My World - Andy Silvester
The Editor of City AM gives us an insight into his world
By Andy Silvester
July 6 2023
I was born on the edge of south- west London, just as Zone 6 becomes the suburbs. Some friends moved further out. I was only ever moving in.
So much has changed. My hinterland growing up was south London. Now I’m in what The Sunday Times calls the “Hackney borders”.
My earliest memory was the 1995 Derby. My dad put some money on Lammtarra for me – I picked the name. He won by a length at 14/1.
My local team is AFC Wimbledon, home and away. It’s a family thing. I didn’t have a choice.
The first album I bought was The Ego Has Landed by Robbie Williams. I’d love it to have been cool. It’s not. We’ve got a stack of vinyl and a record player at home, but standing up to flip a record over is a faff. Google Home usually wins.
My background has informed what I do. I want London to do well. City AM allows me to tell the positive story of our capital. Other financial newspapers seem to revel in imagined stories of its demise.
My last meal on death row? My girlfriend’s potage bonne femme, a classic French soup. If I’m going away for a while, I want something comforting. Some good bread and butter on the side, too.
The perfect lunch? A long afternoon at Café Cecilia, if I can get a booking. Drink? I struggle to turn down a decent French ‘75.
My favourite part of London is the Oval. It’s my happy place – an oasis of calm in the heart of south London. I love the City, of course. I’ve even created a Square Mile treasure hunt.
I take first time visitors to Brixton Market and St Paul’s.
My biggest extravagance is having a proper shave with a hot towel.
Window or aisle? Aisle. I’d rather be bothered than bother people.
A good holiday has no phone signal.
I relax by reading non-fiction. Putting together a paper doesn’t seem so difficult when you’re reading about Chernobyl.
Dog or cat? I grew up with a Westie, McTavish. Now there are two cats in my life: Radish and Cabbage.
The most important quality in a person is not being judgmental.
AI will be challenging. It took New York City 30 years to go from hosting a car show to installing traffic lights. We’ll need to think a little more quickly than that this time, but I’m optimistic about it.
Politicians are underpaid. We should halve the number of MPs and double their pay.
My most contentious opinion is probably that London becoming more prosperous is good for the rest of the UK, but that’s not a popular view these days.
My favourite London view is sitting outside Café Bohème on Old Compton Street in Soho, watching the world go by. That or the room at the National Gallery with the pair of Monets facing a pair of Turners. I could sit there all day.
If I were mayor for a day I would introduce free entry to our heritage sites for Londoners; I’d whack a small City tax on 4- and 5-star hotel rooms; I’d abolish the Met and start again; and I’d close some roads in the evening so restaurants can spill out onto the street.
I could live in Mexico City or possibly New Orleans, but nowhere competes with London.
The best bit of advice I was given was to work hard and speak up
Ultimately I have faith in humanity. We’ve managed to get this far