Newsnight's Kirsty Wark was a hippy - now she wants to bake and share her recipes online. But absolutely not while listening to Scottish music or Abba...


In which of your several houses are you watching television this week Kirsty?

Glasgow. We have a television in our den that I can’t seem to be able to program, much to my husband’s fury, though he’s not that great either. Our daughter is here, thank God and she manages series record and all that stuff. It’s my fault, I should pay more attention.

I’m presuming you watch a lot of Newsnight

I watch Newsnight on my laptop in bed. Sometimes I fall asleep and watch it on iPlayer the next morning. But not the ones I am on. I watch the ones I am not on. I don’t follow the Arianna Huffington view that you shouldn’t have any technology in the bedroom, though it’s probably quite a good plan. Actually it really is a good idea.


And when you’re not watching Evan Davies and Emily Maitlis?

I’m catching up with The Good Wife, I think Alan Cumming is fabulous. I’ll catch a wee bit of Antiques Road Trip – I’ve been on it, I’ve been on Celebrity Antiques Road Trip. I love all the Scandi-Noirs, all that stuff, and I’m watching the new one with Anna Friel [Marcella, ITV] where she’s a flawed police officer with a bloody jumper, and post-its on the wall with all the pictures, a là The Bridge.


Have you seen the one where …

No, no, no – don’t! Obviously you’re going to spoil it for me because you must be ahead of me.

Are you totally TV?

No, when I get up I Iisten to Good Morning Scotland and I’ll also listen to the Today programme.

But not KISS FM or Radio 3? No music in your life?

I listen to lots of music. Amy Winstone, Natalie Merchant. I’ve got very eclectic music tastes. I can’t listen to music when I’m writing, which is really annoying.

You don’t play Scottish music?

No. Absolutely not. I can’t even think about that actually, it doesn’t even occur to me. But I do love music and I find it, as a therapy, really uplifting. And I pick up stuff from my kids when the iPod’s on shuffle.

And what about the music from when you were a kid?

We were listening to The Doors all the time, and Jefferson Airplane, Love, all that West Coast stuff. I was a hippie but without the smelly Afghan coat or the drugs. There was no acid I’m afraid. I was slightly on that cusp, because I was 17 in 1972.

More like this

More The Bay City Rollers then?

No, the Bay City Rollers left me completely cold. But then Abba left me completely cold as well.

Abba left you completely cold?

Yes, and I could name some others that left me cold. But I don’t want to be hurtful.


Is there anything you do that would surprise us? Like playing Doom until four in the morning?

I’m always asleep at four in the morning. I’m not an online gamer. I do a thing called Peak. It’s a great brain challenger, on my phone. It’s different things, language skills, all that kind of stuff. Mental agility is a real thing when you get to my age.

Anything else Kirsty?

I make beautiful cakes and then post them online. I will do it from my kitchen table – because I think that sharing recipes and ideas for food is a great leveller. It’s also a very good way of communicating.


Kirsty Wark regularly presents Newsnight, Monday to Friday 10.30pm on BBC2