CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Is this London’s friendliest bus driver?

214 bus driver Ahmed Serhani is subject of new film

08 November, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Ahmed Serhani on the 214

WITH a ready smile behind the wheel, he has been dubbed “London’s friendliest bus driver”.

And now the happy-go-lucky approach adopted by Ahmed Serhani on the 214 route through Camden has been committed to film.

Artist Joe Bloom was so taken with Mr Serhani’s joyful greetings for passengers as they hopped on board, he spent the day riding and filming him at work.

Mr Bloom, who lives in Parliament Hill Fields, said: “I was studying at the Glasgow School of Art when I decided Ahmed would make a great subject for a film. I would get on the bus a lot and always chat with him. I’d known him since I was a boy, and when I left university I decided it was time to make him the subject of a film and celebrate the way he brings smiles to the faces of everyone he meets.”

After gaining permission from bus company Metroline, Mr Bloom shot the movie over a three-day period and the results confirm how greatly loved Mr Serhani is by all he says hello to.

He added: “It was just fantastic, seeing people light up when they see him behind the wheel.” Mr Serhani is originally from Morocco and his family still live there. This is partly behind his demeanour, said Mr Bloom, adding: “He doesn’t have any family here and the passengers that he drives to work each day have become his mates – he looks forward to saying hello to them every day.”

Mr Serhani’s Moroccan family have seen the film and Mr Bloom said they are “immensely proud” of the way he has become so well known. He added: “Anyone who goes on the 214 will recognise Ahmed, and will have had their day improved by his smile and greeting.”

Mr Bloom also hopes to act as an unofficial matchmaker for the driver.

He said: “One of the things I couldn’t help but think as I was making the film, was how nice it would be if a lovely woman watched it and approached him. Maybe I could make another in 10 years’ time when he has met someone and has a family of his own here in Britain.”

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