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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 12:30 GMT
Busker's 'Phileas Fogg' challenge
Nigel Ashcroft
The buskers are making a documentary about their challenge
A musician is preparing for two farewell performances on London's Tube before trying to busk his way around the world in 80 days.

Nigel Ashcroft, 29, from Flintshire in Wales, will begin his tour of 16 countries in London without a penny.

Two performances at Leicester Square on Friday and Saturday will start him off.

"I'm going to have to sing, perform, charm and maybe blag my way around the world - but I think I can pull it off," said a confident Mr Ashcroft.

He is a full-time busker and one of the first to be licensed under a new scheme by London Underground.

The first test will be getting into London Underground without paying for a ticket
Nigel Ashcroft
Since he moved to Ealing, west London, he has been performing at Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus, where his rendition of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters has proved a particular favourite.

Now he and fellow busker, American Ashley Abbott, hope their performances will be as well received in Barcelona, New York, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Moscow and Berlin among other places.

They are also making a documentary of their trip to raise money for a charity for the homeless.

'Hot spots' on route

They will turn up at Leicester Square station on Friday, without a penny, to raise enough to get them started on the first leg of their trip.

"The first test is getting into London Underground without paying for a ticket, but I'm sure that will be fine," Mr Ashcroft told BBC News Online.

They will first go to Paris, then travel through France and Spain to Morocco and hope to have raised enough for an air fare by the time they reach Casablanca.

Overall they expect to have to raise about 2,500 to cover their costs for the whole trip and expect to find some places less lucrative than others.

"I can't see myself busking much in Laos or Vietnam. Hopefully I will make enough money in Bangkok, Shanghai and Tokyo - there are certain hot spots along the route.

"There is a lot more money in those countries. In others it might not always be feasible to get my guitar out and start strumming along."

The new sound of the Underground
19 May 03  |  Entertainment
Tube buskers go legal
19 May 03  |  Entertainment

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