Only blockbusters can film in London now

Anthony Horowitz's Christmas notebook, also featuring the decline of ebooks and the birth of New Blood

12 December 2015

9:00 AM

12 December 2015

9:00 AM

I’ve spent much of the autumn and winter shooting my new TV series for BBC1. New Blood looks at the so-called ‘Y’ generation and focuses on two 25-year-olds who fight crime but who spend as much time worrying about their university loans, finding somewhere to live, arguing with each other and trying to kick-start their careers. It’s been fun watching our two young stars — Mark Strepan and Ben Tavassoli, watch those names — grow into the parts and I’ve thrown everything at them. They’ve cycled and run miles, been shot at, drugged, kidnapped, drenched, tortured and blown up. They’ve jumped off the roof of a hotel, escaped from a burning car and fought naked in a Turkish hammam. To their credit, they’ve never once complained . . . but then, of course, they’re young.

Which is more than you can say for the producers who gazed in horror when they saw the word ‘London’ in my scripts. They had good reason. Shooting in our capital city has become a nightmare — we were forced to move Foyle’s War, first to Dublin and then to Liverpool. Part of the trouble is that there’s no central point of contact —we had to negotiate separately with 32 separate boroughs for every permit and parking suspension. Worse still, private companies have sprung up as self-styled ‘film location agencies’ who make it their business to ring-fence everything from well-known landmarks to domestic properties. This has pushed prices up to the extent that only the big American producers can afford to shoot here. Marvel Comics are all over town with their spandex-covered heroes, outbidding us (Thwack! Kerpow!) at every turn. You’d have thought Boris Johnson might have done a little more to help local film-makers show off the city of which he is so rightly proud.

He might also have done more to ease traffic conditions. Anyone who lives in London will tell you that the congestion charge is almost useless. Even Transport for London has predicted a 60 per cent rise in congestion by 2031. So why not come up with a more radical solution? How long will it be before private cars are removed from cities altogether? Hamburg has vowed to become traffic-free in 20 years. In Paris, pollution fell 30 per cent when cars were banned, and traffic-free days, including along our own Oxford Street, are becoming increasingly popular. I spend more and more time in Venice which is of course a special case, but I’ve come to realise that a large part of the joy of being there is the silence, the absence of motor cars. Give us black cabs, buses, bicycles (with safer bicycle lanes) and deliveries restricted to certain hours. I really believe that this is the future and, indeed, that I will see it in my lifetime.

One simple answer to transport problems is staring us in the face — and I’m baffled why nobody has considered it. I’m talking about the much maligned Segway, the two-wheeled machine that makes users look like refugees from a Fifties science-fiction film. Twice this year, in Prague and Los Angeles, I have ridden them and I can tell you . . . they’re wonderful! Safe and silent, they whizz along, uphill and down, at a gentle pace and seem to respond almost telepathically to your commands. Even my cynical and style-conscious sons were both won over. Despite being environmentally friendly and extremely cost-effective, the Segway is banned in every major city — even the new version, which comprises just two wheels and a platform. It’s true that Jimi Heselden, the millionaire owner of the company that makes Segways, died in one of the only Segway accidents on record; a personal tragedy and a catastrophe in terms of PR. But surely we could at least have a reasoned debate on the subject? Why has this little miracle been consigned to tourists and shopping-mall police?

Another invention that doesn’t seem to be doing too well is the Kindle. According to Waterstones, sales of the e-reader have virtually disappeared, while in America, the Nook is losing $70 million a year. I’m not sure whether this is something to mourn or to celebrate; a triumph of bibliophilia over the new technology or the loss of an opportunity to promote reading. My old Kindle is useful on planes, but the technology is actually quite clumsy: the pages sometimes refuse to swipe and I’ve never quite got used to finding my place at ‘location 15,597’ or wherever. Anyway, I’ve always believed that books have an aesthetic quality, that they are more than the sum of their contents. I notice more and more bookshops are selling handsomely bound volumes of classics and the demand for signed copies seems to be insatiable. It’s really quite comforting that literature survives on its own terms in this technological age.

I’ll be skiing in Italy over Christmas. At least, I will be if there’s any snow. If not, I will walk in the hills and think about the year. I turned 60. My play, Dinner with Saddam, divided the critics. My wife became seriously ill but got better. I suppose the same could be said for Greece — where I spent most of the summer. If years have characters, 2015 was a touch temperamental, generally. As 2016 approaches, I hope it will be a kind one for us all.

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Show comments
  • Partner

    New blood? I’ve made a very careful note to avoid at all costs.

