Some months ago, an old friend and part-time Londoner had a Canadian colleague of hers over for a visit. My friend asked him what he’d like to see. “London Square” came the reply.

Unsure about what to do, my friend took her visitor on a tour of some squares she thought he might have meant: Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, Leicester Square, you get the idea. It was good: they saw some of London and had fun.

No satisfaction was found on the London Square issue, though, until the next day, on the way from Victoria to Fitzrovia to watch the opening game of Euro 2004 in the pub. Skirting Piccadilly Circus, our guest said: “THIS IS THE PLACE! What’s it called again?”

Maybe we should have known. It’s just that Piccadilly Circus seems an odd place to be so iconic: it’s cramped and not very exciting. I suppose it has flashing lights…