London has been voted the UK’s top destination for global travellers according to a poll by TripAdvisor.
The Independent reports that the capital beat Edinburgh and Bath to take first position in a list of the top 20 destinations in the UK for foreign tourists – with the others taking second and third place respectively.
In European destinations to visit, the city placed third behind Paris, coming in first, and Rome, taking second.
The online travel provider also found that it ranked highly among the top 10 places to visit in the world, in at number eight. Cape Town, Sydney and Machu Picchu in Peru took the top three spots.
Known for its great nightlife and party venues, London also hosts green spaces and a rich historic background making it ideal for tourists visiting the UK. With the upcoming Olympic games in 2012, it is anticipated that it could still reach higher in the European stakes.
TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma Boyle said: “Tourism is vital to the UK economy so it’s encouraging to see London and Edinburgh both highly recognised as Europe’s best destinations.”
“London’s performance is especially meaningful as so much time and effort has gone into preparing the city for the 2012 Olympics and hopefully it will sneak ahead of Paris and Rome before the Games start,” she added.
More than 1.8 million people attempted to snap up tickets for the Olympics out of the 20 million available within the closing hours of the allocation ballot, according to the Press Association.
Ellie Goulding has described the moment she played at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding as a “very surreal, incredible experience.”
The 24-year-old pop artist entertained around 650 guests at the couple’s wedding reception venue, Buckingham Palace, on the evening of their marriage on Friday.
According to The News Of The World, she serenaded the newly-named Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with a cover version of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ to kick off her set. Elton was close to William’s late mother, Diana Princess of Wales, and he played at her funeral in 1997.
She also sang ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers, ‘Superstition’ by Stevie Wonder and her own chart-hit ‘Starry Eyed’.
Speaking to the BBC One Show, she told presenter Alex Jones: “It was a very surreal, incredible experience. I’ll never forget it. It was amazing.”
Ellie also said she was incredibly nervous about the performance, but added: “It was a good night. Everyone was having fun.”
Goulding was personally invited to perform at the largest televised wedding ever when she met William and Kate at a festival last year.
“It was very bizarre but that’s when I met them and then I found out a while ago that they wanted me to sing,” she said.
A DJ took to the stage afterwards playing late in to the night and spinning tracks such as Dizzie Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’ and Kings Of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’.
There is still much speculation about where the newlyweds will spend their honeymoon, but what is known is that it will not take place until this summer.
The head of the Film Distributors’ Association has described this summer’s blockbuster releases as the “made-in-London cinema season.”
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and the final instalment of the Harry Potter franchise have featured various event spaces across the capital in their films – making London a major part of the big screen in 2011.
Jonny Depp will once again reprise his role as the enigmatic Jack Sparrow, while Daniel Radcliffe picks up his wand for the last time as the young wizard this July. Both films are expected to dominate the movie charts and pull in millions for the film industry and London itself.
Even digital animation flicks like Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 features a race in front of the Royal Family home, Buckingham Palace, alongside with other famous landmarks.
The Film Distributors’ Association chief executive Mark Batey told the Evening Standard: “Interestingly, it’s a made-in-London cinema season. There’s been a lot of production in this country in the last year. This summer is the period when these films start coming to cinemas all within a few weeks of each other.”
According to Film London, international film investments set a new record 2010, with £928.9m being spent in the UK – a 15 per cent increase on 2009. Approximately 75 per cent of this production is concentrated in London and the south east.
Reports have suggested there may be an upcoming wedding for pop star couple Rochelle Wiseman and Marvin Humes.
The pair, of the bands The Saturdays and JLS respectively, have been dating for some time, and recently hinted that the next step might be closer than everyone thought.
Wiseman made the hints in the Daily Star, claiming: “Could we top the Royal Wedding? It would be a tough act to follow.”
Also, when recently Glamour recently asked the pair if they’d be tying the know any time soon, Wiseman answered: “The pressure’s on you [Humes] for that bit, I’ll just be quiet.”
One source close to the couple has spoken out regarding the situation, arguing that each of the stars are “huge” and come from “two of the UK’s biggest pop groups.”
The insider went on to add: “Even if they can’t outdo Kate and Wills, they’re certainly pop royalty – their wedding could easily make them the new Posh and Becks,” suggesting that if the pair were to go for it, aspects such as the wedding reception venue, dress and cake could exceed the luxury of the Beckhams’ wedding back in 1999.
However, some have suggested Wiseman would have to tame her “roving eye” if the couple are to have a long and happy marriage; as she recently announced to the press: “Robert Pattinson is so hot. Sorry Marvin, no offence.”
Henry Cavill, star of the new ‘Superman’ film, has got engaged to his showjumper girlfriend Ellen Whitaker.
Female First reported that the actor got down on one knee during a trip to Hollywood together and Whitaker had “no hesitation in saying yes.”
28-year-old Cavill also called her father Stephen to ask for her hand in marriage in one of the most romantic proposals of the year.
It is unknown whether the couple have made any firm plans, like choosing a wedding reception venue, but the two seem to be incredibly happy about the engagement.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, Whitaker was overjoyed by his proposal: “I couldn’t believe it when he asked me to marry him. I thought we were there to celebrate his birthday. It was such a surprise and I am so happy.”
The happy news was officially confirmed by Henry’s representative in People magazine.
However, the marriage may not happen for some time. Ellen is currently in training to make the British showjumping team for the 2012 London Olympics Games. Henry, on the other hand, is due to start shooting superhero movie ‘Superman: The Man of Steel’ in Vancouver and Chicago, due for release at the end of 2012.
Actress Sara Rue has spoken of the terrible stress of planning the perfect wedding.
