1000 Londoners

Ben in is and is A Writer.

Ben Aaronovitch is the acclaimed author of the supernatural police procedural “Rivers of London” series. It wasn’t always plain sailing for him though.

After some success early in his career which saw him script episodes of Doctor Who and Casualty he was soon forced to take a job at Waterstones in Covent Garden as the writing work dried up. It was here though that he decided to take matters into his own hands and began writing his own novels.

We joined him back in Covent Garden as he revisited his old work place and took part in April 2015’s City Read event.

Film Maker:

Questions & Answers

  • What's your first memory of London? That would be my bedroom when I was a child. I have a memory of my family fixing up a really really inefficient bar light lamp, a little flying saucer thing.
  • What do you miss when you're away from London? London
  • What's your favourite neighbourhood? That's really difficult! I like Kentish Town, Gospel Oak, Camden. But I like Covent Garden and there's really nice bits of Notting Hill and Brixton is cool. I'd probably have to say London again, that's my favourite neighbourhood.
  • What's your favourite building? The Gherkin, I've always liked it and I will defend it.
  • What's your ideal day out in London? Staying in... Actually I like to go out to the cinema in the morning with my son so we're not interrupted.
  • What's your ideal night out in London? The theatre I suppose, something you have to go out for a night out.
  • What's your most hated building? There are so many! At the moment it's the Ferrari Fry-er... the Walkie Talkie one. It gets in the way of The Gherkin.
  • What's the best view in London? Top of Kite Hill
  • What's your favourite open space? The Heath
  • What's been your most memorable night out in London? The Gourmet Burger Kitchen at Belsize Park. It's empty in the day and you can always get a good big burger
  • What's been your most memorable night out in London? Nothing that I can talk about.
  • How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? Honestly? I'd probably stay at home.
  • Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? It depends on what they were like. The last time I did that I took them to Highgate Cemetery, or the top of Hollylodge Estate that has a really frickin good view that a lot of people don't know about. There's this view over London but you have to do it in the winter or the trees get in the way and you can't see anything.
  • What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? I think that would be before the London Overground and I was on the North London line and it just decided to stop for 3hrs. I could see my house.
  • What's your personal London landmark? The Shard, you can orientate yourself on it.
  • Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Captain Vines
  • What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? The one that was 24 hours, A Day in the Life of London I think it was called?
  • If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? The future, probably stopping at 10 year intervals with a camera
  • For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Samuel Pepys. But Chaucer would be up there as well.