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French film buff reveals Islington’s famous flick spots

Xavier Gomez Xavier Gomez

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
12:00 PM

Big Ben, London Bridge and Buckingham Palace constantly form the backdrop for films shot in the capital.

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But now parts of Islington could have their place in cinematic history thanks to a new blog.

Started by a film buff living in the borough, Lights, Camera... Islington has set about exposing the area’s subtle appearances in a number of hit flicks filmed in London.

Xavier Gomez, 39, of Liverpool Road, Islington, began mapping the borough’s significant cinematic spots two months ago, and has already uncovered streets with stealthy roles in blockbusters like Harry Potter and Love Actually as well as classic comedies such as A Fish Called Wanda and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Mr Gomez, who has lived in Islington for four years, said: “Like a lot of people I live in Islington, work in the City and do the same things every day – so I did not know very much about the borough.

Stars

“I thought it would be a good way to learn more about the area and also to get other people to come here and see the locations. It was when I discovered that classic film The Ladykillers was filmed right near my house I decided to start the Light, Camera... Islington.”

Mr Gomez finds the locations using information online, which maps out all the locations used to shoot a film.

But his hobby dates back to before he used to live in London, to the home of his partner Sarah, in the Italian Riviera.

“In the ’50s and ’60s many big films were shot here, and stars such as John Wayne, Clark Gable and Laurence Olivier were there on set.

“As I came from London, where thousands of Harry Potter fans go to King’s Cross to see platform nine-and- three-quarters, I was surprised to see that there was nothing telling people about the story of the Riviera.”

Mr Gomez’s work on the Italian Riviera was exhibited on the wall of La Divina restaurant in Upper Street, 
Islington, in the summer.

His discoveries in Islington include The Order of the Phoenix headquarters in Harry Potter being in Claremont Square and Hugh Grant’s character in Four Weddings and a Funeral living in a terrace house in Highbury, the location of that famous kiss in the rain.

n To find out if your street has been on the big screen, visit Mr Gomez’s blog at theunbelievablemrx.wordpress.com/category/lights-camera-islington

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