  • davidshort10

    I’m a frequent traveller so I like Kindles but that I think makes me a small minority.

  • davidshort10

    This is why so many films shot in ‘London’ are actually made at Canary Wharf.

  • commenteer

    I am surprised by your negative view of Kindles. Perhaps you should update?
    My own Paperwhite Kindle has transformed my life, allowing me to read during sleepless nights without the disturbance of switching on a light. It’s not good for serious non-fiction, but I can no longer imagine buying a novel in any other format.

    • KingEric

      Definitely with you on the Paperwhite Kindle. When my wife puts the light out, I can read on the dark without disturbing her. Wonderful stuff!

    • StevieBoy1981

      Never at any point when reading my Paperwhite have I thought to myself ‘you know what? I wish I was reading a real book’.

    • IainRMuir

      Agreed. The Kindle came of age when back lighting was introduced.

  • SackTheJuggler

    I suspect e-reader sales are down because everyone who wants one has got one and finds very little need to replace it because it works just fine. I’ve had my Kindle for four years. I do like ‘regular’ books (it isn’t an either/or thing), but my Kindle is a great deal lighter in my bag than the military history door stoppers I like to read and my small house doesn’t have much shelf space!

    • StevieBoy1981

      Agreed. There simply aren’t any obvious improvements left to made to the current generation kindle. Instead of reporting on sales of the reader the figure that matters is surely the sales of ebooks themselves.

    • rtj1211

      Ah, don’t say that: Amazon will be designing the next generation for obsolescence within 2 years.

    • Chas Grant

      My Kindle’s screen went west after three years but I simply replaced it instead of buying a new one. Not as complicated as I’d thought, either.

  • Chas Grant

    Another invention that doesn’t seem to be doing too well is the Kindle.
    According to Waterstones, sales of the e-reader have virtually
    disappeared, while in America, the Nook is losing $70 million a year.

    Yes, very interesting, but I don’t quite see why falling sales of ebook readers mean that ebooks are in decline?

  • Vehmgericht

    According to the Publishers Association, UK digital book sales rose 11% to £563m last year. A headlong decline indeed…..

  • What’s the point filming in London if most of it looks like Islamabad? Why not go direct to Pakistan instead?

    • Chas Grant

      Just you try getting a decent bacon roll in Islamabad.

    • Shorne

      The UK is about 4.8% Muslim (Source: Pew Research November 2015).
      Some individual examples in London; London Borough of Bromley 79.4% White British, London Borough of Havering 87.7%, London Borough of Richmond 86%. Looking at Britain as a whole; Scotland 91.83%. The South West 91.8%, Wales 93%, Northern Ireland tops the list at 98.21%.

      • Pull the other one!

        • Shorne

          No that won’t do, prove these figures wrong unless you want to appear to be a typically uninformed Ukipper.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Why don’t you quote the figures from further in than the leafy (sickeningly?) White outer suburbs.

          Or are you afraid that the fact that the figures are reversed undermine your cade?!

      • Mr B J Mann

        Why don’t you quote the figures from further in than the leafy (sickeningly?) White outer suburbs.

        Or are you afraid that the fact that the figures are reversed undermine your case?!

      • Mr B J Mann

        Why don’t you quote the figures from further in than the leafy (sickeningly?) White outer suburbs.

        Or are you afraid that the fact that the figures are reversed undermine your case?!

        • Shorne

          Because people like you like to pretend that the areas where some types of immigrants congregate are typical of the whole country. They aren’t and I’ m sure that people from predominantly white inner city areas in Glasgow and Belfast are surprised to hear that they live in ‘White outer suburbs.’
          By the way why do you find leaves sickening?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Are you Trølling?!

            “Because people like you”

            So you’re a prejudiced jugemental bigot?!

            “like to pretend”

            And a mind reader!!

            “that the areas where some types of immigrants congregate are typical of the whole country.”

            Feel free to provide some evidence to back up your assertion!!!!!!

            “They aren’t”

            Nobody said they were!bbbbb

            “and I’ m sure that people from predominantly white inner city areas in Glasgow and Belfast are surprised to hear that they live in ‘White outer suburbs.'”

            That was clearly a reference to your references to places like Bromley.

            Where did Glasgow or Belfast suddenly come from?!?!?!?!!!!!

            “By the way why do you find leaves sickening?”

            Equally clearly that refered to White outer suburbs and alluded to the way that guilt tripping “liberals” think that British institutions are sickeningly white even though they are less white than the population in general!!!!!!!!

