Richard Osman Got Kicked Out of David Bowie's Carpet-Walled Private Toilet While on Tour with Suede

"Obviously, I had to give it a few seconds before I could vacate"

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Nov 23, 2023

To most people, calling the toilet their "throne" is more of a metaphor than anything else. Of course, David Bowie was not most people. According to author and comedian Richard Osman, the late UK pop icon had a private washroom backstage at a festival in Barcelona that had carpet on the floor and walls as well as a "quilted loo roll," and when Osman tried to use it, he was promptly thrown out. 

He was on Radio X promoting his latest mystery novel The Bullet That Missed when he talked about the experience from his time joining his brother Mat's band Suede on tour. 

"When [Suede] got big, it was just the best three years ever. I remember being at a festival in Barcelona – the only good thing about being backstage at a festival is the toilets are nicer — but then there was a particularly nice toilet at this one," he recalled. "So I go to this toilet, I've literally just started … I get a knock on the door, and I go, 'One minute,' and he goes, 'Please vacate David Bowie's toilet!' ... Obviously, I had to give it a few seconds before I could vacate."

In a previous retelling of the story to Daily Mail, Osman recalled the washroom in an even more lavish light, saying it had "quilted loo roll, carpeted floors and walls."

The encounter didn't change Osman's perception of Bowie, though — if anything, it bolstered it. "For me when they were getting absolutely massive, I'd be out in Barcelona watching them on stage and I'd be standing next to David Bowie and I'd be going, 'Whoa this is absolutely nuts,'" he said. 

Mat Osman is still touring as the bassist for Suede to this day, with the group even being named an Exclaim! reader's favourite concert of 2022 for their joint show with Manic Street Preachers at Massey Hall. 

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