"Kate Moss Complimented My Poncho!" - Your Best Celebrity Sightings In London

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 13 months ago

Last Updated 26 May 2023

"Kate Moss Complimented My Poncho!" - Your Best Celebrity Sightings In London

In London, you're never more than six feet away from a celebrity. Annie Lennox and Ian McKellen, meanwhile are nigh-on omnipresent. We asked our readers for their best celeb spots in the capital — and BOY — did you deliver. These are are absolute faves:

Lovely celebrity encounters

Kate Moss posing in a white dress
"I passed by Kate Moss once in Hampstead and she complimented on my poncho." Image: Crooked House Films via creative commons

"David Bailey helped me find somewhere in west London years ago (in the days before mobiles & GPS) I was utterly lost and he walked me right to where I needed to get to — a very charming and lovely man!" - Paula P Magee

"I passed by Kate Moss once in Hampstead and she complimented on my poncho." - Radost Ina

"Joanna Lumley at Waterloo, I went to take a sneaky pic and she said 'oh darling you only need to ask!' and let me take a photo bless her." - Francesca Lucy Hanlon

"The legendary punk poet, Dr John Cooper Clarke. Outside Liverpool Street Station about 10 years ago. I said '"What are you doing here?' to which he replied "Well I could ask you the same thing!'" - Phil Smith

"Paul O' Grady just a few weeks ago in M&S by London Bridge, he was next to me on the self service check outs, we were both having problems and he was grumbling away with me and I helped him with where to put his card, and he said very loudly, 'I bet we will have to bring our own f*****g trolleys soon!' He was lovely." - Fiona George

"Lionel Blair in Covent Garden, my inner child kicked in and I ran over and gave him a hug. He was totally fabulous and as you'd expect did a spin and a little tap dance." - Sallystardust

Funny celebrity encounters

Michael Caine driving a car past a tube station
"I said to him, 'You look like Michael Caine', and he replied, 'That’s because I am'".

"Michael Stipe in the bathroom of the Troika Russian Tea Room in Primrose Hill. I was washing my hands and telling a friend that I had seen Stipe upstairs. He emerged from a cubicle and hissed: 'I heard every word you said.'" - Tom Morton

"Andy Bell from Erasure complimented me on my pole dancing skills. (Not in a rude way, it was in the White Swan in east London and I was rather merry)." - Alan Riley

"Barbara Windsor at Portland Street tube station a few years ago. She gave me a dazzling smile." - Louise Walters Books

"I know, I totally invaded his space, but while shopping at Whole Foods in Kensington, I approached Michael Caine. I said to him, 'You look like Michael Caine', and he replied, 'That’s because I am'." - Francesca Avelleyra

"Jay Kay from Jamiroquai yelling 'I'm Jay Kay from Jamiroquai!' while being escorted out of Attica, 2001." - Lisa Braun Dubbels

"I got a cuddle from Gordon Ramsay when I was in the Savoy for my birthday a couple of weeks ago! We chatted before he said 'Take the f***ing picture!' - Louise Slade

"Tom Jones about 10 years ago round the back of Tottenham Court Road. He pointed over to a building and said 'That over there used to be a whore house', which in his accent sounded incredibly romantic." - Rob Brazier

"Richard Wilson the actor in One Foot in the Grave at Tower Records, to whom I exclaimed 'I don't believe it!' which was met by a fitting Victor Meldrew classic signature scowl." - Karen Leahy

"I stood next to Rowan Williams on a tube platform and told him he was my favourite Archbishop of Canterbury." - David Perry

"Brian Blessed walking down a packed street just before Christmas booming 'Yes yes it's me'" - Nick Poyntz

Beatles celebrity encounters

Paul McCartney in a white shirt strumming a guitar
"Paul McCartney in the board game shop near the British Museum where I used to work." Image: Jimmy Baikovicius via creative commons

"George Harrison. Bumped into each other and both said 'sorry' at the same time." - Anita Anderson

"Ringo Starr, on Sloane Street, back in the '90s. He was wearing a very long trench type coat and strolling along bringing the sunshine with him. I grinned, he grinned, we exchanged 'good mornings'. Magic." - Robin Shepard

"Paul McCartney in the board game shop near the British Museum where I used to work." - Monika Mura

"Paul and Linda McCartney whilst bunking off school, was somewhere off Oxford Street, was looking at the fancy car when they both came out of a building, and all I could say was 'Wow Man!!!' several times.
Shaked Paul's hand and Linda McCartney said to me, 'What’s all this 'Man' stuff?'" - Sanjay Malam

Awkward celebrity encounters

Diana shaking hands with people in a crowd
"I stepped off the pavement and shouted 'Resign you crook', only to see a startled Princes Diana looking back at me." Image: Russ Quinlan via creative commons