          • Shorne

            I was responding to a Ukipper who was claiming that ‘most of’ London looks like ‘Islamabad’ so I showed that it doesn’t and clearly demonstrated this with statistics. I stated that there are some areas where immigrants congregated.One doesn’t have to read your mind, just your comments. Your assertion that ‘British institutions’ like for example Parliament, the Judiciary, the Police and the Armed Forces aren’t predominantly white (and no harm in that so is the the population) is risible.

          • Mr B J Mann


            Try these maps from the Guardian, especially the “White British” one of London, showing vast areas of London less than 50% “White British” and vastly more is much less than two thirds “White British”:


            And, yes, they show vast areas up to 20% Pakistani, up to 54.2% Indian and up to 58.2% Bangladeshi.

            So maybe not Islamabad, but certainly Indian sub-continent!

            Only the very outermost leafy White areas are 75% or more “White British”.

            But that tells us nothing of the picture of what the maps would look like if you changed the categorisation of naturalised white immigrants and the British born children and grandchildren of white immigrants.

            What the Outer Hebrides look like is irrelevant to the picture!

            Oh, and that Guardian page has a 2011 copyright so probably refers to pre 2011 data.

            See this page for a breakdown of 2011 census data for London:


            That says that only 45% of the population of London is “White British”.

            Again, how would that change if only the long established “White British” were counted and naturalised white immigrants. and children born of immigrants, are taken out of the “White British” figures.

            Oh, and I never said that British institutions aren’t predominantly white.

            I said :

            “By the way why do you find leaves sickening?”

            Equally clearly that referred to White outer suburbs and alluded to the way that guilt tripping “liberals” think that British institutions are sickeningly white even though they are less white than the population in general!!!!!!!!

            Which is something completely different.

            So thanks for confirming that you are a prejudiced judgemental bigoted trøll!

          • Shorne

            Ah yes Right Man Syndrome in full cry because somebody has disagreed with you and of course struggling to cram in as many insults as possible.The person I was responding to said ‘most of London looks like Islamabad’ which it doesn’t as the maps you so helpfully provided show.
            The White British population is about 80% so your claim that ‘British institutions are sickeningly white even though they are less white than the population in general’ is risible (note I didn’t include the exclamation marks, that sort of thing shouldn’t be encouraged).

          • Mr B J Mann

            Ah yes, can’t possibly be YOU that suffers from Right Man Syndrome in full cry because somebody has disagreed with YOU and of course YOU aren’t struggling to cram in as many insults as possible!!!

            And who put you in charge of the exclamation marks?!

            Or was that just another insult you were trying desperate to squeeze in?!!

            The person you were responding to was obviously using hyperbole for effect to enhance the witty point he was making when he actually said ‘What’s the point filming in London if most of it looks like Islamabad? Why not go direct to Pakistan instead?’

            Which is making a different point than baldly asserting ‘most of London looks like Islamabad’ as you claim.

            However, most inner areas of London DO look like a foreign land, as I demonstrated when I summarised what the content of the maps I so helpfully provided show.

            And note that films don’t usually show the outer suburbs of London: they show the recognisable traditional older inner areas.

            Or try to.

            But it’s a bit difficult when most of the faces in shot could never pass for a cockney sparrer.

          • Shorne

            So you think 80% = a fifth(?), they aren’t my figures they are from the ONS
            I omitted the exclamation marks to do you a favour as overuse of them indicates a fragile mentality.

            ‘What’s the point filming in London if most of it looks like Islamabad? Why not go direct to Pakistan instead?’.
            Which is making a different point than baldly asserting ‘most of London looks like Islamabad’
            This simply doesn’t make sense.
            The maps you cited do not mean that the shaded areas are only peopled by ethnic minorities to the exclusion of White British.

            Linking the recent flooding to house building arising from immigration is rather desperate, Cumbria for example is 95.1% White British.
            ‘Cockney sparrer’ patronising rubbish.

          • Mr B J Mann

            “Aren’t” obviously!

            And now give me the figures for Bradford!

            And I gave you the figures for the shaded areas!!!!!!!!!!!!

            The exclamation marks are to emphasise how bleedin obvious the points are to the great unwashed,

            As opposed to the greatly brainwashed like yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Or do you think Islamabad is 100% brown Muslim (like their TV?)?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!

            Oh, and there’s not a lot of dry flat surfaces in Cumbria, as British TV has been showing recently, so 4,9% is plenty!!!!!!!!!!

          • Shorne

            Look mate ,this is gibberish.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Ahhhh, a glimmer of self awareness at last:

            Thanks for fimally seeing sence and admitting it.

