Wildlife Presenter Kate Humble

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 14 March 2015

Wildlife presenter Kate Humble:

‘I know I look as though I haven’t brushed my hair for years – but I like being scruffy and caked in mud’


We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s wildlife presenter Kate Humble.


The prized possession you value above all others...Upper Meend Farm in Wales’s Wye Valley, which my husband Ludo and I bought in 2011. It’s harsh land but beautiful, and connects me with nature.

The biggest regret you wish you could amend...Not going to see my dear friend Pablo in Peru five years ago when he emailed to say he was ill. He had hepatitis, but didn’t let on how serious it was. He died two weeks later – I was devastated.

The temptation you wish you could resist...Smelly cheese like Stinking Bishop or Roquefort. I can’t sleep properly for three days after I’ve eaten some.

The book that holds an everlasting resonance...The novel Picture Palace by Paul Theroux. It’s about a 70-year-old photographer looking back on her life. It’s funny and moving.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Woman for a day...I’d disable the internet and all mobile phone networks to reintroduce everyone to the wonderful world that we live in.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise...How the English Government refuses to charge for plastic bags. In Wales it’s making a tangible difference.

The film you can watch time and time again...Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. Paul Newman and Robert Redford look so completely edible and it’s hopelessly romantic.

The person who has influenced you most...David Attenborough. I first met him at a dinner party when I was 27, before I was on TV. I was struck by how polite, modest and gracious he was.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint...Freya Stark, the 20th-century British travel writer who visited parts of the Middle East long before other Western women.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child...Always go with your gut feeling and never let anyone sway you.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity...The circus. As a girl I dreamed of being a trapeze artist and I still love going to circuses – it makes me feel five again.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again...That bounce in your body you have when you’re younger, which means you can fall over without hurting yourself. I’m 46 and if I ever fall in a heap nowadays people immediately think about calling an ambulance!

The unending quest that drives you on...To show the natural beauty of the world through my work, so people strive to help preserve it.

The poem that touches your soul...Silly Old Baboon by Spike Milligan is seared into my soul from my childhood and always makes me smile.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase...Magazine editors always seem to think that I want a make-over, so I can be glammed up in designer dresses and wear Jimmy Choo shoes. I know I look as though I haven’t brushed my hair for years, but I actually like being scruffy and caked in mud.

The event that altered the course of your life and character...Filming Lambing Live on a farm in Wales in 2009. I was driving there one morning at 5.30am and a light bulb came on – I suddenly knew I belonged on a farm.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it...I’d arrange the mass destruction of every plastic shower curtain in the world. Everything about them is disgusting.

The song that means most to you...The Muppet Show Theme – it always makes me feel perky. Our dogs, Badger, Bella and Teg, are known as The Muppets and we sing it to them every morning.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions...I’d wake up at 5.30am in my camper van on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, then Ludo and I would go for a walk with our dogs. Later we’d have lunch with friends at a tiny fisherman’s shack we own in the northern Dordogne, France. I’d buy food from the local market and we’d drink plenty of local wine, then go for a dip in the lake. After that, Ludo and I would go scuba diving in Papua New Guinea. In the evening, we’d go on safari at Luangwa Valley, Zambia, to watch wild dogs at twilight. We’d have fresh fish with flat bread for dinner cooked at the portside in Essaouira in Morocco, then watch the Northern Lights from the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia with a group of reindeer herders. I’d end the day in a hammock high up in a Canadian redwood tree.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever...A night in September 2012 when I was driving a tractor as we cut hay on the farm. I had a dog on my lap and a bottle of cider in my hand as I drove under the stars. It was heavenly.

The saddest time that shook your world...The day Ludo’s sister Lucy died suddenly in 2006 when she was 40. She was so special and too young to die.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you...To ride in the Grand National like Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet.

The philosophy that underpins your life...Take responsibility for your actions and never make excuses.

The order of service at your funeral...I don’t want one – no ceremony, nothing. My choice would be for my body to be left on a hill in Wales to be eaten by red kites, but I doubt it will be allowed.

The way you want to be remembered...Do you remember that girl on telly who never brushed her hair?

The Plug...The Humble By Nature Big Day Out is on our farm on 4 July. Join us for fun events for all the family. Book at humblebynature.com.