I must obviously be travelling on the wrong trains,
because a writer from the Evening Standard's magazine ES claims (in the last
few months alone) to have seen the following: Jonathan Miller, Edward Fox, Sir
Anthony Hopkins, Julian Barnes and Tony Banks. He goes on to say: "the fact is, that
London is the only city in Britain where the rich and successful use public transport in
numbers". Which is because "driving your big, fat car into the middle of town is most
definitely not 'funky' and incipient gridlock is making that increasingly
obvious". Despite the fact you're also more likely to get ignored and fined if you're the Prime Minister or his wife, click here for more on this.
Also ex Skids pop singer, Richard Jobson, who has just produced
series of films about travelling on the tube (more about that later) claims to "live" on
the Victoria Line and regularly sees playwright Mike Leigh. He insists the celebrities
involved in his film project are regular Tube users "Look at Ewan (McGregor)" he
says he goes everywhere by Tube and no one recognises him because of that
Someone who signed my guestbook saying there have been sightings of Tony Blair on the tube jogged my memory, so that I have seen someone more famous than Jack Doherty and Patricia Brake....It's Ian Hislop
If you're from England he doesn't need much introduction. He's the editor of the satirical magazine Private Eye and also a team leader on the highly popular (although I can't stand it) TV quiz show Have I Got News For You?. This is a smug look at the news each week where pretty famous politicians and other "satirical" types come on and have a laugh at figures in the news. It's hosted by the supremely smug Angus Deayton.
Mr Hislop is remarkably short and apart from that looks exactly like he does on the TV, except more hassled, and miserable and rushed. But then again, he was on the tube so what could I expect.
Any sightings of celebs other than Ian Hislop, Jack Doherty and Patricia Brake are
welcome in the guestbook. Thanks
This one came from Jon Barker:
"Not entirely if he fits into the category of "celeb" but when I was working at Euston I had the slightly dubious pleasure of not once but twice sharing a Victoria line car with Sir Bernard Ingham... he of the rightward leaning eyebrows.... I resisted the temptation to ask how his neighbours were :) Great site! Regards JON"
Also from Hazel who signed the guestbook
"My husband and I sat next to Christopher Eccleston on the Piccadily Line on Thursday afternoon (2nd March 2000). He was reading a script at the time. Cool!"
This one's from Gavin in Portsmouth
"I'm pretty certain I saw Graham Coxon (he of Blur) on the Bakerloo line, southbound, wearing a dark green raincoat, with hood, on a dry and sunny day, in April 2000. He was stood holding on to two supports and looking moody, and got off at Piccadilly Circus. So that was nice.!"
And another sighting here from Stuart Anderson of Guildford
"If you're interested, I recall seeing the actor Derren Nesbitt (Where Eagles Dare, Oh You Are Awful, etc.) on the northbound Bakerloo platform at Waterloo about three years ago."
Here's something from Iain Mason from Glasgow:
"In 1995 I saw Phil Jupitus and Billy Bragg deep in conversation at Embankment station, waiting for a Westbound train. Wasn't Phil Billy's manager? This would seem to explain it.
"In 1997 I sat opposite the actor (not George Cole - I don't know his name) from Dad and other BBC sitcoms, and we helped a boozed-up Aussie do the Standard crossword (she was shouting out clues and eveyone else was ignoring her). He was a thoroughly good bloke."
A little snippet from Adam Hall from Winchester:
"I've seen a few celebs on the U.ground, which I suppose is pretty rare considering they would usually use the taxis. However, I can only remember one of the names so here goes. I was returning to Waterloo on the Northern line (bottom firmly on a seat) when I saw Mark Thomas (presenter of Channel4's The Mark Thomas Product) standing up and reading the Evening Standard, and looking thoroughly miserable. My eyes were fixed on him such that I didn't see the pregnant lady standing up next to me. (oops breaking a tube rule there Adam - The Mole)
"My father lived in London during the Sixties, and later commuted there (he still does, the poor old thing). He told me of various people he saw in London including Alfred Hitchcock, but then he wasn't exactly on the Underground. However, he did see John Laurie, in the 1970s (who played Frazer in Dad's army) on the U.ground. He said that Laurie was just like 'Frazer' in real life i.e. looking totally mad!
