Reggie Yates, broadcaster
Born in London, Yates, 34, began acting as a child, and his television roles include Grange Hill and Doctor Who. At 18, he joined BBC 1Xtra, and went on to become a regular on Radio 1 and an awardwinning documentary-maker. His first book, Unseen, is out now.
What is your earliest memory?
Sitting on my dad’s lap playing piano.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Anybody who invests the lion’s share of their time in helping others.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I’m pretty obsessive and a neat freak.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
When I was doing the charts on Radio 1, I got way too comfortable and swore. It was the only time I’ve done that on live radio or TV.
Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
I bought all my siblings signet rings and pendants with my family crest on. There are a lot of us.
What is your most treasured possession?
The hard drive with all my photos of family and friends.
What would your super power be?
To be able to jump backwards and forwards in time.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Bert or Ernie from Sesame Street.
What is your most unappealing habit?
What is your favourite smell?
Oud – it’s not my favourite smell, but it reminds me of one of my favourite people (who will remain nameless).
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Film and music: film is my wife and music is my mistress. Which book changed your life?
None, but several made an impression: Pimp by Iceberg Slim, Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom, Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
I was accused of being aggressive in a moment when I was being passionate, and there’s a big difference between the two.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate biscuits before bed.
What was the best kiss of your life?
The funniest was my first kiss on screen at 13. It was a film called I Bring You Frankincense. She was 17 and knew what she was doing. I didn’t.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
How little confidence I had in my late teens and early 20s.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Brooklyn in the late 70s/early 80s, to see the birth of hip-hop.
How do you relax?
With mint tea and good conversation.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Have you seen my documentaries?
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Having children: it’s what I’m most looking forward to.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Jump Around by House Of Pain, and Pull Up To The Bumper by Grace Jones: stuff people could dance to.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who tried to keep learning, and wanted to help.
Tell us a secret
I wish I could be an interior designer.
My guilty pleasure? Chocolate biscuits before bed