At first I didn't much like the pubs. It was like having a drink and a meal in someone else's living room, you know? There's no real counterpart in the States. Then I went to so many when I was in the stage musical of Grease that the names have blurred into one, usually the Man in the Moon. It's fun to go now.

The London sense of humour took some getting used to as well. Oh yes, there is a London sense of humour. I first came here when I was 16 and I didn't have a cynical bone in my body. I didn't understand that sort of low-key bitter wit. I've got a few cynical bones in my body these days so I enjoy it now.

Should I say this? The food in New York is tons better. When I got back to Manhattan I became so excited ordering in: cold sesame noodles and stuff like that. London isn't very good for ordering in, especially more exotic dishes or ordering in late. London closes early.

New York I can go out at practically any hour to eat and restaurants or clubs always seem to be only a two-minute walk away.

I know this is the oldest cliche in the book, but yeah, you really are more reserved. People in LA just wander up to you and say 'Hi, Debbie. Londoners don't.

You're also better educated. I mean that. There are people who graduated college in the States who don't know left from right. A certain level of intelligence is taken for granted in London. So is a higher cost of living, though Londoners definitely get paid less than New Yorkers.

I'm shocked at the prices here, really shocked. The theatre minimum for, say, dancers straight out of school, is. . . you know, they're being taken advantage of after training so hard.

Basically I admire Londoners for putting up with so much and still having such good manners.

Debbie Gibson headlines The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber concert at St Paul's Cathedral on the 25th at 7.30pm. Tickets: 071-638 8891. Prices from pounds 15 to pounds 75.

(Photograph omitted)