WHAT IT TAKES TO PLAN THE WORLD'S BEST NEW YEAR'S EVE CELEBRATIONS IN LONDON
Sunny Jouhal is the General Manager of London’s most iconic structure, the Coca-Cola London Eye. As one of the most famous places to be at in the world when the clock strikes 12 o’clock on 31st December, he takes us behind the scenes and tells us what it’s really like to put on the world’s best New Year’s Eve celebrations.
London is probably the best city in the world to spend New Year’s Eve in. How has it got this reputation?
London has been the centre of timekeeping for over a century, so when the clock strikes midnight - it’s arguably the centre of the world’s celebrations as we see in the New Year. On top of this, our amazing city - with its diverse culture and nightlife - has the reputation for being one of the global party capitals - where else could you possibly want to be?
How many people will be at the Coca-Cola London Eye for New Year’s Eve?
There is set to be 100,000 people on Westminster Bridge and Victoria Embankment watching the spectacular fireworks display from the London Eye. Add to this the thousands of other people in other locations across the city, plus the 10 million people expected to watch it on television and you’ve got a lot of eyes on our one, very iconic one.
Can you describe the atmosphere around the Coca-Cola London Eye on New Year’s Eve?
Westminster Bridge and Victoria Embankment are buzzing - there’s really nothing else like it. The atmosphere as it builds up to 12 o’clock is just electric, and seeing the fireworks light up the Thames, with the Eye at the very centre is truly one of the most amazing sights - it’s a joy for all watching in the area, and around the world.
Can you let us into any secrets about what will happen this year?
I wouldn't want to ruin any surprises, but this year’s display promises to be the most impressive yet.
When does planning begin for New Year’s Eve?
As soon as 2018 comes to a close planning will begin for the 2019 New Year’s Eve event. For an event of this scale, it never stops and we work very hard along with the Mayor of London’s office to put on a show for all to enjoy.
Who and what is involved with planning an event of this scale?
Hundreds of people are involved in planning every minute detail, from pyrotechnics and music, to security and transport - and everything in between! It takes an incredible amount of work and our team are at work on the ground in the days leading up to the event to ensure it all runs smoothly.
Can I still come to watch the Lord Mayor’s Fireworks?
Tickets have now sold out but not the entire riverside is ticketed so if you head a little further away and get there early you can get a great spot on one of the other bridges (Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, Lambeth Bridge or the Millennium Bridge) to see the fireworks in all their glory. And, of course, live coverage will be on throughout New Year’s Eve of the world famous celebrations on BBC1. You can watch 2018's incredible display here to get you in the mood!