The ‘Less than Perfect’ star will marry teacher Kevin Price this month following a long engagement but admitted that last-minute preparations are driving her insane.
In an interview with people.com, Rue admitted that her wedding day anxiety has got worse as the date has drawn closer.
She said: “I’m turning into a bridezilla. I’m not there yet, but I’m close. I was pretty cool for the first three or four months of planning, and now that we’re getting closer, I’m becoming insane.
It is far from strange for brides-to-be to become very anxious especially in the weeks leading up to the nuptials.
Many are advised to make bookings for outfits, travel, photographers and the wedding reception venue well in advance of the big day in order to control any last-minute stress.
However, it appears that the 32-year-old’s attention to detail has led to her making more plans than most.
She recently told contactmusic.com: “I have two different bridesmaid dresses. Yes, two for the day. If I don’t like one colour, then I have the other one. It’s that kind of craziness. I’m getting very detailed oriented in a very OCD kind of way.”
London is staging the world’s-largest “dress rehearsal” for the 2012 Olympics creating sporting events and testing facilities, The Independent has reported.
A year-long schedule will begin this month and 42 events have already been planned across at 26 of the Olympic venues. Organisers hope that the trials will throw up the kinds of issues they may face when the real ceremony begins next July.
It’ll also be a good indicator of the nation’s appetite for the games. Hundreds of event venues are expected to be hired out for private parties over the two-week sporting extravaganza, particularly for the opening and closing ceremonies.
The public are invited to watch the advanced preparations, with 150,000 tickets going on sale, costing between £5 and £35. The London games authority LOCOG have branded the test-run ‘London Prepares’.
Paul Deighton, LOCOG chief executive, says that the events are an opportunity to see some real sport, and shouldn’t be negatively perceived as a “mini-Olympics.”
According to The Telegraph, he said: “Although our venues won’t be dressed in their Games finery, a number of events will give the public a chance to see some world class sporting action ahead of next year.”
“These are effectively dress rehearsal opportunities for us but the public are going to see the rehearsal and not the dress,” he stressed.
The events will also be an opportunity to test new technology and equipment as well as coordinate and train the supporting Olympic staff, Deighton added.
Sir Paul McCartney is to marry for a third time following his engagement to New Yorker, Nancy Shevell.
The 68-year-old former Beatle is said to be ‘ecstatic’ about the announcement to the 51-year-old, whom he has dated for four years. According to the Daily Mail, the couple are due to marry this summer but the wedding reception venue is yet to be decided.
Curiously, the couple are not signing a pre-nuptial agreement. McCartney, who is worth an estimated £495m, entered a bitter legal battle with ex-wife, Heather Mills, following their divorce in 2008. Ms Mills was awarded £24.3m after seeking a £125m settlement. She now has a career mainly based in the United States.
A source close to the couple, who announced their engagement on Friday told the Mail on Sunday: “Paul trusts Nancy implicitly. She is wealthy in her own right and certainly isn’t after him for his money.”
“There is no pre-nuptial agreement but Nancy told me they are having a simple one-page legal document drawn up, which she is more than happy to sign. It states that, in the event of a divorce, she will not make any claim on the trust funds of his children or grandchildren.”
McCartney’s first wife, Linda, died of cancer in 1998. She introduced the ‘Love Me Do’ singer to vegetarianism and animal rights activism. She was also in his former band, Wings.
Frank Lampard and Christine Bleakley were last week spotted at a church in Northern Ireland, sparking rumours of an imminent engagement.
It has been speculated that the couple were visiting a church in Bleakley’s home town of Newtownards to evaluate its suitability as a venue for their wedding ceremony.
Speaking to RTE, a source close to the couple claimed that Bleakley is very keen of having a church close to her friends and family. They said: “It’s well-known that Christine has her heart set on getting hitched in the North, near her family. This church ticks all the boxes for that type of cosy ceremony.”
Although there has been no official announcement from the couple, many news sources have claimed that the couple could marry as early as next month.
If this is the case then the couple may instead choose to have their wedding reception venue in London, where they are currently living together, rather than travelling to Ireland.
A spokesman for the couple flatly denied all rumours of a wedding but the couple have been known to deceive the media in the past. The couple refused to reveal that they were dating for months despite huge amounts of media speculation after they first met.
However in a recent interview with The Daily Mail, Bleakley did reveal that Lampard is desperate for more children but said she wanted to be married for a long time before they planned for a baby.
Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevall will be married in a registry office, the pair have confirmed.
After recently announcing their intention to be wed, the couple has now refuted claims that the wedding will be a big affair; claiming it’ll be a “small” celebration at a registry office.
The bride-to-be revealed the news when talking to an American reporter, which the Daily Mail confirmed. She told them that it would be mostly family on the guest list, but said she didn’t know “the exact date.”
Shevall also added: “And don’t ask what I’ll wear, because how dressy do you get to stand before a Justice of the Peace in his chambers – which is exactly what we’re going to do.”
McCartney’s fiancée was also hesitant to confirm any other details, such as any function venues they were considering for the reception; however she did speak of what would happen after the pair were betrothed.
Shevall claimed: “I’d love to live here [New York] but it’s probably England. I still have a job here so I’ll commute once a month.”
The businesswoman went on to describe her engagement ring, which has been subject to much speculation over the past few days. The 51-year-old divorcee said it was a “vintage 1925 Cartier engagement solitaire diamond,” and that when McCartney handed over the ring, it was “a total surprise” to her.
Her comments came shortly after The Telegraph asked why McCartney would consider getting married again, after being burnt with ex-wife, Heather Mills. However the newspaper claimed that it was McCartney’s “traditional” values and “deep-seated love” for Shevall that were the deciding factors.