‘Hear me, feel me, fear me’: Meet the new Mayor of Kentish Town
13:00 01 August 2014
It’s been less than two months since Camden saw the arrival of its new mayor, Cllr Lazzarro Pietragnoli, but residents now have a new chain-swinging “metallic peacock” to open their fetes and judge their dog shows.
The self-appointed “Mayor of Kentish Town”, or “Graham Loose”, has been seen wandering the streets of NW5 these past few months cursing at bystanders, sucking his teeth and spreading his message of “hear me, feel me, fear me”.
A middle class Kentish Towner whose abandonment by his wife and frustration with local politics has left him “going ferral”, the Ali-G style politician is bringing his crusade to the area.
Solving the homeless problem with empty lock-up garages, enforcing a borough-wide ban on small eco-friendly cars because they’re “an embarrassment”, and creating his own Graham Loose “suped-up hatchbacks” to replace Boris bikes, the self-appointed mayor has an eyebrow-raising manifesto.
And his maiden speech, broadcast on Comedy Central, is nothing if not honest.
“You’re probably wondering, how did I get to be mayor?” he said.
“Valid question. Answer: I got here by hard work, intelligence and diligence.
“Bulls**t. I got here by force, coercion and blackmail and I combine it with my ‘not give a f**k attitude’ and my bad temper to climb to the very top of the local government tree.
“It’s a tricksy tree to climb, yeh? Like a Birch.”
Thankfully the new mayor’s in-your-face attitude is not backed up by any real power.
He’s instead the creation of Steve Furst, comedian, actor and writer most famous for featuring in the Orange mobile phone cinema adverts and for his appearances in BBC comedy Little Britain.
Semi-improvised video shorts filmed around Kentish Town have been snapped up by Comedy Central and showcase Mr Loose’s evolving manifesto for the area.
With his passion for grandstanding topped only by his love of parking on double-yellow lines, you may wonder what inspired the political alter-ego.
Mr Furst told the Ham&High: “The inspiration actually came from Rob Ford [the scandle-ridden Mayor of Toronto].
“People now seem used to having a mad mayor and Graham has taken what is a dull job and turned it into his own crusade.
“And I chose Kentish Town because it’s a bit more run down than some of its neighbours.
“And that’s what Graham likes: he likes it that it’s still keeping it real.
“He hates Camden Town. He hates what it’s become, with all the tourists, etc.
“Kentish Town, for him, keeps it real.”
While his public messages have only been available to the public for the past week, some in the Kentish Town community have already embraced their new Mayor.
Insistent any ribbon-cutting event must feature the “three Bs” - “booze, birds and buffet” - the mayor’s first public duty is to be the opening of the long-awaited Ladies and Gentlemen cocktail bar, a new establishment set to open in the former public toilets at the junction of Fortess Road and Highgate Road.
To see the Mayor of Kentish Town for yourself, visit comedycentral.co.uk/the-mayor-of-kentish-town