"I walked past Amy Winehouse in 2004. She was leaning against a wall on The Strand. We made eye contact and she stared into my soul for a moment. I looked away." - Luke Thompson

"Saw this bearded guy on the tube. Whispered to my partner 'he looks like an older version of Andy Serkis'. Bloke next to us whispered 'It's him.' Whoops." - Dr Lena M Blott

"John Goodman outside a theatre he was performing at having a cigarette break — I told him I was seeing the show and if I could take a pic and then felt awful as he said no as he was tired." - Maria Baines

"The Queen Mother. Her burgundy-coloured Rolls-Royce pulled across in front of my tatty little mini in The Mall, as they turned right into Horseguards, and I got such a shock I blasted the car horn and stuck two fingers up at them." - Debbie Hickman

"I was standing at a bus stop in Whitehall when I saw what I thought was the then PM John Major's ministerial motorcade passing slowly by. I stepped off the pavement and shouted 'Resign you crook', only to see a startled Princes Diana looking back at me." - Brendan O'Kane

Ubiquitous celebrity encounters

Annie Lennox grinning at the camera
"Annie Lennox! ?Saw her almost every day at a coffee shop when I was working in Holland Park." Image: Library of Congress Life via creative commons

"I walked past Bill Nighy in Soho last year. He was dressed VERY dapper. I went back to ask him for a selfie. He asked me if I knew who he was before shaking my hand and thanking me for my support!" - Darren Furzey

"Bill Nighy getting off a westbound Overground at Highbury Islington Station. We passed each other through the train doors, I gently touched his arm and whispered, 'I love your work'. - Melissa J Ross

"Bumped into Bill Nighy many times near Savile Row. He always nods and smiles." - Patricia Ashwood

"Ian McKellen! Met him at a pub quiz in his pub The Grapes. I lost by a mile. Asked him for his autograph and said 'it's not everyday you get into a battle of wits with Gandalf'". - Conny Kaufmann

"Ian McKellen. He told my husband that he loved his jumper, he didn't talk to me. My husband looked very clever even though I gave him that jumper and he never liked it." - Marella Meallesi Gardner

"I stood opposite the wonderful Sir Ian McKellen on the DLR and then one step behind him on the escalator at Bank. I said hello and told him how great he was (he was lovely), but I didn’t dare pass." - Eddie Burfi

"Ian McKellen, numerous times." - Dave Whittaker

"Annie Lennox at V&A Theatre and Performance Galleries when she had a show, very lovely character, it was a pleasure talking to her." - Florin Ungureanu

"Annie Lennox! Saw her almost every day at a coffee shop when I was working in Holland Park. She was lovely and always said hello back." - Nicola Kelly

"Annie Lennox on the tube many many moons ago and I was too shy to speak" - Sara Todd

Uncanny celebrity encounters

Helena Bonham Carter with red hair, waving
"Helena Bonham Carter buying coffee at Leon in Farringdon, while Tim Burton sat outside in a black Range Rover." Image: David Torcivia via creative commons

"Hugh Grant, on the tube at Notting Hill Gate!!" - Katie Harrison

"The one and only time I’ve been to Claridges, we sat near to Javier Bardem having lunch with Chris Martin." - Jo Weston

"Helena Bonham Carter buying coffee at Leon in Farringdon, while Tim Burton sat outside in a black Range Rover." - Joe Jeffries

"Ronnie Corbett in the toilets of the London Palladium" - Dominic Tennant

"Dustin Hoffmann. He was eating carrot sticks and buying a hairbrush in boots on Baker Street." - Lorna Kirman

"Paul Daniels asked my husband for directions to the nearest Tesco" - Ange Chan

"Tom Daley doing his knitting in the Pret next to St Martin-in-the-Fields" - James Jarvis

"Paul Weller was putting his recycling out on Warwick Avenue. He overheard me talking and told me the best place to hail a cab. Lovely fella." - Sarah Durston

"I got told off on a London bus once by Anneka Rice" - Caitlin McDonald

"Saw Alan Rickman twice the same day. In the morning at Heathrow. Then in the afternoon at Harrods. Interesting odds." - Marcelo Vita

"Ivor Cutler cycling around various bits of the West End." - Simon Blackwell

"Bjorn from Abba, M&S Stratford at Westfield." - Andie Uberglitz Mercer

"Brian Cox gate crashed MY party then hung around the fire escape with James Randi" - Matt Brown

Literally-ran-into-a-celebrity encounters

Benedict Cumberbatch with a mic
"I bumped into Benedict Cumberbatch outside Waterloo station. Literally walked right into each other." Image: Gage Skidmore via creative commons

