ok i managed to find out how to do it by browsing other forums, so i'll share my knowledge here.
1) remove the big plastic covering under the steering wheel (the bit with the umbrella holder) by first removing the 2 philips-head screws, one at the left and one at the right.
2) pull the fuse panel out and then remove the hex bolt/screw at the bottom there.
3) pull the big plastic covering out and towards you, levering slightly up and down. Don't lever from side to side, you might break the tabs. there are 4 tabs, one at the top left, two at the top right and one on the very right edge.
be careful not to pull too hard because the bonnet release lever and some wiring remain connected to this panel.
4) reach inside and unhook the two aircon 'cables' and then unclip them from their supports.
5) from the passenger front seat, loosen the 2 rubber things on the sides of the glovebox and let it hang down into the footwell.
6) unhook and unclip one more wire loop thing, as in step 4.
7) back on the driver's side, reach behind the centre console and free the clips holding it in place - there are 3 along the left edge, 3 along the right.