TV Presenter Gaby Roslin

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Published: 10 May 2014

TV presenter Gaby Roslin:

‘People think I’m saintly but I lose my temper and get frustrated – and I get drunk too’


We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s TV presenter Gaby Roslin’s turn

The prized possession you value above all others... My photo albums. I have about 20 and I love dipping into them.

The regret you wish you could amend... That I never bought my mum, Jackie, a Mini. When one drove past she’d say, ‘I’d love one of those.’ She died in 1997 at 62. It would have given her such pleasure.

The temptation you wish you could resist... Chips from the chippy with extra salt and vinegar and ketchup.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again... My 20/20 vision. I’m 49 now and my eyesight is going, so I need to get reading glasses soon.

The film you can watch time and time again... Grease. I saw it at 14 and fell in love with John Travolta. I watched it endlessly on video and his picture was on my schoolbook.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Woman for a day... I’d love to record a meeting at a corporation when it takes a decision that will have a negative impact on the environment, and then humiliate them with the evidence.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance... Peter Pan. My Granny Moo [Muriel] read it to me and I’ve read it to my daughters Libbi-Jack, who’s 12, and Amelie, seven. I love Neverland.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise... I get angry during the school run when I let drivers out and they don’t raise a hand, or nod to say thank you. What happened to manners?

The person who has influenced you most... Granny Moo. She taught me never to be judgmental. She also had a wicked sense of humour.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and  a pint... Nelson Mandela. His gift to the world was truly extraordinary and I was devastated when he died.

The wisdom you would pass on to  a child... Never give up on your dreams – but don’t hurt anyone in the process.  

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity... Penguins! I’ve adopted a penguin at London Zoo, which costs £35 a year. He’s a Rockhopper called Ricky and once a year my kids and I get to go into the enclosure to feed him. Penguins are full of character.

The unending quest that drives you on... To continue working as a television presenter. I’d love to present a live daytime show again. 

The poem that touches your soul... I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud by William Wordsworth. As a child  I didn’t get poetry, then I went to drama school and I had to recite that poem for an audience. Something clicked in me and tears streamed down my face. I suddenly appreciated poetry’s power.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase... That I’m saintly. I’m known for being happy, keeping fit and eating healthily. But, of course, I do lose my temper, get frustrated and get drunk too.

The event that altered the course of your life and character... Getting the presenting job on The Big Breakfast with Chris Evans in 1992. I had to do five screen tests but then Chris said, ‘Give this girl the job!’ I was beside myself with excitement.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it... I’d break into Selfridges, then spend the night trying on the best designer clothes and jewellery and eating the best food and drinking champagne in the food hall.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions... I’d have a tropical fruit platter followed by toast and Marmite while watching the sunrise from the Victoria Falls Hotel with my husband (publisher David Osman) and the girls. Then we’d walk through Central Park and around Manhattan, visit the Museum of Modern Art and take a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty. We’d visit Rome to see the sights, then have a glass of prosecco and a lunch of fresh fish and grilled vegetables. Later, we’d walk along London’s South Bank watching the street entertainers, followed by a country walk. Next we’d head to a beach in the Caribbean so the kids could play in crystal-clear water, while we have a few cocktails. We’d end the day with a barbecue on the lawns of the Victoria Falls Hotel watching the beautiful sunset.

The song that means most to you... Lady by Kenny Rogers. He sang it to me live on The Big Breakfast.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever... In 2012, when David proposed to me. It was on holiday on the beach in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean with our girls. The stars were out and I turned around and he was down on one knee. I said yes and we all started jumping around together.

The saddest time that shook your world... When my mum died in 1997. She had lung cancer. Mum was such a strong woman but so kind.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you... To climb to base camp at Mount Everest. I have no desire to get to the summit, that would be enough.  

The philosophy that underpins your life... Do as you would want others  to do to you. 

The order of service at your funeral... All I’ll insist on is for it to be a cheerful occasion with plenty of laughter to celebrate my life. I think I’d prefer to be buried rather than cremated.

The way you want to be remembered... For being a good friend, a great mummy, but most of all for smiling.

The Plug... Gaby presents Food Inspectors, Thursday, 8pm, BBC1.