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Stories inspired by the notorious barred list from the Half Moon in Herne Hill

This London pub's "banned" list is like a list of the drunk Avengers. - GQ

You need to read this in full, slowly, it’s like reading the cast list for the most British gangster movie ever made. Imagine each character as you go. Play the movie in your head. - The Poke

On 9th April 2016, a list of barred customers from the Half Moon pub in Herne Hill appeared on Twitter. The list of twenty-three names, originally compiled by a member of staff, had a strange poetry to it. Adam the Deaf Guy, Mickey Two Suits, The Ginger Drunk Twat called Angus, That Blonde Bitch, One Armed Kieth [sic] – it felt like a collection of all the best pub characters you’d ever encountered. It quickly went viral, and was tweeted and shared all over the world.

A week later, Unbound’s publisher, John Mitchinson, announced on Twitter that he wanted to publish a collection of stories based on the list and asked for volunteers. Twitter went into overdrive and three hours later the Unbound team had commissioned 24 pieces.

Some of the contributing writers are well known; others are less well known. What unites them is that they were all on Twitter that Friday afternoon, and they were all inspired by one remarkable sheet of paper. Surely this must be a first: a whole book commissioned in an afternoon?

And now you can help make the book become a reality and get your name in the back. It will contain 25 stories, each one inspired by the names on the list. The collection will be introduced by Rumer, the singer songwriter and regular at the Half Moon, who first shared the list and inadvertently provoked a sensation.

Here’s the full cast list of the barred and the writers who will be re-inventing them:


Marie Phillips

Fat Paul

Matthew Sweet

Gus & his mate Mark

Lissa Evans

Staring Pervert

Stuart Evers

Crazy Linda

Cathy Rentzenbrink

South African Cadging Scammer

Andy Miller


Tiffany Murray

Short Young Balding Usually Nice Bloke with Beard

Nikesh Shukla

Julia Tant

Anna James

Flat Cap Coke Fiend

Paul Bassett Davies

One Armed Kieth

Matthew Adams

Tall Chavvy Fighting Idiot of Old

Sarah Franklin

The Ex Con Chav Twat

C.M. Taylor

The Glaswegian

Nicholas Royle

Mickey Two Suits

Rich Lennon

Shaun, Still Barred

Jennifer Harvey

Adam the Deaf Guy

Niall Slater

That Blonde Bitch

Emma Townsend

Danny Miller/Danny Partridge

Simon Wroe

Vitriolic Queen

Anne Miller

The Ginger Drunk Twat called Angus

Ed Davey

Rob Roe

Rachael De Moravia


Kit Eaton

The Landlord

Lloyd Shepherd

The Pub

Jason Hazeley

The Half Moon in Herne Hill is a classic English pub, once a favourite haunt of the writers John Ruskin and Dylan Thomas. First recorded as a tavern in the 17th century, its current building dates from 1896 when it re-opened as a hotel. For the past forty years it has served as one of London’s key pub rock venues. During the seventies, it hosted performances by Dr Feelgood, Eddie & the Hot Rods and Van Morrison and it has become famous as the place where Chris Blackwell of Island Records first heard U2. More recently La Roux, Turin Brakes, Kate Tempest and Rumer have all performed here, along with comedians like Eddie Izzard and Jo Brand.

The Half Moon is a proper local boozer, with proper regulars and now the world’s most evocative list of barred punters. It was closed in 2013 due to severe flooding but has been acquired by Fullers and is due to open again in late summer 2016.

Guess where we’ll be having the launch party for the book?