Bill Nighy photographed for British Airways High Life magazine by Philip Cheung

MADE BY MEMBERS • December 2022

Going for Gold: Bill Nighy

Currently starring in hotly tipped Living, Bill Nighy is one of the most recognisable faces of British film and has travelled the world during his five-decade acting career. The Avios enthusiast and Gold Member tells The Club about a life in motion

Are you a fan of the Executive Club?
Oh yeah, I’m an enthusiastic Avios-gatherer.

What sort of traveller are you?
Relaxed. If they give you a driver on a job, the thing I do when I go anywhere is ask them to find a list of all the independent bookshops in the city. In Melbourne, there are 17 and most of them have a coffee shop nearby, and that’s what I do on my day off. Doesn’t mean I’ll buy a book in every shop, but it’s become a tradition.

Aisle or window seat?
Aisle. I don’t want to be confined and I don’t want to look out of the window. I have the windows shut. I have shutters and I keep them shut all the time. I love electric light. I shut the curtains in hotel rooms and I leave notes for the housekeeping staff to say: “Please can you close the curtains when you’re finished?” I’ve shut the curtains on some of the most spectacular views in the world. I love the atmosphere more when it’s strategic electric light.

What’s your most flown route?
I go wherever I’m sent for work, but the place I’ve flown to more than anywhere else is probably New York.


What’s a memorable hotel?
I once stayed at The Ritz in Paris before it was refurbished, and it was absolutely beautiful. Hassler Roma was like being in a Cary Grant movie and very beautiful. The Carlyle in New York is lovely and romantic, and I love Le Bristol Paris (pictured), when someone else is paying. I’d be very happy living in a hotel. Richard Harris used to live in the Savoy permanently. It would be Le Bristol for me.

What are your in-flight essentials?
I smuggle Yorkshire teabags and Marmite around the world, a book and sometimes earplugs, because you’re always trying to sleep and need to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning. I’m reading The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton. She wrote The Luminaries and the screenplay for the adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma that I was in. The book is sensational. Prior to that, I read a lot of Joan Didion and particularly admired the novels. I just loved them. I’ve been reading a lot of things you’re supposed to read when you’re 18. I read The Bell Jar recently.


Where do you like to spend downtime at home in London?
I love cafés about as much as I love anything else in the world: Sunflower Kitchen on Pollen Street, Morris’s Café on Clifford Street and Benvenuti on Upper Tachbrook Street, which serves a sensational cup of coffee.

What’s your bucket list destination?
I’d like to go to Istanbul. I’ve never got round to it and would love to go there. I’d also like to go back to Japan and see more of it. I’ve been to Tokyo a couple of times and Sapporo, but I’d like to visit more.

Would you consider a sequel to Love Actually?
I’d be there like a shot, yeah. I’d love to do it again. And I could still get into those Lycra trousers…

Living, starring Bill Nighy, is out now

Watch the trailer…

Living, starring Bill Nighy, is out now

This article has been tagged BA, Travel Tips