Metro 211

This year we are hoping to move out of London’s “most up-and-coming suburb” (The Metro) Shepherd’s Bush (it’s getting a John Lewis – I would never have imagined that when I moved here in 2003).  You’d have to be an idiot not to invest in property here and even more of an idiot to sell right now when prices are set to sky rocket!

But I feel my work here has been done. After years of tweeting, blogging and writing articles about the tortuous 30+ minute queues at the main Post Office here, the new manager has turned things around and you rarely have to wait more than five minutes (the other day there was no queue at all). I put this transformation entirely down to my persistence and it is my gift to the people of the Bush. I am not saying they should put up a statue of me in the middle of the green. But at the very least everyone should club together to buy my house and turn it into a museum to the man who (arguably) was mainly responsible for improving Post Office waiting times. The ball’s in your court my fellow Bushfolk.

We’re hoping to move to Hertfordshire and our house search has inadvertently turned into an episode of “Through the Keyhole” as we’ve been round the houses of a few very minor celebrities.

A few months back the estate agent showing us round was quite excited about the person who owned the house we were in. “I think you’ll recognise him,” she cooed. I was slightly offended that she didn’t seem at all excited about meeting me. Almost like she didn’t know that I was a columnist for the Metro and had appeared on one episode of Sky Arts quiz show “What the Dickens!”.

Anyway, I met the famous person at the house and I didn’t recognise him, though he seemed very nice. It became apparent as we walked around his home that he was a celebrity chef (I worked this out because he had a lovely big kitchen with only of his own cook books on the bookshelf).

But it was strangely thrilling to be looking around a celebrity’s house, even though I didn’t know him from Adam (Woodyat).

He hadn’t waited for the locals to turn his house into a museum of himself (you wouldn’t know he had a wife and family, his personality dominated the place so much). It was super showbiz, with a pizza oven in the garden and a fish tank in the wall. I was most impressed that he had a shelf in his walk-in wardrobe dedicated to his sunglasses!

More recetnly we were shown around a beautiful old house that we couldn’t quite afford in a country village. The owner introduced himself and I realised that he was a shining light from Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet, who’d even had his own Spitting Image puppet. He’d lost the cocky, bullish swagger of middle-age and was now a twinkly-eyed grandpa. I was certainly no fan of his politics or some of the choices he made in his personal life, but I rather enjoyed meeting him. This was another house that was a museum (perhaps all our homes are museums to ourselves), both to the owner and Mrs Thatcher (who I couldn’t help thinking must have used the toilet here, which was reason enough on its own to put in an offer).  I’d really have loved to live here, if only for the juxtaposition of owners, from Tory grandee to scatological comedian, but alas it wasn’t to be.

The search continues.


A short film that I’m in won the Audience Award at the international ECU film festival in Paris last Sunday. It’s called “While You Were Away” and I play a husband who has to confront his wife about a dubious life choice he made in her absence. It’s dark, disturbing and definitely not for kids. If you want to find out the secret then it’s showing at Cannes or you can watch it here