Kirstie Allsopp: Gogglebox is the worst form of vile, mean, cruel television

The Best of Both Worlds presenter misses Phil Spencer "terribly" and has a crush on Downton Abbey's Tom Branson...

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Kirstie Allsopp: Gogglebox is the worst form of vile, mean, cruel television
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What are your earliest memories of television?

Classic BBC shows like Jackanory and Play School. I regret that children’s TV has disappeared from mainstream channels. As a mother, I have to constantly monitor what the children are watching, because daytime TV can contain unsuitable programmes. So I do miss that window where there was nothing on for a couple of hours except cartoons, or presenters singing nursery rhymes.

What do you like on the radio?

I’ve always been a keen listener of Radio 4 and I still am. I start the day with Today. But recently I’ve felt there’s not enough music in our house, so I’ve started listening to Radio 2 a bit more. I love Jo Whiley, Jeremy Vine and Clare Balding.

What makes you turn the television off?

Gogglebox. I hate it! It’s the worst form of vile, mean, cruel television. It’s one thing to talk about people in private but to put it in a public space is not entertainment. It’s just people being negative about other people. I did adore Educating Yorkshire, though. That’s what’s great about Channel 4: there’s room for a bit of everything.

Who’s your TV crush?

It’s a long list! I’d have to say Allen Leech, who plays Tom Branson in Downton Abbey. I met him at a charity concert and we ended up dancing at 2am to Footloose. That man can dance! He is funny and charming, and it’s always a delight to meet actors who live up to your expectations.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Come Dine with Me. You put it on and think, ‘No, don’t do it’, but it’s too late and you’re sucked in.

Ever fancy a go at Celebrity Come Dine with Me?

Never in a million years! I did a celebrity Apprentice, the Olympics of hardcore reality TV shows, and it put me off them for life.

What do you watch as a family with your children?

Any of the Saturday night entertainment shows: Splash!, Dancing on Ice, Strictly… We used to love Total Wipeout. They have quite simple tastes; they like people falling over!

Are you missing Phil Spencer?

I always miss Phil terribly when I do my solo work, and we’re not working together again on another Location, Location, Location until after Easter. In the meantime, I’ve gone solo to find homes for people who want to live in more rural areas but still be within reach of the city.

Other than yourself and Phil, who are the best duo on TV?

Having met them last year at the races, I have to say Ant and Dec. They are the nicest boys. If my sons grew up to be like that, I’d be very proud indeed. They are just charming, funny boys who make nice programmes.

Kirstie's Best of Both Worlds continues tonight at 8:00pm on Channel 4