My Home: Danny Wallace, comedian

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The comedian runs his own country from his London flat. But it's a tight squeeze accommodating his subjects

I've lived here for about five years, arriving from Harrow-on-the-Hill. I had lots of friends in the East End but had always assumed that it was 1,000 miles away. It's actually a very short journey from central London, Tube-wise, and my flat is a seven-minute walk from the Tube station.

When I first moved here, I joined the Bow Quarter website where residents can post messages to each other. I was alarmed to find that most of the messages took the form of warnings about local areas to avoid after dark and unpleasant anecdotes relating to muggings. After that, I became aware of figures lurking in the shadows during the walk home, which now felt a lot longer than seven minutes, and noticed the look of relief on the faces of fellow commuters as they lurched through the gates into the safety of the Bow Quarter. I don't look at the website any more. But the area has undeniably beautiful parts. Then you go round the next corner and it's horrid.

As the ruler of my own country, which is contained within the walls of the flat, I wear my uniform on special occasions. It was made for me by Dege & Skinner, who also produced vestments for the Sultan of Brunei. I used to fly a flag from the window but some of my over-enthusiastic subjects became a nuisance and I had to take it down. The flat itself is open plan, with a galleried bedroom above, reached by a spiral staircase. The gallery forms a useful raised podium from which to address my subjects, who can form a riotous crowd below in the sitting room. There is space for about 60 of them at a time, but as there are now more than 50,000, I will need to look for somewhere bigger quite soon.

The sitting room is made up of two distinct areas; the area at the far end is where I conduct most of my personal life, and is ordered and minimalist. There is a row of DVDs along the window sill, the size of which confounds me. Two years ago I had four films and now I own more than 200. I bought most of them for research purposes, and I conduct my research on a large and comfy brown leather sofa. The other end, nearer the kitchen, is my work area, containing my desk. I spend a lot of time reading and answering e-mails generated by the cult that I formed, "Join Me", where everyone is obliged to carry out a "random act of kindness" every Friday - such as putting money into a vending machine and leaving the packet of crisps for the next person.

My desk becomes cluttered very easily and I have amassed a collection of thousands of passport photographs, sent to me by the Join Me members, kept in boxes by my desk, awaiting reply. I have hundreds of them covering the walls of the hallway. In the past I worried that a burglar would form a very dodgy impression of me at the sight of my pervy-looking wallpaper, but then it occurred to me that I don't care what he thinks, since he's burgling my flat!

The windows here are about 15ft high and, being on the fourth floor, I have a fantastic view, overlooking the Millennium Dome and Canary Wharf. It's particularly beautiful at night when the panorama is imbued with an orange industrial glow. I love lying in bed, comforted by the sounds of the trains chugging gently by and pondering the marvellous cityscape before me. In the branches of the tall plane trees outside lives a tiny fluffy owl who peeps in at me and makes weird noises.

My dining table is a proper Sixties piece, from my family home, made of white Formica with metal legs. There's a photo of me as a baby in my carry-cot on this table, somewhere. The shaggy rug on the floor is also genuine vintage Sixties, and I had it in my playroom when I was little. I don't buy much for the flat, as there's not much room to put anything, but we do go down to Spitalfields market at weekends, where we sometimes buy bits of art.

On the wall in the sitting room is a giant, life-sized cut-out of me that I was given after a publicity thing in America. I got quite scared the first time I saw it at night. People must think I'm an egomaniac, but it's only here because I've got nowhere else to hide it.

I'm considering moving on soon, and Islington is tempting. I just fancy it, somehow. Islington knows it's cool and I like the buzz. It would be good to be able to take friends for a pint somewhere that isn't grotty. Round here, good drinking spots are hard to come by; it's all old men's boxing pubs - atmospheric but depressing. This is the only fully double-glazed country in the world, with 100 per cent employment and a 0 per cent crime rate, the first physical territory of my expanding empire. I'm not sure about the legalities of moving it to Islington.

'How to Start Your Own Country' is available on DVD from 24 October, £19.99

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Property search
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup