My Hampstead: Broadcaster Henry Kelly rails against cyclists, children in pubs and school traffic

Henry Kelly. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Henry Kelly. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Broadcaster Henry Kelly, 67, has lived in Sandy Road, Hampstead, with his historian partner Karolyn Shindler for the past 25 years. After starting out as a journalist, he presented hit game shows Game for a Laugh and Going for Gold in the 1980s and 1990s before moving into radio.

What brought you to Hampstead? My partner, the mother of my 24-year-old son, was living here in Sandy Road and when we got together I moved in – simple as that. And that was 25 years ago.

What is your favourite thing about the area? Our road is part of the traditional old village of North End. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place. It takes me 30 seconds to get out into Golders Hill Park and being midway between Hampstead itself and Golders Green, we’re spoiled for facilities.

What is the worst? I suppose the worst thing is, during school terms, sometimes it takes a while even to get out of our own road with the traffic. But if that’s the only thing that disturbs you, it’s not too bad. Also cyclists who think that they have a god-given right to come down North End Way at 40mph. You know that if you were to step on the crossing there would be no way those guys would live – they’re going too fast.

If you had £100 to blow in Hampstead where would you spend it? I think I might go with Karolyn across to the Bull and Bush for a couple of glasses of champagne, then walk up the hill down East Road and go and have something to eat in the Wells, which is run by an old pal of mine. Or I might bribe Joseph Connolly [Ham&High restaurant reviewer] with £100 so I could get into his column. I think he’s wonderful.

If you were mayor for a day, what would you change? I would ask public houses such as my own local, the Bull and Bush, to introduce a ban on children being in the pub after 6pm. I think that’s not acceptable, either in summer or in winter. Can you imagine what would happen if one of these little darlings was to trip and fall followed by a whole load of hot food on them? Who would get blamed? The landlord of the Bull and Bush. Another thing I would do? I would try to bring back proper classical music concerts at Kenwood.

Where in the world would you twin with Hampstead? I wouldn’t twin it with anybody. I don’t want too many people coming here!

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