One of London’s most famous music venues has been badly damaged in an overnight blaze.
The dome on the roof of Koko in Camden has been destroyed by fire, according to the London Fire Brigade.
Sixty firefighters helped fight the flames after the blaze broke out just before 21:00 GMT on Monday and no injuries have been reported.
The venue which began life as the Camden Theatre in 1900 has hosted stars including Madonna, Coldplay and Prince.
Station commander Jon Lewis said the fire was brought under control at about 02:30 on Tuesday, adding: “Firefighters’ quick action and hard work in the early stages meant the fire was contained to the roof and saved the rest of the building.”
Koko owner Olly Bengough said he was “deeply saddened” by the blaze, adding: “We’ll be doing our best to get the redevelopment of this iconic building back on track.”
Crews will remain at the scene throughout the day and have warned people to stay away from the area.
Koko which was closed for refurbishment, was also previously known as the Camden Palace and Camden Hippodrome and has been one of the capital’s most iconic live music venues for decades.
The Rolling Stones, The Clash and Ed Sheeran are among other star names to have performed at the venue, which is close to Mornington Crescent underground station.
It was reportedly the last venue where AC/DC’s Bon Scott was seen drinking before his death from alcohol poisoning in 1980.
In the early 80s it served as a major venue for the punk and New Romantic scene, with singer Steve Strange of the band Visage holding club nights.
Members of the public have been sharing their Koko memories on Twitter.
Marc Rustic was “absolutely gutted” having seen his first grime gig at Koko.
“MoStack was performing and it was honestly the best night of my life,” he added.
Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn who held his legendary soul nights Shakatak also tweeted about the fire.
Koko and the nearby Roundhouse effectively “bookended” Camden’s music scene, according to music writer Carl Allen.
In between the two are 60 music venues including the Dingwalls and Electric Ballroom, as well as restaurants and pubs.
On Twitter the Roundhouse said it was “really sad” to hear the news about our Camden neighbours.
Camden Council leader Georgia Gould said: “Heartbreaking watching the Camden Palace/Koko up in flames this evening, a building that holds so many memories and means so much to us in Camden.”
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan thanked the fire brigade for its quick response.
The venue was set to reopen in the spring after a “major state-of-the-art” refurbishment, after the purchase of two adjacent buildings.
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Norwich midfielder Kenny McLean is a doubt to face Crystal Palace because of a foot problem.
Josip Drmic is not expected to return until the weekend, while Ben Godfrey and Timm Klose are long-term absentees.
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is again expected to be without a host of first-team players.
Christian Benteke, Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend, Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt are all on the sidelines.
Hodgson has revealed that Martin Kelly played with a muscle strain against Southampton, while Cheikhou Kouyate has said he has a groin issue.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
@chriswisey: There has been a VAR hurricane swirling around the Premier League in recent days, and both Norwich and Crystal Palace found themselves in the eye of the storm.
Norwich really do need to start making marginal gains on those above them. They were the only team in the bottom three not to win during the festive period.
Unsurprisingly, history doesn’t favour teams bottom of the table at the start of the new year. But the Canaries are determined to prove that their attractive, attacking approach is the method to escape the minefield.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke: “The quicker we can get 25 points, the easier we make the period where the mind games begin.
“That is why we go game to game. Don’t be too down or too high with each result.
“We know our situation and what we are trying to achieve. We are the only self-funded club on this level, and compared to the other teams we were not able to spend any money.”
There’s a real spirit about Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson’s side have come from behind to pick up points against Brighton and West Ham recently.
Norwich are not playing badly and are creating lots of chances. They’re also due a win and went close to beating Tottenham on Saturday.
- Norwich have won only two of the past 18 league meetings.
- Palace have won three of their last four away league games against Norwich, as many as they managed in their previous 15 visits to Carrow Road.
- Norwich have their worst record after 20 matches of a top-flight campaign (W3, D4, L13).
- They have won just one of their last 15 league games and are winless in seven.
- Daniel Farke’s side have conceded at least twice in nine successive top-flight home games, the second longest such run in Premier League history behind Wolves’ 11 in 2012.
- They were the only Premier League side without a win in December, despite leading in five of their seven matches. The Canaries dropped 12 points from winning positions, the most by a team in a single month in Premier League history.
- The side bottom of the Premier League going into a new year has been relegated in 23 of the previous 27 seasons, though three of the four to avoid relegation have done so in the past six seasons.
- Crystal Palace have won just one of their last six Premier League away games, after winning five of the previous seven.
