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Soccer, photography and now cooking: Why Brooklyn Beckham can’t shake off criticism, whatever the venture | Culture

Brooklyn Beckham seems to consider himself a master of all trades. And the public in general (and some professionals particularly) like to remind him that he isn’t. The latest example is a cooking show, with an astronomical budget, in which the eldest son of David and Victoria Beckham displays, according to critics, a complete lack of talent for cooking and presenting.

In the microcosm of the rich and famous, the figure of the privileged kid seeking his own place in the world is eternal, and exacerbated by the relative wealth and fame of the parents. In the case of Brooklyn Beckham, that wealth and fame is considerable: born in London in 1999, son of David, the biggest soccer star in the world before the emergence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, and Victoria, a former member of the Spice Girls, arguably the biggest girl band in history, as well as being a successful designer and entrepreneur. At his christening, Elton John and David Furnish served as Brooklyn’s godfathers, while Liz Hurley welcomed guests to the private chapel in his parents’ mansion.

His first attempt at a professional career was in soccer, a logical choice given his surname. In November 2014 it was announced, not without pomp, that the 15-year-old Brooklyn had signed a contract to play for Arsenal’s under-16 team. “Arsenal realize he can be a huge talent. They have seen that potential and protected their asset,” a club insider told the UK media at the time. “Also, David Beckham has an excellent relationship with [former Arsenal coach] Arséne Wenger, who has been impressed with his talent, his attitude and his drive to succeed.” The association did not last long: in February 2015 Arsenal announced that they would not be extending Brooklyn’s stay in the academy.

Brooklyn and David Beckham at London Fashion Week in 2019.
Brooklyn and David Beckham at London Fashion Week in 2019.Darren Gerrish (Darren Gerrish/WireImage)

There are two ways to read this. One, a setback: the son of England’s most-famous soccer player fails to make the grade. Two, a triumph: the son of England’s most-famous soccer player has decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps, and to forge his own path. At precisely that moment, he started instead to follow his mother’s. After the Spice Girls broke up, Victoria released a solo album to lukewarm reception and decided to opt for the world of fashion. Brooklyn Beckham’s soccer debut was swiftly followed by his debut as a model for the Reserved label in March 2015, when he had just turned 16. At the time his brother Romeo was the face of Burberry.

#ThisIsBrit

From fashion, Brooklyn moved into photography in January 2016, for a range of Burberry perfumes. This time, the public responded. #ThisIsBrit trended on social media to complain about what many viewed as nepotism. Among them was the photographer Chris Floyd, who told The Guardian: “David and Victoria Beckham represent sheer willpower and graft. Especially her, she’s climbed that mountain all by herself. They represent hard work and then their 16-year-old year son comes along and it’s sheer nepotism. He hasn’t done it from hard work, which is counter-intuitive to what his parents represent.”

It made little difference. The weight of the campaign led to the publishing of a book of Brooklyn’s photos in June 2017, just after he had turned 18. The book was titled what i see (in lower-case in its original version) with Brooklyn on the cover. The book consists of around 300 photos, with captions written by Brooklyn, which explain very little but perhaps say it all. “So hard to photograph, but incredible to see,” reads one, accompanying a picture of an elephant where the elephant is barely visible. “I like this photo: it’s out of focus but you can guess there’s a lot going on,” reads another. The book was accompanied by an exhibition at Christie’s with an extensive guest list of celebrities. The criticism was swift to follow, leading publishing house Penguin to issue a defence: “It’s a book by a kid for other kids.”

Liv Tyler at Brooklyn Beckham’s photography exhibition in London, June 2017.
Liv Tyler at Brooklyn Beckham’s photography exhibition in London, June 2017.Ricky Vigil M (GC Images)

“Nigiri for the price of plutonium”

Cookin’ with Brooklyn can be viewed on Brooklyn’s official Facebook page. The videos are around 10 minutes long and consist of Brooklyn visiting a famous chef at their restaurant (among them Nobu Matsuhisa, the Japanese chef par excellence to the rich and famous) and then reproducing what he has learned for one of his friends, his fiancé, or a celebrity such as Sebastián Yatra. The show has generated controversy due to its cost – $100,000 per episode – and the fact that not everything that appears has been prepared by Brooklyn himself.

Mikel López Iturriaga, editor of this newspaper’s food supplement, summed up Cookin’ with Brooklyn: “If it is true that each episode cost $100,000, it doesn’t show. This huge amount is not visible in the production, the script, the sets, the guests, in the post-production, or in anything. Perhaps Brooklyn has shelled out for so much fresh fish at plutonium prices to make a half-decent nigiri that the budget skyrocketed.”

The show has also received criticism from viewers for some of the recipes employed on what is aspiring to be a sophisticated gastronomical turn: steak, sausage and mash, fried rice. One commentator wrote under a video of Brooklyn cooking a pizza for his fiancé, Nicola Peltz: “What’s it going to be this time? A boiled egg? A can of soup?”

Brooklyn Beckham promoting his cookery show on US television, October 2021.
Brooklyn Beckham promoting his cookery show on US television, October 2021.NBC (NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Cookin’ with Brooklyn has also suffered from going up against Cooking with Paris, which has a similar format but is carried off completely differently. The heiress to the Hilton empire, Paris Hilton, is ready to make jokes at her own expense and does not pretend to be an expert. The spectator feels as though they are in on the parody.

“A show where someone hasn’t got the faintest idea how to cook can be interesting,” says Iturriaga. “Viewers who also don’t have any idea how to cook can identify with a host of this kind, and get closer to a world that can be quite hostile. The idea [of Cookin’ with Brooklyn] isn’t bad: learn first with a chef, then try and cook the same thing himself with friends. The result is another matter. Brooklyn proves to have no sense of humor, no complicity, no spontaneity, no flow… nothing that will allow him to compete in an industry where thousands of people make more interesting cooking videos at a fraction of the price.”

The comments Brooklyn shares with viewers do little to lift the whole: “I love steak, I eat it all the time. Sometimes once a week, sometimes two or three times,” is one of the less revealing. If he is genuinely enthusiastic about what he is picking up, it fails to come through in the final product. It is also difficult to quantify the success of the show. With approximately one million viewers per episode on a platform that is unpopular with its target age group, it can’t be considered a failure, but it falls short of being a triumph. By comparison, the divisive videos posted by Chefclub often reach seven or eight million viewers and the most-watched almost 24 million. Less prominent people in the industry such as Ají Causa, who specializes in Peruvian cuisine and does not have famous rappers as guests, do not struggle to reach three million viewers.

Despite it all, Brooklyn Beckham cannot be criticized for taking advantage of the opportunities that come his way, any more than Paris Hilton. In a world where access to the public is easier than ever and where popularity is rated (and income gleaned) by the audience generated, Brooklyn is merely following the prevailing wind. The only things that jar are seeing someone else take a hit as a result, and the waste of resources. “In an ideal world, the $100,000 that Brooklyn’s videos apparently cost, or the money Netflix has poured into Cooking with Paris, would be used to make cookery shows with a bit more substance,” says Iturriaga. “But on the other hand, I don’t think a show as inconsequential as Brooklyn’s is taking space off anyone else, and even less so given the small audience it is drawing in relation to its budget.”

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by ‘Savills’ reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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