TV presenter Stacey Dooley opens up about life with a naughty bulldog, her accessory addictions and the pictures that mean the most…
I’m obsessed with my one-year-old English bulldog Bernie. I wasn’t even into dogs, but my boyfriend Sam, who’s a personal trainer, was desperate to get one. Everyone says bulldogs are chilled, but Bernie is nonstop, naughty and doesn’t listen to me. I’m an awful mother – tragically indulgent.
In the ten years I’ve been making documentaries, I’ve had three passports – two of which are full, as I’ve filmed in about 50 different countries. When I’m old and decrepit, I can show my kids all the stamps and visas from places such as the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and Iraq – and remember how lucky I was.
When I was 20, I bought my first Louis Vuitton bag and fell in love with it. I really felt the part with my posh bag down the Arndale in Luton. I always buy second-hand Louis Vuitton luggage when I’m abroad – I have several pieces now that I take on holiday with the girls.
I bought this beautiful print [of the poster for Andy Warhol’s 1966 film Chelsea Girls] for my first flat when I was 24. I had just moved to Brighton from Luton, where I grew up. I found it in a flea market for £3 – it symbolises leaving home.
I filmed a documentary on domestic violence in Russia last year for my series Stacey Dooley Investigates. I met women at a refuge who had escaped from abusive men. One of them, who was only about 18, gave me this Russian doll.
Gold hoop earrings are my trademark. I present a BBC children’s series Show Me What You’re Made Of where children are shown the conditions in which their clothes and toys are made. The kids who watch it send in drawings of me with big gold hoops.
This ‘family portrait’ of me, Sam and our dog sits in our living room. It was taken in a photo booth in Brighton when we moved into our home last year. The flat needed a lot of doing up and this photograph put our stamp on it straight away.
My flat has approximately 8,000 candles burning at one time. Sam says it looks like a funeral parlour. I spend a fortune on them and he says, ‘You are literally setting money on fire.’ I say, ‘Correct!’ If I’m away for a couple of weeks, I take a Diptyque candle with me to remind me of home.
I have about 25 pairs of sunglasses. I get them in duty-free shops, which is funny as my first job was in Luton Airport selling perfumes. I never dared to dream that my job would take me all over the world. When you’re on location, sunglasses are the only way you can feel semi-fancy when you’re wearing jungle boots and anti-mozzie shirts!
Stacey’s book, On the Frontline with the Women Who Fight Back, will be published by BBC Books on Thursday, price £14.99. To order a copy for £11.99 (a 20 per cent discount) until 25 February, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; free P&P on orders over £15
Interview by Victoria Woodhall