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Editor: Alex Pleasants
Grab the VR headset and jump into this corker of a Vaizey View. Ed is joined this week by Herman Narula, metaverse builder extraordinaire and founder of one of Europe’s leading tech companies, Improbable. A really interesting deepdive into breakthroughs in the metaverse, the policy implications and what’s in store for the future.  

 Government Stuff 

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has blocked the takeover of Bristol-based electronic design company Pulsic by a Hong Kong-based firm.  

A group of galleries and museums in the UK have won a landmark legal case against the government agency which sets business rates.  

ALERT, ALERT, IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS HOT. The government is launching a new public emergency alert system for extreme weather.  

Open Access Government examines whether the UK can truly undergo an effective digital transformation.  

Equity has written to the leadership candidates with a five-point plan for our creative industries - and The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society has done similar on behalf of writers.  

 Culture Stuff 

Arts & Culture 
London’s Saatchi Gallery has cancelled a show of Ukrainian art after backlash over it being Russian organised.  

Gallerists Hauser & Wirth have bought Soho’s infamous Groucho Club for £40m, complete with works by the likes of Peter Blake and Tracey Emin.  

Fresh guidance from Arts Council England rules that arts institutions must be ‘transparent’ about the origins of items in their collections.  

On that note… A new law is requiring museums and galleries in New York to label any artwork which was looted by Nazis.  

Applications are open for the fourth instalment of the Samuel Ross Black British Artist Grant Programme.  

So if you buy artist Frank Stella’s NFTs then you’re also allowed to 3D print his art. You also have my blessing to 3D print this newsletter.  


Design 
Hugh Broughton Architects has added a massive timber viewing deck to the roof of an 800-year-old tower in York. Ideal for the weather we’ve been having.  

Adidas has unveiled some solar-powered headphones. Ideal for the weather we’ve been having.  

Kick off the Crocs and dive into this list from Dezeen of the world’s best homes with outdoor pools. Ideal for the w… I just can’t.  


Theatre & Dance 
Here’s the highlights of the first full Edinburgh Fringe since ‘all this’ from the Financial Times - and a new website has been set-up to showcase disabled artists at the festival.  

New casting has been announced for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End. Are you Sirius? No, I presume they picked a professional actor.  

Theatre performers say that nine-show weeks are putting them under ‘undue strain’. Try writing a weekly newsletter for 6 years. I just did the 600th variation of the same Sirius joke. 


Classical Music & Opera 
Chineke! Junior Orchestra made their international debut opening the Lucerne Festival earlier this month.  

Museums  
Grab your hard hat and come this way for a lil’ glimpse inside Manchester Museum’s £15m transformation before it reopens next February. 

The V&A Museum has been called ‘wilfully blind’ over its continued support for the disgraced Sackler family.  


Press, Books & Libraries 
Warner Bros Discovery has Brexited its £60m shareholding in GB News with new investors taking their place.  

When it comes to news apps in the UK, Apple News has the biggest reach but the Beeb is top for time spent perusing.  

Loved this from Penguin on BookTok and the new generation revolutionising publishing.  


Exhibitions and Events  
It’s still summer and there’s still time to do summer things, so thankfully The Times has rounded up the top 10 free family days out across the UK.  

How has Netflix's F1 series impacted the sport? Kindred Media analyzes the documentary's impact. Vroom.  

It has been a year since the NCAA in the US modified its policy to allow student-athletes to capitalize off their name, image, and likeness. Kindred Media looks at what this has meant

 Creative Industries & Tech Stuff 

Film & TV 
BBC iPlayer hit a record 1.6 billion individual streams between April and June this year. I had a lot of Bargain Hunt to catch up on, so could be that.  

Streaming has overtaken cable TV viewership for the first time in the US.  

Game of Thrones is BACK
(prequel anyway) and the reviews are IN. The Guardian calls it a “roaring success”. The Telegraph reckons it “falls a little short”.  

