Google Terminates | Top End Residential | Chef White

Technological innovation can be both exciting and terrifying. This week's video of Boston Dynamic's Atlas Robot (a 6-foot 9-inch, 167-pound humanoid!) jogging and leaping over a log before bounding up a multi-level platform has clearly caused a sense of unease.  Is the 1984 science fiction film, The Terminator, about to become a 2018 reality?  Boston Dynamics have yet to determine what Atlas will be used for, but even seemingly harmless technical innovations can have unintended consequences. Just ask the Peruvian man who used Google Street View to research the best route to a nearby bridge only to happen upon a photograph of a couple sharing an intimate moment by the side of the road. Unfortunately (for both parties), the man recognised the woman’s clothes as those belonging to his wife!

It has been four years since the then Chancellor George Osborne introduced new rates of stamp duty on residential property, the trigger for a sharp correction at the top end of the market, and a timely moment then for The Weekly to reflect on the residential sector.  According to the Savills Prime UK Residential report released this week, over the past four years prices in prime Central London have fallen by 18.3%.  And the more expensive the house, the bigger the fall in value.  According to Savills, prime Central London properties worth more than £10 million have fallen by more than 20% over the same period.  The fall in the value of £10 million+ houses may not be of great concern to the general Weekly readership (rent in the Elephant & Castle flat share still seems to be going up!), but pricing at the top end does act as a barometer for the health of the market and in the past year price falls at the top end are beginning to ease – a signal that the most expensive property has begun to find its level.  So amid all the political uncertainties, what are the drivers that will facilitate a return to growth in London?  Well, global wealth creation remains strong; the pool of global ultra-wealthy individuals is expected to increase by 40% over the next five years and Brexit has not, after all, changed the fundamental reasons why people invest in London.  Moreover, office take-up (2017 saw the highest level of office take-up in the City and the West End for 20 years) suggests London remains attractive to wealth-generating businesses. We may not be there yet, but when prime housing in Central London has looked like good value, it has historically bounced back at pace.

Forget Bake Off or Strictly Come Dancing.  The hottest TV ticket of the Autumn comes to BBC Two this week in the form of the newly revamped "Family Cooking Showdown", a show which pits sixteen families together to test their culinary prowess.  And to add a large dose of spice to this year's competition, it features St Bride's very own Graduate Surveyor Struan White, competing alongside his mother Lesley and sister Dizzy.  In an online preview, the trio are described as "a lively, competitive bunch always striving for top spot".  Promising indeed.  However, the article is less rather less effusive about Struan's own culinary skills declaring that he "is easily distracted and often burns things because of his short attention span".  Apparently he learnt to cook as a ski resort chalet boy, but would regularly (to quote) "video call his mum to check his dishes were cooked properly."  Never fear.  Even if Struan's cooking skills don't help catapult him and his family into the final, you will be guaranteed some entertainment...and most likely at Struan's expense!  As well as creating magic on the stove, he will also be seen planking, squatting and weightlifting his mother over his head.  It all starts tomorrow evening at 7pm, with Struan guaranteed to 'grace' our screens on Wednesday at the same time.  Be sure not to miss it. His new found TV celebrity may not last the full fourteen episodes!