Edition 15: Bookies, brunch and bats

A folded betting slip

photo by Stephen Gill

Photographer Stephen Gill talks to Francesca Panetta about his particular fascination with Hackney Wick, an area he has documented over the last eight years in noisy images ranging from the backs of advertising boards to the banks of the River Lea.  A Series of Disappointments brings together discarded betting slips picked up from the floors of Hackney's bookies over a period of six weeks, and which for Stephen portray fragments of human emotion.  Inside these shops we hear from the punters themselves, before questioning the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, about his campaign to reduce the concentration of betting shops in the borough.

Next, we turn to one of London's latest crazes - secret dining. Springing up all over the capital are "pop up restaurants", run by everyone from keen amateurs to award-winning chefs. Blake Pudding from the London Review of Breakfasts takes us to the Bruncheon Club to sample their Eggs Royale.  But will the yoke consistency be up to the LRB's high standards?  Is a duck egg Hollandaise advisable?  And what's in it for the keen couple who invite six strangers into their home every month?

We finish with a bat walk in Hackney Marshes. Perhaps an unlikely activity for a Friday night in a borough more famous for its nightlife than its wildlife, but equipped with bat detector and microphone Ellen Otzen seeks out our enigmatic furry-eared friends as they hoover up insects among the black poplars of the River Lea.  Ecologist Alison Fure explains how they use high frequency signals not only to navigate but to communicate with other bats and even express emotion.

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