Things To Do In London Today: 8 November 2012

BIRTHDAY BOYS: Happy birthday to former West Ham and Chelsea player Joke Hole Joe Cole, born in Paddington on this day in 1981. Also, happy 46th to London chef Gordon Ramsay, and 56th to Notting Hill screenwriter Richard Curtis.

DICKENS NEWS: CoolTan Arts today publishes Dickens News, an 8-page newspaper about the life and times of the great author, and his relevance today. Pick up a copy from the Cuming Museum (where a companion exhibition runs until 29 November) or with the Southwark News.

GIVE BLOOD: Peckhamites, get ye to Rye Lane Chapel to donate some blood. Free, just turn up, 1.45-4.30pm and 5.30-8pm

LONDON BEER: The Peasant pub in Clerkenwell holds a five day "Make Love Not War" beer festival, featuring tipples from London-based breweries. Free (but pay for drinks), just turn up, all evening

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Carnaby Street launches its seasonal decorations tonight, with a general theme that celebrates the Rolling Stones. DJs and special pop-ups will enliven the street. Free, just turn up, 6pm

TRAVEL: Stanfords map shop in Covent Garden holds the first in a series of 'pop-up adventure clubs' in which professional travel experts wax lyrical about their favourite parts of the world. Tonight, see Russell Stenhouse, Serbian Tourism and Dejan Veselinov discuss the Balkans. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

BLACK HOLES: Caleb Scharf speaks at the Royal Institution about those big dark sucky things known as black holes. £10, prebook, but can probably pay on door, 7pm

POETRY: Inua Ellams, Rachel Rose Reid, Jonny Fluffypunk, Maria Ferguson and Shane Solanki perform at Tongue Fu, an evening of poetry, but not as we know it, over at Rich Mix. Chris Redmond hosts. £7, prebook or pay on door, 8pm

MUSIC: Catch Bon Iver at Wembley Arena, where tickets are still available. Prices vary, 8pm

SPOOKY TALES: The White Bear Theatre on Kennington Park Road has quite a few tickets left for tonight's performance of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, five short stories from the master of ghostly tales, MR James. £7, prebook or pay on door, 9pm

LATE OPENINGS: Get some late culture in, with a trip to the National Portrait Gallery (open till 9pm) or Wellcome Collection (open till 10pm).

SLEEP ROUGH: Homeless charity Centrepoint holds its annual sleepout tonight in Exchange Square, Broadgate. Despite the short notice, it looks like you can still sign up and do your bit for those without a roof over their heads. Entertainment comes from punmeister Tim Vine, Eliza Doolittle, Richard Madeley and Sara Cox. £25, all night

Random London Fact of the Day

The Ministry of Defence on Whitehall contains a little known relic of Tudor times. Henry VIII's wine cellar, a rare survival from Whitechall Palace, still exists several floors beneath the sprawling complex. When the MoD was constructed in the 1950s, the ancient room was moved a few metres to the north west and a couple of floors down, all in one piece. The modern structure was then built over and around it. Access is restricted by the Department's strict security, but if you happen to know somebody who works within, they'll probably have clearance to take you round.


Today will be the warmest day of the week. But don't get too excited. The thermometer might just about reach 12 degrees, if you tip it upside down and spank its little bottom a few times. A homeopathic dose of sunshine will bring limited cheer. BBC Weather has more.

Secret Hidden False Rumor Of The Day
Has anyone ever noticed this secret section? If you have, leave a comment saying "I'm a member of the Secret Hidden False Rumour Club" or words to that effect.  It'll really confuse people.