Located off the ever-hip Upper Street, Angel Central Shopping Centre (formerly known as The N1 Centre) has a vibrant and stylish collection of shops, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and music venues under its roof.
Whether you want to watch the latest movies and share a family-sized popcorn snack, or dine out for two on something more extravagant, Angel Central offers you that choice.
London is easily the UK’s most star-studded town, with more musicians, actors, members of the political elite and celebrities than anywhere else in the country. Recognisable faces around every corner, or at least in the central boroughs, needless to say Islington is no exception.
Over the years the area has seen more than its fair share of prominent residents set up home here. Former PM Tony Blair was a local until he found out a move to Number 10 was on the cards. And remember Nadia Almada, the first transsexual winner of once-loved, now largely-loathed TV show Big Brother? Well, she lived around these parts too, along with another reality television star (turned chart-topper), Alexandra Burke (she came out on top of X Factor back in 2008).
There are plenty more household names besides. Colin Firth, Peaches Geldof, Dido, Leona Lewis, Scott Mills, not to mention other, less irritating people besides. Fascinated by this cultural melting pot, we’ve taken the time to list some prominent Islingtonites, from both the past and present, that you will be interested to know shared your postcode at one point in time. So take a look and see who you recognise, who you don’t, and which fit your definition of a ‘good neighbour’.
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, AKA the Mayor of London, AKA the mop-headed chap who banned booze on transport in the capital, and the guy who made the London Underground run 24-hours a day on the weekend, has long since called Islington home. You may have seen him buying a pint of milk, or not. Less well-known is the fact that BoJo actually has dual citizenship because he was born in New York City, which means he gets to skip what has to be the biggest immigration queue known to mankind- AKA arrivals at JFK airport.
If you don’t know Douglas Adams then perhaps it’s time to go back to cult English literature school. This is the mastermind behind The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, a ‘trilogy’ of five books (do you get the joke?) that had sold a staggering 15million copies
before the author passed away in 2001. A key advocate for environmentalism and conservation, fast car enthusiast and Apple Mac fan, he used to live on Duncan Terrace until he rented the house out, to Angus Deayton no less.
John who? Perhaps not the most famous man on our list, nevertheless John Chapple led a colourful life the likes of which had an impact on hundreds of thousands of others, if not millions. Born in 1931, this career officer in the military made it to Chief of the General Staff, and between 1988 and 1992 was the professional head of the British Army. Furthermore, he was also appointed Governor of Gibraltar, and was the last person to occupy the post (which ceased to exist in 1995)
Although those born between 1980 and 1988 are likely to think of Waynetta Slob whenever the name Kathy Burke comes to mind (she played the comedy character in Harry Enfield and Chums during the mid-late-90s), Kathy Burke is also a highly respected dramatic actress and director, if you know your mise en scene from aesthetics. She’s the woman behind several successful productions at the Hampstead Theatre, and few will ever forget her stunning performance in Nil By Mouth.
Communist revolutionary, political theorist, and a man who changed the course of global governance back in the early-20th Century, Vladimir Lenin decided the best place to evade Bavarian police was in Islington, and relocated here in 1902, bringing his controversial pro-Marxist newspaper, Iskra (The Spark) along for the ride. He also ran into Trotsky whilst in London, and the pair naturally hit it off. Interestingly, two of the first three Russian Social Democratic Labour Party congresses were held in London too.
Princess Martha Louise
Whilst the British monarchy prefer to keep it Westminster, Norway’s own regals opted for Islington. Or at least one did- namely Princess Martha Louise- between 2012 and 2014. Fourth in line to the Scandinavian throne, Martha Louise is no stranger to scandal thanks to her apparent association with UK clairvoyant Lisa Williams, who claims she can communicate with the deceased. Members of the Lutheran Church of Norway are not supposed to believe in the supernatural, you see.
Sir Walter Raleigh
Occupying an address on Upper Street from 1575 to 1581, Sir Walter Raleigh remains one of the most recognisable names in British history. An aristocrat, writer, poet and courtier, he’s perhaps best-known as a spy and explorer, laying claim to the naming of Virginia, USA, and a particularly Romantic-sounding trip to Guyana and Eastern Venezuela in search of a fabled city of gold somewhere along the Caroni River. He didn’t find it in the end, but let’s not hold that against him.
Also worth remembering…
*George Orwell, of 1984 fame, lived at 50 Lawford Road and then 27B Canonbury Square
*EastEnders mainstay, Natalie Cassidy, has a home here
*Gary and Martin Kemp, the guys from Spandau Ballet, were born and raised in Islington…
*…as was Tony Hadley, lead singer in the band
*Edmund Halley, Astronomer Royal and the chap who first discovered Halley’s Comet, was a resident from 1865. Unfortunately, though, his exact address remains unknown
*Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed but divisive scribe behind titles like The Satanic Verses and Midnight’s Children, No.13 on the The Times list of the 50 greatest British authors since 1945, lived in these parts for some time
*Yusuf Islam, better known to most as Cat Stevens, called Islington home
*Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development in the British Government, is another political face you might run into in the pub
*Neve Campbell, James McAvoy, Adewale akinnuoye-agbaje, Heath Ledger, and Emma Watson are amongst the Hollywood A-listers who have, at one point or another, rented or owned properties in the borough.