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
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Property search
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?