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 281,000 people and been viewed by approximately 135,000 people.
Below is a summary of each live broadcast in the fourteen-week 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 Tourist 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.
Wednesday, 27 May 2020: Medicine in London
With the coronavirus changing the way we live our lives, never has it been more important to have a good reliable health service. London Blue Badge Guide Patricia Ellis talks us through the long history of health care in the capital, from the rudimentary practices of the Romans, through the creation of the first hospitals, to today’s high tech world of research and care.
Friday, 29 May 2020: Making Time for Greenwich
Greenwich lies on the south bank of the River Thames, a short boat journey from central London. Home of the prime meridian, where east meets west, the borough has a long maritime history. Join London Blue Badge Guides Sue Hyde, Angela Morgan and Tim Barron as they explore the area, talk about its links to Royalty and give a taste some of the many delights to be found within its boundaries.
Monday, 1 June 2020: The British Library: The World’s Collective Memory
The British Library contains some of the greatest treasures of the written and spoken word, with more than 170 million historic manuscripts, books, maps, journals, newspapers and sound recordings from all over the world. Join Blue Badge Tourist Guide Steve Fallon on Monday as he walks us through this Aladdin’s Cave of memories.
Wednesday, 3 June 2020: Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill is often considered Britain’s greatest Prime Minister. He led the country through most of the Second World War, becoming renowned for his inspiring speeches and motivational appearances. London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Tim Hudson looks at Churchill’s life and some of the locations associated with him, including the Churchill War Rooms in central London.
Friday, 5 June 2020: London’s Green
London is officially a forest with more trees than people. Parks, gardens, commons and heaths all play their part in keeping Londoners happy and healthy. Join Blue Badge Tourist Guides Mark Godowski to discover the 47% of London that is green space.
Monday, 8 June 2020: Launch of Virtual Tours
Exciting news! Guide London has launched a London Virtual Tour portal for families and groups who wish to explore London from the comfort of their home. London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Pepe Martinez makes the announcement at the top of the broadcast and he is joined by his colleagues Simon Whitehouse, Katherine Alcock and Nick Salmond who showcase mini virtual tours of The National Gallery, Whitehall to Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey. 🇬🇧
Wednesday, 10 June 2020: A celebration of the life of Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens is one of the greatest writers of all time. He created some of the best-loved novels and characters in the history of English literature and London was his lifelong inspiration (he described the city as his “magic lantern”). Join London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Simon Whitehouse as he explores Dickens’ legacy and talks to a very special guest, Lucinda Hawksley one of Dickens great great-great-grandchildren.
Friday, 12 June 2020: Florence Nightingale – more than just the lamp
Florence Nightingale is most commonly known as the Lady with the lamp, but this remarkable woman was so much more. In this broadcast join London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Paula Cooze to hear about just how ahead of the time she was, and how the science behind today’s Covid-19 work has much to thank her for. Joining Paula is special guest David Green, the Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, to talk about the museum and how the 200th Anniversary of her birth is being marked.
Monday, 15 June 2020: Royal and Ceremonial London
The Changing of the Guard, one of London’s most-loved ceremonies, has existed since the 17th century, while the mighty landholding known as the Crown Estate can trace its origins right back to the Norman invasion of 1066. Join Blue Badge Tourist Guides Fiona Lukas, Sophie Campbell and Danielle Harte to find out more.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020: London Virtual Tours – St Paul’s Cathedral, City of London & Tower of London
We preview more virtual tours of London with three London Blue Badge Tourist Guides. Amber Tallon takes us to St Paul’s Cathedral the great church at the heart of the City of London. Aaron Hunter takes us on a walk through the city, meeting the Lord Mayor and visiting the monument to the Great fire of 1666. William Mitchell takes us to the Tower of London explaining some of its thousand-year histories and giving us a flavour of what we can find inside its many towers.
Friday, 19 June 2020: Shopping and Fashion in London
London is considered one of the best fashion and shopping destinations in Europe. Join us today as London Blue Badge Tourist Guides Maitland Simpson and Marguerite Ryder-Large take us on a walk from Selfridges, recently voted the best department store in the world, to Top Shop, one of the most famous British high street brands. if we’re lucky they might even share some of the shopping secrets of Beyonce, The Duchess of Cambridge and actor Samuel L Jackson.
Monday, 22 June 2020: The National Gallery
The National Gallery is London’s main art gallery, housing over 2300 paintings by some of the world’s most famous artists. Its aim is to tell the story of European art from the mid-13th century up until the end of the 19th. London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Ingrid Wallenborg takes us inside to look at some of the highlights of the collection.
Wednesday, 24 June 2020: The Old City, Tower Bridge & Bankside
Today we have another preview of some of our virtual tours with three London Blue Badge Tourist Guides. Vicky Bailey tells us some of the stories of the Old City, one of the most historic parts of London. Fiona Lukas shows us Tower Bridge, the most famous bridge in the City and one of the most iconic structures in the world. Antony Robbins continues with Bankside, another of London’s vibrant and historic districts.
Friday, 26 June 2020: Windsor Castle, Stonehenge & City of Bath
Today we have a preview of some of our virtual tours with three London Blue Badge Tourist Guides but this time we’re going out of town. Rhys Thomas takes us to the precincts of Windsor Castle, the largest privately inhabited castle in the world, Charlotte Thurlow takes us to Stonehenge, the most famous stone circle in Britain and Emily Dell show us the delights of the World Heritage City of Bath.
Monday, 29 June 2020: Pride in London
June is Pride Month. And this weekend should have seen the wonderful, vibrant Pride Parade through central London. Join Blue Badge Tourist Guides Danielle Harte & Danny Parlour with their guest Joseph Galliano from Queer Britain as they look at LGBT history of London, where to go in the city today and sharing news of a very exciting national project that is to open, a national Queer Britain museum space.
Wednesday, 1 July 2020: The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds cover almost 800 square miles of glorious countryside. Here you can find many ancient and charming English villages as well as lively market towns. London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Mitchell Cregor takes us on a journey to this area of outstanding natural beauty, showing the highlights and telling the history of this beautiful part of England.
Friday, 1 July 2020: ZSL London Zoo: The World’s Oldest is Back!
The world’s first scientific zoo, counting some 670 species and 19,000 creatures in London’s Regent’s Park, has partially reopened after three months’ lockdown. Join Blue Badge Tourist Guide Steve Fallon to discover this rich menagerie and meet one of the keepers who made it his home during those 12 weeks.