George Skeggs, more commonly known – although there’s nothing even remotely common about him – as ‘Soho George’ is one of the last true Soho legends. Self-described as a ‘heterosexual Cockney artist, Hogarthian rake loves individuality,style, sleeps in front of a mirror, ex-gigolo old man held together with polygrip & rubber bands’, George has more style in his big toe than most of us will ever have in our entire lifetimes. Not only possessed of a unique and sophisticated elegance, he’s also a brilliant surrealist artist and chronicler of the history of Soho on twitter @SohoGeorge.
George first came to Soho when he heard that the 1950s Rock ’n’ Roll BBC television show, ‘Six-Five Special’, was to be broadcast live from The 2i’s Coffee Bar in Old Compton Street – nearly directly opposite where Balans Soho Society now resides. ‘It was like another world; there were girls on the street propositioning men and pimps on the street. It had that edge; it was dirty, flashy and seedy. You could always smell Soho, it always had that special smell. When you were walking up from Oxford Street, you could literally smell it. It was the place to be, it was our playground.’