Here's a top sighting from Aaron from Stratford, London
"I sat next to Anne Robinson of "The Weakest Link" and BBC "Watchdog" she was so friendly we had a chat about the miserable people opposite us and why people stare at you on the tube, Anne says stare back and eye them up and down and they get the hint. She's such a nice woman compared to the tyrant we imagine on telly."
I think this is really really famous and comes from Robert Cumming from New Zealand
"I also want to add that I sat next to Elizabeth Hurley on the Central line one day. She was actually pretty nice."
Here's a sighting from Dave in London:
"Re your comments about famous people spotted on the tube. I travel regularly from Wimbledon and often see Leslie Grantham (Dirty Den Eastenders). It is quite fascinating to see how many people move away from edge of platform when they see him. The price of fame I suppose."
This one's from Claire Atkins in London:
"Re famous people on the tube - I have frequently seen Ken Livingstone (top man!) AND Douglas Hurd - who very kindly gave up his seat to a lady standing nearby. And, yes, I have seen Mr Hislop too - who actually I thought seemed better looking in real life than on telly, and was immaculately dressed."
Good one from Ian Ivory from Scotland:
"I once saw John Prescott stuffing his oversized face with a Gregg's bridie on the Circle Line......"
Another one from Andy Elms in Bracknell:
"Great Site! Regarding Celeb spotting, I thought I saw Frank ("Its a Cracker") Carson on the Victoria line. His identity was confirmed by the group of blokes sitting opposite, saying "was that..." after he had left."
One from a person simply calling himself The Chap at The Back:
"Saw the man(?) Boy George the other day. Not bad looking, for a chap."
Nick from Bayswater is obviously travelling on a well celebrity visited line:
"First Cat Deeley... made eye contact a few times from opposite end of the carriage. I was thinking 'she wants me', she was thinking 'stop staring at me'. Next up former Torquay Utd assistant manager and author of My Left Foot (or something like that) Gary Nelson. Finally the chubby guy from that Ch4 motoring programme. Don't know his name but he looked hung over and irritable... well it was Edgware Road!"
A very very minor celeb sighting from Sara from the Midlands:
"Me and my mates saw AMMA from Big Brother2, on the Piccadilly Line going to Leicester Sq in January 2002 not that she's a celebrity, I'm better known than her for being on local radio! Still she was a mardy trout and turned her nose up when we said hey! We just laughed at her!"
Now a much more popular sighting from Chris from London:
"I was sat near to Graham Norton a few months back on the Central Line. He got on at Mile End at off at Oxford Circus, he looked like a scruffy vagrant and was engrossed by his crossword. No one else noticed him cos they were all foreign!"
Another good sighting from Elisa K from Manchester:
"Thanks for the hilarious read! I just thought I'd tell you that we once took the tube with Sir Richard Branson. Like Tony Blair, he didn't follow the "take a seat when there are many seats" rule and hung out at a pole with his companion - tres obvious!
Here's an addition from William Arthurs.
"Further to the reported sightings of Mike Leigh on the Victoria Line, I was going home one evening a few months ago from Oxford Circus to Finsbury Park and a man with a beard got on at Warren street and came and sat opposite me. I know nothing about films and do not go to the cinema, so I had no idea who he was. Within a few seconds, a young fan came and sat next to me and started being very adulatory, annoying, etc. to the man with the beard. That was how I figured out that I was sitting opposite a celebrity - a film director whose name was Mike.
"How to rid oneself of the attentions of the fan? With a stroke of genius, Mike Leigh asked us where we were both going - "Victoria" said the fan, "Finsbury Park" said I. "You're on the wrong train, we're going Northbound, you want the Southbound Victoria line. So, I think you'd better change at the next stop" said Mike Leigh authoritatively to the fan."
