Interview: Where the Hell is Matt

By SallyB2 Last edited 132 months ago
Interview: Where the Hell is Matt

Whenever Londonist is feeling a tad glum, we have but to turn to Matt Harding and his amazingly silly website to get all cheered up again.

Matt Harding is one big internet sensation, albeit a very unlikely one. The former games programmer has made a new career out of dancing badly in front of some of the world’s most recognisable and iconic buildings, and in some of the planet’s remotest terrains.

But Londonist has been a little perturbed by this dancing cyber star’s lack of enthusiasm for London’s food:

“I'm a huge fan of London. It's one of my favorite places to visit. Fantastic mix of cultures. Some of the best museums in the world. Every street and alley soaked through with history. But my God, the food is still terrible.”

and we decided to take him to task over it.

So, Matt…do you really hate British grub?

I could live on it if I had to. There's just a curious lack of flavor. Everything tastes a little like paper. I've received many diatribes for sharing this opinion. My favorites

are the ones that enumerate, by way of example, all the fine Indian, Thai, and Greek cuisine in London.

What is your bestest bit of London? Have you had much time to snoop around here?

Stamford's (or is it Stanford's?). The map and travel book shop. The surface of the whole main floor is one giant map of the world. The basement floor is covered by a giant city map of London. Even if they didn't sell anything, I could wander around for hours with my head

pointed straight down.

Churchill's War Bunker is my favorite tucked-away bit of history. So well-preserved. You feel like he could brush past you.

And the British Museum is, of course, one of the best anywhere. You

guys nabbed the best stuff from pretty much everywhere.

And the least lovable bit?

Let's leave it at the food. I don't need to add to my grief.

Are we Londoners as reserved as you Americans traditionally think that we are?

I love that we still make movies where spunky American teenagers travel to stuffy old London and freak out all the squares. The Sex Pistols are nearing retirement age and yet a lot of us maintain this image of foppish dandies sipping tea.


You've been to a lot of cities – which is your favourite? (but no, you can't say Seattle 'cos you live there, or Connecticut-ville 'cos you're from there)

To visit? Sydney, San Francisco, New Orleans. For a longer stay? London and New York.

I suppose I should say Ulaan Bataar or Zanzibar. But no. I'm sticking with the classics.

Are you a townie or a country boy at heart?

I prefer to live in a nice second tier city. Seattle is great because it has skyscrapers, concert venues, museums, a symphony, but it doesn't have the terrible overcrowding and absurd costs of a really big international city.

I also like islands. I might pick that if there was a third option.

We like your little jig – is that how you dance when you really, really want to dance?Pretty much. Although, just recently I've discovered a difference between the dance I do at home and what I do on camera. My real dance is more of a shuffle. I don't know why that is. I always thought I was doing it the same way.

Londonist likes dancing in public places, but finds that people laugh at him. What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you during your dance-athon?

I got hauled off by the Athens police for dancing in front of the Parthenon. Evidently it's forbidden.

The music on your videos is pretty cool – but what music do you actually hear in your head when you dance?

I snap my fingers. That's what I'm dancing to.

Will you come and dance with Londonist next time you're in London?

Okey dokey.

What are you planning next?

A stop on Christmas Island for the annual crab migration. 100 million red crabs on a tiny outpost in the Indian Ocean. They're everywhere. I'm told that when the plane lands, you can hear the shells cracking by the hundreds.

Have you ever been sick on the tube? Or the metro?

You'll have to explain this to me. I'm at a loss.

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Anyway, watch this blog-site – next time Matt’s in town, Londonist will be putting our best dancing shoes on… and we expect you to join in too….

Last Updated 05 November 2007