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Crowds fill the capital for 'Panic Saturday' buying

Shoppers have battled crowds across central London in the hunt for late Christmas bargains on a day when £1.2 billion was expected to be spent on Britain's high streets.

Sales on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street alone was tipped to surpass £150 million during the vast consumer spend, which has been branded "Panic Saturday".

Shoppers looked for Christmas presents under the bright lights of Carnaby Street. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Oxford Street thronged with shoppers on the final weekend before Christmas. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
The heavy footfall - estimated to be up 7.1% in the early hours - meant busy crowds at the capital's Christmas markets, including the South Bank. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

West End shoppers to blow £150m this weekend

Londoners are expected to spend around £150 million this weekend beginning on 'panic Saturday' as shopping days before Christmas dwindle.

West End shoppers to blow £150m this weekend. Credit: PA

The New West End Company predicted the retail takings, and said that footfall in the West End this morning was up 7.1% year on year.

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'Cats' makes its West End return

Nicole Scherzinger will make her West End debut in the revival of Cats. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Cats' returns to the West End today for a limited run at the Palladium.

US singer and former 'X Factor' judge Nicole Scherzinger will make her West End stage debut in the role of Grizabella.

Based on TS Eliot’s 'Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats', the musical first opened at the New London Theatre in 1981, where it played for 21 years.

The revamped version has been given a hip-hop flavour with the character of Rum Tum Tugger becoming a rapping street cat.

Disappointed Secret Cinema ticket holders offered free theatre seats

Credit: PA

Ticket holders for tonight's cancelled Back To The Future event have been offered free seats at tonight's performance of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre in the West End. Rufus Hound, one of the stars of the show, made the announcement on his blog.

You don't have to do anything other than turn up with your Secret Cinema ticket. If you've got a big gang of pals all in London, all excited about going out and now you have nowt to do, well, now you do.

– RUFUS HOUND

Freddie Mercury statue torn down from West End theatre

A huge statue of Freddie Mercury which has towered over Tottenham Court Road for more than a decade has been torn down.

The cast of 'We Will Rock You' performed their final show in May after a 12 year run at the Dominicon Theatre. General Manager David Pearson said it had been a privilege to have hosted the show for the past 12 years, adding:

"To have the show rocking the Dominion and seeing a standing ovation night after night has been quite amazing."

The location of the famous statue is a mystery.

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Bus stop made of Lego to appear in the West End

Millions of shoppers to flock to the West End over Easter

The Easter weekend is expected to provide a boost to the capital's economy, seeing shoppers flocking to the West End and spending £140 million in stores.

Oxford Circus (above), Regent Street and Bond Street are expecting to see an influx of shoppers Credit: Reuters

The figures, from the New West End company, predict that cooler weather won't put shoppers off. Saturday and Sunday are expected to be drizzly and cool with a little more sunshine due on Easter Monday.

Apollo Theatre set to re-open

The Apollo Theatre will officially re-open tomorrow night after a ceiling collapse shut it down for 3 months.

The Apollo Theatre in London's West End before the collapse Credit: Apollo Theatre

Heavy ornate plasterwork fell onto audience members during a performance of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time in December injuring nearly 80 people.

Rehearsals at the Apollo Theatre of "Let the Right One In" opening on Monday Credit: ITN

Opening night will launch with a production of "Let the Right One In" adapted from

the Swedish novel and cult film by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

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