- Roy Hodgson’s side are unbeaten in their 10 matches against the teams who start 2020 in the bottom nine (W6, D4).
- They have scored just four first-half goals this season, with a league-high 78% of their goals coming after the break. The fastest league goal by the Eagles this season was a Luka Milivojevic penalty in the 21st minute against Norwich on 28 September.
- Fourteen of the Eagles’ 20 league games this season were goalless at half-time, which is six more than any other side.
The Duke of Edinburgh has returned to Sandringham in time for Christmas after four nights in hospital.
Prince Philip, 98, was taken to the King Edward VII’s Hospital in London on Friday on the advice of his doctor.
Buckingham Palace said the duke had returned to the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk on Tuesday and thanked people for “their good wishes”.
It comes after the revelation the Queen will use her Christmas Day message to acknowledge 2019 has been “bumpy”.
The monarch herself travelled to Sandringham on Friday.
The palace, meanwhile, said the duke’s hospital admission had been a “precautionary measure”.
Prince Philip retired from public life in August 2017 after decades supporting the Queen and attending events for his own charities and organisations.
His last public appearance was Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding in May.
The Prince of Wales said on Monday his father had been “looked after very well” by hospital staff.
But Charles, who was visiting flood-hit communities in South Yorkshire, added: “When you get to that age things don’t work so well.”
Royal commentator Caroline Aston told the BBC it was “entirely in keeping with the man” for Prince Philip to have seemingly had no visitors during his hospital stay, because he likes to make “no fuss about anything”.
The Queen, 93, recorded her annual Christmas Day message before Prince Philip was admitted to hospital.
In the message, to be broadcast on BBC One at 15:00 GMT on Christmas Day, the monarch will say the path is never “smooth” but “small steps” can heal divisions.
After a year of intense political debate over Brexit, as well as a number of personal events affecting the Royal Family, the Queen will say: “Small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome long-held differences and deep-seated divisions to bring harmony and understanding.”
In January, the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a car crash while driving near Sandringham. He escaped uninjured, but two women required hospital treatment.
In September, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex publicly revealed their struggles under the media spotlight during their tour of southern Africa.
And last month, the Duke of York withdrew from public life after a BBC interview about his ties to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in August.
As is customary, family photos can be seen positioned near the Queen for her annual speech.
Addressing speculation surrounding the choice of portraits that are visible, the BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said it was not in the Queen’s nature “to snub anybody”, adding: “Certainly not her grandchildren.”
He said that the photos on the Queen’s desk focus on the line of succession.
There has also been speculation surrounding which members of the royal family will attend the church service tomorrow morning.
BBC news correspondent Charlotte Gallagher said it is believed Prince Andrew will be at the service, as well as Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Analysis: A coded message?
It has been a year which, at times, may have felt “quite bumpy”, so the Queen will say in her Christmas broadcast.
It is a choice of words which will inevitably prompt speculation about what it is that she’s referring to.
She does not offer any clarification herself, though the remark is made in the context of overcoming what she calls “long-held differences” and how “small steps taken in faith and in hope can overcome deep-seated divisions”.
The obvious interpretation is that this is the Queen’s – as ever – coded message to the country to try to move on from the divisions of the Brexit debate, but the reference to a “bumpy” year may also be taken to refer to events within her own family after a year which has seen the Duke of Edinburgh’s car accident, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex complaining about the difficulties of being in the public eye and the controversies around Prince Andrew.
Last Christmas, Prince Philip missed the royals’ traditional Christmas Day trip to church but was said to be in good health.
In February, it was announced the duke had given up his driving licence. It came after he was involved in a collision with another vehicle near the Sandringham Estate.
The treatment he has received for various health conditions over the years include being treated for a blocked coronary artery in 2011.
The following year, the prince suffered a bladder infection and was forced to miss the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.
He was also taken to hospital for an abdomen operation in 2013 and, in 2014, underwent surgery on his right hand.
Last year he had a hip replacement at the same central London hospital that he is now attending.
Singer Ellie Goulding came to the aid of a driver whose car was being pushed sideways along a road by a lorry.
Footage shows a Volkswagen GTi being pushed down Western Avenue, A40, by a Royal Mail delivery lorry near the Greenford roundabout in west London.
Goulding posted on Instagram to criticise other drivers who got out to film the crash and “shout abuse” at the lorry driver.
The Royal Mail says it is investigating the crash.
The truck driver appears astonished to see the car in front of his vehicle, claiming he did not see it, or know it was there.
