Series two, episode eight
The endgame approaches. But which three teams have made it to the final? And what will they be singing? ‘I hope it’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”,’ says one choir member. But no. For tonight’s conclusion, the choirs will be tackling a new composition by Paul Mealor, one of the competition’s judges. It’s a shrewd move: the piece has never been performed before so the teams have nothing to fall back on – they’ll be forced to devise their own approach.
Essentially, this boils down to a boring team, a complacent team and a team of plucky underdogs. Accordingly, Gareth Malone is faced with three very distinct challenges. The end result is as uplifting as always – it’s wonderful to see the transformative effect of singing on the most hard-bitten of timeservers. How much longer Gareth can keep doing this is surely a moot point but, for now, it ain’t broke so there’s probably no need to fix it.
John Bell & Croyden
After two centuries of dishing out cures to Londoners’ maladies, age started to wither this venerable pharmacy: cue a multimillion-pound revamp that balances an imposing heritage with a new range of products. Intriguing bits of antique paraphernalia are dotted among of-the-moment wellness fads – JB&C houses a royal prescription book, so you can gawp at Queen Victoria’s beauty secrets (cold cream and Coraline toothpaste, FYI). The store is also home to a globetrotting selection of fancy brands, from French cult favourites including Embryolisse and La Roche Posay to under-the-radar Antipodean suncare. You might come in looking for blister plasters, but you’ll leave with a bathroom-cabinet’s worth of loot. As featured in the 100 best shops in London
Venue says: “Stocking over 12,000 best of British and globally sourced products across skincare, vitamins, supplements, mobility and independent living.”