Up-and-coming nature documentarian Sir David Attenborough has a new Beeb series coming up which takes us around our fair green
(*brown) isles. 

ITV Studios has launched a disabled writers scheme.  

California is adding diversity requirements to its $330m tax credit for film and TV production. 

Young people aged 16-24 watch almost 7x less TV than over-65s, according to Ofcom. You wait until I tell them about this lil’ show on the Beeb about ‘hunting bargains’.  


Fashion 
Reebok owner Authentic Brands has scooped up Ted Baker for $254m.  

Linda Evangelista is back on the cover of British Vogue for its iconic September issue and talks candidly about the adverse effect of a fat-freezing procedure.  

The sale of Selfridges to Central Group and Signa has been finalised.  

Interesting. H&M is being sued for ‘misleading’ sustainability marketing.  


Music & Radio 
Record labels invested £495m in the careers and development of artists in 2021 - more than double their investment in 2016, according to BPI stats.  

Analysis has found that the number of British musicians booked by European festivals has fallen by 45% this year post-you know what #BluePassports.

The number of students taking A-level music has risen by 4% in the past year.  

A strong case from Mixmag on why gospel music in the UK needs more support.  

LF System’s tune of the summer Afraid To Feel is set for a seventh week at No.1. More like Afraid to Fall (Down The Charts)! Hahahaha. 


Gaming 
The UK games industry has received £7.7bn in investment since the start of 2017, according to research by UKIE. 

Variety looks at how Microsoft’s pending ownership of the Call of Duty series could hurt Sony.  


Tech & Telecoms 
The new CHIPS and Science Act will unlock $52.7bn of federal investment to build microchips on US soil.  

Another mixed week for Meta. Announces more measures for safety around the midterm elections… gets mocked online for its Nintendo Wii-esque metaverse. 

Cloud storage firm Oracle is auditing the algorithms of its partner TikTok for manipulation by China’s government. 

But Chinese tech giants including Alibaba, TikTok and Tencent have been asked to share details of their algorithms with China's regulators for the first time? Hmmm.  

Apple is telling staff to come back into the office at least three days a week - and there’s been quite the security flaw in their devices.  

Meditation app Calm has let go of one-fifth of its workforce.  

New York Mag on the crypto ‘geniuses’ who followed my advice, bought high and sold low, and vaporised a trillion dollars in crypto investments.  

On that note… Wired on why Ethereum finally going through with its planned ‘merge’ is a big deal for crypto and the planet
(99.5% less energy than regular crypto, FYI). 

Did you know that two-thirds of billion dollar startups in the US were founded by immigrants? You do now.  

a16z has just written its biggest ever cheque of $350m for the new start-up from… *rechecks notes*... Adam Neumann of WeWork-bursting-into-flames fame! 

HELLO!!! MUM!!! IT’S ME!!!! I’M ON TOP OF KILIMANJARO!!! YEAH, THE MOUNTAIN!!! IT’S GOT HIGH-SPEED INTERNET NOW!!!  

 Appointments & Movers 

Jeremy Paxman is stepping down as University Challenge host after 28 years, with Amol Rajan replacing him; Carmel Allen has been appointed managing director of Tate; LAMDA has named Mark O’Thomas as principal and chief exec; CNBC chair Mark Hoffman is departing, to be replaced by KC Sullivan; Paul Pacifico is stepping down as CEO of the Association of Independent Music; Rob Unsworth is the new head of daytime at the Beeb; Darren Pih has joined Harewood House as artistic director; Will Harding has been appointed to the Ofcom board 

...And Finally

Big weekend for this brown bear in Turkey. Divulged in a bit too much ‘mad honey’ and ended up feeling a bit wobbly in the back of a truck. One to tell the grandkids.  

FREEZE! Come out with your trotters up! A pig in Norfolk has been apprehended by police after running hampage through local gardens. Thankfully they decided not to prosecutto.  

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