The London Grill: Patrick Dalton

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.


[P]atrick Dalton was born in London and has lived in London his entire life. He worked for many years as a radio producer at the BBC as well as LBC. Since then he has devoted himself to photography and the pursuit of finding weird, depressing and often crap sights around cities. Patrick writes Shit London.

What’s your secret London tip?
ALWAYS stand on the right and don’t stop in doorways.

What’s your secret London place?
My secret London place is remaining a secret. If you have a secret spot don’t risk ruining it by telling everyone.

Shit-LondonWhat’s your biggest gripe about London?

I think that the Tube should run later. We’re a world city at the beginning of the 21st century and most of our public transport grinds to a halt shortly after midnight . . . that’s pretty shoddy. It was great over the Olympics when trains ran until 2am, it made getting back from central London so much more dignified than the usual night bus scrum.

What’s your favourite building?
My favourite London building has to be Festival Hall . . . in fact the whole of the South Bank. I know lots of people see the area as a concrete monstrosity but that’s part of the reason why I like. It’s also one of the only places in London where I think you see Londoners of all kinds mixing together and using the same space.

What’s your most hated building?
There are a lot of ugly buildings in London, mostly buildings thrown up quickly using that cheap looking yellow brick get me down. You know they’ll weather badly. It’s hard to nail it down to one particular building though. I’ve always found Euston Station to be a bit of a joy void. There’s just something quite depressing about the place that I can’t quite put my finger on.

What’s the best view in London?
The view from sitting outside the Coach and Horses on Greek street on a summers evening. It’s endlessly fascinating and entertaining watching all the different kinds of people go by.

What’s your personal London landmark?
There’s a spot on Frith Street where you can see two blue plaques almost next door to each other. One to say that Mozart once lived there and another commemorating John Logie Baird carrying out experiments into television. That two people of such genius who made such an impact on the world, walked around in the same little bit of land never fails to impress me and is just a tiny, tiny part of the whole interesting story that Soho has had.

What’s London’s best film, book or documentary?
Best London book? It has to be Shit London or even Shit London 2.

This ‘Grill’ was first posted on the Radio Taxis blog.

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