My London: Joe Lycett

·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Home is…  

Birmingham but I spend half my time in London so I rent an attic room in Peckham from my friend’s mum, the [Oscar-winning] costume designer Jenny Beavan. Peckham’s become gentrified but retained its character. I’m not a fan of north London. It’s a pretend town. Swimming in a pond? F*** off, that’s not real life.

The Copeland Quarter (Getty Images)
The Copeland Quarter (Getty Images)

Best meal you’ve had?

Any meal at 40 Maltby Street in Bermondsey. I’ve been going there for a decade, well before it was popular. I’ve spent many happy afternoons there at long lunches that just roll on. I order wine in bulk from them because wine from other places is piss by comparison.

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

Sort out Grenfell and get justice for the people who are still hugely impoverished by what happened there.

Which shops do you rely on?

I’m a sucker for the London Graphic Centre. My most recent purchase was lino printing materials. I also love James Smith & Sons Umbrellas. I find it very reassuring, like going back in time.

Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

‘Are you Clare Balding?’ Another one said: ‘I’ve never heard of you but I’ll watch you on YouTube tonight and tweet you if I think you’re shit.’

Where  would you recommend for a first date?

A wander around Soho, ending up at The French House for drinks. I don’t like how Soho has become one big member’s club but there are still great bits.

Where do you go to let your hair down?

East London. I love The Glory and all the gay clubs around Dalston. To the east for the fun!

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

Aisling Bea is a reliable partner in crime. Otherwise, I’ll just rope in a series of drag queens.

The most iconic Londoner?

Bert the chimney sweep, from Mary Poppins.

Bert and Mary Poppins (Alamy Stock Photo)
Bert and Mary Poppins (Alamy Stock Photo)

What’s your biggest extravagance?

Right now, my bathroom. I’ve just had it done up and I bought a £2,500 bath. My Brummie builder, a brilliant guy called JP, said: ‘It’s just a very expensive bucket.’ But it’s [does chef’s kiss].

If you could buy any building to live in, which would it be?

Buckingham Palace. Let’s not f*** about. I’d pretend to be the Queen, all day, every day.

Buckingham Palace (Alamy Stock Photo)
Buckingham Palace (Alamy Stock Photo)

What was the best comedy gig you ever saw?

A surprise Eddie Izzard set at The Comedy Store. I was doing an open spot, watching from the side of the stage, thinking: ‘F*** me, I’ve got to follow this.’

What’s your favourite comedy venue to play?

Always Be Comedy at The Tommyfield in Kennington. It’s a very special night.

What makes someone a Londoner?

The Brummie in me wants to say, ‘Being a tosser.’ I always think of Londoners as being like Withnail — a bit of a f***-up who’s up for having a pint in the rain at any given hour.

What’s your London secret?

If you’re getting a train from Euston, go to Nando’s online and order for collection 15 minutes before the train departs. Get to the station, grab the bag and have a Nando’s on the train. Magic.

‘Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back’ airs Thursdays, 8pm, on Channel 4

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