Introducing Ray's twin passions

by Anna Pursglove


from This is London 27 August 1999

Home boy at heart: Ray Winstone - just don't mention Arsenal

What did you dream about last night?

I can't remember, but I did have a dream once about a two-seater plane which flew under a pier on the South Coast - and then the next week I heard on the news that it had actually happened.

What's your idea of the perfect weekend in London?

Sitting in my garden on a sunny Saturday afternoon with my wife and daughters, watching West Ham win.

Are you a member of any club?

Soho House.

How long have you lived in London?

Almost all my life, although I've just moved to the outskirts.

Where do you live - and why?

Roydon in Essex - house prices inside the M25 are ridiculous.

If money were no object, where would you live?

I'd still live in Roydon.

Where are you least likely ever to live in London?

The West End.

Where do you exercise in London?

I don't exercise anywhere.

Do you have a local?

The Hop Poles, near my flat in Enfield.

When was the last time you went to a nightclub?

Quite a while ago. I'm not really a nightclub person - I much prefer going to a bar with a piano and a bit of Frank Sinatra.

When did you last complain and why?

This morning. I was in a cab and there were notices all over it saying, 'Don't smoke', 'Don't drink', 'Don't eat' - you'd think they were doing us a favour.

What's the most overrated thing in London?

Arsenal Football Club.

Who do you tip?

Anyone who does their job properly, but not if they expect it.

What will you do next New Year's Eve?

I'll be at home with my wife and kids.

What makes you proud to be a Londoner?

We've got some great architecture - especially some of the stuff in the City.

What makes you embarrassed to be a Londoner?

We're not really competitive enough - it's OK identifying with the underdog but sometimes you want to win.

Have you ever been refused entry anywhere?

New York because I didn't have a visa. Most people don't need one but I did because of something that happened 20 years ago - I had to come all the way home and sort everything out before I could go back out there again.

Who should be on Trafalgar Square's empty plinth?

Bobby Moore.

What's the most expensive meal you've ever had in London?

At Nobu. The food was brilliant but it was pretty pricey. By the way, why does everyone wear black there? You can't tell who's a waitress and who's a punter.

Have you ever chatted someone up in a public place?

I'm a married man, so not recently, but I have in my time. I've definitely chatted people up on the Tube.

Where is the sexiest place in London?

In the old days it was the top of the Hilton. We used to take girls there and give it large on a Saturday night. Now I'd say either Epping Forest (because it's a proper forest and you can do what you like there), or Upton Park.

What's the last thing you bought in M&S?

I went out and bought a white shirt for a photo shoot at M&S just this morning.

Do you plan to visit the Dome?

What for? It's not for us, it's for the tourists. Now if they turned it into a sports stadium I might.

Which shop could you not live without?

The little Italian deli in Winchmore Hill. They do all kinds of blinding stuff - I don't know what I'd do without it.

Would you rather go to Wagamama or Wong Kei?

Wagamama. I can't be doing with all that rude waiter stuff. Why pay for abuse?

Where did you celebrate your last birthday?

At the Hop Poles.

What's your favourite building?

St Paul's.

Have you ever used your celebrity status to get in anywhere?

No - I don't like that.

What did you do last time you were in Soho?

I got pissed last night at Soho House.

What's your favourite market?

Spitalfields fruit market.

If New York is the Big Apple, what is London?

Er, the Big Peach?

What last made you cry?

A few weeks ago I was playing football, and I broke this little Spanish guy's leg - not on purpose, of course - but it was still horrible. I was really gutted.

Where in London would you have your ashes scattered?

Upton Park.

If your house was on fire, which three things would you rescue?

As long as my wife and daughters were out of the house, I wouldn't worry about anything else.

The War Zone opens on 3 September, Final Cut opens on 1October.

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