psychoPEDIA: Daily News

My Town: Harrow, UK
Jeff Leach, Unmasked

Despite being on our screens for barely a year, Jeff Leach is already earning a reputation for being one of Britain’s hottest new talents. The energetic young presenter who landed his first gig while DJ’ing topless and wearing a Mexican wrestling mask, is the face of BBC’s teenage talk-show "The Surgery". With a slew of exciting new TV and radio projects planned for this year, the young multi-tasker talked us through why he loves being in TV and his ‘brilliant and awful’ life growing up in Harrow:

What’s great about working in TV?
The live shows I’ve done have been my favorite aspect, by far. I love meeting strange and interesting people and catapulting myself at them headlong and finding out how their minds will react.

Anything you hate about working in TV?
People already established in the industry disliking me before they have even met me, just because I’m new, full of beans and eager. A couple of folk have actively made me feel like shit, simply because they feel threatened by me because I am a new face.

What was life like growing up in Harrow?
Brilliant and awful. I developed my love for acting, comedy and music, because of the lovely and interesting group of friends I had there. I smoked a lot of weed and existed in a very tight-knit group, restricted and safely comforted by the life of suburbia. It was a great place to grow, develop and explore who I was and who I wanted to become. However, once I left, I’ve never looked back.

Favorite bar?
When I was about 13 or 14, we used to go to the Filamouth & Firkin Pub, which then became The Junction. I also used to drink at the Trinity Bar. This was the hangout for all the rock, Goth, grunge, hip hop and skater kids, so it housed my expression and changing styles. Harrow thrived with a local scene of great bands like The Rakes and The Natives and skaters like the Death Squad (including the Dirty Sanchez boys), who I actually knocked about with whilst I worked at the Boondox skate shop. There was a general sense of local town warmth with an underlying edge of violence. People got mugged and stabbed, but the local off-licence sorted me out bottles of Red Square from the age of 14.

Favorite restaurant to go to in Harrow and why?
Harrow isn’t particularly famed for its gastronomic delights. However, Harrow on the Hill has a selection of fine eateries. My favorite restaurant is Akash Tandoori in Sudbury Hill. It’s a fine Indian curry house, previously called Saathi. I went there every weekend for about 6 years. I even had a 50% off gold card and always got free drinks.

How would you describe Harrow to someone who’s never been there?
The town center is suburban and developing. Full of the shops you’d expect of a once flourishing middle-class town, but with enough dark alleys to lose a wallet or a mobile phone in. The hill is a fantastic day out, steeped in heritage and historical beauty. And as for my little area of Sudbury Hill -- well, it’s got more chicken shops and crap off-lisences rammed onto its small main street now, than all the family owned friendly shops that used to be there.

If you had 12 hours to show me a good time in Harrow, where would you take me?
Onto Sudbury Hill with your drinks and drugs of choice and something to start a bonfire with.

What’s next for Jeff Leach?
Besides struggling with sobriety and an overwhelming need for fashion, I ‘m currently working on a radio pilot for BBC 6 Music, writing and developing a comedy series for television, filming a number of comedy sketches I’ve written for an upcoming TV pitch and DJ’ing at all of the hottest parties currently on offer.

~Donald Crunk




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