Time Out Ditches 'Big Smoke' Section

By M@ Last edited 105 months ago
Time Out Ditches 'Big Smoke' Section


Mark Frith's first big decision as the new editor of Time Out London came to light yesterday. The front portion of the magazine known as The Big Smoke will be dropped in the next few weeks in favour of more feature-style pieces.

The section, which regularly topped reader surveys of popularity, provided a home for London oddities and minutiae not found anywhere else in mainstream print. The kind of stuff that made people think about the city around them - from 'lies to tell tourists' to 'William Blake: Taxi Driver', from montages of coal hole covers to the history of pub signs. It also spawned a couple of London Through a Lens books and prompted the recent Tales From A Park Bench installation on Chalk Farm Road. And, full disclosure, this Londonista also contributed a few pieces that wouldn't have been welcome anywhere else. Try pitching 'London's greatest bollards' to the Evening Standard.

The section will continue online via the excellent (at least content-wise) blog and Twitter feed, but its days in print are now numbered. Truly, the loss of the Big Smoke is a loss to London. We just hope Pete Watts continues to ride all London's buses in order.

Last Updated 11 August 2009


This is a real shame. It was the quirky nature of that page that I liked in the first place, and reminded me what a great city London was.


That is a shame, it was always one of my favourite sections of the magazine.


That's a terrible shame. I always flick straight to that bit. Does this mean the Man Who Fell Asleep will be twitter only?


This is woeful news, and one which makes no editorial sesne to me. Why axe one of the only remaining readable sections in TO? And for what? Heat mag London special?

With the much-loved Sport section also no more, I'm finding it hard to justify £2.99 for a weekly Michael Hodges column.

I hope this Londonist post doesn't become an obituary, but an inspiration for Mr W to carry on with the Big Smoke online. It may just work out even better on the modern interweb.

Thanks for the great reads.