My London: David Baddiel

Home is…

My house, with Morwenna Banks, our children Dolly, 17, and Ezra, 13, and four cats: Pip, Ron, Tiger and Monkey. We did have a guinea pig but he died just before the England-Sweden game. This turned out to be a good omen. He was called Bjorn.

Where do you go to let your hair down?

My hairdresser. Winston, of ’Enry ’Iggins in Flask Walk, Hampstead.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I would dress up as Boris Johnson and shout, "I was actually Mayor! I know! Cray-cray!"

Best meal you’ve had?

I’ve had a couple of incredible meals at Umu in Bruton Place. Last time I was there with Jimmy Carr, who made it his mission to feed me the best sushi in London, a mission I’m going to nudge him to continue on. Umu does amazing sushi, including all sorts of unusual extra toppings. Which makes it sound a bit like a very upmarket Baskin-Robbins.

What makes someone a Londoner?

Not noticing the city most of the time. Very, very occasionally, like on one of the bridges on a warm evening, you might think, "Blimey — this is like somewhere I might want to visit one day."

(Alamy Stock Photo)
(Alamy Stock Photo)

Favourite club?

I like Soho House, but they appear to have just stopped my membership due to me forgetting to pay.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

Tim Hincks. I do my Bowie-centred music podcast, Stalking Time for the Moonboys, with him. We do it in a shed in Notting Hill. It’s the most fun I’m having at the moment.

If you could buy any London building, which would it be?

Big Ben. Good view, you’d always know the time, and have your finger on the pulse of political stupidity for satire.

What is your London secret?

Dar’s in South End Green is a brilliant Pakistani and Indian restaurant. I say this partly because it is and partly because I took Giles Coren there and he didn’t accept the truth of this. And then, fantastically, Fay Maschler, the Evening Standard critic, came in on my side. I have relished that victory almost as much as I relish its haleem (a sort of lamb porridge…).

Last play you saw?

I saw a revival of Pippin at Southwark Playhouse. I went with my daughter Dolly. I’m a big fan of [composer] Stephen Schwartz: there are more beautiful melodies in Godspell than in most great pop albums.

Ever had a run-in with a policeman?

I was arrested in 1984 at a Stop the City march. It’s a very long story, involving me jumping over a police barrier to stop myself being crushed to death and then being thrown about in a police van for 20 minutes. I used to do a joke about it, in the 1990s, about how when skinheads are beating you up, you can at least hope that at some point the police will arrive; but when the police are beating you up, there’s no point in thinking, "Oh well, maybe in a minute, some skinheads are going to turn up".

David Baddiel’s new children’s book, ‘Head Kid’, is out now (HarperCollins Children’s, £12.99).