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It may be a hot potato in the General Election debate, but the UK - and London especially - has always attracted immigrants. Of the thirty two men and women whom we have chosen to celebrate in this series of talks, some came to London to seek fame and fortune; others came to escape persecution abroad; a few ended up here by chance. Some of these individuals were responsible for actually designing and building the city the London Eye now presides over. Others have contributed to the historical, political, cultural or artistic legacy of our capital. They came from as far afield as Australia and Trinidad, and from as close by as Norfolk and Surrey, all attracted by the long tradition of freedom, tolerance and acceptance of new ideas that London stands for.

When we were drawing up the shortlist of candidates some of the subjects selected themselves (we could hardly have hosted these talks without including Shakespeare, Newton and Dickens). Others were the quirky choice of the individual speakers (entrepreneur Hugh Myddleton, calypso singer Lord Kitchener and footballer Stan Bowles for example). So what we are offering is not a definitive roll call of the greatest adopted Londoners, but merely a cross section of people from elsewhere whose talents helped shape the capital and whose stories, be they familiar or obscure, should provide an insight into what has made London one of the world's greatest cities.

Suzette Field and Stephen Coates
Curators of 32 Londoners

32 Londoners was curated by a Curious Invitation and Antique Beat as a unique experience intended to strengthen the cultural connection of Londoners with the city in which they live and work. Please click here to see which 32 Londoners were included in last year's event.


Time Out London