Sunday, May 16, 2021

CHARACTERS

The Cheery Street Sweeper

Never without a decent word to say, Knightsbridge’s cheeriest street sweeper is an asset to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Unlike the incompetent, avaricious councillors representing the area, this diligent worker never...

Katherine Knight

This “sweet, matronly looking woman” killed her partner John Price, skinned him, boiled his head in a pot and served up his body parts to his children with baked potatoes and gravy in February...

Brenda from Bristol

Pearl clad pensioner ‘Brenda from Bristol’ became the Gillian Duffy of the 2017 General Election when she shared her views about politics with a BBC reporter. This 75-year old retired secretary spoke for the...

The Cross Word Couple (AKA ‘The Crossword Couple’)

Though never a cross word was uttered between this duo during their visits to the sadly now defunct Chelsea restaurant La Brasserie, their dislike of what they perceived as “loud music” (and other forms...

The Pret Prayer

A new addition to the South Kensington neighbourhood in October 2016, the Pret Prayer likes to get his mat out in front of all and sundry in Pret A Manager in Old Brompton Road,...

The Pret Sleeper

Spotted early in the mornings in Pret A Manager in South Kensington, the Pret Sleeper wears loafers and an entirely black outfit. He usually purchases nothing and sits and sleeps. Occasionally he takes out...

Prince John Zylinski

A cross between Donald Trump and Liberace in terms of his liking for all things gold in interiors, Ealing based Prince John Zylinski is an eccentric property tycoon with a taste for duels and...

The Pret Spitter

Always in a red ski jacket and always with a trolley and umbrella, The Pret Spitter is a most unpleasant vagrant. A definite loner and spotted on the streets of Chelsea and South Kensington,...

Marina Gibson

Fly-fisherwoman Marina Gibson is an ambassador for amongst others Orvis and Indigo Ivy and describes her passion as an “unreachable itch”. She spends her working days at a Mayfair real estate investment and asset...

Margaret Wooliscroft

Described as a “disagreeable old trout” by her very own lawyer, farmer Margaret Wooliscroft was jailed for 28 months in December 2015 for terrorizing the residents of Brindley Ford, Stoke-on-Trent. Her “reign of terror”...

Angelo Vizcaino

A popular and hard-working waiter at La Brasserie in London’s Brompton Cross, pint-sized Angelo Vizcaino delights in telling customers about his love of Cuba and his pet dog. He sports a ring – designed...

Mr Penny Farthing

Often spotted on the roads of Kensington and Chelsea, as little is known about Mr Penny Farthing as his fellow eccentric The Fantasy Cyclist. His favoured watering hole is The Admiral Codrington in Milner...

Adolfo Orsi, Jr.

“One of the biggest important players on the classic car scene”, Adolfo Orsi, Jr. is always clad in a blazer and generally sports a Panama hat. He is charm personified and has a knowledge...

Helen Brach (AKA “The Candy Lady”, 1911 – 1977, body never found)

Devoted to her dogs and the widow of a tycoon named Frank V. Brach (1890 – 1970), Helen Brach inherited a significant portion of a $23 million estate (the equivalent of $135 million or...

Mikel Ruffinelli

Despite being an iceberg beyond being just larger than life, Californian Mikel Ruffinelli describes her eight foot wide “diva hips” as “looking beautiful”. A “UK size 22 on top and 30 on the bottom”...

Ziyanda Palesa Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s self-proclaimed “first granddaughter” also describes herself as a “qualified wine judge”. The daughter of the one-time alcoholic Trevor Tutu, whom was jailed in1991 for threatening to explode a bomb on board...

Kensington Claus

It’s Christmas every day for this bearded giant. Generally spotted in the pubs of South Kensington and always on his own, Kensington Claus has favoured drinking spots at each bar he visits and those...

The Knightsbridge rose seller

A well-known fixture each and every evening at Knightsbridge restaurants including San Lorenzo and Scalini during the 1990s and 2000s, the Knightsbridge rose seller was as renowned for her jolly smile and Mini as...

Sam Malin and Irène Major (AKA “Lord and Lady Hailes”)

Hailing from Canada and Cameroon respectively, Sam Malin and Irène Major can best be described as “a curious couple”. Whilst Madagascar based Malin claims to have made his fortune in oil, gas and minerals, Major...

Paul and Selena Bailey

Having sold their telephone conferencing empire for £28 million in 2012, Paul and Selena Bailey became the first people in the UK to own the £3 million “Holy Trinity of Hypercars” that numbers a...

John Bly

Having begun his career at Sotheby’s, John Bly joined his family at their firm of antiques dealers in Tring, Hertfordshire. An author and presenter of the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow since 1978, Bly is a...

Joyce Cohen (formerly Joyce McDillon, née Joyce Lemay)

Born in Carpentersville, Illinois to an American Indian and a mother of Polish descent, Joyce Cohen’s tale takes in a journey from rags to riches to rags. A mother of one by a previous marriage, Joyce Lemay...

Malavath Poorna

The youngest girl to have reached the summit of Everest, Indian Malavath Poorna scaled the world’s highest mountain in May 2014 at the age of 13 years and 11 months. Of her success, she...

Linda Sandler

Featured in the late Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice, Linda Sandler is the ex-wife of a multi-millionaire named Joel Sandler. The couple lived in luxury in a Philadelphia mansion but despite their wealth,...

