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Editor: Alex Pleasants

 Government Stuff 

Parliament has shut down its official TikTok account after MP outcry over its China links and now they’re urging No.10 to do the same. 

A new DCMS-commissioned report has found that a quarter of all of the world’s safety tech firms are based in the UK.  

The Lords Comms and Digital Committee has launched an inquiry into the effects of technologies on our creative industries over the next decade.  

The Times reports that ministers are again trying to woo chip giant Arm to list in London rather than New York.  

TechUK has written to leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss about five key actions they’d like to see for the tech sector.  

On that note, Liz Trusswill look at’ decriminalising non-payment of the TV licence if she wins.  

 Culture Stuff  

Arts & Culture 
The National Portrait Gallery has announced the shortlist for this year’s Taylor Wessing Prize, including a bunch of lockdown portraits. 

Oxford and Cambridge universities are returning 213 looted Benin bronzes to Nigeria - one of the largest repatriation cases in the country to date. 

On that note… Interesting read from the Sunday Times on why the Elgin Marbles might finally be returning to Greece after a mere two centuries of ‘discussions’.  

For every £1 fetched by a male artist’s work, one by a woman gets just 10p. The Guardian talks to the founder of Recalculating Art to examine why.  

The Roundhouse has opened applications for a new workspace pilot programme for freelancers aged 18-30. Plus if you get picked it’s just £25 for 13 weeks. Bargain. 

Imperial College London students are protesting about a new Antony Gormley sculpture which they say looks like… well… I’ll let you be the judge.  

A Korb + Associates Architects-designed tower in Milwaukee has just become the world’s tallest timber building. Wood you believe it. 

Sam Jacob Studio has added a pretty cool glass-tube entrance to the V&A Museum. Smashing.  

Dezeen looks at ten futuristic cities being built around the world, six supertall skyscrapers set for the US, and a partridge in a pear tree.  

Theatre & Dance 
19 venues across the UK are teaming up to look for the next generation of musicals.  

A theatre in Skegness is hoping for planning permission to transform into one of the UK’s first Scandinavian-style ’culture houses’. 

Director Sam Mendesfirst audio drama series with Audible will be three Charles Dickens stories. I have great expectations for this one.  

Press, Books & Libraries 
The Financial Times and the Metro are the only UK papers to report year-on-year growth in readers compared to June last year.  

The shortlist for the Gordon Burn Prize for ‘bold and innovative’ fiction and non-fiction ranges from jazz icons to a rogue psychotherapist.  

Exhibitions and Events  
Edinburgh Festival, the biggest arts festival in the world, has kicked off in, would you believe it, Edinburgh.  

Artist Ai Weiwei is to curate a show of works created by incarcerated people at the Southbank Centre from October.  

The free, family-friendly, community-powered Thamesmead Festival is coming up on 20th August. Nice excuse to experience the joy of A/C on the Lizzy Line, too. 

Jameela Jamil and James Acaster are among the new names added to the London Podcast Festival in September. Don’t you have a podcast, Ed? And you were’n… Never mind. 

Micromobility is hitting the BIG time in cities, with e-bikes and electric scooters taking over the roads (and pavements). Kindred Media looks at what’s new and what’s next in this increasingly profitable sector. Beep, beep.  

Could the iPhone be disrupted by Nothing? Pop over to Kindred Media’s TikTok and have your say.  

And can you ever have enough ‘content’ honestly? Kindred Media’s Take A Break newsletter has the top takeaways from tech and media everyday.  

 Creative Industries & Tech Stuff 

Film & TV 
IT’S HOME! Our Lionesses winning the Euros saw 17.4 million watching on BBC One with an extra 5.9 million on iPlayer.  

The Beeb is moving its main Midlands base to the new creative quarter in Digbeth in 2026.  

Big Brother house, this is Alex. You are returning live on ITV2 next year, please do not swear.  

The Beeb’s Mock The Week is being canned after 17 years.  

Streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+ are to merge. 

Bit weird if you missed it, but Ekin-Su and Davide won this year’s Love Island.   

The first couple of names have been announced for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. Wonder who else will be revealed… ;) ;) ;)  

In the latest random collab, lifestyle brand Hype are teaming up with KFC on a range of summer clothing. Finger lickin’ not ok. 

Music & Radio 
Commercial radio has beaten BBC stations for listener numbers for the first time since the 1990s.  

New music is shrinking in popularity in the US, according to Luminate stats. Old bangers only.  

Fewer than one per cent of dance music played on UK radio is by female musicians. Blimey.  

One in five UK nightclubs have closed permanently since the start of the pandemic. 

SoundCloud is laying off 20 per cent of its global workforce.  

Broadcaster Jasmine Dotiwala making the case for our man Stormzy being more relevant than Boris in the Oxford Union.  

Tech & Telecoms 
July was Wall Street’s best month since November 2020 and it was driven by tech companies.  

700 Amazon workers in Essex are striking in response to a pay rise of just 35p.  

Uber is cash-flow positive for the first time and bookings have hit an all-time high over the past three months.  

Airbnb bookings are at a record high, too. 

Meta’s Nick Clegg and Instagram chief Adam Mosseri are both relocating
(if only part-time) to the UK. Fortune looks at why.  

Wired explores what Twitter’s decision to embrace remote working setups means for Big Tech
(it’s led to a reduced turnover rate at Spotify if that’s anything to go by). 

Really insightful long read from Monzo founder Tom Blomfield on the early stages of founding the buzziest bank biz around.  

The Economist ponders what’s next for Apple now that everybody has an iPhone. Maybe larger versions. A4 paper size. Possibly a touch smaller. Call me.  

Herman Narula, co-founder and CEO of Improbable, chats to the Sunday Times about what he thinks the metaverse will *actually* look like.  

The Verge on what looks like plans for Apple to remove the headphone jack from its next iPad. Sorry, what’s an ‘iPad’?  

You can now zoom in on videos on YouTube. Honestly, just can’t keep up with technology sometimes. What a time to be alive!  

You’ll soon be able to buy an NFT of Marky Mark Zuckerberg’s Little League baseball card. I retract my previous statement. 

 Appointments & Movers 

Geoff Taylor is stepping down as chief exec of the BPI after 15 years; Muyiwa Oki has been elected as the first Black president of RIBA; the chief exec of Tinder, Renate Nyborg, has quit after less than a year; director of The Met, Max Hollein, will also be chief exec; Ben Parry is stepping down as artistic director of National Youth Choirs of Great Britain; Asif Sadiq has been appointed global head of diversity and inclusion at Warner Bros Discovery; a bunch of new appointments to the board of the Barbican; Sue Brownlow has been appointed chair of Arts University Plymouth 

 Ed Stuff 

Popped up on Radio 4 to talk about the British Museum and a possible ‘Parthenon partnership

...And Finally

A passenger travelling from Bali to Australia was fined $1,874 for two undeclared McMuffins. A source tells me that he was, in fact, not lovin’ it.  

No more hot dogs! They’re done! Finished! Don’t worry ‘canned sausage in bun’ lovers. Pooches in Japan can now get wearable fans. Gotcha!  

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