          • Shorne

            No sorry that doesn’t work, and where are the question/exclamation marks? I almost miss them.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Trøll!!!!!!!!!! 8<———-

          • Shorne

            Ah, that’s more like it, by the way troll in Swedish does not have the so-called slashed o Ø, nothing like somebody trying to be clever and getting it wrong.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Except I wasn’t so I didn’t.

            I was just making it look Norse for amusement.

            But good try at distracting from the fact you were wrong!!!!!!!!!!

            There ya go:

            You can reply about the exclamation marks again next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Shorne

            I don’t deny that some boroughs have a large number of immigrants, in the one I live in has 44% of the population were born abroad but you’d hardly notice it unless you go,as I do to the streets where they tend to shop
            The original poster said ‘What’s the point filming in London if most of it looks like Islamabad?’ it doesn’t and that’s the whole point. Immigrants from Ireland, Poland and Germany outnumber those from India and Pakistan.

          • Mr B J Mann

            That would be the shopping streets then, the places where they tend to film the crowd scenes.

            And so even in your non Islamabad looking borough 44% are foreign born, though, admittedly, some might be from, and even born in, European countries (or the US, or Oz, etc).

            But then how many US citizens are white?!

            And the immigrant from Europe might have been an immigrant, or born of one, to Europe.

            Similarly, how many “British” in London were born of immigrants?

            The census reports say that between 2001 and 2011 London’s UK-born population decreased by 53,500 and non-UK born residents rose to 36.7%

            However the report goes on to say there were 618,600 fewer White British Londoners in 2011 than in 2001, a decrease of 14.4 per cent, which means that there well over half a million non White British but UK born people there.

            Who were presumably British by birth, but born to non white immigrants.

            Clearly most people around the world would expect to see a predominantly white, and white British, and indigenous white British London.

            Whereas what they are actually seeing is nearly half non white and over half “foreign”.

            And assuming the rest of the world are even more multi-cullti diversity lovers, that must be the dead spit of Islamabad.

          • Shorne

            There has been a significant ‘non-white ‘presence in London since at least the 16th Century and only obsessives like you are bothered by it. If you look at comments by tourists they never mention the racial mix it’s just people like you who have this reactionary yearning for a wholly white population.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, it’s reactionary old-school “progressive” and “radical” judgemental bigots like you who assume that I yearn for a wholly white population.

            And that I’m white myself:

            It never crosses your tiny fossilised dinosaur mind that I might not be white, and that I believe the “liberals” and the environmentalists when they say that the country is full, there isn’t room to dig another quarry, no space to build even one more house, that if we so much as lay another inch of road we will have concreted and tarmaced over the whole country.

            The sustainable population of which they insist is between 24 and as low as 17 million:

            NOT soaring towards SEVENTY MILLION ! ! !

            I also agree with the “progressives” and “liberals” that destroying the culture of a people is Genocide.

            So while I’m happy for there to be some immigrants to a country, I couldn’t be happy for there to be more immigrants (regardless of what passport they have been given) in a country’s capital than members of the indigenous population.

            And while I’m happy for more immigrants as long as a native culture isn’t destroyed, and as long as they don’t water down, never mind destroy, the local culture, I’d prefer it if they didn’t add to, but replaced, those members of the indigenous population carrying white “guilt” who have a chip on their shoulder about their own race and culture:

            And want to destroy it.

            Unfortunately, the one time such people would want to apply ‘uman rites to their “own people” is when it affects them personally.

            So no chance any time soon of deporting the loony left Guardianistas and Beebophiles to somwhere that in theory they should like, but where they wouldn’t last five minutes!

          • Shorne

            It’s notable that you never respond directly to points I make just come back with more deranged bluster.

          • Mr B J Mann

            More of you previously checked “facts”, eh?!!

            That’s what I love most about you whitey Brit “liberals”.

            You think us foreigners are actally as dumb as you think your own white trash workers must be for letting you down by not revolting, and so now you think of as revolting.

            Just like us if you actually have us moving in next door rather than cooking for, or serving you, or making quaint efnik edgear for you!

            Britain is only so “empty” if you count it behind “countries” like Monaco, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Vatican City and such city states which rely on a proper country for a hinterland, or tax haven isles which rely on the wealth of a phantom tax-dodger populace of ex-pats.

            Now tell us where it comes in Europe, and in the World, in a listing of proper countries!!!!!!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way, it’s notable that YOU never respond directly to points I make just come back with more deranged bluster!!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            And it’s “you’re” in this case:

            Learn your own language!

