London’s best celebrity quotes

Regurgitate these quotes about the capital and impress your friends.

London Focus

The most famous quote about London is certainly “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of all life…”, as told by Samuel Johnson to a friend in 1777. Johnson was a huge fan of the city and enjoyed all the debauchery 18th century London had to offer. But what have other famous characters said about the Big Smoke?

We love London
“London Harry Potter premieres are very special events. There is this sense of love and ownership and pride, and it's just palpable. It's a very different feel from an LA premiere. It's nice to be a part of something that's so positive” said Michael Goldenberg, dismissing the notion that Londoners are an unfriendly bunch.

“The man who can dominate the London dinner table can dominate the world”, said Oscar Wilde, who certainly knew how to hold court.

“When I was flying to Rome, we flew over London; I felt like bursting into tears. It's part of me, so I can't leave London behind for good” tweeted Robert Pattinson (or his publicist) in 2013. Now that he’s sold the LA pad he shared with Kristen Stewart perhaps he’ll consider a move back to his native Barnes?

“I love the way girls in London dress; it's so different to the American 'blow-dry and immaculate grooming’ thing” said Rachel Weisz flying the flag for British style.

“I am actually extremely casual in certain environments. But one of the reasons I like living in London, I like the formality of it, as compared to the formality of America - or informality. I like putting on a suit. I like putting on a tie” said Tom Ford.

“When I was a teenager in Iceland people would throw rocks and shout abuse at me because they thought I was weird. I never got that in London no matter what I wore.” That’s right Bjork, you won’t find a more open-minded place.
\n\nThe haters
“I was 14 when I started modelling. At the end of that first day my mum said, ‘if you want to do this, you're on your own because I'm not traipsing around London ever again like that. It's a nightmare’”. Good job Kate Moss wasn’t afraid of catching the tube alone then.

“When it’s 3 o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London” claimed Bette Middler. Us follow in New York’s footsteps? Never.

“Our Sheffield and London homes are worth well over a million but the bank owns most of them - we are mortgaged up to the gills.” Our hearts bleed, Nick Clegg.

“In London, people can be so... well, it's not even a case of people being unkind or unfriendly. You just don't make any contact in London. You go from A to B with your eyes on the pavement.” Are you sure you’re not just avoiding fans, Carey Mulligan?


Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner…
“I drive a motorbike, so there is the whiff of the grim reaper round every corner, especially in London.” Maybe take the bus from now on, Benedict Cumberbatch.

“Some people have human muses - mine is a city. I feel a startling ambivalence towards London, but for better or worse my work has come utterly to depend upon it.” Will Self’s career could have turned out very differently had he chosen to move to Swindon.

“In Britain, they have a lot of laws to protect you, and we enforce them very strongly so that our children can stay private figures, and the British press leave us alone, which is great. It means we can go on the tube into the centre of London because it's quicker and more fun for the kids. We can do normal things.” Yeah right, Gwyneth Paltrow.

“Do you realise that people die of boredom in London suburbs? It’s the second biggest cause of death amongst the English in general. Sheer boredom.” Which is why Alexander McCall Smith lives in the Edinburgh metropolis.

“I came to live in Shepperton in 1960. I thought: the future isn't in the metropolitan areas of London. I want to go out to the new suburbs, near the film studios. This was the England I wanted to write about, because this was the new world that was emerging.” Try telling that to Alexander McCall Smith, J.G. Ballard.

“I was always a sports nut but I've lost interest now in whether one bunch of mercenaries in north London is going to beat another bunch of mercenaries from west London” said John Cleese, who nowadays prefers the more gentle sport of watching lemurs.
\n\nWise words
“You get people who come to London, sever links with where they come from, and then when they need people, there's nobody there. To feel like you can't go back home would be a horribly sad place to be, as is mistaking fame for genuine love and affection”. Was Jonny Vegas speaking from personal experience?

“The problem is that many MPs never see the London that exists beyond the wine bars and brothels of Westminster.” Tell it like it is, Ken Livingstone.

“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual” said Angela Carter, prompting London’s male heterosexual population to consider a move to France.

“I would rather start out somewhere small, like London or England” said the forever erudite Britney Spears about starting a career in the theatre.

Previous Feature

Bourgeois, bohemian, the seat of New Labour and an ideal buffer zone between hip Dalston and overpriced Islington - De Beauvoir Town has been described as all these things. But does all that add up to a gentrification nightmare?

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It’s time once again for our All In London List, where we choose our favourite Londoners based on their wit, talent, and all round niceness.
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