Private Eye cartoonist regrets pub closures in Hampstead

12:00 05 January 2013

Ham&High cartoonist Ken Pyne. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Ham&High cartoonist Ken Pyne. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Pic by Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London NW37QX.Phone 020 7794 3008 email

The Ham&High’s cartoonist Ken Pyne has worked for almost every newspaper in Fleet Street.

The 61-year-old, who lives in Well Walk in Hampstead, had his first cartoon published in Punch in 1967 and his work now hangs in galleries across Europe, including the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert museum.

A portrait of Mr Pyne also features on The Wells pub’s hall of fame.

What brought you to Hampstead?

I was born in north London so have been coming to Hampstead all my life. It is the best area of London so I thought I might as well live here.

What is a little-known secret about your area?

There is a shop in Hampstead that actually sells useful things, called The New End Mini Market, tucked away in Grove End.

If you were mayor for the day what would you change?

I’d stop the closure of pubs as it is destroying the history of the place, stop traffic wardens behaving like legalised muggers and make it compulsory, on pain of death, for dog walkers to clean up after their mess.

What’s your perfect Sunday in Hampstead?

Get up, have a full English breakfast at Kenwood House, run 15 times around Hampstead Heath, have a Sunday roast and several pints in The Duke of Hamilton in New End. Go back to Kenwood House and steal the Vermeer (a valuable painting) and take it home. Go to the Villa Bianca in the evening and then spend the rest of the night in The Flask pub.

If you had to choose an actor to play you in a film, who would it be?

Daniel Craig or Cary Grant, as they’re both absolutely nothing like me.

What is the favourite cartoon you have ever drawn?

I did one for Private Eye about builders’ bums hanging out and I’ve had to redraw it more than 40 times with people wanting the original of it, so that has to be the one.

If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?

He got more jokes out of Hampstead than anyone else.

Ken Pyne was in conversation with Josh Pettitt


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