What's Your Strangest Celebrity Encounter In London?

By Londonist Staff Last edited 22 months ago
What's Your Strangest Celebrity Encounter In London?
Ever bumped into this pair when nipping into M&S? Photo by Michael Garnett in the Londonist Flickr pool

If the royal box at Wimbledon yesterday taught us anything (aside from the fact that David Cameron's got some nerve) it's that we love a celebrity spot.

What we want to know from you, dear readers, is your best/worst/weirdest/funniest/cringiest celebrity encounter.

Perhaps you ran into Liz and Phil nipping down to M&S for G&T supplies. You might have seen Clare Balding riding a donkey down Regent Street. Or maybe you espied Jeremy Corbyn sobbing behind a skip.

Let us know in the comments — we're putting the best ones in an article soon.

Last Updated 11 July 2016


Back in the very early eighties I met Lemmy in the Ladbroke Grove / Portobello Market area. It was about midday and he was off his face. He saw my Motorhead t-shirt and blagged a handful of Marlboro off me. He was very grateful and as I was fan of Motorhead he invited me to go to a party he was attending later that evening. Sadly, I was previously engaged and couldn't go but I always reflect what might have happened had I taken up his kind offer? Ahem.

Nikki Griffiths

Seen loads about, Iggy Pop in Kensington Market, Lars Ulrich in the Intrepid Fox (Wardour St one). Most disappointing wasp Noel Fielding in Camden Passage, having a coffee and a fag, moaning about how bad the traffic jam he'd just come from was. I know he's not going to be zany all the time, but traffic problems?


I bumped into Geoff Hurst twice with years in between. I am not sure what the odds are of bumping into the same celeb years apart in different places in London. I was hoping to bump into him again so I could call it a Geoff Hurst hat-trick.


Claudia Schiffer almost ran over my wife and kids and she was taking them to school one morning.

For me it was running into the Brown family (post PM ship of course) while we were all waiting for a train to Scotland. My boys started climbing over a sculpture in Euston station and induced the Brown boys to do the same.

Ric Euteneuer

I was a sabbatical officer of a small central London college and there was a quiet bloke who used to have a drink and a veggie pastie in the bar occasionally. He didn't speak to anyone much, except the bar staff. Intrigued, I asked the manager who the "guy who looks the spit of Jonathan Porritt" was.

"Er, that's Jonathan Porritt, Ric, he works near here and comes here quite often..."


Bob Geldoff, very drunk at a chippy in Camberwell. Had a bit of chat till my fish was ready.
Hugh Laurie standing on a corner on Compton St.
George Cole in the food hall at Selfridge.


Isn't that Julian Assange in the picture, hiding behind Phil da Greek?

Paul Davis

Memorable events include sharing a restaurant bathroom with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood as they sang soul classics. I still cringe at the time I bumped into Ben Elton and Stephen Fry at 2 a.m. in a greasy spoon in Kilburn in the late 80's. Having spent a convivial evening at a local club I decided to get some chips for the journey home. The comic icons had chosen this venue for a late night repast. I remember joining their table, telling them who they were, then delivering a number of hilarious anecdotes, which were met with polite silence. Well what do they expect if they're going to slum it in Kilburn High Road in the wee hours?


I was taking my special needs students on a celebratory hot chocolate when we past the local community centre in an estate. There was a heap of police and we asked why.. Because Prince Charles and Camilla were inside. There was no one around so we asked if we could meet them. They said sure. Charles and Camilla came out and we signed to them "Happy Christmas" (it was actually December btw) they loved it and spoke to the students and said they signed really well - we didn't get time for the hot chocolate much to the disappointment of the kids!

Jim Morvay

I ran into Geoff Marshall at Temple Station. He kidnapped me for about 3 hours and it was the strangest experience I'd ever had...gotta do it again. :D

Nick Young

Boris Johnson twice - once on an Overground train just before the Olympics (he missed his station because he was so busy answering people's questions and posing for photographs), the second time a few weeks ago when he cycled past near Farringdon station. Everyone stopped and asked each other if that was who they thought it was.

Alex Dale

Strangest? I once accidentally asked Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger for a light (is he a celeb?). I may as well have been asking for crack cocaine. I bumped into Daley Thomspon in my local greasy spoon in Putney. He was opening his gym down the road.


Matt Smith (Dr Who and the Duke of Edinburgh from The Crown) sat opposite me on the Victoria Line. He was trying hard not to be recognised and wore the classic celebrity disguise of a blue New York Yankee baseball cap. He saw that I had recognised him and so started pulling his hat down to cover his face. I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable so I completely ignored him but when the the tube stopped at his station, he ran off the tube at such speed that he trod on my girlfriends foot leaving her in some considerable pain!