Which programme can’t you miss?
My partner and I [Davis lives with French landscape architect Guillaume Baltz] never miss Modern Family. Every character has their own comedy value, from the conventional family to the old father with his Colombian wife and stepson and the gay couple with their child. It is a very warm and lovely programme while being a bold political statement about the different families that exist today.
How do you feel about the portrayal of gay people on TV?
That’s an interesting question because I believe Vicious [the sitcom starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi] was treated overly harshly by the critics. We enjoyed it and I don’t think gay people mind some of the clichéd characterisations – they are enlightening to viewers without being scary. It’s useful to normalise the promotion of gay relationships, inasmuch as you ever get a normal relationship in a comedy.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t do “guilt” very much as it happens but we do watch repeats of South Park and Frasier. When I am on the Today programme I have to get up at 3.15 in the morning, so I’m normally in bed by 8.30pm and we find if we can watch a light comedy beforehand it helps us to switch off.
Which programme makes you cry?
We cry a lot in my household – a good TV commercial can set us off – but the last programme that made
me ball my eyes out was an Unreported World documentary on Channel 4 called Saving Kenya’s Street Kids –
I defy anyone to watch it without shedding a tear.
What makes you turn the TV or radio off?
I’m really not a soap fan – so when the theme tune to The Archers comes on, I turn the radio off. Unfortunately my other half does enjoy it but he tends to listen to it on his own in the car. Soaps are such a commitment and the last thing I need in my life is a half-hour habit!
Is there anything on your partner’s watchlist you would delete?
He has an insatiable appetite for nature programmes that I don’t entirely understand. I feel an hour is enough but he could watch them back to back all night. As you’ve probably already concluded, he is a bit more countrified than I am!
Who do you wake up to?
At 3.15 I creep out of the bedroom as quietly as I can and then turn on BBC News. I would, naturally, turn on Radio 4 but at that time it happens to have a non-news related programme on and all I want to know is whether there has been an earthquake in China overnight. On any other day I wake up to Today, as I’ve done religiously since I was a precocious teenager.
Is there an investment that you spotted that the Dragons missed?
Every time I go on holiday I feel like I am surrounded by Trunkies [kids’ suitcases] and I did think it was a terrific idea at the time. It was a perfect investment opportunity and I couldn’t believe they let it go.
And one you haven’t believed in?
I thought Reggae Reggae Sauce was just another condiment. I could obviously see Levi Roots’s charisma – I just didn’t realise it could shift sauce in such magnitudes!
Are you missing Theo Paphitis and Hilary Devey?
For the first nine series I’d go to the filming and sit on the stairs, faithfully watching proceedings, and catch the
entrepreneurs on their way out. But that has become increasingly difficult to manage alongside my other commitments, especially since they moved to Manchester. So I just put my voice over the programme now, which means I have never actually met Hilary.
1. Radio 4 or Radio 2? What do you think?
2. Graham Norton or Alan Carr? Graham Norton
3. The Killing or Midsomer Murders? The Killing
4. Question Time or Newsnight? Question Time
5. Deborah Meaden or Kelly Hoppen? That is an extremely invidious question – both!
Dragon's Den is on Sunday at 8pm on BBC2