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WHO'S WHO: RONALD HAYMAN, critic and writer

PUBLISHED: 13:09 18 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:25 07 September 2010

RONALD HAYMAN is a playwright, critic and writer, known for his biographies on a wide variety of characters including Sir John Gielgud, Sylvia Plath and Tennessee Williams. He lived in Hampstead for over 30 years but recently moved to Highgate. WHAT DO

RONALD HAYMAN is a playwright, critic and writer, known for his biographies on a wide variety of characters including Sir John Gielgud, Sylvia Plath and Tennessee Williams. He lived in Hampstead for over 30 years but recently moved to Highgate.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT HIGHGATE?

A lot of things; I like the look of it, I like the villagey feel it has about it which Hampstead no longer has. It feels more like old England - pubs with Sunday roasts, and that sort of thing.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL BUILDING?

In Highgate it's probably High Point, the building I live in now. It's a marvellous piece of architecture. In Hampstead, probably the Church on Church Row. I liked the house I was living in a lot too, it was a glorious old Hampstead house, built in 1927.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT?

The Dim T in Heath Street - I think that's probably the local restaurant I used the most in Hampstead. In Highgate I'm very lucky because there's a very nice pub just next door to me called The Bull. That's not the reason I moved here, though I don't expect anyone to believe me on that.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN THE AREA AT WEEKENDS?

There's a lot to do at the weekends. If you do the kind of work I do then I don't think there's any difference between the week and the weekends. I suppose it's a little less busy, you don't have the morning rush hour.

WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE MOVING TO THE AREA?

Go ahead and do it. I don't think there are any hidden concerns. It's a pleasant place to be in every way. I can't think of any other problems except the lack of centrality: anything musical is generally in south London.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?

I tend to have several things on the go at the same time, and I don't read nearly enough things that aren't to do with work. At the moment I'm working on a book about madness, so I tend to be reading things to do with madness. It's quite interesting to look at different psychologists. The topic is fascinating. The moment I'm most excited is when I start researching.

FOOTBALL OR CRICKET?

I don't play either now, but I used to enjoy playing football the most. I don't really enjoy watching any sports except tennis. I did surprise myself by enjoying watching some football recently, but I don't have a regular team or anything like that.

WHERE WAS YOUR LAST HOLIDAY?

Funnily enough, Beirut. But we weren't in danger in any way, we sided very much with the Lebanese. It was wonderful to meet such brave and generous people, and they didn't deserve what happened to them later - not that anyone does, but it was terrible to watch what happened when we'd been there. Lebanon is gorgeous - sea coasts, mountains, sun, it's lovely.

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