Engelbert Humperdinck spoke up for Denmark Street during his appearance on the BBC’s One Show
Published: 21 November, 2014
THE plight of Soho’s Denmark Street was shown to millions on the One Show on Wednesday night.
Music legend Jools Holland told the BBC’s flagship programme how he headed to the “musical mecca” after getting his first ever pay packet.
He said: “My first keyboard was bought up there. It is really important that small shops with people in them is what people come to cities for. It is a wonderful street and I hope it is saved.”
“Tin Pan Alley” is threatened by a development that campaigners warn will see it morph into the rest of the glass buildings and anonymous shopping “hubs” that are springing up across central London.
A huge scheme for shops, restaurants, a hotel, nightclub, art gallery, offices and homes built on a triangular area of land between Denmark Street and Charing Cross Road was given planning permission last year.
Engelbert Humperdinck was also on the show talking about his “great memories of the past” in Denmark Street, and pleading with planners to “keep the music playing”.
He took the producers on a tour of the shops and showed them where he bought his first saxophone.
Henry Smith Irvine, who is campaigning to protect the street, told the show: “We have asked for it to be made a heritage zone.
“Fifty per cent of these shops are being demolished, and that has been approved. People know about this. It is a landmark. It is what makes London special.”
Consolidated Developments told the programme they would “enrich” the area with their project.
An online petition has been launched and the One Show can be viewed on BBC iPlayer.