The DEF­I­NITE AR­TI­CLE

We ask a celebrity a set of dev­il­ishly prob­ing ques­tions – and only ac­cept THE de­fin­i­tive an­swer. This week it’s broad­caster Mariella Frostrup’s turn

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - NEWS -

The prized pos­ses­sion you value above all oth­ers...

My chil­dren’s draw­ings. I in­tended to just save a few, but now Molly’s 12 and Dan’s 11 I have fold­ers full of them. There’s so much per­son­al­ity in ev­ery pic­ture that it seems a crime to throw any away.

The big­gest re­gret you wish you could amend...

I’m not a re­gret­ful per­son, but I wish I’d gone to uni­ver­sity. It’s such a great opportunity to make friends and de­velop your knowl­edge.

The temp­ta­tion you wish you could re­sist...

Brown soda bread with half an inch of but­ter and a wedge of ched­dar. Must be my Ir­ish child­hood.

The book that holds an ev­er­last­ing res­o­nance...

The Owl And The Pussy­cat by Ed­ward Lear. My par­ents read it to me and then I read it to my chil­dren. It feels as if that story is teth­er­ing my life across time.

The pet hate that makes your hack­les rise...

Peo­ple be­ing flaky or late, both of which sug­gest a dis­re­gard for other peo­ple’s time.

The pri­or­ity ac­tiv­ity if you were the In­vis­i­ble Woman for a day...

I would eaves­drop on my chil­dren and find out all the se­crets they keep from me.

The per­son who has in­flu­enced you most...

I couldn’t choose be­tween my par­ents, Peter and Joan. I had a tough child­hood be­cause they sep­a­rated when I was eight and my fa­ther died from a heart at­tack when I was 15. But de­spite all that they laid solid foun­da­tions for my life, giv­ing me courage and con­fi­dence.

The film you can watch time and time again...

The Re­turn Of The Pink Pan­ther with Peter Sell­ers from 1975 is a clas­sic. Laugh­ter is so im­por­tant in life and Sell­ers cracks me up.

The un­end­ing quest that drives you on...

Hav­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences. The world is amaz­ing and I have a bil­lion things to try be­fore I die.

The fig­ure from his­tory for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint...

El­iz­a­beth I was truly ex­tra­or­di­nary. I’d ask her what she thought of her dad.

The un­likely in­ter­est that en­gages your cu­rios­ity...

I col­lect Tup­per­ware and get very an­gry when the lids are lost.

The piece of wis­dom you would pass on to a child...

I’m a strict mum but I’m not one for lec­tur­ing. I be­lieve you learn your own lessons. My job is to set a good ex­am­ple.

The poem that touches your soul...

Daddy by Sylvia Plath. She was eight when her fa­ther died and her poem echoes so much that I went

through.

The mis­ap­pre­hen­sion about your­self you wish you could erase...

The ‘sexy blonde’ la­bel has stuck to me de­spite the fact that, at 54, I’m old enough to be a young grand­mother.

The trea­sured item you lost and wish you could have again...

My fa­ther’s pocket-sized book of 1,000 ran­dom words. I lost it four years ago when we moved from Lon­don to Som­er­set. Along with his small wooden chess set, it was the only thing of his that I had.

The song that means most to you...

Have I Told You Lately by Van Mor­ri­son. It makes me think of all the peo­ple I love and gives me a happy lump in my throat.

The crime you would com­mit know­ing you could get away with it...

I’d take over all the di­a­mond mines in Africa and use the money to fund the ed­u­ca­tion of girls across that con­ti­nent.

The un­ful­filled am­bi­tion that con­tin­ues to haunt you...

To pass my mo­tor­bike test. I’ll do it when I’m 60 and the kids are long gone.

The way you would spend your fan­tasy 24 hours, with no travel re­stric­tions...

I’d wake up with my hus­band Ja­son and the chil­dren at our river­side house in Som­er­set. After break­fast I’d go scuba div­ing at Kimbe Bay in Pa­pua New Guinea, then fly to New York for shop­ping and lunch with girl­friends at a brasserie called Le Bil­bo­quet. Back to Eng­land for a walk with friends on the Cor­nish coastal path, then din­ner with my brother at The Wind­ing Stair in Dublin. I’d end the day in the Nor­we­gian moun­tains soak­ing in a tra­di­tional Scan­di­na­vian wooden hot tub un­der the stars with Ja­son.

The event that al­tered the course of your life and char­ac­ter...

My fa­ther’s death aged just 44 gave me a sense of my own mor­tal­ity and an ur­gency to live life to the full. My im­me­di­ate re­sponse was to leave home when I was 16 so I could get on with liv­ing.

The hap­pi­est mo­ment you will cher­ish for­ever...

Pass­ing my driv­ing test when I was 18 gave me a fan­tas­tic sense of in­de­pen­dence. I went straight off driv­ing around France for two weeks.

The sad­dest time that shook your world...

The artist An­gus Fairhurst was a good friend and I was heart­bro­ken when he com­mit­ted sui­cide in 2008.

The phi­los­o­phy that un­der­pins your life...

Do unto oth­ers as you would have them do unto you. You have to be­lieve in good­ness.

The or­der of ser­vice at your fu­neral...

I’m not re­li­gious but I would have a church ser­vice – just for a bit of in­sur­ance! I’d have Three Lit­tle Birds by Bob Mar­ley be­cause it evokes the sim­ple beauty of life, then ev­ery­one would sing Hal­lelu­jah by Leonard Co­hen. To close, I’d want the en­tire con­gre­ga­tion to do a Zumba fit­ness dance to Hot Hot Hot by Buster Poin­dex­ter.

The way you want to be re­mem­bered...

As a tall, slim ge­nius. But sadly, that’s never going to hap­pen!

‘The “sexy blonde” la­bel has stuck to me de­spite the fact that, at 54, I’m old enough to be a grand­mother’

Right: Peter Sell­ers in The Re­turn Of The Pink Pan­ther. Above right: Tup­per­ware. Far right: Land’s End, Corn­wall

Piers is away this week

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