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One day in London

London is a breeding ground for crazy encounters, wild escapades and just plain weirdness. The Print gets QM students to share their best

A cool thing about London is the casual encounters with ‘celebrities’. Before moving here, I had thought nothing would ever top spotting Stewart Lee in a Winchester kebab shop before a gig. Browsing CDs in HMV Oxford Street next to Richard Ayoade came close. My favourite sighting, however, has to be Gary Numan checking my ticket on the Southwest Train service from London to Portsmouth. Context: not sure it was legitimately Gary Numan, but I kid you not he was the spitting image, and as he came closer down the aisle I discovered that his name badge did in fact read ‘Gary Numan’. I feel there were 4 possible explanations. A) It’s a massive coincidence, B) He’s a huge Gary Numan fan and had surgery to look like him and also changed his name, C) Several people mistake him for Gary Numan (including whoever printed his badge), D) He was actually Gary Numan, venturing into the public transport business (you could say he was fed up of Cars… geddit?). Option D is my fave. – Holly Burnham

Once my flatmate met Will Young at an event and he invited a group of us on a night out with him the following weekend. It all seemed a bit of a joke until we were actually pre-drinking with probably the nicest guy in pop and his friends at a Wetherspoons in Peckham the following Saturday night. Will bought a velvet jumpsuit especially for the occasion and we headed to a soul and funk night at the Bussey Building warehouse. I’d accidentally bought the wrong ticket for the event and I had no cash, but Will bought me another ticket (nicest man in pop) so I didn’t have to end my night early and get the bus home alone. Needless to say, my mum was super jealous. I didn’t tell him I actually voted for Gareth Gates in Pop Idol back when I was about seven. – Rachel Michaella Finn

Once again I had found myself on Brick Lane on a Sunday; fighting off hipster hairdressers and searching for culinary delights of questionable heritage. I happened upon what looked to be quite a nice bag on one of the vintage clothing stalls and took it upon myself to have a gander. Not being one to follow the ‘you look with your eyes not your hands rule’ I opened the bag then closed it again. Then decided it wasn’t nice enough to buy. This apparently greatly displeased the stall owner. As me and my friends tried to walk away, he sauntered over, rocking the typical east London lunatic aesthetic. ‘’Why do people always do that?’’ We did the sensible thing and laughed it off whilst trying to walk away… but he had more to say. ‘‘People always come up and look inside then walk away, what do they expect to find in there?’’ Again we harnessed a fake giggle and shuffled aside. ‘’I’m going to put cockroaches in it’’. This time our fake laugh was masking ultimate concern as we realised he was actually clearly quite irate about it. ‘’Then the next time someone opens it they will be like ‘arghhhh!”’. – Gemma Meredith

When on my way to see the Cornetto Trilogy at the Prince Charles Cinema, I neglected to check the TfL website, so found both Mile End and Stepney Green closed. I legged it down to Whitechapel, only to find myself stopping to wave and shout ‘hiya’ at someone I recognised, I assumed a friend. It wasn’t until I got to the Tube that I realised that it wasn’t a friend, it was Jonathan Ross, explaining why he looked a little scared when he walked away. At Leicester Square I got lost in China Town, but eventually saw the cinema across the road. I ran across the busy road narrowly missing a car that screeched to a stop behind me. The man that got out the car was Cornetto Trilogy director, Edgar Wright, the man I had come here to see and, still cringing from the previous famous run-in, I dashed round the side of the cinema and found my seat. The next day I went to his signing thinking I had a funny story to tell, but he just looked shocked and couldn’t stop apologising.  – Sarah Garnham

When looking for a place to live for second year, my friends and I came back to London for a couple of days and looked at as many places as we could in that time. Eventually we put down a holding fee on the last house we saw, but everyone still seemed nervous. I guess we expected a big moment of realisation where we all walked into a place and instantly knew it was where we would spend the next year of our lives. We just wanted a sign that we were making the right decision. The next day everyone went their separate ways, while I stayed in London a little bit longer to go to a talk at the British Library by Bryan Lee O’Malley, author of the Scott Pilgrim books. Afterwards, at the signing, I said: “I have a strange request, could I record a video of you saying it’s a sign?” The author considered for a brief moment and then agreed to do it without asking for any explanation. The next day I sent the video to my friends and felt better about everything because I’d come across an obvious, not at all manufactured, sign that we’d made the right decision. – Jacob MacQuarrie

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