Finsbury Park blogger out to show Islington ‘isn’t just full of Boris Johnsons and Nick Robinsons’

Nicola Baird works on her Islington Faces blog. Picture: Polly Hancock

Nicola Baird works on her Islington Faces blog. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Mum-of-two Nicola Baird is giving the Gazette a run for its money – she’s interviewed 200 of Islington’s most interesting people to show how diverse our borough really is.

Nicola, who lives in Finsbury Park, runs the blog Islington Faces, which publishes interviews between her and some of Islington’s most fascinating characters.

Nicola, a journalist by day, set up the blog in 2012 to celebrate her home.

“Islington loves diversity,” she told the Gazette.

“I want to know what brought people here and why they choose to stay here.”

The blog showcases a range of eccentric characters, ranging from crocodile catchers to romance gurus to prolific car-washers.

Last year Nicola even organised Islington Faces Live to celebrate her 100th interview of the project.

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It saw her take the stage at the King’s Head Theatre Pub in Upper Street and carry out live interviews on stage.

“One of my favourite interviews was with a guy who I would see every day washing his car,” said Nicola.

“For Islington Faces Live, he got up on stage and read the poem he wrote when he first arrived in London from Trinidad.

“The blog is full of people who have become Londoners and have become a part of the community.

“That is the beauty of Islington. Everyone has a story.

“I want to get rid of the idea that we are all ‘Boris Johnsons’ or ‘Nick Robinsons’.

“I don’t know any of them and they’ve never invited me round for dinner.

“That’s not why I chose to live here.

“Islington is very enjoyable as a community – we have street parties organised by neighbours. I don’t know anywhere else in London like that.”

And Nicola has big ambitions for developing her blog.

“I would really like to interview some Arsenal legends,” she admitted. “Maybe some celebrities, but not too many!” Keep an eye out for Nicola on the streets of Islington – whether or not you’re famous – and you might just get a chance to share your own story.

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