I don’t get bored... the world is too intriguing
SANDI is quick to call hosting brainy comedy quiz QI her “dream job”, but admits it requires a completely different mindset from being a regular guest.
“You can’t be quite so naughty, because there are actual facts that need to be presented,” she elaborates candidly. “So it’s sort of lovely to be a panellist, and occasionally I’ll be a panellist on something else, and behave appallingly.”
Has she felt pressure taking over as the host of such an iconic show then?
“I’m not really a person who thinks like that if I’m honest with you,” maintains Sandi, who also spent nearly a decade as the host of The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4.
“I’ve been in the business 35 years and you have to be yourself.
“You go through patches where that self is not something everybody wants, and then patches where that is something people want, but you can’t try and be somebody else.”
But there’s one topic she insists she’d struggle with at a pub quiz.
“I’m no good at popular culture, that always lets me down... I think one of those Kardashians I could fall over them and I wouldn’t know...” NOW Sandi is the one asking all the tough questions on QI, does she ever notice guests seeming a bit nervous?
“Yep, and without naming any names you get that sometimes and people take a while to get in,” she discloses.
“I always say to them, don’t worry about being funny, worry about being fired, so say something, anything, because then somebody else can be funny.
“But if you’re just quiet ... don’t be silent, don’t be the Bermuda Triangle of the entertainment business; it’s not fun for anybody.”
When asked who her dream guest would be, dead or alive, Sandi, who has three grown-up children with former partner Peta Stewart, replies: “My dad. He was the most brilliant person I ever met in my whole life.
“He was born in 1929 and we had a copy of the encyclopaedia Britannica from 1929 and he used to say to us, ‘Anything you need to know before 1929 it’s in those books, anything after, it’s in here’, and he was a brilliant broadcaster and a clever man and charming. He would be my number 1.
“Though he’s long gone to wherever, we don’t know. I like the idea that we don’t know.”
Erm, how on earth does she fit it all in?
“I’m a woman, I’m multi-skilled,” she says with a laugh. “I love my life and I approach everything I do with passion and I love what I do.
“I love my family, I love my friends, I like my activism so I am somebody who gets up early and gets going, I’m not somebody who spends a lot of time sitting around watching box sets.”
A moment later, however, she slightly backtracks.
“Having said that I just watched Big Little Lies, did you see that? It was great,” she adds.
“If I do get a box set, then I have to watch the whole thing. But I’m usually knitting while I’m watching.”
Indeed, something tells us Sandi would never be happy just bingewatching TV...
“I’m always thinking about the stuff I want to do,” she confirms. “I’d like to go back to university, I’d like to learn another language.
“The bit I don’t get is when somebody says they’re bored and you just think, ‘Really? The world is too intriguing, what is the matter with you?”’