Telling someone that you live in Primrose Hill, London, is a strange experience. It’s tedious to be told repeatedly that you should be glad to live around so many (supposedly) famous people. I’m not. I see recognisable people around the area every day, but so what? Their prams block the door to my flat as they sit outside of the restaurant downstairs just like all the others, I can’t see why I should feel any more honoured cos they work in entertainment. I rarely know their names, because I am not interested in them. I just know their faces from the telly or films. A friend told me off for reminding Doctor Who to pick his dogs’ shit up the other day. Would he let it do that in his own Tardis? Apparently if you have been on telly you are beyond reproach. Bollocks! Moments later the fat bloke from Gavin and Stacey ran over my foot with his pram. Then Beth Orton (I know her name cos I wouldn’t have minded slipping up her Central Reservation back in the day) asked me for change for the parking meter. So things evened out in the end.
The following morning I recognised the great and very pleasant Alan Bennett in the newsagent and he kindly wrote a birthday card for my sister. That was nice, because she’s a fan, and he’s a great talent, but moments later the massive titted blonde woman from Dragons Den who looks like an embittered over fed budgie swung into the flat next to mine wearing a shell suit and no bra, what a sight! Turns out our bedrooms are adjacent. I think I’ve heard her fart in the night. So that day also ended even. Things were on the up the next morning when I saw that posh bird from Titanic, Kate Whats-her-face, who is actually quite tidy. I bet she doesn’t fart, or when she does they’re as sweet scented as apples. But then I saw a bloke who I think was on Big Brother being stroppy with a waitress.
I’m sure there are aging rent-a-gob TV presenters who would actually consider a drive into Primrose Hill to have alfresco brunch with one boob hanging out in order to get papped.
I had a gym membership for a while in an attempt to keep my Strongbow sponsored gunt at bay. It was a giggle seeing Z-list celebrities shouldering up to the A-listers when they weren’t nicking the towels. It all got a bit too much when I walked (bollock naked) into the sauna and recognised all four of the blokes already in there; Pierce Brosnan, the blonde haired one from 5ive, the Kemp brother who was not in Eastenders and the posh Black fella who was in Rising Damp, deep in discussion about the soup of the day in the café near reception. Yes ladies, I had a look. It was like a gastronomic smorgasbord of wedding tackle; there was an olive, a Walnut Wip, a salami, and a prawn. But I’m not telling you who owned which.
To someone who is into celebrity culture this must sound great. But I couldn’t give a rats arse, unless I see someone I respect, for something they’ve put out. I once saw John ‘Brad’ Bradbury, the drummer from The Specials, King Rimshot himself. That’s been the highlight for me. I sang ‘Nite Klub’ all the way home.
Fame was (historically) a by-product of a talent or occupation that placed you in the public eye. For example David Attenborough, John Peel, Gandhi, Marlon Brando etc. became famous by default, due to them doing a great job. But now people are considered famous if they nosh off a football player in a toilet. A bit naff really. Baseless.
Over many decades Primrose Hill went from being an area of high density accommodation for navigational workers, then became a slum, a no-go area, then went on to be a creative epicentre, apparently due to Paul McCartney buying a house there toward the end of The Beatles days and convincing his chums it was the place to get creative. Since then it has become the postcode of choice for anyone considering themselves papp-able.
It all got a bit too much when I walked (bollock naked) into the sauna and recognised all four of the blokes already in there.
To someone like me it’s a quiet enclave not traversed by arterial roads and rat-runs, a 20 minute walk into the West End and a couple of minutes from the bustle round the pubs and gigs of Camden. Plus there’s a great park which I can utilise to relax and do crosswords or trot round in an attempt to keep my cider belly at bay. When I first moved to London 20 years ago a mate took me to The Lansdowne, arguably the best pub in the area. Morrissey was in there. Uncommon for the time it served decent food and didn’t have a sticky carpet. It was pleasant and I’ve used it as a regular watering hole ever since. But it’s now become the pub of choice for aspiring, and successful, TV and film sorts.
The Hollywood types quietly go about their business. But you see no-end deluded talentless-pillock-type celebrities noisily come and messily go. Or, even worse, you see the ones who try to look as if they’re celebrities, but are not, they stand out a mile, try too hard to be showy. They’re mental. They wear gym gear and baseball caps cos that’s what this weeks celebrities are commonly wearing in the pink and blue magazines. These dickweeds have a way of behaving that says ‘I want you to look at me and think I’m famous but I will act upset if you gawp, cos that’s what the real famous people do’…..? They’re bizarre and rubbish.
I’m sure there are aging rent-a-gob TV presenters who would actually consider a drive into Primrose Hill to have alfresco brunch with one boob hanging out in order to get papped, and if the blatant ‘tit-wop’ doesn’t work they’ll boot a female traffic warden in the gusset in order to get a story printed and raise their profile enough to get them on ‘I’m A Twuntstard Get Me Out Of Here’ (by the way a ‘Twuntstard’ is a cross between a Twat a Cunt and a Bastard. I made that up in their honour...you’re welcome!)
Using their morsel of fame as leverage to gain access to quality restaurants and members bars must be embarrassingly demeaning, but I have witnessed it. I sat in a full to capacity eatery close to my flat when a couple came in looking for a table, the french Maitre d politely explained that there wasn't one available. The male said (pointing to the woman) “But she’s Sue, can’t you make room.” The Maitre d looked confused as he continued “…Surely you can make room for Sue. It’s Sue for Petes sake!” The manager took over and asked Sue who? Did she know someone who worked there or something? (and who’s Pete?) “Sue… Sue…you know Sue....spelt S-O-O....from Sooty and Sweep, she provides her voice on the TV for crying out loud! We’ll take our patronage elsewhere, Goodbye!” As hilarious as it was surreal. Fuckin’ Muppets, no, sorry, Puppets.
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