I don’t get bored... the world is too in­trigu­ing

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

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?”’

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