Time Out’s 40th birthday London heroes



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To celebrate 40 years in the London listings game we picked the men and women who make the capital snap crackle and pop. From punchy actors to groundbreaking musicians via punk visionaries, masters of design and the re-inventors of our culinary culture we present Time Out’s London heroes


Alan Yau

‘There should be many more places offering high quality and value for money.'


Begoña Cao

Favourite moment: 'Dancing at Wembley for last year’s Concert For Diana.’

Bob Hoskins

'I’m a Londoner, through and through.’

Bradley Wiggins

'We’ve had the piss taken out of us for too long.’


Christine Ohoruogo

‘Winning the bid to stage the 2012 Olympics. I’ve never seen mass hysteria like it!'

Clive James

'The real threat of the future is that there will be nothing but media.'


Damien Hirst

'I hate change, so Time Out is something you can rely on.'

Danielle Scutt

'I love the ones where I end up either on the floor or leaving without a shoe.'

David Bailey

'I only plant the willows; fuck the oaks.'

David Hare

'It appeared Tony Elliot was compiling Time Out by knocking on people’s doors.'

Dizzee Rascal

'Seeing different sides of life, seeing different sides of society, that’s what London’s all about.'

Doris Lessing

'Now I’ve got a heart and all this stuff I’ve never thought about before.’


Ebony Bones

'Time Out is something that I’ve grown up reading my whole life; I feel quite humbled.'

Erol Alkan

'That’s the great things about London... There are hundreds of thousands of people pitching in and making it what it is.'


Fiona Shaw

'I think Waterloo Bridge is where I would have my last second.'


Gareth Pugh

'Time Out is like a bookmark in time.'


Helen Mirren

'A constant is that London will always attract young, creative people.'


Jamie Oliver

'London’s been an incredible place for being open-minded and trying anything.'

Joe Wright

'Time Out's the key that’s used to unlock London.'

Jon Snow

'I felt enormous pressure to take my clothes off – but I didn’t.’

Judi Dench

'Theatre will always survive, whatever people say.'

Julian Barnes

'Better than if I had been made a hero of the Soviet Union.'

Julian Clary

'I do hope Londoners still feel the occasional need for a tired old homo.'

June Brown

'Now I can’t cry at all. I wept myself out when I was young.'


Kathy Burke

'Everything I did got slagged off in Time Out. I should have kept my mouth shut.'

Ken Livingstone

'He’ll lose in four years and we’ll aim to get the mayor ship sailing again.’

Ken Loach

'There needs to be political action to defend independent cinemas.'


'In 2008 we are definitely the ‘mish-mash’ generation.'


Lily Cole

Favourite London moment: ‘Doing the tango with Tom Waits.’


Mark Ravenhill

'I think there will come a point where theatre will suddenly realise it is a bit stuck in the nineteenth century.'

Mary Quant

'The whole 1960s thing was a ten-year running party.'

Max Stafford-Clark

'It was a scandal, seeing abandoned babies dead at the side of the road.’

Melvyn Bragg

'Free entry to museums – a phenomonal Labour Party achievement.'


'In London the people are just more real, more human. There’s wit and sarcasm.'

Michael Clark

‘Free, compulsory dance lessons for all.'

Michael Nunn and William Trevitt

'The single thing that would improve our lives: to have more pages about dance in Time Out.’

Michael Nyman

'I’m grateful to be the only "contemporary classical composer" on the list!'

Michael Winterbottom

'Wherever you go these days, there’s a bloody copy of Time Out.'

Mick Jones

'Out of many nations comes one great nation.'

Mike Leigh

‘I want to see far more independent cinemas back in this city.'

Mike Skinner

'I think London does pretty fucking well.'


Neil MacGregor

'In London there is everything you could want – not only that, but it’s every week.'

Neil Tennant

‘The great thing about London is the potential for creative anarchy.'

Nic Roeg

'The “rules” are changing, more in London than almost any other major city.'

Nick Hytner

‘What am I going to do? Write a Noël Coward song?’

Norman Foster

'We have much still to learn from our heroes of the past.’

Norman Jay

'I feared the media and didn’t want to be exploited.'


Oliver Peyton

'The problem we have in London is greedy landlords.'


Peter Ackroyd

‘The future for London is very bright. I wouldn’t say I’m excited, but it’s very promising.'


Saam Farahmand

‘It’s up to those people who have the power to wake the fuck up.'

Siobhan Davies

'We have a very developed culture in London. How do we use it to make changes that are genuinely useful for everybody?'


Terence Conran

‘Less interference is what we all want in our lives, especially in the restaurant business.'

Tom Stoppard

'Remove VAT from theatre tickets.'

Tony Elliott

'London should have free wi-fi across the whole city'.


'Fireworks, love and peace all around… shame the world isn’t like that all the time.’


Vivienne Westwood

'Buckingham Palace. You are supposed to think it’s dreadful but I think it’s good.'


Wendy Dagworthy

'At one point there were too many designers starting out without any idea of what they are doing.'

Will Self

'It doesn’t matter whether we have boom or bust, decadence or disaster, the arts will benefit.'


Zhandra Rhodes

'You go to a town, Time Out is the quickest way around.'

Author: Time Out staff. Photography Rob Greig

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