Who is Amy Lame, London's first Night Czar?


Comedian, broadcaster and activist Amy Lame was today announced as London's first Night Czar by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

So who is Amy Lame and what does a Night Czar actually do?

Who is she?

Amy Lame, originally from New Jersey, has lived in London for 24 years. She is best-known for her work in radio and TV and her activism on LGBT issues.

In 1995, Amy set up the performance club night and collective Duckie, which she still hosts every Saturday night at the Vauxhall tavern. One of its performances, C'est Barbican, won an Olivier award in the best entertainment category in 2004.

Amy Lame and Danny Baker(Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)

Amy is perhaps best known for her presenting role on BBC London Radio's afternoon show with Danny Baker. Danny famously quit the show live on air in 2012, upon hearing the show was to be axed. During his last two hours on air he slated the BBC, revealing that Amy was paid just £50 per episode of the popular show.

He said: "I think it's fair to say that Jimmy Savile was paid more by the BBC in six months than Baylen (Leonard, another co-host) and Amy have earned in the 10 years they have been together."

On taking up the role of Night Czar, Amy said "It's a privilege to be London's very first Night Czar. I can't wait to hit the streets and have loads of ideas of what I can do for revellers, night-time workers, businesses and stakeholders.

"For too long, the capital's night-time industry has been under pressure - music venues and nightclubs in particular are closing at an alarming rate."

Is she qualified?

The Vauxhall Tavern (Rob Holley/PA)
(Rob Holley/PA)

This isn't her first time in public office. In 2010-2011 she served as the Mayoress of Camden, an ambassadorial role to promote the borough.

She's pretty sure she'll do a good job, saying: "With the advent of the Night Tube, and the Mayor's commitment to protect iconic venues across the city, I'm confident that I can inspire a positive change in the way people think about the night time economy.

"I look forward to bringing together local authorities, the police, Transport for London and many other people from across the night time industries to transform London into a truly 24-hour city."

Amy has got form when it comes to fighting for the protection of London's iconic venues. She co-founded and chairs RVT Future, a voluntary LGBT+ community group campaigning to preserve the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern. The building was given listed status in 2015.

Amy is also an active member of the Labour Party, crediting it with allowing her to enter a civil partnership with her British partner in 2009 and stay in the UK. She stood for election as the Labour candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood in 2014, but missed out on getting a seat in the House of Commons.

Is it an actual job or an honorary position?

It's definitely an actual job. The original job advert stated it was a fixed-term contract for a year, working 2.5 days a week. The pay isn't bad either, at £35,000.

The Mayor's office says since 2007, 40% of London's live music venues and nightclubs have disappeared, making it imperative to have a dedicated role to champion the city's rich culture and defend its historic venues.

Amy's role will include being an ambassador for London as a 24-hour world city, working with with local councils, police, businesses and the Chair of the Mayor's Night-Time Commission to create a plan for London's nightlife.

She'll also look to maximise the benefits of the night tube for both residents and businesses.