What’s London’s best-kept secret?
Most secrets are in the old ‘City of London’. There’s hundreds of secret narrow passages and pubs and things to see. One great secret is the pub ‘Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese’ just off Fleet Street. It was rebuilt the year after the great fire of 1666, and was frequented by Charles Dickens. He still drinks there 200 years later. There’s a secret right there. Also, Dr Samuel Johnson – who wrote the first ever English dictionary – used to drink, and make up words there, like; ‘Where’s my wallet gone?’ and ‘I’m really quite pissed’. You can also visit his house just behind the pub on Gough Square where you can find vomit stains on his front door step from the times his wife would go ape-shit and lock him out. (Lies)
Where do you go to chill out?
When I’ve had a long hard day of watching illegal downloads, I like to chill out in one of London’s many parks. Greenwich is the best. If you can be bothered to drag your sorry ass up the very steep hill, you’ll be rewarded with the most incredible views of the city; from Wembley Stadium to the Olympic park in one panoramic view. After climbing that, you can achieve anything. Going down hill is easy. I like to take a free ride on the back of a large dog.
What baffles you about London?
The people. I’ll never understand them. London’s like a massive house party where no one is quite pissed enough to want to talk to anyone else. Until there’s a fire drill and then everyone just goes stupid like repressed school kids. I don’t know, maybe it’s just on the Northern Line…
Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in London and why?
Has to be accidentally meeting the man who was accused of the murder of TV presenter, Jill Dando (his conviction was overturned and he was declared completely innocent). I chatted to him whilst working in west London. He was a lovely man who had been massively let down by the British Legal system. Doesn’t get more interesting than that.
Where’s your favourite place for a drink?
There’s a few in North London. The recently refurbished Canonbury (formerly Canonbury Tavern) in Highbury has one of the largest beer gardens in London, great food and atmosphere. Also ‘The Flask’ in Highgate is fantastic. I used to work there as a student. Good selection of Belgian beers and little cavernous rooms lit solely by candles. I like to fall asleep by the open fire with my arms wrapped around a beautiful girl. So far that’s never happened, but it will. It’s right by Hampstead Heath as well, so you can take a stroll and play a little game I like to call, ‘Spot The Very Rich and Famous Person’. They all live around there.
What can’t you beat in London when you’ve got a hangover?
Get yourself down to Camden Lock and stuff your sorry wasted face with as much asian food as possible. It’s all outside in the famous and ridiculously large Camden Market. (Camden Market has now grown to the size of France) After that, head to the Regents Canal and walk it off. If you head west towards Regents Park, you go by London Zoo, and get to see the Giraffes, and all the weird ugly birds flying in their giant aviary without even paying a thing. When I have a hangover, I find ugly birds really funny.
What gets you up in the morning?
My girlfriend lying on top of my thigh until it goes blue. That and BBC Radio 4 which is basically just HARD NEWS. If it’s a sad bad news day, then I turn the dial to Magic FM, which plays old reliable soothing classics. This decision alone can reduce my heart rate by 50%.
What’s the first thing you think of in the morning?
Have we been burgled?
What’s your perfect weekend?
Escaping London and seeing what the rest of United Kingdom are up to. It’s good to get out of London. The most beautiful places to go are the Lake District in the North, and Devon and Cornwall in the South West. Or if you’re after some beach action, you can’t top Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk. The beaches are MASSIVE and it’s golden sand. And you can go crabbing. Which is not as bad as it sounds.
What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?
Just like that tiny little child actor in the new John Lewis ad, I shall be mostly looking forward to giving all of my nearest and dearest their gifts this Christmas. Then I shall go straight upstairs, shut myself away and proceed to watch up to ten DVD box sets , whilst intermittently falling asleep, sipping port and drowning in my own saliva.
What’s the worst part of Christmas?
The bit where the television goes on. You’re forced to watch all the terrible xmas specials. Like ‘A Question of Sport Xmas Special’, and ‘BBC News at Ten Xmas Special’. It’s also the one day of the year I watch ‘Eastenders’ and I still manage to understand what’s going on!
What’s the biggest faux pas you’ve made?
I did a comedy gig recently and forgot ALL my lines so made it all up on the spot. No one noticed… apart from everyone. I do this a lot. One day I will perform all the comedy I’ve spent months writing and perfecting and not the stuff that doesn’t exist.
What’s the last naughty thing that you did (you have to tell us!)?
I got on a bus knowing my oyster card was out of credit. I touched my card on the reader and it rather predictably went red and declined. I performed a false exclamation of surprise and began rooting through my pockets for change – knowing full well I didn’t have any. The driver got bored and kindly let me go on for free. I’ve done this 3 times now.
Five words that sum up London?
Best. City. In. The. World.