My Highgate:

Actor Neil Stuke as chambers clerk Billy Lamb in the BBC One drama series Silk. Picture: BBC/Phil Fi

Actor Neil Stuke as chambers clerk Billy Lamb in the BBC One drama series Silk. Picture: BBC/Phil Fisk - Credit: BBC

Actor Neil Stuke plays chambers clerk, Billy Lamb, in the hit BBC One drama Silk. He was born in Kent in 1967 and has lived in Highgate since the early 1990s. He has had a successful career working on stage, screen and television. He is currently appearing in the London premiere of Bull at The Young Vic and will soon appear in a new eight-part BBC series, The Interceptors, about the mission to hunt down dangerous killers.

Neil Stuke has lived in Highgate since the early 1990s.

What brought you to Highgate?

When I first moved to London - and before when visiting a friends gran in Belsize Park every school holiday - the Heath and the shops and pubs were a huge draw for me. Then I bought my first flat in Highgate West Hill in the early 1990’s and I’ve been here ever since.

What’s your favourite thing about Highgate?


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The pubs, Oxfam, Highgate Dental Practice, the square and the butchers.

What is missing from Highgate?

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A really decent farm shop and restaurant.

What makes you smile on your way home? The new row of shops in Fortess Road, including a butchers and fishmongers.

If you were the mayor for one day what would you change about Highgate?

I’d get rid of all the chains. All of them. And make them small local businesses.

How would you spend your perfect Sunday in Highgate?

Walk up to the village to the charity shops. Then Bloody Mary, beer, wine and a roast and papers at The Red Lion and Sun. Stroll on the Heath. Kenwood to look longingly at the Rembrandt. Over to Hampstead to the shops and to see a film at The Everyman. Possibly back to Highgate for a curry at Kiplings and a late night drink by a roaring fire at The Wrestlers. Heaven.

As guest editor of the Ham&High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported?

The fact that Camden Council has let so many pubs close and get redeveloped. Shocking and clearly corrupt as actually...it is our heritage.

What makes Highgate a special place to live?

The Heath. The pubs. The community spirit but, they need to get rid of Tesco now.

Which other place in the world would you twin with Highgate? It’s hard to think of anywhere else that is so picturesque but, with such an appalling traffic problem and has let such awful places open there. Can’t think of anywhere in the world that would let such a beautiful place be so corrupted.

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

I tried so so hard.

Neil Stuke was in conversation with Emily Banks

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