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Sophie Ellis-Bextor in the big charity switch off

This Saturday Sophie Ellis-Bextor will be unveiling WWF's giant light bulb for the big switch off ready for Earth Hour. Charity WWF first launched Earth Hour in Australia in 2007 and since then it has become the world's largest environment campaign.

The campaign encourages major landmarks across the world to switch off their lights for one hour. Last year's even saw 7000 towns and cities across 154 countries take part and this year Sophie will lead the 8.30pm swithc off with a candle lit performance at the South Bank centre

Malala Yousafzai to speak at WOW festival in London

Malala Yousafzai gives a speech at the inaugural WE Day UK at Wembley Arena. Credit: Laura Lean/PA wire

Malala Yousafzai, Vivienne Westwood and Katie Price are to speak at the Women of the World Festival at London's Southbank Centre today.

The annual event sees 300 speakers and performers from around the world take part in talks and concerts to mark International Women's Day.

Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012, is set to speak about the relationship between Pakistani and British societies, and how harmful it is for western countries to be complacent or blind to their own injustices.

She will also discuss the work of the Malala Fund and how it is changing the lives of young girls around the globe.


Southbank centre revamp put on hold in skatepark row

The Southbank centre had intended to move the skatepark 120m from its current location. Credit: Southbank Centre.

Plans for a £120 million makeover at the Southbank Centre have been put on hold after Boris Johnson waded into a row over the position of the area's skatepark.

The Southbank Centre had wanted to move it 120 meters away, but the Mayor said that he didn't think it should be moved.

The arts organisation said today that it would put the process on hold for three months, to try to find a funding solution to the problem. If the skatepark isn't moved, they will miss out on revenue from shops and restaurants that they had hoped to move into the undercroft.

A spokesman said:

"The Mayor has the final say in the planning process and the scheme is therefore unlikely to gain planning permission without the retention of the skate park."

Boris Johnson insists Southbank skate park must stay

Boris Johnson says he supports plans to redevelop parts of the Southbank Centre - but the skaters must remain in the current undercroft.

The famous undercroft on London's Southbank Credit: ITV News

Speaking at a planning meeting at City Hall, Mr Johnson said:

"The skate park is the epicentre of UK skateboarding and is part of the cultural fabric of London. This much-loved community space has been used by thousands of young people over the years.

"It attracts tourists from across the world and undoubtedly adds to the vibrancy of the area - it helps to make London the great city it is."

Recently, hundreds of skateboarders delivered 30 boxes of objections over plans to turn the area into retail space.


Brussels sprouts battery to light up Christmas tree

A battery made entirely of Brussels sprouts is being used to light an eight foot Christmas tree in central London.

Brussels sprout-powered battery on the Southbank Credit: PA Wire

The battery was created by a team of scientists and engineers from The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair and is being used to light up part of London's Southbank.

It was created using five power cells, each holding 200 sprouts, producing 63 volts from the 1,000 Brussels sprouts.

Pupils from City of London Academy switched on the lights early this morning Credit: Twitter/@bigbangfair

Queen celebrates National Theatre's 50th birthday

The National Theatre on London's Southbank has been delighting audiences and critics with the best of British talent for decades.

Over the last 50 years stars like Dame Judi Dench and Sir Michael Gambon have helped bring more than 800 productions to the stage. And today to celebrate its golden birthday, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the theatre for a backstage tour. Sangeeta Kandola reports.

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