"I bumped into Benedict Cumberbatch in Soho. Well, he actually bumped into me, literally knocked me into the gutter. He was very apologetic and stood with me to make sure I was alright." - Matthew Field

"Years ago, I bumped into Benedict Cumberbatch outside Waterloo Station. Literally walked right into each other as we were both looking at our phones." - Nicole Anello

"I (literally) bumped into Peter Tatchell just off the New Kent Road. He was coming out of a convenience shop as I was going in. Sent his purchases flying but he was very gracious about it." - Dean Franklin

"I fell over Mick Jagger in Waterstones in Richmond. For some (very English) reason he profusely apologised to me." - Ben Davies

"Pierce Bronson at the Royal Academy. I stepped on his foot as I was backing away from viewing a painting." - Jan Rogers Salsky

"Griff Rhys Jones once backed into me and knocked me off a kerb in Bond Street." - Emma Freeman

Dreamy celebrity encounters

Roger Moore smoking a fat cigar
"James Bond (Roger Moore) - dealt blackjack to him at the Ritz casino" Image: Allan warren via creative commons

"Danced with Kenny Everett in Heaven once." - John

"James Bond (Roger Moore) — dealt blackjack to him at the Ritz casino." - Louise Gallagher

"I once had lunch with Lulu, Oxford Street, over 50 years ago." - Pauline Townsend

"First trip to London, was walking through Hyde Park near Bayswater, stumbled upon them filming a scene from Bridget Jones — Hugh Grant chasing Colin Firth though the Italian fountains." - Elizabeth Moreland

Didn't-realise-they-were-a-celebrity encounters

Taylor Swift on stage, with the microphone in her right hand. She's gor blonde hair, red lipstick. and a gold and black dress.
I recognised her the next day when I looked at her pic in the newspaper." Image: Eva Rinaldi via creative commons

"Hugh Bonneville without knowing who he is. Asked him some common stupid questions just to make conversation and then I said... 'nice meeting you but I have to go as I'm late for work.' Saw a couple taking photos with him and I was like...'who's this guy, thought must be some sort of celebrity...'" - Stefan Baritchii

"I took a walking tour to Buckingham Palace and Taylor Swift was in the group. She asked me to take her a picture with the palace at the back. Not selfie time. I recognised her the next day when I looked at her pic in the newspaper" - Sofia Flores Barboza

"I saw Sir Alec Guinness coming out of the south bank theatre with Sir Antony Hopkins. I embarrassingly shouted over 'Hello Obi Wan' as I couldn't remember his name. He only shouted back 'May the force be with you!'" - Simon Young

"I was in Ronnie Scott's one night and kept glancing at a guy with dark glasses on in the corner, wondering why he was wearing sunglasses in a dark jazz club. It was Stevie Wonder!" - Davinia Gregory-Kameka

Bizarre celebrity encounters

Al Pacino
"Al Pacino gave me the finger when I tried to take his photograph from across the restaurant." Image: Embajada de EEUU en la Argentina (US Embassy of Argentina) via creative commons

"My mum saw Wilfrid Brambell running down Oxford Street once." - CharlesWynfordLodge

"Martin Amis at the checkout aisle in Bayswater Budgens. He was in tennis gear. He looked wrecked." - Simon Fellowes

"Al Pacino in Nando's Canary Wharf. He gave me the finger when I tried to take his photograph from across the restaurant. Awesome." - Roy Crawford

"A flustered Gary Kemp came up to me and asked me where he was. I told him Mornington Crescent tube station. He said 'Shit' and headed back down the stairs." - George Paterson

Not-very-nice celebrity encounters

Rowan Atkinson
"I've asked him if it is OK to take a pic. He said no." Image: Eva Rinaldi via creative commons

"Pavarotti complained that we were making so much dust widening the scenery dock at The Royal Opera House with kango hammers that it was making him lose his voice. He made them hire 20 lads to hoover the auditorium, one of which was Mick Lynch from Stump. We went for a pint." - Alex Tomlinson

"Alan Sugar walked into me on Horseguards Parade and tutted. He was on his phone, likely tweeting bollocks." - Josh

"Mr Bean — Rowan Atkinson — food shop Hampstead Village many years back. I've asked him if it is OK to take a pic. He said no." - Josef Watfah

"Boris Johnson nearly ran me over on his bike in Cheapside when he was Mayor of London." - Graham Melrose

"Kenneth Williams on Oxford Street when I was about 14. I asked him for an autograph and he said 'oh no dear, I don't do those' and walked off." - Jasmin Sore

"Margaret Thatcher nearly running me over as her limo turned into Downing Street. Never liked her but that seemed a bit harsh." - Edward Rekkers