Your new game show, I Don’t Like Mondays, sees people trying to win a year’s salary. What’s the worst job you ever had?
You name it, I’ve done it. Pet shampooing, call centres, flyering… the worst one was at a CD factory. Somebody would hold my ankles and swing me under a machine that made CDs – cash in hand, typical Northampton – and I’d scoop up all the bits of plastic that had fallen on the floor and put them in the bin. I was 12! Only joking.
What would be your dream job?
An old-school detective in the 1920s. Somebody’s been poisoned in a stately home! Some jewels have gone missing in the south of France. I’m fascinated by this Russian spy stuff – it’s proper Agatha Christie! I don’t want to slag off Russia too much, they’re probably listening in, but the world’s gone bonkers and the news is addictive stuff!
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Have you always been a news junkie?
God no, when I was a teenager I’d have said, “BORING! Put Neighbours on.” But it’s scary times now. Trump, Russia, Kim Jong Un: I love Daniel Craig but real life is more dramatic than the last James Bond film I watched.
What else do you watch apart from the news?
My Sky planner is eclectic. I love Civilisations, where you’ve got Mary Beard walking round the pharaohs’ tombs, then Five Star Hotel and Spencer Matthews bathing with young girls on a Greek island, then someone having their microwave and deep-fat fryer confiscated by heavies on Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away. I love real life. It’s the rich tapestry that makes this world such a beautiful place. When Russia’s not involved.
I like a lot of stuff on Netflix. The Crown’s fantastic; I’ve put a call in to my agent, I want to play Paul Burrell when they finally get to the Diana years. Wouldn’t it just be perfect?
What about comedy?
I don’t watch any comedy. Not because I think, “Oh, I can do it better,” but I just don’t find things funny! I find more humour in reality. Though I did love Fleabag.
Who are you watching with?
If it’s trash, my husband Paul, but anything with Lucy Worsley I have to go upstairs and watch it alone in my bedroom like Tracy Barlow. I’m showing my age, aren’t I? Tracy’s probably allowed downstairs by now.
Are you easily distracted when you watch TV?
I’m really disappointed in myself because I’ve always got two screens on the go. The neighbours can see into our terraced house through the window and can see what I’m watching on telly, and my bald spot and Candy Crush on the iPad! I’ve finally weaned myself off that a bit.
When you’re not watching telly, how do you switch off?
We have two Irish setters that need lots of exercise, so I listen to Radio 4 when I’m walking them, and I download lots of books. I like Nick Grimshaw in the morning on Radio 1 and a bit of Radio 2. I’m outside with the dogs for two hours a day. I’ve got the complexion of a tramp.
I Don’t Like Mondays begins on Friday 6th March at 8pm on Channel 4