My Primrose Hill: Matthew Wright slams wealthy residents’ rowdy mid-week parties
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Matthew Wright, 49, has lived in Primrose Hill for almost 15 years. He is a former Daily Mirror showbiz columnist and presents his weekday morning show The Wright Stuff on Channel 5
What brought you to Primrose Hill?
I was brought up in south London; lived in east, west and other parts of north London but nowhere compares to NW1, Camden, and Primrose Hill. As a dog walker, I’ve got parks on my doorstep, great restaurants – L’Absinthe, Odette’s and Lemonia – and terrific boozers too.
You have a day off to spend as you wish in the area, what would you get up to?
I’d take Wiggy, my mini schnauzer, for a walk all around Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. We’d stare at all the birds on the lake – I can’t believe how many herons live in Regent’s Park – and then get owner JC to crack open a fine burgundy as we enjoy steak frites at L’Absinthe. It’s what I do most weekends!
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Is there anything about Primrose Hill which you would like to see changed or improved?
A lot of long-time residents have sold up and moved out – I can’t blame them as house prices are so bonkers in Primrose Hill, but it strikes me a lot of the wealthier people who’ve moved in since aren’t quite as community-minded as those who’ve gone. I don’t remember anyone holding parties mid-week with bouncers when I first moved here. Now there’s one every other week and it seems owners of bigger houses are the worst offenders. Shame. Camden Council’s also allowed overdevelopment in Primrose Hill.
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As guest editor of the Ham&High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported?
As a former newspaperman it would be a joyous day to edit this paper. I’d cover basements, the lack of a blue plaque on Elizabeth Taylor’s Hampstead Garden Suburb home, and the amazing businesses tucked away over NW1, from Camden Town Brewery to artists and artisans constantly beavering away.
A film is set to be made about your life. Which actor would you choose to play you and why?
John Gordon Sinclair. My mum thinks he looks a bit like me or Douglas Henshall because my wife Amelia thinks he’s my doppelganger.
Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?
Luciano Pavarotti invited me to his home in Italy and to a concert. I brought my mum along who he bounced on his knee after Nessun Dorma. Elizabeth Taylor was another icon who was incredibly earthy in the flesh; a wonderful lady with those amazing lilac eyes.
If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?
Here lies Matthew Wright – who didn’t do bad for a boy from Croydon.
Matthew Wright was in conversation with Tim Lamden.