My Haven

JEREMY VINE The broad­caster, 52, in the liv­ing room of the west Lon­don home he shares with his wife and two daugh­ters

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We’ve lived in this four-bed­room house for nearly ten years, and this room is my haven be­cause the sun streams in first thing in the morn­ing. Th­ese two photos are of me with my brother Tim, the co­me­dian, and my sis­ter Sonya who’s a pain­ter. The one at the top was taken at our home in Cheam, Sur­rey, in 1970, the year Sonya was born – I was five at the time – and the one be­low was taken about ten years ago. I’m pleased to re­port that nearly 50 years on we all get on re­ally well.



I’ve al­ways been a mas­sive Elvis Costello fan – for my gen­er­a­tion he was as much of a ‘King’ as his name­sake Elvis Pres­ley. I was lucky enough to get him to sign this poster for My Aim Is True – his first al­bum – which now hangs proudly in my liv­ing room. I’ve seen Elvis play live about 20 times, but when­ever I meet the great man I go into fawn­ing fan mode and just em­bar­rass my­self.



I started cy­cling sim­ply to get to and from work – Broad­cast­ing House is a 35-minute cy­cle ride from here – but I fell in love with it and now I cy­cle when­ever pos­si­ble. A lot of my friends refuse to cy­cle in Lon­don be­cause they think it’s too ter­ri­fy­ing, but when you’re mov­ing at

10-12 miles an hour, which is faster than most of the cars, it’s joy­ful. That said, I’ve re­luc­tantly opted for this hel­met but I wish it wasn’t nec­es­sary.



I was the BBC’s Africa cor­re­spon­dent in the late 1990s, vis­it­ing 18 coun­tries in three years, and it was a real eye-opener for me be­cause it showed me there was a whole un­re­ported world be­yond West­min­ster. This Sam­sonite case went ev­ery­where with me and one day, while on as­sign­ment in Uganda, the back door of the van I was in flew open and the case fell into a muddy road. The mud dried and I never man­aged to get it off, so when­ever I use the case with its Ugan­dan mud on the cor­ners, it takes me back to all the ad­ven­tures I had in that most amaz­ing of con­ti­nents.



I de­cided to give my daugh­ters Martha, 13, and Anna, ten, a comic ev­ery Satur­day but to­day’s just don’t mea­sure up to the ones I read as a boy. So I put out an ap­peal on Twit­ter and two peo­ple, who be­tween them had around 400 copies of Whoopee! and Whizzer And Chips, got in touch and I snapped up the lot. Now ev­ery Satur­day morn­ing my chil­dren get a 1970s comic. And you know what? They adore them just as much as I did at their age.



I loved do­ing Strictly Come Danc­ing in 2015 and dis­cov­ered a whole new species of per­son – the pro­fes­sional dancer. I be­came good friends with Karen Clifton, my danc­ing part­ner, as well as with the other con­tes­tants and dancers. It’s painful when you get elim­i­nated – I went out in week eight – but my elim­i­na­tion was watched by ten mil­lion peo­ple, which is a mea­sure of the show’s pop­u­lar­ity. And I still do the Charleston in th­ese shoes ev­ery now and then in the kitchen.

As told to York Mem­bery. Jeremy’s mem­oir What I Learnt is out now. Jeremy tweets at @theJere­myVine

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