Me, Myself and I: Jonathan Bestley  

Jonathan is one of the most popular resident DJs at Circa in Soho and now at the stunning new Circa: The Club on the Victoria Embankment. They have a thing for charity shops, disco and Kathleen Turner’s voice.

Where are you from originally?

I grew up in green and leafy southwest suburbia, in Hampton. Lots of schools and 2.4 children families, which is lovely for some, but not really my cup of tea.

And where do you live now?  

I’m in Finsbury Park with my partner in crime, Jasmine. It has some rather wonderful charity shops to dig around in and is on the Victoria line, which is definitely the best one. From there to Brixton in 20 minutes – sorcery!

What do you love about London and why?

I love the diversity and its mix of old and new. I think London is incredibly forward thinking and I feel very lucky to live here.

What was the first gay venue you visited? 

I used to sneak up to cabaret shows at the Soho Theatre and Madame Jojo’s when I was 15/16, but my first night out was at G-A-Y Late, which I think is the same for a lot of people. I danced to the bitter end and then demanded to be carried home, which is usually how nights still end now.

How would you describe the music you play?

I always find that such a hard question as it really varies depending on where I’m playing. Eclectic, maybe? I’m a disco head for sure though. Horse Meat Disco is a huge influence for me (and are some of the loveliest people and best DJs I know). I can usually be found twirling around with them after I finish LOVE #hangover at Circa on Sundays.

How was the opening weekend of the new Circa club?

Utterly, UTTERLY amazing. It left me a bit speechless to be honest. It’s been such an incredible journey for the Circa family and we couldn’t have asked for more. Packed both nights from beginning to end with the best crowd who kept partying until 4am. I’m going to be counting down the days until Saturday every week when I get to play with my big brother Adam Turner.

What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?

Kathleen Turner at The Other Palace with my long suffering ma. She wasn’t a big fan but I loved it. I could listen to her read the dictionary and I’d be hanging on every word. The word iconic is definitely overused but she definitely is for me – that voice!

What is your guilty pleasure and why? 

Charity shops. I can’t walk past them without going in. There’s a great Crisis one near Finsbury Park station which I’m always rummaging around in. I’m always finding great bits and it’s guilt-free because it’s going to charity!

Biggest extravagance?

Probably hair and make-up bits. Whenever I ‘pop in’ to Boots I always seem to leave with a basket full of things…

Best gift you’ve ever received and why? 

For Circa’s 5th birthday a couple of years ago, Alan took the long standing team away to Ibiza for a week’s holiday, which was messy and memorable. Thank you Alan!

What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?

Honestly? This opening weekend. Helping opening up the first LGBTQ+ nightclub in Central London in over a decade is something I’m very proud to be part of.

If you could go back in time, which year would you choose and why? 

Any night at Studio 54, The Loft or Paradise Garage. For me, they were the birthplace of dance music and the model of how we club now.

What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?

I’m too busy looking forward to the next one. You only need two ingredients for a good party – good music and good company.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

There’s that Kate Moss quote: “My Mum used to say to me, ‘You can’t have fun all the time’, and I’d say, ‘Why not?’ Why the fuck can’t I have fun all the time?!’”, which I think is a pretty good rule to live by.

Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?

I think anyone who lives as their authentic self is heroic. In terms of icons it would have to be Judy Garland though.

Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media and why?

I always look to Jim Stanton and Severino for music posts – they’ve got the best taste. There’s a great Instagram called @lewkstotry that I find horrifying and hilarious.

Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why? 

Circa: The Club – and I’ve already done that so I guess I can die happy. It would be amazing to go to outer space but that’s not very likely…

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

You shouldn’t live up to anyone’s expectations except your own. It’s your life so do what you damn well want to.

Jonathan is a resident DJ at Circa: The Club, which is open every Friday and Saturday from 11pm until 4am at Hungerford House, Victoria Embankment, WC2 (by Embankment Station).

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