An up and coming celeb spotted by Brett: "I spotted an upcoming celebrity on the tube last week. His name is Layke Anderson. He recently did a spread in Attitude Magazine and I would have known that face anywhere. He played the small part of an X-Kid called Doug Ramsey (Cypher) in X-Men 2 and is making lots of indie films in London at the moment and is friends with Keira Knightley." - one to watch I spose.
Danielle said "I saw Aaron from S club juniors on the tube once!" (I wouldn't have recognised him, I could possibly just about recognise the old S Club Seven.
And from youngsters I wouldn't recognise to a youngster who was born way, way before me but I would have recognised. Steve Cobham from Milton Keynes said: "When I was about 11, I went to London with my parents and saw a very young Dennis Waterman. At the time he played William Brown in BBC TV's "Just William".
A related spot here from Mike "When on holidays I saw George Cole (Arthur from Minder) on the Piccadilly Line" (Denis Waterman went on to star in the 80's TV series Minder.)
Now a major celeb spot from Nigel in Wimbledon: "I was sitting beside Will Young on the District Line between Wimbledon & Ladbroke Grove last week. He is really nice, he gave me his autograph and offered me one of his Pringles." Bless......
A few pop sightings from Gary Sims: I've seen Jon Foxx (original singer with Ultravox when they were a half decent band on District Line) who I desperately regreted not saying a kind word to after, Marrianne Faithful (supreme chanteuse - Central Line train), Ken Russell (Maverick film maker who never sold out ! on platform of Tottenham Court Road), Mick Box (of Uriah Heap - Central Line), Matthew Kelly (extremely tall babe magnet on Stratford Station) & some feller who played Mexicans on telly & was in 'Mind your Language', a desperately sad 70's 'sitcom'. Apart from Mick Box, who I was rather rude to in a drink fuelled act of stupid bravado, I spoke to none of them." I don't think I would ever speak to them either to be honest.
After the lovely and charming Will Young above we have someone where you realise you shouldn't speak to celebs. Chizla wrote: "I was doing the daily commute on the Central Line one morning, and who did I see, but low level TV personality Mr Bradley Walsh. I whispered to my friend who I saw, at which point Bradley gave me an evil look and muttered something under his breath. A consummate professional." Nice one Bradley! Mnay people are probably thinking Bradley Who? But unfortunately he's going to be on Coronation Street soon, as Mike Baldwin's nephew, so he will become fairly famous through that and be even more up himself.
Oh dear, another celeb who didn't like people spotting him, why use public transport if you're going to have that attitude. Vicky Read from Hertfordshire, said "I was on the Circle Line coming back home from college one afternoon about the summer of 1997 and Rik Mayall got on a few stops after me. He just walked on, sat down diagonally to where I was sitting, opened up a newspaper and began reading. A few other people besides me also recognised him but not the two people either side of him or so it appeared. At the time I was a fan of him so I couldn't help but glance over at him every so often in the excitement.
"The first thing I noticed was the size of him when he sat down - he was quite a big guy! (I know they say the camera does add 10 pounds - maybe that was something to do with it). Anyway as the train pulled in to Baker Street he stood up with a real arrogant look on his face and had the the type of body language like he had stick up his a***. He really came across like he was above anything and everything. I used to be a big fan of him when he was in "The Young Ones" and "Bottom" but my opinion of him is not as good as it used to be. Oh well, maybe he was just having a bad day like we all do at times!! **** happens as they say!!!"
I've actually now seen a few people more famous than Ian Hislop and with my digital camera I've also managed to take a few pictures of some of them. They've been going up on my tube diary so check out John Hannah (from tube film Sliding Doors), Rob Brydon (Marion & Geoff), Matthew Kelly (Stars in Their Eyes), and Peter Davison (Dr Who), Gita out of EastEnders, Rageh Omar (The Scud Stud) but keep your sightings coming in through the guestbook.