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London exhibition features evolution of Santa Claus through the centuries

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London exhibition features evolution of Santa Claus
From Saint to Santa is displaying with 32 artworks, including an original AI-generated one | Photo: Chris Winter

A brand-new, free to attend outdoor exhibition has opened in Wembley Park, London, featuring the evolution of Santa Claus through the centuries.

From Saint to Santa is displaying with 32 artworks, including an original AI-generated one, tracking the history of Santa Claus and its influences. The photos are now available across light boxes in Wembley Park’s Arena Square, next to the Grade II listed OVO Arena Wembley.

The exhibition explores the emergence of the modern Santa Claus from roots that span Norse Yule celebrations, the Roman Saturnalia festival and Christianity’s Saint Nicholas. It travels through early spirituality and the Reformation to the jollier Santa figure we recognise today. The images also pay heed to some of Santa Claus’ less cheery companions, from the demon-like Krampus who seizes naughty children in central Europe to Knecht Ruprecht from German folklore who reprimands ill-behaved children with his staff or a bag of ashes.

Wending its way through history, the outdoor photography exhibition looks at how two distinct figures – Father Christmas and Santa Claus – merged into one and where characteristics such as the famous red suit, rosy cheeks, gift-giving and reindeer-pulled flying sleigh originated. It shows the impact that authors such as Washing Irving and Clement Clarke Moore, and artists such as Thomas Nast and Norman Rockwell, have had in turning a serious, saintly figure into someone altogether jollier.

“I am immensely proud to present this new exhibition in Wembley Park. The figure of Santa Claus carries a universal message of generosity and kindness that spans eras and cultures – and is today more resonant than ever. It’s a fascinating tapestry that blends traditions and local customs in ways one wouldn’t expect – from Northern European gods to ancient Rome, through the lenses of Christianity and modern-day advertising. This is a story for everyone, young and old, and I hope visitors leave with a better understanding of the enduring symbol of Santa Claus and the joy he brings to people around the world”, says Claudio Giambrone, Exhibition Curator and Producer at Wembley Park.

The evolution of Santa’s treatment in consumer culture goes under the microscope as part of the new exhibition as well, including the role that advertising and modern popular culture have played in shaping today’s Santa iconography.

For more information visit www.wembleypark.com/winter. 

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Lifestyle

Appetite for Ozempic boost Novo Nordisk brand value up 59%

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A woman checks her toned image in a mirror
Novo Nordisk emerges as Denmark’s second most valuable and second fastest-growing brand | Photo: Szabolcs Toth

Novo Nordisk, the pharmaceutical company producing semaglutide drugs Ozempic and Wegovy which are in high demand for weight loss, is now Denmark’s second most valuable brand according to new data from Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation consultancy. Second only to LEGO, Novo Nordisk is valued at DKK35.4 billion, up 59%. Now also Denmark’s second-fastest growing brand, Novo Nordisk has surpassed  LVMH to become Europe’s most valuable company by market cap.

LEGO is Denmark’s most valuable brand for the ninth consecutive year, with a 3% brand value increase to DKK55.2 billion. With an AAA Brand Strength Index (BSI) rating, LEGO also remains Denmark’s strongest brand, underscoring decades of built-up brand equity and enduing nostalgia, demonstrated by excellent scores for familiarity, satisfaction, and consideration.

Tryg is Denmark’s fastest-growing brand, up 62% to DKK11.0 billion. Brand Finance data shows the brand is well-known and highly reputable across Denmark.

David Haigh, Chairman and CEO, Brand Finance, commented:

“The massive and unrelenting demand for semaglutide has led to Wegovy and Ozempic supply shortages while also dramatically raising brand awareness for Novo Nordisk. With projected sales growth of 19-24% for 2024, the pharmaceutical company must expand production while strategically positioning its brand to stay ahead of emerging competitors. If Novo Nordisk manages its brand well while successfully meeting demand for its products, it could surpass LEGO in the 2025 rankings, blocking LEGO from a decade-long reign as Denmark’s most valuable brand.”

Vestas, Danfoss, and ROCKWOOL are Denmark’s strongest industrial brands. Vestas (brand value up 6% to DKK23.9 billion), the strongest industrial brand with a BSI score of 82.4 out of 100 and an AAA- rating, notes high scores across several brand strength metrics, including reputation and promotion. Danfoss (brand value up 10% to DKK12.4 billion) ranks second, with an AA+ rating. ROCKWOOL (brand value DKK3.6 billion) maintains an AA+ rating and ranks as Denmark’s third strongest industrial brand, boasting a BSI score of 75.3 out of 100. ROCKWOOL performs well across brand strength metrics, such as promotion and its ability to command a price premium.

As part of its brand valuations, Brand Finance analyses the contribution of sustainability on overarching brand value. Brand Finance quantifies brands’ sustainability perceptions in its Sustainability Perceptions Index. According to Brand Finance research, Vestas is recognised as the most sustainable Danish industrial brand across the environmental and social dimensions of ESG (environmental, social, and governance). ROCKWOOL ranked second across all three ESG dimensions among Danish industrial brands, attributed to its commitment to climate resilience and sustainability.

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50% of teens report anxiety without phones

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a teenager using a mobile phone
Findings of the poll will be discussed on BBC Radio 5 Live during the Teen24 Summit taking place in the UK

Half of teenagers aged 13-18 said they feel anxious when they do not have their smart phones with them, an exclusive survey commissioned by BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Bitesize has suggested.

And three quarters (74%) said they wouldn’t consider swapping their smart phones for a more basic device that only allows phone calls and text messages.

A quarter (25 %) said they use their phones for more than five hours on a typical day.

On a positive note, 75% of teens questioned said they feel positive about their future, with only 11% feeling negative about lies ahead.

The online poll, conducted by Survation, surveyed 2000* teenagers aged 13-18 asking them questions on a range of different issues affecting teenage lives. These topics ranged from anxiety and social media, phone use and addiction, to sexual harassment and street safety.

The findings from the poll will be discussed live from the Teen24 Summit on BBC Radio 5 Live as part of their collaboration with BBC Bitesize.

The BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast show’s Rachel Burden kicked things off from 6am today with a special programme focusing on teens and their mobiles, and asking what their life would be like without smartphones. Rachel will be joined by ten young people who took part in a smartphone ‘detox’ for 5 Live to find out if they can live without their mobiles for a week. The teens will join Rachel to reveal how they feel about their phones after the detox.

From 9am, Nicky Campbell will be hosting a live, two-hour teen summit from the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington, with an audience of young people from across the North West of England. He’ll be asking them their opinions on smartphones, social media, influencers, and other topics that affect teen lives.

Heidi Dawson, Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, says: “Understanding how teenagers feel and think about the world is crucial and this survey provides fascinating insights. Some of the findings are eye-opening and the research shows there is a big conversation needed on teen issues and mobile phone use. We are working closely with BBC Bitesize and will be discussing all the issues during our Teen24 summit on BBC Radio 5 Live.”

Head of BBC Education Helen Foulkes said: Head of BBC Education Helen Foulkes says: “BBC Bitesize provides a wide range of content to help young people thrive and survive during their school years and this survey gives us an even better insight into the challenges, concerns and aspirations of teenagers across the UK. We’re delighted to be able to help them navigate these things, and understand themselves better, with the launch of the Bitesize World of Wellbeing podcast and the My Teenage Brain series. Both are fantastic additions to the amazing help and advice already available on Bitesize Study Support.”

To coincide with the Teen24 Summit, BBC Bitesize will be releasing some brand new content to support teenagers, including the World of Wellbeing podcast and My Teenage Brain series. The podcast is co-hosted by Tik Toker Ami Charlize and Radio 1 Life Hack’s Dr Radha Modgil and delves into issues like self-esteem, worrying, friendship fall-outs, self-care and the benefits of being active, with all episode available to watch on the Study Support section of the Bitesize website, and on BBC Sounds.

My Teenage Brain helps young people to understand themselves better by unpacking all the chemical and neurological things that affect how you think, act and feel when you’re a teenager. Social media star India Sascha and clinical psychologist Dr Tara Porter front the content, also available on Bitesize Study Support.

Coverage of BBC Radio 5 Live’s Teen24 Summit started at 6am on Wednesday 12 June 2024 on Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds.

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UAE to host Games of the Future 2025

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UAE to host Games of the Future 2025
United Arab Emirates coPictured: Nis Hatt, CEO of Phygital International and World Phygital Community; Rene Fasal, Head of the World Phygital Community; and Consul General H.E Saeed Abdulwahid Khamis R Saqer AlMheiri of the United Arab Emirates, at the World Phygital Summit 2024, Istanbul, Turkey.

Following a competitive bidding process, featuring expressions of interest from nine prospective bidders, the UAE was declared as the official host and destination of the Games of the Future 2025 during the inaugural World Phygital Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Games of the Future 2025 is an international tournament that brings together the next generation of dynamic sporting heroes from all over the world: thousands of well-balanced athletes who demonstrate superior skills across both physical and digital competition. Over 300 international teams are expected to participate in the multi-sport event which will feature a number challenges over wide range of disciplines including phygital football, phygital hockey, phygital skateboarding, phygital MMA and many more.

Nis Hatt, CEO of Phygital International, commented: “We are delighted to announce the UAE as the host of the Games of the Future 2025. The global popularity of phygital sports grows by the day, and we’re expecting a sell-out tournament again next year. We’re thrilled to pass the phygital flame over to UAE whose top notch winning bid, and clear long-term commitment to developing a healthy, active population, has me in no doubt that the event will be a huge success. Bring on Games of the Future 2025!”

“Bringing the Games of the Future 2025 to the United Arab Emirates represents an exciting moment in redefining international sports for the modern world. We are proud to be hosting this innovative and unique tournament that merges cutting-edge technology, popular video gaming, and traditional sport. We’re confident that hosting the 2025 Games will not only cement us as leaders in the sporting world, but also incentivise our national digital community towards an active lifestyle and help us reach our national sporting goal of 75% active population by 2031,” says Ghanim Al Hajeri, Director General, General Authority of Sport, UAE.

The Games of the Future places no restrictions on its participants and welcomes everyone, regardless of their age, gender and nationality. Phygital International expects Games of the Future 2025 in the UAE to welcome thousands of world-class athletes and esports persons from as many as 100 countries, as part of national and multinational teams. It’s so popular in fact, that the host nation bid process for Games of the Future 2026 and 2027 is already underway from countries globally.

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