Thursday, 07 June 2012

First Impression: 8 June

Author, broadcaster and journalist JEREMY VINE works for the BBC and is host of a daily Radio 2 current affairs programme called Jeremy Vine. He is married to BBC presenter Rachel Schofield and the couple live in East Devon with their two daughters.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am going to start birdwatching. Don't laugh – I have bought membership at Barnes Wetlands Centre and a pair of binoculars.

When were you at your happiest?

This morning, drinking tea at a table in Gosfield Street, round the corner from Radio 2, listening to Everything But The Girl on earphones. Why? Because the sun came out.

What is your greatest fear?

One of my children being in a car crash.

What is your earliest memory?

A friend of my mother's reaching out for me and taking me from her arms when I was a baby. I went ballistic. It's a very sharp memory.

Who has been your greatest influence?

My English teacher, Neil 'Laddie' Laing, who taught me that poetry and Shakespeare were cool. And my fi rst news editor, a man called Geoff Grimmer at the Coventry Evening Telegraph. It was all manual typewriters back then. And the rollickings were pretty manual, too.

What do you most dislike about yourself?

Impatience. Come on, next question, please.

What is your most treasured possession?

My iPad and my bicycle. In my worst nightmares the cycle runs over the iPad and is destroyed by the impact.

What trait do you deplore most in others?

To be honest, I've given up deploring things. It's too exhausting.

Do you have a fantasy address?

1 The Croft, Somewhere-without-Wi-Fi, Scottish Highlands. And when I look out of the window I just see rain and sheep, and a lost postman.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Grey hair. Large feet. And I deplore my waistline.

What is your favourite book?

I am going to surprise you and go for The Collected Love Poems Of WB Yeats, just to show you what a softie I am. Yeats was to poetry what Elvis was to rock and roll.

What is your favourite film?



Your favourite record or piece of music?

Today it's The Element Within Her by Elvis Costello. 'Back in the bedroom, with her electric heater, he says "Are you cold?" she says "No but you are, la, la-la-la."' Adore that line. But it'll be a different song tomorrow.

Your favourite meal?

Noodles with chicken and lots of chilli.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?

Philippe Petit. The man who strung a tightrope between the tops of the Twin Towers in New York and walked between them even as the wind blew the towers back and forth. The definition of high art.

Which historical character do you most admire?

Thomas Gibson Bowles, founder of The Lady.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?

'Vine, you are a damn fool.' Said by my history teacher when I was 10. His name was Colonel Scott and he had a twirly military moustache; he had been shot in the Second World War, and whatever I was doing was annoying him almost as much.

Do you believe in aliens?

I can't believe there aren't some aliens somewhere. Maybe their car won't start.

What is your secret vice?

Eating things that begin with 'c'. That is, cake, chips, chocolate, crisps and cheese. I swear I am going to invent the C-Diet.

Do you write thank-you notes?

Dear The Lady, What a nice question. Yes, I do. All the time. I hope you're well. Love, Jeremy.

Which phrase do you most overuse?

Sort of. Kind of. Like. As in, 'I sort of, like, kind of disagree.'

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

Time to spend just thinking. Less striving, more thriving.

What would you like your epitaph to say?

He worked a bit too hard, then he stopped because he realised it was enough that his kids loved him.

It's All News To Me by Jeremy Vine is available now in hardback (Simon & Schuster UK, £18.99).

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