He can be heard yelling: “I didn’t see him, I honestly didn’t see him.”
Goulding told her 14.4 million Instagram followers: “On a side note, I can’t believe the first instinct of the other drivers who got out was to instantly start filming on their phones and shout abuse at the poor shocked driver, not even checking the other driver was okay.
“What on earth.”
Goulding told BBC Radio 1 she intervened because “no-one was stopping”.
She said: “I think people were desperate to get to work. All these people were just driving on.
“We just drove up right next to it [the lorry] to be like ‘Mate, you’ve got a car on you!'”
The driver who was dragged along the road later messaged the singer “to just say he was OK,” she added.
The Met Police said there were no reported injuries and no arrests have been made.
A Royal Mail spokesman added: “We are very concerned about this incident. We sincerely hope that no one was hurt. We are investigating as a matter of urgency.”
Road safety campaigner Rebecca Ashton told the Victoria Derbyshire programme she hoped it was not a stunt.
She said: “He must have been able to hear the scraping of the tyres – possibly a feeling of pushing a car.”
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Harlequins number eight Alex Dombrandt would flourish in the international environment, says England scrum-half and club team-mate Danny Care.
The uncapped 22-year-old is thought to be pushing for a place in England’s Six Nations squad after starring for Quins of late.
“He reads the game so well, he’s smart and makes the right decisions all the time,” Care said.
“You put him in an England shirt and he is only going to excel.”
Care believes Dombrandt would provide England with an extra dimension if he made his international debut.
The former university student is on head coach Eddie Jones’ radar after appearing for an England XV in a non-cap game against the Barbarians in May.
There also appears to be an opening at the back of the scrum, with Billy Vunipola the only specialist number eight in the Rugby World Cup squad after Bristol’s Nathan Hughes fell out of favour.
“For me he’s got everything. He’s hungry for it, he’s got the work-rate and the work ethic, and he’s a good boy,” Care told the Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
Dombrandt only broke into the Quins first team a year ago after completing his undergraduate studies at Cardiff Metropolitan University.
But after a breakthrough season last time around, he recently signed a new deal to stay at The Stoop despite firm interest from Northampton Saints.
“He went to uni, did it properly and enjoyed himself, but he’s got a chance to play professional rugby and he’s grasped it with both hands,” Care added.
“I’m not picking the England squad, but 100% [he should be in].
“I just think if you throw him in there, and you have him running lines alongside Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Joe Marler – which attacker is the defender going to take?
“He is different, and there aren’t many of him around. And he can play six [blind-side flanker], seven [open-side flanker] or [number] eight.”
Jose Mourinho says his time at Manchester United is a ‘closed chapter’ as he prepares to take Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Mourinho left United in December 2018 after two-and-a-half years as manager.
The Portuguese was out of work until taking over at Spurs in November, winning his first three matches.
“This is a closed chapter for me. I left the club, I took my time to process everything that happened,” Mourinho said.
“I took my time to prepare myself for the next challenge.
“Honestly, United for me is in my book of experiences, it’s in my history book.”
Mourinho left United when they were sixth in the Premier League. They are currently ninth under his successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but just two points behind Tottenham, who are fifth.
The 56-year-old won the League Cup, the Europa League and the Community Shield during his time at United, as well as finishing runners-up in the league in 2017-18.
“It is not for me to analyse United now,” he said. “I analyse them as an opponent, how they play. How can we beat them? How can they beat us? For me that is the important thing.
“I have a great relationship with the Manchester United supporters. I went back as a pundit and I was humbled by such a beautiful reception.
“Tomorrow I go back as the coach of the team that will try to beat Manchester United.
“I understand that what they want is the exact opposite of what I want. Of course during the match I expect them to forget me.”
Mourinho, who replaced Mauricio Pochettino, said he has spoken to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy regarding the futures of Belgium centre-halves Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, and Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen.
All three are out of contract at the end of the season and are free to speak other clubs from January.
“If I tell you that I didn’t speak with Mr Levy about Eriksen, Alderweireld and Vertonghen, I would be lying,” he admitted. “So, yes I’m speaking with Mr Levy about it.
“At the same time, I speak also with the players, with all of them. We speak and try to understand every detail but it’s not something I’m going to discuss.”
A senior Met Police officer who was found guilty of possessing an indecent image of a child has been told to carry out 200 hours of community service.
Supt Novlett Robyn Williams was sent a “disturbing” video by her sister last year, but failed to report her.
