Lisa, or L-Bo as she is known to her friends back in the projects, hails from Dartford, and isn’t the least bit ashamed. After spending as much time as she could at Goldsmiths College, abusing the Fine Art students, she ignored the fact that she had trained as a historian, and promptly became an Events Co-ordinator for Dartford Borough Council, which could be described as a contradiction in terms. Once Ken Livingstone heard about her extraordinary talent for organising Allotment Prize presentations, town centre bell ringing contests and hideous fetes, he promptly hired her to co-ordinate events on Trafalgar and Parliament Squares. She is now a fully paid up member of the beret wearing gla staff. Can usually be found on a Saturday night on the dance floor of the Bull and Vic in Dartford Town Centre, demanding that the DJ play some Joy Division.
What would your Mastermind specialist subject(s) be? • Probably London’s Early Modern Pleasure Gardens (Careful). If that couldn’t sustain 30 or so questions, I’ll go for The gaffes and possessions of Derek Acorah, as seen on Most Haunted Series 1–4.
Europe or America? • Europe. I’ve watched too much Louis Theroux to think any other way.
What book(s) are you currently reading? • Freakonomics, which is readable. I’d never thought the application of number science could be that interesting (sorry Rich). Also re-reading George Orwell’s Coming up for Air, often overlooked I think.
What news sources and/or websites do you consult on a daily basis? • guardian.co.uk and bbc.co.uk, but of course, only after I have consulted Joe Mott’s Daily Star Column. Someone once compared his writing style to the central character in American Psycho. Charlie Brooker, you are a deeply flawed genius.
Are you happy with your Body Mass Index? • I’m not sure I could actually use the term ‘happy’, however, ”impressed’ is probably a fair adjective. I am not quite at my optimum weight anymore, and thanks to lunchtime jaunts around the Square Mile, and a little less Nigella style cooking, the number is steadily dropping. However, as a fighting weight, I am more than satisfied.
Which television quiz do you most enjoy? • Have I Got News for You is still fresh, and makes me laugh out loud every week. I remember rubbing my hands with glee when Ian Hislop decimated Piers Morgan, and in my darker moments, it still cheers me. I’m also enjoying Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive, which although only a quiz in the loosest sense, is a brilliant, hilarious, painful study of self obsession.
What is your favourite building? • Tough one. I’ve got a real fondness for Charles Holden’s tube stations, and Chiswick Park, Arnos Grove and Clapham South are particular favourites. Senate House, the University of London Library is imposing, although studying in the history section on the 6th floor was terminally depressing. I also love the old Coronet in Woolwich — much overlooked, and fading fast, but a joy to see at if you are ever waiting for the ferry. I also love the old wharf buildings — restored beautifully for the most part in places like Wapping, and decaying, but still incredible in Silvertown. Also recently had the pleasure of visiting Warrior Square in St Leonard’s, East Sussex. Marine Court is a fantastic deco throwback, and the Square itself has so many examples of that fantastic Edwardian style which is now thought of as exclusive to London squares and seaside resorts, but can be found in pockets all over. The area is about to embark on an extensive restoration project, which will hopefully preserve its character, rather than pander to its growing popularity as a commuter town.
Whose art means more to you than just paint on a canvas? • Edward Hopper. Can’t think of a painting I don’t like, but Approaching a City, Drug Store, New York Movie and Compartment C, Car 293 are particular favourites. Nighthawks hangs happily in my bedroom, and The Simpsons spoof poster of the scene in my kitchen. I’m nothing if not populist.
To which magazine would you most like to have a subscription? • Private Eye. Still not got round to it.
What relevance does politics in the United Kingdom have to you? • Probably too much (although I’m still not convinced you could ever be too interested). I have lost count of the times I have pissed friends off by turning a lovely lunch into a verbal brawl. Its not even as if I’m really even that well informed — I think the Estuary in me just likes a ruck.
What is your favourite font? • Arial. It isn’t really, but I don’t know the name of the one TfL [Transport for London] use.
Due to an unforeseen error the Internet vanishes overnight. What do you do to pass the time? • Develop Derren Brown style mind control skills in order that I might have the edge in social situations. Will have to wait for his book to come down in price in Waterstone’s though if Amazon no longer exists.
OK Computer or The Bends? • The Bends. Sorry.