Islington has been home to a fair few celebrities over the years, from actors to writers and radio DJs. We’re still yet to spot anyone walking down Upper Street or brush shoulders with an A lister in the Angel Centre, but we’re keeping our hopes up and our eyes peeled. Here’s some of the most notable names to have graced the borough.

Emma Watson

The Harry Potter star rented a flat on Canonbury Place in 2015. Maybe she was inspired after filming on location on Claremont Square for the last two Harry Potter films…

Lily Allen

The pop singer and daughter of actor and comedian Keith Allen was born and raised in Islington.

George Orwell

1984’s famous author lived on Canonbury Square between 1944 and 1947 (although his original plaque said only 1945 – his adopted son unveiled the corrected plaque in 2016).

James McAvoy

According to the Atonement actor, who moved to the area in 2004, “it’s got a nice mix of people – they’re not all white middle class – and an excellent selection of bars and restaurants.”

Heath Ledger

The late actor spent some of his final days in Islington while filming Batman in 2008. He stayed in Pearl House, a luxury residence just down the road from Caledonian Road & Barnsbury station, on Roman Way.

Boris Johnson

Boris bought a £2.3 million townhouse on Colebrooke Row in 2009. At the time, he was forced to remove a wooden shed he built on the balcony of his home following complaints to the council.

Colin Firth

Our very own Mr Darcy has also graced the borough – I’m sure it was much nicer than Pemberley.

Alexandra Burke

Alexandra Burke, X Factor winner and singer, grew up on an estate near Caledonian Road, and attended the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School.

Helena Bonham-Carter

Also walking the halls of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson school is The BAFTA winning actress Helena Bonham Carter, who was there last year as part of a South African exchange programme. Helena was born in Islington, but attended a different school in Golders Green.

Tony Blair

Before he moved into Downing Street in 1997, Tony Blair lived on Richmond Crescent – and should have held onto it. After selling it for £615,000 in the nineties, the value has now almost trebled to £1.69 million.

Oscar Wilde

In 1895, famous writer Oscar Wilde was also briefly a resident of Islington – at Pentonville Prison, where he was held after being convicted of “gross indecency with men”. He remained there from May until July, before he was transferred to Wandsworth Prison. To this day, he remains an iconic part of the LGBT rights movement, and his grave in Paris is adorned in lipstick kisses.


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