Sentencing the 54-year-old, the judge told the Old Bailey her “grave error of judgement” was likely to have “immense consequences” on her career.
Two others were also ordered to carry out community service over the images.
A man accused of rape was caught on camera at a hotel just before one of his alleged victims smashed him over the head and escaped, a court heard.
Joseph McCann went into the Phoenix Lodge Hotel in Watford on 25 April, leaving two women in a car outside, the Old Bailey was told.
He was allegedly captured on CCTV entering the hotel wearing a tracksuit and a baseball cap.
Mr McCann, 34, from Harrow, denies 37 offences against 11 victims.
After going into the hotel, he held the front door open and glanced repeatedly outside while rapping on the window of the reception desk to speak to staff, the court was told.
He then told his alleged captives to get out of the car and smile as he put his arms around them.
Instead, one of them, a 25-year-old woman, grabbed a bottle of vodka and hit him over the head with it before running for help, jurors heard.
The trial continues.
The veteran Labour politician Frank Dobson has died at the age of 79.
Mr Dobson served as health secretary in the government of Tony Blair following Labour’s 1997 landslide victory.
He left government to contest the first-ever London mayoral election in 2000, ultimately coming third to independent candidate Ken Livingstone.
He served as MP for Holborn and St Pancras in central London for more than 40 years before standing down in 2015.
Mr Dobson led Labour-controlled Camden Council in the 1970s before first being elected to Parliament in 1979.
He served in a number of shadow frontbench roles under Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony Blair during Labour’s 18 years in opposition.
As Labour’s first health secretary for nearly 20 years, Mr Dobson oversaw the abolition of the internal market in the NHS, but was frustrated at financial constraints initially imposed by the Blair government, which stuck to the Conservatives’ spending plans for the first four years.
He put himself forward as a candidate, some suggested reluctantly, for the new post of London mayor in 2000.
However, he was pushed into third place behind Mr Livingstone, who ran as an independent – after being barred from standing by Labour – and the Conservative candidate Steve Norris.
After his defeat, he never returned to government but continued in Parliament for a further 15 years.
Labour candidates and officials have been paying tribute to Mr Dobson, whose death was announced by his family.
And current Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock also praised his “years of devotion” to the health service.
Premiership and European champions Saracens have been docked 35 points for breaching salary cap regulations.
The punishment comes after an investigation into business partnerships between chairman Nigel Wray and some of the club’s players.
Saracens have also been fined £5.36m, with the points deduction coming into immediate effect in the Premiership.
The charges relate to a failure to disclose player payments in each of the 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Saracens have said they will appeal, having said in March they “readily comply” with the regulations.
They claimed to be able to spend above the £7m cap because of the high proportion – almost 60% – of home-grown players in their squad.
During an independent disciplinary panel hearing, Saracens saw their challenge of the validity of the regulations on competition law grounds rejected.
In the five seasons that Saracens have finished as Premiership champions, a 35-point deduction would have meant they would not have reached the play-offs – but would also not have been relegated.
They would have finished 10th last season had the same punishment been imposed in 2018-19.
Saracens, who have won two of their three Premiership matches so far this season, are entitled to seek a review of the decision by an arbitration body.
The deduction will put them bottom of the table on -26 points before their trip to Gloucester on Saturday.
Premiership Rugby introduced their salary cap in 1999 to ensure the financial viability of all clubs and the competition.
The regulations are also designed to control inflationary pressures on clubs’ costs and provide a level playing field for clubs and a competitive Premiership.
Saracens started the current Premiership campaign with a significant number of their star players still on World Cup duty.
Eight of their players were in the England squad which lost to South Africa in the final, including new signing Elliot Daly, who completed a move from Wasps in the summer.
‘The biggest story in English club rugby history’
Analysis: BBC rugby union correspondent Chris Jones
Saracens have been the dominant force in the domestic game for the best part of a decade – scooping seven major titles and providing the spine of the England World Cup team – but that success will now be considered tainted.
How long has it been going on? Will the club keep their titles? Will they appeal, given they insist they were involved in legitimate business dealings with players? What happens now to the current squad, which may need to be dismantled, especially with a £5m fine and the threat of relegation?
And what do players, coaches and fans at other clubs think, given everyone is affected in some way by this? On that note, do any other clubs in the league have something to hide?
Like with the Bloodgate scandal 10 years ago, the fallout to this will be significant and lengthy, and will damage the integrity of the Premiership just at the point the league is looking to launch a global expansion.
This is probably the biggest story in English club rugby history.