            And don’t bother coŕecting mine, it’s waycist:

            And I’m dexlys;c¡¡¡

          • Shorne

            Yes I’m happy to acknowledge a spelling error, are you? because it’s actually spelt ‘racist’, still pushing idea that you aren’t White I see, well what are you then?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Am I?!

            Still struggling with English Comprehension I see!!!

            No surprises there, then, considering the problems you’ve had understanding your own Wikipedia “references”!!!!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Have you got any figures for your significant ‘non-white ‘presence in London since at least the 16th Century?

            Better still, any evidence or proof?!?!?!!!!!

          • Shorne

            Well this will take a while;
            This is an extract from a letter written by Elizabeth 1st in 1596;
            “there are of late divers blackmoores brought into this realme, of which kinde of people there are allready here to manie,” in 1601, she complained again about the “great numbers of Negars and Blackamoors which (as she is informed) are crept into this realm,” She demanded they be deported, they weren’t and have been here ever since. Elizabeth Ist had at least one black servant too.
            17th–18th centuries
            During this era there was a rise of black settlements in London. Britain was involved with the tri-continental slave tradebetween Europe, Africa and the Americas. Black slaves were attendants to sea captains and ex-colonial officials as well as traders, plantation owners and military personnel. This marked growing evidence of the black presence in the northern, eastern and southern areas of London (Source:Davies, Carole Boyce (2008). Encyclopedia of the African diaspora: origins, experiences, and culture)
            In 1764, for example, the Gentleman’s Magazine estimated that 20,000 Black people lived in London, a figure accepted by the anti-slavery campaigner Granville Sharp.
            During this same period many slave soldiers who fought on the side of the British in the American Revolutionary War arrived in London. These soldiers were deprived of pensions and many of them became poverty-stricken and were reduced to begging on the streets. The Blacks in London lived among the whites in areas of Mile End, Stepney, Paddington and St Giles. The majority of these people did not live as slaves, but as servants to wealthy whites.
            Coming into the early 19th century, more groups of black soldiers and seamen were displaced after the Napoleonic wars and settled in London.
            In the later part of the 19th century there was a buildup of small groups of black dockside communities in towns such as Canning Town, Liverpool, and Cardiff. This was a direct effect of new shipping links that were established with the Caribbean and West Africa. As these small groups of black communities made their lives as a part of London many of the London-born blacks began to make a significant mark on London life. There was a continuous influx of African students, sportsmen, and businessmen mixed with this dominant white society. These black-born Londoners were gaining professional positions as doctors, politicians and activists. From the 1840s, well-to-do Indians began to arrive in greater numbers as students, because a British qualification had become essential for finding employment at the higher levels of the Indian civil service. Some students attended university, often Oxford or Cambridge, and others were sent to gain professional qualifications.
            Then came the arrival of Black soldiers and sailors as a result of two World Wars.

            Now having provided the proof you demanded you will ignore it as yet again you have been proved wrong.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Perhaps you think the 16th century is the 1600s, or you’ve even got things a r s e about face and think it’s the 1700s?!

            From you own post there are at most “divers”/ “to manie”/ “great numbers”, which mereleyt repeats your assertion.

            You haven’t said how many were “to manie”.

            Alf Garnett might think one was “to manie”, but you could hardly call one “divers” never mind “great numbers”.

            But, in addition to Elizabeth’s boy servant there was also a black trumpeter of Henry the VII and then VIII, plus possibly more than one in the Scottish court.

            But the key point is that these were:

            “blackmoores brought into this realme”

            In fact mainly servants or slaves, or curiosities, effectively pets, often depicted on the fringes of family portraits with the dogs.

            Though also a few sailors, and the odd merchant.

            Hardly “a significant ‘non-white ‘presence in London since at least the 16th Century”, is it?

            You go on to state:

            17th–18th centuries
            During this era there was a rise of black
            settlements in London…… This marked growing evidence
            of the black presence….. In 1764, for example,
            the Gentleman’s Magazine estimated that 20,000 Black people lived in

            So, by the late 18th century (so hardly “since at least the 16th Century”, is it?!) we have one source with one acceptance of 20,000.

            Others put it at 15,000.

            At a time when the population was approaching a million (Your Wikipedia: 1801: 1,011,157).

            Or 1.5%.

            Hardly a “significant ‘non-white ‘presence in London” in the late 18th Century, never mind “since at least the 16th Century”.

            Is it.

