What was the first film you saw in London?
‘It was “Mary Poppins” at the Granada in Clapham Junction. I remember bawling with tears watching “Feed the Birds”. I used to go there Saturday mornings. They showed “Flash Gordon” but something was wrong with it and everyone was squashed. Flash looked like a Michelin man.’
What’s your favourite London cinema?
‘I like the little ones. I love the cinema in the Barbican; all those Picturehouses. Cinemas have gone back to being palaces of entertainment.’
What was your most memorable West End premiere?
‘It was for Ken Branagh’s “Hamlet”, around the time I was diagnosed with leukemia, as I descended into the hell of getting better. One of the first things I did after I got out [of hospital] was go to that premiere. I’d bought an electric-blue Rolls-Royce, which is what you do when you have a close shave. I went with my wife and our friend Alan. I pulled up, hopped out and forgot I left the car in gear. It went rolling off, Alan had to jump out of the back to stop it.’
What’s the first location you remember filming in?
‘It was in an advertising agency somewhere in Paddington. I was doing my one scene in “Quadrophenia”. I distinctly remember being a bit miffed because there were so many people about and some of the crew were sitting around watching “Deep Throat”. That was distracting.’
What was your most memorable place to shoot?
‘I remember filming in this tiny little church, near the Pillars of Hercules [pub on Greek Street] and the old Foyles. Access to places like that is great.’
Which films would you say sum up London?
‘Central London’s used as a heritage place – red buses and all that. To see what people who live in London are like, I’d say put on Mike Leigh’s “Secrets and Lies”.’
‘Finding Your Feet’ is out now.
Picture credit: Dave J Hogan, Getty Images