Things To Do Today In London: Friday 13 December 2019

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Light Up Nine Elms begins tonight

Things to do

GRILLJAM: In summer, we had WingJam. Now the food festival is replaced by its winter cousin, GrillJam. Tuck into wings, BBQ food and festive dishes, all served in small sizes so that you can sample a few and vote for your favourite. Bussey Building (Peckham),  £15, book ahead, 13-15 December

PINOCCHIO ON ICE: Fairy tale Pinocchio is retold on ice by a cast of  talented skaters ranging from adults to young children. Watch the story told in front of your eyes in a family-friendly performance, featuring traditional and modern music. Alexandra Palace, £15.50/£13, book ahead, 13-16 December

LIGHT UP NINE ELMS: A new light installation begins in the Nine Elms area tonight. See illustrations of the nine elms trees of the area by artist Pippa Taylor projected onto buildings nearby. The illuminations, commissioned by Wandsworth Council, come to life after dark. Follow a special route around the area, or simply wander round and see what you can spot. Nine Elms, free, just turn up, 13-21 December

Learn some of the secrets of Hyde Park

HYDE PARK: Join a walking tour around Hyde Park and hear stories of the Royal Park's secrets. The Tyburn Tree, the inspiration behind Peter Pan, and the Pet Cemetery where 1,000 animal friends are buried all feature. Hyde Park, £10, book ahead, 10.30am-12pm

SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE: Hear from author and history expert Dr Juliette Pattinson about the female members of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). 39 women were part of the British wartime organisation that worked with the resistance in the second world war. Pattinson uses personal accounts, official documents and film to tell their stories. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 11.30am

LIVE MUSIC: Acoustic guitarist Ben Walker performs a free lunchtime concert at Southbank Centre. Spend your lunch break listening to his set, featuring tracks from his album, including original pieces, traditional songs and poems set to music. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 1pm

Ben Walker performs a free lunchtime concert

UNCROWNED QUEEN: Ever heard of Margaret Beaufort? Historian Nicola Tallis tells the story of the founding matriarch of the Tudor dynasty at this lunchtime talk. Beaufort was the mother of Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and her life is surrounded by many myths and misconceptions. British Library, £13/£6.50, book ahead, 1pm-2.15pm

PRIVATE EYE: Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, hosts a special evening looking back over 2019. Guests include Harry Enfield, Lewis MacLeod, Jan Ravens and John Sessions, and the discussion is followed by a signing of the new Private Eye Annual. National Theatre, £9/£6, book ahead, 5.30pm

Look back over 2019 with Private Eye

BLOOMSBURY CHRISTMAS: Mark the festive season at the Bloomsbury Carol Celebration. The London International Gospel Choir perform, and there's a chance to join in with carols to the accompaniment of The Bloomsbury Beast, one of the best pipe organs in London. Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

CANDLELIT CAROLS: Southwark Cathedral hosts an atmospheric candlelit carol concert in aid of Feed The Minds. The programme includes performances from the Quorum Chamber Choir, and sing-alongs to well-known festive tunes. Southwark Cathedral, £12-£33, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Chesham station is the farthest from central London — some 25 miles out from Charing Cross. But what's there? Artist Mark Cowey is here to enlighten us. He's put together this map of 'The Lost Kingdom of Chesham', to show off the delights of this little-visited village. Warning... may not be based on actual facts.

Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

If you're thinking about 2020 already, book ahead for the Laugh Till It Hurst comedy fundraiser in aid of Crisis. It takes place on 8 January, ideal for livening up those dark January nights, and money raised goes to the homelessness charity. Find out more and book tickets.

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