            And the BBC, apparently referring to the 18th Century, though the article isn’t entirely clear (it might be referring to pre 20th century!) refers to:

            the relatively small number of black people in Britain (even in
            London there were not many more than 10,000, around 1 per cent of the capital’s population

            And in another article the Beeb says:

            back in Shakespeare’s day, you could have met people from west Africa and even Bengal in the same London streets.

            Of course, there were fewer, and they drew antipathy as well as fascination from the Tudor inhabitants, who had never seen black people before. But we know they lived, worked and intermarried, so it is fair to say that Britain’s first black community starts here.

            There had been black people in Britain in Roman times, and they are found as musicians in the early Tudor period in England and Scotland.

            But the real change came in Elizabeth I’s reign, when, through the records, we can pick up ordinary, working, black people, especially in London.

            Shakespeare himself, a man fascinated by “the other”, wrote several black parts – indeed, two of his greatest characters are black – and the fact that he put them into mainstream entertainment reflects the fact that they were a significant element in the population of London.

            Employed especially as domestic servants, but also as
            musicians, dancers and entertainers, their numbers ran to many hundreds, maybe even more.

            My bold

            they were a significant element in the population of London to the tune of:

            many hundreds, maybe even more

            So a fraction of one per cent!

            A lot of your post appears to be a cut (and precis) and paste from your favourite source, but you missed:

            “In 1807 the British slave trade was abolished and the slave trade was abolished completely in the British empire by 1834. The number of blacks in London was steadily declining with these new laws.”

            Another Wiki article says of your soldiers:

            Following the British defeat in the American War of Independence over 1,100 Black Loyalist troops who had fought on the losing side were transported to Britain, but they mostly ended up destitute on London’s streets and were viewed as a social problem.

            Yup, 1,100!

          • Shorne

            Elizabeth 1st’s first letter was written in 1596 which was during the 16th Century . If she thought there were ‘to manie’ then it falls within the definition of significant:
            significant adjective
            sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention

          • Mr B J Mann

            Are you being deliberately obtuse.

            OK, I agree that from Elizabethan times, and subsequently, as emphasised in the passages I quoted, the small numbers of non whites in London were sufficiently “important” to be worthy of attention, or were “noteworthy”, to to factors such as their novelty or curiosity value through to the social problems they caused.

            As opposed to the “Significant, adjective, sufficiently great” impression you were trying to give!

            For a population of 0.25% to 1.5% at peak, that had almost disappeared or been totally absorbed into the white population by World War Two!!!!

            Happy now?!?!?!?!

          • Mr B J Mann

            You also seem to have accidentally forgotten to cut (and precis) and paste snippets like these:

            Many of these people were forced into beggary due to the lack of jobs and racial discrimination.[36][37]

            The whites of London held widespread views that Black people in London were less than human; these views were expressed in slave sale advertisements.

            The Black Londoners, encouraged by the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor, decided to emigrate

            “however great the progress of mankind has been, and however far we have advanced in overcoming prejudices, I doubt if we have yet got to the point of view where a British constituency would elect a Blackman” referring to a South ASIAN!)

            The 19th century was also a time when “scientific racism” flourished. Many white Londoners claimed that they were the superior race and that blacks were not as intelligent as whites. They tried to hold up their accounts with scientific evidence, for example the size of the brain. The late 19th century effectively ended the first period of large-scale black immigration to London and Britain. This decline in immigration gave way to the gradual incorporation of blacks and their descendants into this predominantly white society.

            During the mid-19th century there were restrictions on African immigration.

            The South Shields community (which, as well as Black British, also included South Asians and Yemenis) were victims of the UK’s first race riot in 1919.[48] Soon all the other towns with significant non-white communities were also hit by race riots that spread across the Anglo-Saxon world. At this time, on Australian insistence, the British refused to accept the Racial Equality Proposal put forward by the Japanese at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.

            in February 1941, 345 West Indians came to work in factories in and around Liverpool, making munitions.[50] By the end of 1943 there were a further 3,312 African-American GIs based at Maghull and Huyton, near Liverpool.[51] It is estimated that approximately 20,000 black Londoners lived in communities concentrated in the dockside areas of London, Liverpool and Cardiff. One of these black Londoners, Learie Constantine, who was a welfare officer with the Ministry of Labour, was refused service at a London hotel. He sued for breach of contract and was awarded damages. This particular example is used by some to illustrate the slow change from racism towards acceptance and equality of all citizens in London.[52]


            In 1950 there were probably fewer than 20,000 non-white residents in Britain, almost all born overseas.

