The Lord Mayor of London shares his Best of British TV and film insider tips

Thursday 23 July 2020
Lord Mayor, City of London

As the Lord Mayor of London, I am based in the City of London, home to some of the best cultural experiences to be found anywhere in the country. Cultural development is particularly close to my heart and I’m proud that this is such a big part of my mayoral agenda: Global UK: Trade, Innovation and Culture. 


It’s true that many British blockbuster films and popular TV series are actually filmed right here in the City of London, from Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw to Suffragette, to BBC’s Giri/Haji.


One of my favourite British TV series has to be The Crown; I believe it’s an absolute must-see! For visitors who want to get to grips with our history and how the UK has changed over the past seven decades, the series really packs in a huge amount. It’s superbly acted, and many scenes have been filmed right here in the City of London.


Without any doubt whatsoever, an insider tip from me for anyone planning a trip to Britain is to visit the iconic Barbican Centre, a performing arts hub in the City of London and the largest of its kind in Europe. The Centre hosts classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, high-profile film screenings and art exhibitions. It also houses a library, three restaurants, and a music conservatory (an educational institution for musical performance and composition).


The Barbican certainly has one of the best cinematic experiences anywhere in London, with a wide variety of new releases from across the world on show throughout the week.


As Lord Mayor, I have the privilege of temporarily living at the beautiful Mansion House right in the centre of the City. It’s a truly splendid and grandiose building, and even doubled up as the interior of the Kremlin in Armando Iannucci’s brilliant film Death of Stalin.


Thinking about classic British films, Spectre is one of my favourite Bond films of all times. Some of the most thrilling car chase moments towards the end of the film were filmed right here in the City of London on Gresham Street – not too far from the historic Guildhall. 


In true Bond style, I loved the fast-paced speedboat chase scene on the Thames in The World Is Not Enough – you can actually do the full James Bond experience by taking a speedboat ride along the river using the exact same route!


There are always fantastic new film and TV projects underway in the City of London– you never know when you might bump into a film crew working on the next blockbuster. I’ll leave you with a top secret I recently found out - filming on the latest instalment in the Mission Impossible series is due to take place here in the City very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!



About the Lord Mayor of the City of London

William Russell is the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London. The Lord Mayor acts as an international spokesperson for the City, leading business delegations overseas to key international markets. Alderman Russell has over thirty years’ experience in the financial and business City, including holding senior positions in the national and international banking sector.

For more information contact:

Clare Gull, VisitBritain Australia