Chris Sut­ton on his love of trees

Noth­ing soothes the out­spo­ken pun­dit more than botany – just as long as there aren’t any bears around

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS - Interview Nick Moore Il­lus­tra­tion Bill Mc­conkey

Hi Chris. You were fa­mously half of the ‘SAS’ with Alan Shearer. But what about be­ing in the real SAS – think you’re tough enough? Hi. I think I would have done OK in the army. I’m not a leader, but I’m quite good at be­ing told what to do, and car­ry­ing out in­struc­tions. Could you build a shel­ter out of bracken and sleep in it for a week? I couldn’t think of any­thing worse. I can barely put up a tent, let alone make some­thing with bracken. I like the coun­try­side, but I don’t want to be sleep­ing un­der any bushes. Alan would be much bet­ter at it than me. Would you be any cop at raid­ing an Al-qaeda com­pound? No, no, no. I’m quite a big guy, so that would make me an easy tar­get. You’re not look­ing that good in the army then, re­ally… I sup­pose not. We en­joy you be­ing harsh on shoddy foot­ball per­for­mances, so let’s have a pop at some other things too, like: what is the worst film ever made? Rita, Sue and Bob Too. Ter­ri­ble. Who is the worst hu­man be­ing? The worst hu­man be­ing? You can’t ask me some­thing like that! We just did… Er… Rob­bie Sav­age. We can all agree on that one. The most abysmal hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion? I’ve not been any­where re­ally ter­ri­ble, but I did have a hol­i­day in Italy once where all four of the kids got food poi­son­ing and spent the whole time vom­it­ing. You don’t ex­pect that with pizza and pasta. All we did was mop up ev­ery day – a right Ital­ian Job. What’s the most loath­some TV show? Jeremy Kyle – I dis­like every­thing about it. I just watch sport. Usu­ally I like there to be a ball, but my wife likes dres­sage so I pre­tend to un­der­stand that a bit. Your name is an ana­gram of ‘Chino Struts’. Have you ever pea­cocked about in ver­sa­tile cot­ton trousers? I have, many times. In fact, the first time I ever went to a disco in Nor­wich, in around 1988, I was wear­ing some chino shorts and a flowery shirt. The feed­back I re­ceived was not strong. What was an ’80s Nor­folk disco like? We did have elec­tric­ity, lights and mu­sic, you know, if that’s what you are get­ting at. It was pretty nor­mal. Are you wear­ing chi­nos now, Chris? No, I’m wear­ing cords. Re­ally? Only jok­ing. I’m wear­ing jeans. What’s your most gen­tle qual­ity? Neil Warnock weeps softly dur­ing movies. Is there a soft side to me? Yes. I like trees. In fact, I love trees. And you don’t have to sound too sur­prised. I es­pe­cially like plant­ing trees, too. Where do you plant them? In the ground! The best place for trees. I plant them all around the gar­den. Did you know you share a birth­day with Osama Bin Laden, Sepp Blat­ter, Garth Crooks and Prince Ed­ward? [Au­di­ble hor­ror] Crooks is the worst – I mean, if I had to be stuck in a lift with one of those, it’d probably be Bin Laden. Are you scared of any­thing un­usual? How long have you got? All day, to be hon­est. OK: spi­ders, snakes, rats, croc­o­diles, al­li­ga­tors, ele­phants, rhi­nos, tigers. Po­lar bears. Any other type of bear... Avoid a sa­fari, Chris! Fi­nally, shall we round things off with a game of tele­phonic scis­sors, pa­per, stone? Do you mean rock, pa­per, scis­sors? If you want to call it that. Go on then. I’ve got pa­per. So have I. A frus­trat­ing draw then. But thanks very much for play­ing along, Chris. No prob­lem!

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“IS THERE A SOFT SIDE TO ME? YES, I LIKE TREES. IN FACT, I LOVE ‘EM. DON’T SOUND TOO SUR­PRISED”

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