            And then of course we have:

            Street conflicts and policing
            See also: List of race riots
            The Brixton race riot in London, 1981

            The late 1950s through to the late 1980s saw a number of mass street conflicts involving young Afro-Caribbean men and (largely white) British police officers in British cities

          • Mr B J Mann

            So, to summarise, we seem to have gone from black people [slaves, conquered soldiers, mercenaries] in Britain in Roman times, to probably few to none after the Romans left, to a “significant” handfull in the 16th Century (the odd noteworthy trumpeter, Royal servant – pet?!, needlemaker…) to an even more “significant” possibly hundreds, possibly more, in the 1600s, to possibly 20,000, possibly 15,000, possibly only 10,000 at most in the 1700s, to significant reductions as the population grew, to, errrmmmmm. 20,000 in the 1950s when the population was about 8 million!

            Or the “significant” black population (which included Asians!) ranged from 1%, maybe 1.5% at most (when they included slaves, servants, prostitutes, a social problem, and even pets!), to 0.25% in the 1950s!

            Not quite the picture you were painting, is it!

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way:

            “Immigrants from Ireland, Poland and Germany outnumber those from India and Pakistan.”

            In London?

            Please do show us those “statistics” (with definitions)!

          • Shorne

            Top ten sender countries of migrants by country of birth and nationality, UK 2013
            India 9.4

            Poland 8.7

            Pakistan 6.4

            Ireland 5.1

            Germany 4.0

            Source: Migration Watch

            You don’t think I would quote something without checking it do you?

          • Mr B J Mann

            9.4 Indians?!?!?!!!

            Have they already had some organs harvested before being trafficked?!?!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Shorne

            Weren’t at school the day they did percentages then?

          • Mr B J Mann


            So you’re saying 90.6% of the Indian was harvested before he immigrated.

            I wouldn’t have thought the remains would be viable!

            So you weren’t at school the day they did English then?!

            Especially Comprehension!

            Where are the figures from.

            And what was the “significant” number of blacks in the 16th Century.

            And where is your evidence?!?!?!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            As for you “checking”:

            I’d spell what you do:

            “c h e r r y – p i c k i n g” !

          • Shorne

            Predictably I’ve given the figures you asked for but because of your Right Man Syndrome you can’t be wrong so you try and deny their validity.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You said:

            “Immigrants from Ireland, Poland and Germany outnumber those from India and Pakistan.”

            And I asked:

            “In London?

            Please do show us those “statistics” (with definitions)!”

            To which you “replied”:

            “Top ten sender countries of migrants by country of birth and nationality, UK 2013
            India 9.4……………”

            Without even defining what the numbers were supposed to be (percentages)!

            And the “number sent”, never mind just in 2013, doesn’t answer the question, never mind address the point of total numbers.

            From your favourite source, for London:

            2011 United Kingdom Census[8]

            Country of birth: Population

            India: 262,247
            Pakistan: 112,457
            Total: 374,704

            Ireland: 129,807
            Poland: 158,300
            Germany: 55,476
            Total: 343,583

            So you’re wrong on the bald figures.

            However, I think you’ll find most of those “Germans” are actually children of forces personnel and support services born there while their parents were posted to Germany.

            And then there’s:

            Bangladesh (East Pakistan): 109,948

            And you could include as part of the Indian Sub-Continent:
            Sri Lanka: 84,542

            Making the “Indian” figure 569,194, or nearly double the Irish, Polish and “German” one!

            Especially as many of the Poles returned home permanently, while many of the Indian Sub Continent population would have been away on an extended holiday “home”.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So, predictably, I’ve given the figures you prentended to present, and because of your Wrong Man Syndrome you can’t be right, but I bet you’ll try and deny their

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way, you say that “The White British population is about 80%”, or a fifth, and let’s say that “only” 5% of the population is naturalised white immigrants or the offspring of born in Britain to white immigrants.

            That means that the population has increased by a third due to recent immigration.

            Which means that housing has been increased by a third due to recent immigration.

            Housing built on flood plains where, for bleedin obvious reasons, housing has never been built before.

            And service roads.

            And even if the housing isn’t on flood plains:

            Rain, instead of being collected on vegetation, and then absorbed into the ground:

            Is pouring off roofs, and drives, and yards, and roads, into streams and rivers and floodplains:

            And flooding all the houses on the floodplain that used to escape the floods.

            And they say that there is no downside to being flooded with immigrants!

      • Mr B J Mann

        Here’s a fuller picture of “white” (note, NOT “White British”, never mind historically White British, but ALL White regardless of status, parentage, or even current nationality:

        There seems to be half a dozen boroughs that aren’t even majority white, never mind White British.

