The London Grill: Ian Kelly

We challenge our contributor to reply to ten devilishly probing questions about their London and we don’t take “Sorry Gov” for an answer. Everyone sitting in the hot seat will face the same questions that range from their favourite way to spend a day out in the capital to their most hated building on London’s skyline to find out just what Londoners really think about their city. The questions might be the same but the answers vary wildly.


[I]an Kelly is an award winning actor and historical biographer, with a specialist interest in the history of London. His roles have ranged from Hermione’s dad in the Harry Potter films to the art teacher in Lee Hall’s Pitmen Painters at the National Theatre and on Broadway. His recent work, a biography of one-legged comedy superstar Samuel Foote, Mr Foote’s Other Leg, was picked by The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph as one of 2012’s Biographies of the Year. His work can be found on his website.

What’s your secret London tip?
More than 15%.

What’s your secret London place?
40 Winks, Mile End. Boutique hotel. Also hosts literary events in night-wear – ‘Bedtime stories.’ Another London.

MrFootesOtherLeg What’s your biggest gripe about London?
Chewing gum
What’s your favourite building?
The London Library

What’s your most hated building?
The London Eye – only good from the inside looking out.

What’s the best view in London?
See above – or my kids, and my dog, in Hyde Park

What’s your personal London landmark?
The Flask, Well Walk – the first beer I had the first time I came to London.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
Either Beau Brummell, by Ian Kelly, or Mr Foote’s Other Leg, by Ian Kelly. . . or Mary Poppins

What’s your favourite bar, pub or restaurant?
La Belle Epoque on Newington Green or the terrace bars at the National Theatre in the summer.

How would you spend your ideal day off in London?
In bed. Ideally not alone.

What do you have to say for yourself?

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