What are the TV-watching arrangements at Château Carr?
Well, after I have pulled up the drawbridge, I retire to a lovely burnt orange settee that scoops round like an arc. There’s a widescreen telly in front of it and I have surround sound.
Hmm, burnt orange. Easily stained…
Well, I do like a cuppa and a biscuit. I have a big yellow teapot so I don’t have to keep going into the kitchen, I light the log fire and bring my duvet down and open a packet of Hobnobs to dip in my tea. I make it cosy.
Nothing wrong with snuggling up on the sofa, Alan…
Yes, but do you know what? I have become what I hate. I have one eye on the screen and one eye on Candy Crush. When I watch Narcos it gets on my nerves because I have to put Candy Crush down to watch the subtitles.
Do you watch anything that might surprise readers?
Actually, I do love a documentary. I saw Dan Cruickshank once. I ran across the road going “Dan!” I was like a young girl when they see Harry Styles. I also have a soft spot for Lucy Worsley when she’s walking around with a clip in her hair. Anything with history.
Anything less intellectually demanding?
I’m a typical Gemini. On my Sky planner you’ve got Lucy Worsley behind the scenes at Hampton Court, and then you’ve got Woman Whose Body Ate Herself, Too Fat For Love, P***ed and on Benefits. You would think I was schizophrenic.
You make television sound a little unreal
TV isn’t real. TV is a weird twilight zone of talent and ego. TV is someone with an orange face coming down some stairs going “Hello!” If you want real, watch Countryfile.
Does it hurt when you are criticised for being too camp?
If I’m asked if I’m a really good representative of homosexuals on the telly, I say, “Are Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and David Walliams good representatives of a straight person?” No.
Do you enjoy the festive season?
Every Christmas me, Gok Wan, Carol Vorderman and Paul O’Grady book a table. Gok’s the busiest man on the planet so it has to be a Monday afternoon. We start out drinking in Soho and by midnight Gok’s high heels have snapped and we are in the sidebar of shame in the Mail Online.
Are you glad 2016’s nearly over?
Yes, because it’s been a really awful year for me, for everyone, really.
Is your house crammed with celebs who survived the year?
My favourite celebrities are the ones who are like members of the public. I don’t like members of the general public who think they are celebrities and I don’t like celebrities who think that their poo doesn’t smell. I can’t stand celebs on the show when they come with their diva ways; I’m not letting them in my house.
But the stars love you, Alan…
They’re nice to me because they are trying to flog their album or their single. Speak to the runners and the researchers; they’re the one who get soup tipped over their head because it’s wrong. That’s what does my head in, the fakeness of it all. But as long you keep good people around you, you’re fine.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news