My London: Stephen Mangan

Emily Phillips
Stephen Mangan: Evening Standard / eyevine

Home is…

I’ve been in Primrose Hill about 30 years. I live with my lovely family — three boys and a missus [actress Louise Delamere]. It’s a busy household. I have to do any work before school finishes, when they’ll all pour in and the chaos will begin.

Bus, taxi or Tube?

I don’t use buses, I get around through a combination of Tubes and taxis. The Northern line has been my life for a long time now, so I view it as an old friend — a beaten up, down on his luck friend, but a friend.

What makes someone a Londoner?

It’s such a melting pot, such a mishmash of professions and races — its diversity is its joy. Anyone who wants to be a Londoner can be a Londoner — come and live here and you’re in.

What was the last play you saw?

I saw Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre last week. I’ve worked with Toby Jones and Peter Wight and did The Birthday Party with the director Ian Rickson there a couple of years ago. It was very funny, very affecting and I wanted to jump on stage and join them.

Uncle Vanya

Best place for a first date?

There’s so much good music in London. I took my wife to Shepherd’s Bush Empire on our first date. It’s always good to do something where you’re not just sitting across from one another if you don’t really know each other.

Shepherd’s Bush Empire (Alamy Stock Photo)

Which shops do you rely on?

I’m sort of allergic to shopping, I find it one of the most unpleasant ways to spend my time. As an actor, you end up buying bits of your costume so you don’t have to go near a shop… one or two of the suits I wore in The Split found a way home. But we had to pay for them.

Favourite pub?

I took a tourist friend to Gordon’s Wine Bar, the one that’s underground. It’s hard to come out of there sober and without a crick in your neck because the ceiling is so low.

Biggest extravagance?

I’ve been a Spurs season ticket holder since 1996, so that’s got to be my biggest extravagance because there have been good times but also an awful lot of bad times.

Where would you most like to be buried?

I’ve decided I’m just not going to die, so I’m going to avoid all of that. I’m going to put it off until no one notices I’m still here.

Best meal you’ve had?

I had a good one last week at Tamarind in Mayfair. Posh Indian that was absolutely delicious. They had a tasting menu so they just kept bringing dishes for about four hours. The hotter the better.

One of the dishes at Tamarind

Where do you work out?

I love running and I live very near to the canal. Depending on my mood I run out to Wembley, which is greener, or the other way through King’s Cross and Hackney, a bit more urban. You’re not in the city but not in the countryside, either. It’s its own little magic space.

What do you collect?

Books. Really I’ve got too many — soon I’ll have to move out as there won’t be room for me. I like reading books about maths; in another life I’d have been a mathematician.

‘The Split’ airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on BBC One and iPlayer