Evening Standard - ES Magazine


The writer and comedian marvels at the Rothko Room at Tate Modern, has tried the posh sushi at Endo… and still has Three Lions on his shirt


Home is…

Between Hampstead and Camden. I live with my wife, Morwenna [Banks] and two adult children: Dolly, 21, and Ezra, 18. We’ve been there since Ez was born.

Where do you stay in London?

I never stay anywhere apart from my house. I do like pampering, though, and when I was doing my show, My Family: Not the Sitcom, at the Playhouse Theatre a few years ago I used to go to The Corinthia sometimes — they have an undergroun­d spa there that’s a bit like something out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. But you don’t want to run away from it so much.

What was your first job?

I’ve never had a proper job. I sometimes worked for my mum who sold golf memorabili­a at Grays Antique market. I tended to not understand how the till worked and therefore sold very little golf memorabili­a.

Favourite restaurant­s?

I eat a lot of McPlants. So McDonald’s. Plus Dars, a fantastic Indian canteen near me.

Most memorable meal?

My manager once took me to Endo, the very, very posh Japanese restaurant in the Rotunda at the old BBC. Despite it being very posh, a bloke came to sit next to me who only wanted to talk about football — specifical­ly West Ham, which was fine but made it sometimes hard to concentrat­e on the sushi. What I remember through the chat about the Hammers is that it — the sushi — was incredible. So, I believe, was the cost.

Where would you most like to be buried?

I think I’d prefer to be cremated and placed in my back garden where the ashes of some of my cats reside. I’d particular­ly like to be buried next to Chairman Meow.

If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be?

The Telecom Tower. Just because when I was young it was the glamorous building because it had a revolving restaurant at the top. I think it also featured once in Mary, Mungo and Midge. So I’d live there and just be fed in the revolving top, with those three.

Best thing a cabbie has ever said to you?

‘I was on my way home — I’ve had enough of London for today — but I saw it was you sticking your hand up so I thought, “Oh, alright then, I’ll stop for Baddiel.”’

Where do you go to let your hair down?

If you mean party, I don’t really do that any more on a regular basis. I’m 58.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

My son. When I say call I mean I shout upstairs, ‘Ezra! Do you want to watch Breaking Bad?’ Which is my idea of fun.

What’s your London secret?

Atariya deli in North Finchley does very cheap, fatty tuna sushi.

What are you up to for work right now?

A documentar­y I’ve just put out on Channel 4 called David Baddiel: Jews Don’t Count is currently on All4. Also a Christmas version of ‘Three Lions’ is in the charts. I do like Christmas despite being Jewish — I have a children’s book out, Virtually Christmas.

“My wife sometime says of me, ‘Have you ever thought of saying the second thing that comes into your head?’”

Who is your hero?

Peter Cook. My wife sometime says of me, ‘Have you ever thought of saying the second thing that comes into your head?’ But truth is I admire people who have no filter, and in Peter’s case it benefited him to the tune of being funny all the time. He lived quite near me and I became friendly with him towards the end of his life.

What’s your favourite work of art?

The Rothko Room [display] in Tate Modern.

What was the last thing you googled?

What Channel is Germany v Japan on?

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