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Goodbye to print: The legacy of Time Out London’s life on paper

Time Out London's print magazine is coming to an end next month, but it will still live online. Head of Production Dave Faulkner reflects

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

I’ve worked at Time Out for what feels like 155 years. In 1985, I turned up at its Southampton Street office for my first day as a typesetter, copying out journalists’ words using a typewriter. It was a wild time.

The magazine used to have 16 to 18 pages of lonely hearts adverts and published the screening times of every cinema in London. Safe to say, it’s changed a lot since then. TikTok’s apparently a thing, for one.

But Time Out continues to be London’s bible. It’s been with us through the Aids crisis, through multiple recessions, and more recently, through a global pandemic. It published the last-ever interview with Marvin Gaye and has featured cover stars like David Bowie, Madonna, David Attenborough and Bob Marley.

When the late Tony Elliot founded it as a London listings pamphlet back in 1968, he couldn’t possibly have known the influence it would grow to have. Because of the magazine, people took notice of underground culture that they would never have discovered otherwise. Small restaurants sold out of star dishes, emerging musicians blew up and queues lined up to get into alternative cabaret shows. People would go through the magazine like it was the Christmas Radio Times, circling everything they wanted to do in London that week.

In 2012, the magazine went free. Transport for London said they’d never find a copy of Time Out left behind at the end of a tube line: people would always pick one up and take it home. Time Out’s legacy is that it made people realise that London is the best city in the world, and that they’re not using it enough. That’s never going to end – but things do change.

After a 54 year run, the last Time Out print magazine will be handed out across London on Tuesday, June 21. After that, you’ll be able to read all our content for free online. From reviews to features, interviews to listings – plus more excellent social, video, and digital content – you’ll be on your way to discovering more of London than you ever have before.

Read the digital editions of Time Out print here.

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