        And two thirds of them are less than two thirds white, including white immigrants.

        In fact the total percentage of White British in London was given as under 45%, and that includes naturalised immigrants and children of immigrants born here.

        And that’s from the 2011 Census:

        So it doesn’t include the last four years of sky high immigration.

        It also doesn’t include undetected illegal immigrants.

        So, clearly, filming in London would be like filming in a foreign land.

        • Shorne

          Yes a foreign land that has a mixed population as so many do.

          • Mr B J Mann


            But, strangely, when you see a Beeb, or, in fact, any Brit, documentary from foreign parts, strangely, the only white face you see seems to be the presenter’s:

            If they’re white.

            Are you saying British broadcasters are so sickeningly waycist they segregate their exotic crowd scenes?!?!!!!!!

            Perhaps they should film them in London?!?!?!!!!!

            Or perhaps they do!!!!!!!!

  • jim

    Sounds like this guy just pumps out the usual twink stuff with teenybop casts for american teenagers and their clones. Let the baby have it’s bottle. I limit my movie watching to that historical period which is now referred to as being BA .:Before Androgyny….but let commercial studio pay for this drivel.Stop buying license fees.

    • Pacificweather

      “people will always prefer books to kindle” Is it favoured by extremists but I find yesterday’s newspaper works better.

  • Alex Jackson

    My friend broke his leg on a Segway. So that’s at least 2. Really well researched article.

  • wycombewanderer

    Mr Horowitz obviously only sees one side of the location film angle, turning up at breakfast time and being in the car sometime after lunch to get home.

    Meanwhile caterers, facilities and all the rest of the circus will have been setting up for hours before and will still be making a racket hours after he’s in the groucho club, given the number of unit base sites available in central London residents gget pissed off, add in a night shoot and you can guarantee 24 hour disruption

  • Badger

    Anyone with a camcorder can film in London for free. Perhaps I’m being over simplistic.

  • Torybushhug

    ‘Even Transport for London has predicted a 60 per cent rise in congestion by 2031’.

    One of the many environmental degradations by way of mass immigration.
    Even out in the shires, they’re building houses everywhere, it’s so depressing and wont solve a thing anyway, as new resource simply attracts more people.

  • Richard Baranov

    Isn’t the Segway banned because of some ridiculous law from the 18th. century, or something of the sort? Progressive Britain, wending its way into the 19th. century! I would love to use one, my village is a hill so walking up and down is a drag.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Modern technology and state of the art movie studios would practically do away with filming on location, especially well known places. The cost of filming on location and the Bureaucratic headaches is clearly outlined in this article. The exceptions being exotic , yet to be discovered places.Too many films are hardly making any profit to take on the risk of filming in locations like London, New York, San Francisco etc.

  • Mr B J Mann

    Oh, Purleeeeeeeeeze!!!!

    Even Transport for London has predicted a 60 per cent rise in congestion by 2031.

    But London could have reached “Peak Car” as long ago as the 1980s, definately by the Millennium along with other major cities, and most of the rest of the country by 2010!

    So why, if traffic is static or falling, is traffic congestion acceĺerating?

    It’s because of deliberately created congestion creating measures!

  • Mr B J Mann

    Oh, Jeeeeeeeeeeze!

    In Paris, pollution fell 30 per cent when cars were banned

    Classic example of anti-car lobby cognitive capability:

    In Paris, 70 per cent of pollution was still there when cars were banned!

    From buses, diesel trains, and the power stations that fuel “green” electric trains, tube, trams and buses, despite “green” claims that power stations produce their contribution to “traffic” and “transport” (which includes SHIPPING!) pollution ouside of cities, and clean it up anyway!

    The original studies on harm to health from “traffic” and “transport” pollution didn’t blame it on cars:

    And a contemporaneous study for the NHS reported that there were neither any health, nor any environmental, reasons for restricting car use in cities!!!

    • Leon Wolfeson

      So you make up a study. And decry a 30% fall in pollution.
      And ignore the fact that public transports is far lower emissions per person.

      You’ll need medical-grade filter masks in London soon at this rate, of course. So, how big an interest do you have in companies making them?

      • Mr B J Mann

        Nutter TrØll 8&——

        • Leon Wolfeson

          Yes, I’m sure you do ignore that.
          Never mind the facts.

  • John M

    So there you have it. Every hard working Londoner should be banned from having and using a car anywhere in London… unless you are a luvvie in which case they need better parking permits.

    The case for “go f**k youself hypocrite” rests.