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<b>Wednesday 31 December:</b> City New Year's Eve plans plus the Times gets it wrong about Manchester

Published on December 31st 2008.

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND ALL. Up to 80,000-90,000 people are expected to gather in the city centre tonight. For the first time in recent years Manchester will herald the New Year with a 10 minute firework display from the top of the Arndale Centre at midnight. The best viewing spot will be from Exchange Square. The Manchester Wheel in Exchange Square will run until 2am.

THE NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST has rewarded Salford-based Chris Hoy with a knighthood for his cycling achievement including three gold medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Professor Martin Taylor, a professor in pure mathematics at the University of Manchester, also received a knighthood.

THE MAN WHO STANDS with the signboard advertising the optician’s in St Ann’s Arcade has gone all show business – according to the Manchester Evening News. Homeless Raymond Emanuel, 56, was strolling down Deansgate, when he was stopped by a casting scout, who loved his air of Victorian distinction. Emanuel has a flowing grey mane of hair and craggy looks. The scout asked him to be an MP in a House of Commons scene for Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes which was part-filmed in the city in 2008. Emanuel has now found a permanent address.

MANCHESTER has the fourth most namesakes around the globe of British towns and cities. According to the study by Times Atlas there are 36 namesakes on two continents. Richmond in Surrey has the most with 55. Confidential thinks this is wrong, we’ve counted 58 Manchesters across the world.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Jonathan SchofieldDecember 31st 2008.

Mike and the same to you and all the good folk at the City Council. Let's look forward to as eventful a year as 2008. Can't wait for the International Festival and let's save B of the Bang and relocate it to somewhere more visible. Let's get an interview sorted out in the first few weeks to see what's in store for the city over at HQ.

Jonathan SchofieldDecember 31st 2008.

We love the official notice we got at Confidential that no alcohol will be allowed in the Square. Ah so this is a teetollers New Year's Eve? Honestly. And whilst it's good to see that night buses will run until 4am, the last Eccles tram will be at half twelve and the last Altie-Bury tram at quarter to one. So let's make that a quick celebration shall we? And what's the betting that the last trams will be two carriages only - not four? Good on the Big Wheel for doing it properly and getting into the spirit and running until 2am. Shame on the shambolic trams. If we are to officially celebrate New Year, let's not be so half-arsed about it.

Cllr Mike AmesburyDecember 31st 2008.

I Hope everyone at Confidential and all contributors have a Happy 2009.Mike

JamesDecember 31st 2008.

Drake fair enough. But he is part of the Manchester-based Team GB. Just as United and City are full of non-Mancunians we can claim them as our own because they excell here and thus in a way represent us. This dear boy is only natural.

DrakeDecember 31st 2008.

Love the way Greater Manchester is desperately claiming Chris Hoy as its own. 'Salford-based' indeed. Still, as its an excuse for the MEN to print a photo of the lovely Ms Pendelton (also 'Manchester-based' presumably), won't be complaining too much...

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