Comedian David Baddiel on his secret skill, Simon Bird and the secret to a happy relationship

Guilty pleasure? I don’t believe in guilty pleasures – something is either good or it isn’t. I’ve believed this since about 1983, when I first started to love The Carpenters.

Where is home? A Victorian terraced house in London.

Career plan B? An English literature academic. I started a PhD, but comedy got in the way.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Simon Bird, John Oliver, Mark Watson, Ben Elton or Ian Broudie. They can fight it out among themselves.

Biggest bugbear? Being mistaken for Simon Bird, John Oliver, Mark Watson, Ben Elton or Ian Broudie.

As a child you wanted to be… A footballer. I wanted to play for Chelsea, who I’ve supported since they won the FA Cup in 1970.

Earliest memory? An enormous spider on the stairs of our home in Dollis Hill when I was six.

Secret to a happy relationship? Your only hope is laughing at the same things, preferably at each other’s jokes.

Your best quality? An OCD commitment to honesty.

And your worst? An OCD commitment to honesty.

Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Before we were a proper couple, I flew to New York to convince my partner Morwenna that we should be together.

Last meal on earth? A never-ending all-you-can-eat buffet.

Dream dinner-party guests? Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi and Delia Smith – I would provide the ingredients.

Advice to teenage self? Calm down, you will have sex soon.

Cat or dog? Cat – we have four, Monkey, Pip, Tiger and Ron.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? An old Jew. Soon, I’m going to have to ask him to leave.

On a day off we’d find you… In Coverack, Cornwall.

Starstruck moment? Meeting David Bowie at the BBC. I was incredibly nervous and didn’t know what to say. And then he said, ‘Hello, David.’

Big break? I’m still waiting.

Career highlight? There’s being the first comedian to sell out Wembley Arena in 1993 [with Rob Newman], the singing of ‘Three Lions’ [which David co-wrote] at Wembley Stadium, My Family: Not the Sitcom being produced in the West End – but, of course, it was meeting David Bowie.

Favourite tipple? I don’t drink.

Secret skill? I have a top-notch sense of direction.

Philosophy? The truth is complex.

Last film that made you cry? All films make me cry. The Big Sick was the last one.

Where would you time travel to? My mum’s house, just over three years ago, to tell her that she couldn’t sort out the chest infection she had by dosing up on painkillers, as she thought, and let’s get to hospital instead.

First record you bought? ‘Devil Woman’ by Cliff Richard.

Biggest regret? Not having sex with more people when more people wanted to have sex with me.

Biggest fear? Spiders.

Celebrity crush? Paul Hollywood.

Happiness is… Mixed up with sadness, regret, despair, anxiety and certainty that you are missing out on greater happiness elsewhere. That’s what makes it hard to spot.

David’s one-man show, My Family: Not the Sitcom, begins a UK tour next Sunday at the Theatre Royal, Bath. For more information, visit