By Alex Stevenson
Boris Johnson says Britain should not view 2009 with "foreboding" in his new year's message, telling Londoners: "Someday, this recession is going to end."
As 2008 draws to a close later this evening a video message by the London mayor, who ousted Ken Livingstone from City Hall in May, will urge revellers not to be downhearted as the UK economy slips into recession.
A giant filmed projection of Mr Johnson, along with other celebrities, will be played on the Shell Building on the South Bank in the approach to midnight tonight.
He will tell the crowds: "There are those who say we should look ahead to 2009 with foreboding. I want to quote Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now when he says 'Someday captain, this war is going to end', and someday, this recession is going to end."
Mr Johnson will say Londoners could "speed the demise of this recession" by helping the poorest in the community and making "vital investment" to the capital's public transport system and in fighting crime.
Achieving this would entrench London's position as "the greatest city on Earth", he adds, before pledging: "We are going to be working flat out at City Hall to achieve that."
"Let's go forward into 2009 with enthusiasm and purpose. I wish you a very happy new year."
As usual the capital offers free all-night travel on the Tube and other routes. Parties will be taking place across the city and the usual fireworks display will take place on the Thames.