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Piccadilly Circus
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Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is a central London plaza at the intersection of Regent Street, Piccadilly, Shaftesbury Avenue and Coventry Street. The area used to be surrounded by illuminated advertising hoardings on buildings, but only one building now carries them, namely the one in the northwestern corner, between Shaftesbury and Glasshouse Street. In September 2003, Coca Cola replaced its old illuminated board with a state-of-the-art video display that curves round with the building.

At the south-western side of the Circus, moved from its original position in the centre, stands the Shaftesbury memorial fountain, erected in 1893 to commemorate the philanthropic works of Lord Shaftesbury. It is topped by Alfred Gilbert's winged nude statue, popularly known as Eros, although its official name is The Angel of Christian Charity. The statue originally pointed its bow to the north, up Shaftesbury Avenue. However, during the Second World War the statue was removed for safe keeping, and when it was returned its bow was fixed pointing in to the south, towards Lower Regent Street.

The Criterion Theatre stands on the south side of Piccadilly Circus, and has been the home of the Reduced Shakespeare Company since 1995.

On the north-eastern side of the Circus, on the corner between Shaftesbury Avenue and Coventry Street, is located the London Pavilion. The building was originally a music hall, but is now a shopping arcade. Between 1986 and 2001, it was the home of the Rock Circus exhibition - a wax figure museum of rock and pop musicians.

Piccadilly Circus tube station is located directly beneath the intersection.

Piccadilly Circus is renowned as one of the busiest places in the world; the phrase, "it's like Piccadilly Circus", is commonly used in the UK to refer to a place or situation where many people meet. It has been said that a person who stays long enough at Piccadilly Circus will eventually bump into everyone they know.

Major shops

To the north lies Soho.
Piccadilly Circus is also the name of Pernilla Wahlgren's hit song from 1985.