Consumer Overkill: Photos of Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square

Piccadilly Circus product placementHappy. Glorious. Victorious.Who's the man?Weird US schoolgirl chicDogs as fashion accessoriesFlags on Haymarket
W London, the Swiss Centre's replacementSelling the OlympicsM&M's WorldThe Swiss Centre's iconic musical clockLeicester SquareQueen's House
Abstraction in Leicester SquareWilliam ShakespeareCrystal RoomsThe HippodromeNo traffic on Charing Cross RoadThe Olympic victory parade
Olympic tourists

Consumer Overkill: Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, a set on Flickr.

On September 10, 2012, the BBC World Service gave me an excuse to photograph the West End of London, in all its garish consumer glory, after I had taken part in a news programme, discussing the potential handover of the US prison at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan to Afghan control — a topic I know something about as a result of the research and writing I have undertaken for the last seven years as a world expert on the “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Afterwards, as I recorded in a previous photo set, Shops, Flags and the BBC: Regent Street in September, I cycled from the BBC’s newly redeveloped headquarters in Broadcasting House, down Regent Street, which, at the time, was still flying the flags of the world for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, taking in the shops, the shoppers, the building sites and the mad interchange with Oxford Street at Oxford Circus, and ending up, as this set shows, in Piccadilly Circus, from where I followed the tourist hordes down Coventry Street, across the top of Haymarket, and into Leicester Square, where the big cinema chains hold their premieres, where the fast food and the tourist paraphernalia are plentiful, and where the small park at the heart of Leicester Square received an extensive redesign in time for the Olympic Games. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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