The Radio Times logo

Silent Witness star Emilia Fox can't stand gore in real life – or watching herself back on TV

The actress shares her love for David Attenborough and Sherlock Holmes - and why she'll always switch off when Barbie's on TV

Published: Monday, 4th January 2016 at 1:30 pm

What’s your guilty TV pleasure?


I love chat shows, Graham Norton in particular, and Alan Carr.

Which programmes make you blush?

Anything that I’m in. I’m my own worst critic, and when you see it, you can’t fix anything, so I do try to avoid that.

What makes you turn the TV on?

David Attenborough. The Hunt was incredible.

What makes you turn the telly off?

Weirdly, given that I’m so used to the gory bits on Silent Witness, I don’t like real-life gruesome shows about health. In my research, I’ve seen post mortems and I’ve seen open heart surgery, and I find the open heart surgery much harder to watch.

What do you wake up to?

Chris Evans on Radio 2.

Is there a show you’d like to be on?

I’d love to do more stories for CBeebies. I did Grandpa in My Pocket and that got me a lot of parent points!

What would you delete from your child’s watch list?

Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse. It drives me completely crackers. It’s mindless television with completely awful role models for children, who care about nothing apart from clothes and themselves and being competitive and argumentative. I use every tool in the book to stop my daughter Rose from watching it.

What was the last show you turned down?

Celebrity MasterChef. I couldn’t face the humiliation. I’m a very average cook.

What would it take to get you on I’m a Celebrity...?

I’ve done Mission Survive with Bear Grylls, so I think I’ve had my jungle experience! I am going back to the jungle later this year, though, because I’m doing a documentary on Marianne North, who was a Victorian botanist.

Who was your first TV crush?

Inspector Morse and Sherlock Holmes. They’re both quite emotionally detached, but when you do see a glimpse of their feelings, it’s so rewarding. My mum [Joanna David] was in Inspector Morse as an old flame of his, and it’s a brilliant episode.

Has anyone left you starstruck?

David Attenborough. When I was little I had canaries, and they kept laying eggs that we couldn’t hatch. My mum met him at an event and he gave her loads and loads of advice about it, and it was a great success, so when I met him recently I told him how grateful we were. He was probably quite bemused by this gabbling actress!

Do you watch TV programmes starring your family members?

Oh, yes. I watch Lewis, for example [starring her cousin, Laurence Fox]. I think it’s lovely to support each other. Having said that, I was with my dad [Edward Fox] recently, and everybody was telling me how brilliant he was in The Dresser, and I haven’t seen that yet, so I’m ordering it on DVD!


Emilia Fox is in Silent Witness on BBC1 tonight (Monday 4th January) and tomorrow at 9pm


Sponsored content