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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sales Consultant – Permanent – West Sussex – £24-£25k plus commission and other benefits

£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...

Humanities and Economics Teacher - January 2015 - Malaysia

£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain