Poet’s film shows London’s unusually empty streets on Christmas Day

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A poet has revealed a new side of London by filming its uncharacteristically quiet streets on Christmas Day.

Mohamed Mohamed, a British-Somali poet and football coach, shot the footage at sunrise on Wednesday for his film, commissioned by the Museum of London.

Entitled Know London, the film depicts Mr Mohamed’s annual journey as he cycles to a central mosque in the capital to pray.

Starting in Clapham and set to Mr Mohamed’s own original poetry, the video shows his route along Battersea Bridge, King’s Road, Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

The view from Battersea Bridge on Christmas Day
The view from Battersea Bridge on Christmas Day (Mohamed Mohamed/PA)

“While others may encounter hectic days with family and friends, I use this time to take in the unusual peace and quiet of a London that, unlike at any other time of year, stands still and feels empty.

“For me, it’s a time to escape, think, write poetry and pray. This film depicts my annual ride through the capital but also represents my journey as a Londoner.”

Mr Mohamed only learned to cycle in his 20s, which was when he embarked on his first annual Christmas morning ride across the capital in 2010.

His film, which is said to celebrate the city’s rich diversity, has been shared through the Museum of London’s social media accounts.

The museum’s digital curator Foteini Aravani said:  “This year, we wanted to show a side of Christmas in London that few people ever get to see, from the point of view of a Londoner who marks Christmas Day differently to most.

“We believe that London’s strength lies in its diversity and we, as the Museum of Londoners, are committed to telling these stories.”

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