If location is everything, and it very often is, this event has hit the jackpot. Recent years have seen some impressive additions to the capital’s skyline-viewing options, but it was the arrival of the London Eye, dreamed up by husband-and-wife architect team David Marks and Julia Barfield as a temporary project to mark the Millennium, that whetted our insatiable appetite for London landmarks offering the bonus of a bird’s-eye view.
In June, the Eye will see the return of 32 Londoners, a one-night-only programme of talks curated by A Curious Invitation and Antique Beat. First introduced in 2014, it sees each of the pods become a gently rotating lecture theatre with a brilliant view of the capital. The theme for this year’s talks is exceptional people who’ve made London their adoptive home. You’ll be able to hear Iain Sinclair on architect Nicholas Hawksmoor, Charles Moore on Margaret Thatcher, Robert Elms on footballer Stan Bowles, Jennie Bond on Princess Di, Dan Cruickshank on Isambard Kingdom Brunel or Sue Tilley on the artist who painted her in ‘Benefits Supervisor Sleeping’, Lucien Freud. Also under the spotlight: Shakespeare, Anne Boleyn, Freddie Mercury and Julian Assange. The really tricky bit will be making up your mind which of the talks you fancy most.
The Eye will rotate even more slowly than usual to give speakers the time to get to grips with their subject. But if you’re feeling all fired up when you find yourself on solid ground again, don’t disappear into the night with your own thoughts. Adjourn to the cash bar in the London Riverside Rooms and keep the conversation going.