lifeboat – Who gets thrown overboard?
Queen Anne is remembered with furniture and churches rather than heroic deeds. Richard III will forever be linked to the disappearance of ‘the Princes in the Tower’. Charles I’s reign saw civil war and ended on the executioner’s block. But each one has supporters who can make stout cases in their defence. Hear what Blue Badge Tourist Guides Leo Heaton, Tim Hudson and Dan Bidewell have to say about their monarch and help us decide who gets thrown out of the boat.
Monday, 20 April 2020: Happy Birthday, Your Majesty – Queen Elizabeth II!
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her big day on Tuesday. We’re too polite to mention the number, but she’s doing well. There will be no gun salutes or flags on government buildings, but we’re throwing her a virtual party. Musician Pete House will join Blue Badge Tourist Guides Charlotte Thurlow, Monica Mello, Emily Baker, Catherine Raggett and Emily Dell for songs, cake, reflections on a life of service and pressies. Feel free to dress for the occasion and bring sweet treats with a glass of something bubbly!
Wednesday, 22 April 2020: Windsor Castle / George II
Windsor Castle is the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle and favourite home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, who celebrated her 94th birthday in the castle. London Blue Badge Tourist Guide William Mitchell discusses the history of the castle while Emily Baker tells about King George, who reigned for nearly 60 years and spent much time at the castle.
Friday, 24 April 2020: The Crown – London Locations
The Netflix TV series The Crown details the life of Queen Elizabeth II. Much of the series is filmed in and around London. Blue Badge Tourist Guides Simon Whitehouse, Delianne Forget and Karen Pierce-Goulding reveal some of the locations used and talk about the real lives of some of the characters featured in this popular series.
Monday, 27 April 2020: Whodunnit? Hercule Poirot & Sherlock Homes in London
Our theme for Monday’s broadcast is mystery, medicine and archaeology! There is, in fact, no better place than London to explore the sources of inspiration of two of the world’s most famous crime writers, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dame Agatha Christie. Join Blue Badge Tourist Guides Alex Hetherington and Ingrid Wallenborg when they explain what links a famous hospital to Sherlock Holmes and the British Museum to Hercule Poirot!
Wednesday, 29 April 2020: The Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of London’s most popular tourist destinations. Famous as the home of the Crown Jewels, the walls of the Tower have been witness to some of the most important events in British history. Kings have been murdered there, Queens executed. London Blue Badge Guides Richard Ing and Vicky Bailey join Fiona Lukas to talk about its long and bloody history.
Friday, 1 May 2020: Celebrating May Day
1 May has been celebrated in Britain for hundreds of years, marking the transition from winter to the beginning of summer. In the latest live broadcast from Guide London, Blue Badge Tourist Guides Mark Godowski and Jill Cook talk about the weird and wonderful ways May Day is marked across the country.
Monday, 4 May 2020: Curiosities of London
London Blue Badge Tourist Guides Danielle Harte and Fiona Lukas highlight some of the strange and weird things to be found in the city, from stuffed cats to heraldic dragons, from false noses to specialist shops. London has it all.
Wednesday, 6 May 2020: From Dinosaurs to Computer – Science in London
London is a centre of scientific discovery. This Wednesday discover how scientists explored the natural world and brought back specimens to create the Natural History Museum with Blue Badge Tourist Guide Aaron W Hunter. Then move next door to the Science Museum with fellow Blue Badge Tourist Guide Themis Halvantzi-Stringer to learn about the computing pioneers whose technology have changed our world.
Friday, 8 May 2020: 75th Anniversary of VE Day
Today is the 75th Anniversary of VE Day – the end of the Second World War in Europe. Join Guide London to mark this historic event celebrating the war’s end but remembering the losses and sacrifice of the wartime generation. Blue Badge Tourist Guides Ruth Polling, Rob Humphreys, Mike Armitage and Alice Trickey discuss the events leading up to VE Day and explore the stories behind the iconic images of the day.
Monday, 11 May 2020: London Underground
The London Underground, the world’s oldest underground railway, is the lifeblood of London. With 270 stations and over 250 miles of track, over 3.8 million journeys are made each day. London Blue Badge Guide Fiona Lukas talks about the evolution of the service and explains some of the design decisions behind the iconic London Underground map.
Wednesday, 13 May 2020: Kensington Palace / Queen Victoria
Kensington Palace has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century and is the current home of Prince William and his family. London Blue Badge Guides Leila Sukiur and Nick Salmond join Pepe Martinez to talk about the history of the palace and the life of Queen Victoria, who was born there just over 200 years ago.
Friday, 15 May 2020: Sporting London
Take a trip around the major sporting venues of London. Join Blue Badge Tourist Guides David Drury and Fiona Lukas and find out about the homes of English Tennis, Football, Rugby, and Cricket along with the legacy of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
Monday, 18 May 2020: The Mirror and the Light
The Mirror and the Light is the final instalment of the historical Wolf Hall Trilogy by Hilary Mantel. Set in the Tudor Court, the series deals with the rise and fall of Henry VIII’s chief minister Thomas Cromwell. Blue Badge Tourist Guides Karen Sharpe, Howard Medwell and Geoffrey Metzger discuss the book and some of the real people and real places it features.
Wednesday, 20 May 2020: William Shakespeare – A man for now and all time
William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest writer who ever lived. Join lute-playing London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Rick Jones, as we travel from Stratford to London and visit some of the locations connected to this “man for all time.”
Friday, 22 May 2020: The Beatles in London
The Beatles were the best-selling musical artists in history and have sold more than 800 million albums. London Blue Badge Guide Edwin Lerner looks at locations associated with the fab four, including the famous zebra crossing outside the Abbey Road studios, where the majority of their music was recorded.
Monday, 25 May 2020: British Museum London
Join us to explore the British Museum in London. A popular tourist attraction, the British Museum is home to around nine million objects – A museum of civilisation. Blue Badge Tourist Guide Themis Halvantzi-Stringer will be showing us some of the powerful women depicted in artefacts from around the world.