Pablo Salcedo

This cheerful barman lives in Chelsea and works at La Brasserie in South Kensington. Known for his superb Negronis, Pablo Salcedo is a founding member of the ‘Open Bar’ crew and a fan of G&Ts...

Pedro López (AKA “The Monster of the Andes”)

This Colombian psychopathic serial killer’s whereabouts are currently unknown. When Pedro López, the “son of a penniless prostitute”, confessed to the murders of over 310 girls in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru after being arrested...

June and Leon Bernicoff

Channel 4 Gogglebox stars June and Leon Bernicoff met at teacher-training college in 1955. A couple who live by routine, Leon views Nigel Farage to be “a dangerous dickhead” whilst June is “not that...

Leah Chase (AKA “The Queen of Creole Cuisine”)

This New Orleans chef famously told off President Obama when he tried to add hot sauce to her gumbo. Leah Chase has owned and run her renowned Dooky Chase restaurant since 1941 and has...

Dominic and Stephanie Parker (AKA “The Posh Couple”)

The undoubted stars of Channel 4’s Gogglebox love drinking at their Grade I listed Lutyens designed £3.5 million home in Sandwich, Kent. Be it champagne or gin, the alcohol is always flowing when Dominic and Stephanie...

Sarah Meakin

Based in San Francisco and the co-founder of the Tal-y-Tara tea and polo shop, Sarah Meakin is the daughter of the Horses in California charity and the annual Polo in the Park fundraiser founders...

Julia Bradbury

Nicknamed “the walking man’s crumpet”, Dublin born, Rutland based television presenter Julia Bradbury has over 50,000 followers on Twitter. She fronted the BBC’s Countryfile for five years and has also presented shows such as...

Raine Spencer; Raine, Countess Spencer (AKA “Acid Raine”)

This thrice married daughter of the novelist Dame Barbara Cartland was allegedly fathered by Prince George, Duke of Kent and has worked her way through five titles. Upwardly mobile, she’s been described as “larger...

Hannah Campbell (AKA “The Bionic Woman”)

This courageous corporal was hit by a mortar in Iraq and suffered terrible injuries that included being blinded in one eye, a heart attack and damage to her womb. She used part of the...

Candida Lycett Green (1942 – 2014; nicknamed “Wibz”)

The daughter of John Betjeman, Candida Lycett Green was English through and through. An author, conservationist and horsewoman, Lycett Green was a bohemian member of the Private Eye set whom lived by the Reverend...

The musical tramp

A can of beer in hand, this bearded wanderer likes to serenade customers outside Brompton Road restaurants such as La Brasserie and Aubaine. He’s been known to do handstands and especially loves persuading old...

Doris Thompson MBE OBE (1903 – 2004) and Geoffrey Thompson (1936 – 2004)

This mother and son duo were the stalwarts that built Britain’s most popular seaside attraction, the 40-acre Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Fairgrounds were their life and even at 95, Malvern Ladies’ College educated Doris Thompson...

Charity Charity

This brilliantly named lady ought to be the head of the Charity Commission. She’d be much more use than William Shawcross CVO (who is paid £50,000 per annum for two days per week). Charity...

Kimi Räikkönen

This talented Finnish Formula One champion is not known for being the most forthcoming interviewee but is the fifth highest paid sportsman in the world with an estimated salary of around £31 million per...

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo

The daughters of a convicted Italian kidnapper were cleared of defrauding Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi at a trial at Isleworth Crown Court in December 2013. These “kitchen confidantes” stated that they were “treated...

Kester Thomas (1975 – 2013)

Described as “one of the nicest guys on London’s club and bar scene”, Kester Thomas worked at Kitts, the Buddha Bar and The Sanderson. His drink making ability was second to none. This “truly...

Gavin Rankin

The Queen and every American ambassador to Britain have dined at Rankin’s Bruton Place restaurant, Bellamy’s, since it opened in 2004 and of it A.A. Gill commented: “You could eat here once a week...

Marina Oswald Porter (born Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova, Russian: Марина Николаевна Прусакова)

Russian born and the wife of John F. Kennedy’s killer, Oswald Porter met Lee Harvey Oswald when he defected to the Soviet Union in 1961. The couple settled in Dallas, Texas in 1962 and...

Elena Salvoni (1920 – 2016)

This Clerkenwell born stalwart ran a Fitzrovia restaurant named after her until she turned 90 but was cruelly ejected by Corus Hotels. Of why they retired her, Salvoni stated: “They said that at my...

Sultan Kösen

A Turkish farmer, Kösen became the world’s tallest man in 2009 at 8’3” and also holds the record for the largest hands at 27.5cm and the largest foot at 36.5cm. He married in October...

Boaty Boatwright (also known as Boaty Boatwright Baker)

This New York based casting director and talent agent has worked on The Man Who Would Be King, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, To Kill A Mockingbird and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Gore Vidal...

Cedric Robinson MBE

The 25th individual since 1548 to be The Queen’s Guide to the Sands, Robinson is the royally appointed guide who has assisted thousands cross Morecambe Bay since 1963. Appointed by the Duchy of...

Oliver Newton

This London based antiques expert has a captivating enthusiasm for silver and fine craftmanship. Newton’s online portal, The Arts Warehouse, provides antiques lovers with access to information and inspiration and his auction reviews are...

Don who's Donna at night

By day this Walton Street resident can be spotted drinking coffee and dressed quite conventionally. He is better known, however, for donning earrings and styling himself rather like the former Eastenders character Pat Butcher...