The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor’s Letter -

Guilty plea­sure? Watch­ing re­runs of the TV game shows 3-2-1 and Bulls­eye. They are un­in­ten­tion­ally hi­lar­i­ous, but a fas­ci­nat­ing cul­tural snapshot of how we were. Where is home? I spend 60 per cent of the time at my home in Bel­size Park, North­west Lon­don, and the rest in Lancashire, where I’m from. Ca­reer plan B? A coun­sel­lor or a ther­a­pist. Who would play you in a movie of your life? John Simm. Big­gest bug­bear? Any­one call­ing them­selves an ‘in­flu­encer’ or ‘thought-leader’. What hubris! As a child you wanted to… Get a job at the lo­cal mush­room farm where my dad worked. Ear­li­est mem­ory? See­ing the moon land­ings on TV in 1969 when I was one. Se­cret to a happy re­la­tion­ship? Calm, un­der­stand­ing and lit­tle kind­nesses. Your best qual­ity? I like to think I’m quite calm and un­der­stand­ing. And your worst? I’m dis­or­gan­ised and al­ways end up be­ing 15 min­utes late. One thing that would make your life bet­ter? To stop be­ing late. Last meal on earth? A Sunday roast with a pyra­mid of roast pota­toes and din­ner plates as big as a bin lid. Dream din­ner-party guests? Henry VIII and all his wives, with Jeremy Kyle pre­sid­ing and Ross Kemp to step in if nec­es­sary. Ad­vice to teenage self? Get your hair cut. It was like a huge cu­mu­lus cloud on my stick-like body, but that was the 80s for you. On a day off we’d find you… Do­ing a lit­tle bit of so­lar ob­serv­ing. I have al­ways been enor­mously fas­ci­nated by as­tron­omy [Jon is a fel­low of the Royal As­tro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety]. Starstruck mo­ment? Be­ing in­tro­duced to Pro­fes­sor Stephen Hawk­ing in 2013 at a talk given by the as­tro­naut Com­man­der Chris Had­field. What a sense of pres­ence he had! Big break? Join­ing the Spit­ting Im­age team in 1994. Ca­reer high­light? The Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance in 2001. Favourite tip­ple? A mel­low glass of pinot noir. Hang­over cure? A big drink of wa­ter and a Be­rocca be­fore bed. What did you have for break­fast to­day? Por­ridge with maple syrup and a ba­nana. Top of your bucket list? To see an­other to­tal so­lar eclipse, one of na­ture’s most spec­tac­u­lar events. I’ve seen three and plan to see the next one in Chile next year. Phi­los­o­phy? Ac­knowl­edge peo­ple. Big­gest les­son you have learnt about money? Don’t be cava­lier or brash with it. Big­gest les­son you have learnt about women? Try to em­pathise with them – un­spo­ken un­der­stand­ing goes a long way. First record you bought? ‘Blue Mon­day’ by New Or­der. Most ex­trav­a­gant pur­chase? A Rolex watch that I bought in frus­tra­tion at Duty Free af­ter be­ing late for a flight back to the UK from Amer­ica. Best present you ever re­ceived? The Ob­server’s Book of As­tron­omy when I was about six. Big­gest fear? I will quote Wil­liam Hart­nell play­ing Doc­tor Who: ‘Fear it­self is largely an il­lu­sion, and any­way at my age there is very lit­tle left to fear.’ Celebrity crush? An old school­friend once said Aqua Ma­rina from Stingray was pretty fit for a pup­pet and I can’t dis­agree! Hap­pi­ness is… Find­ing your own quiet con­tent­ment and trea­sur­ing it.

Jon’s stage show, The Great Bri­tish Take Off, will be at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val from 13-26 August and tour­ing un­til 28 Novem­ber. De­tails at jon­cul­shaw.com

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