QUICKFIRE: Comedian and actor Robert Webb on fading beauty, saving money and losing his virginity

Matt Crockett

Guilty pleasure? Watching Game of Thrones, although it’s so well made that I don’t feel too guilty.
Where is home? An Edwardian terraced house in West Hampstead, London.
Career plan B? An English teacher. It’s fortunate for students that I got no further than getting an English degree.
Who would play you in a movie of your life? Mark Hamill, when he was young and as he is now.
As a child you wanted to be… A superhero, Zorro or an ambulance driver.
Secret to a happy relationship? Two duvets.
Your best quality? I’m funny, but that’s luck rather than a quality.
And your worst? Laziness.
Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Dedicate my book, How Not To Be a Boy, to my wife Abbie.
Last meal on earth? It ought to be something I hate so that I am happy to go – in which case, anything that involves sushi or leeks.
Dream dinner-party guests? Stephen Fry, Germaine Greer, Jeanette Winterson, Graeme Garden and the journalist Hugo Rifkind.
Advice to teenage self? Calm down about losing your virginity – I lost it at 17.
Cat or dog? I would say dogs, marginally, but I wouldn’t want to keep either in London.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? The wreck of a once beautiful man.
On a day off we’d find you… Napping or spending time with my daughters Esme, nine, and Dory, seven.
Starstruck moment? The first one was when David Mitchell and I spent a day at Ade Edmondson’s house working on an idea he had for a comedy. We were just kids, really, and he treated us as equals.
Big break? Peep Show in 2003. It became the longest-running sitcom on Channel 4.
Career highlight? The thing I’m proudest of at the moment is How Not To Be a Boy. There were times when I thought it might be read by just me and a few friends.
Favourite tipple? A nice lager makes me very happy.
Hangover cure? Sleep and Great British Nurofen.
One thing that would make your life better? To live in a part of London that is also a friendly beach resort.
Philosophy? Try to guarantee a better future by living sensibly in the present.
Biggest lesson you have learnt about money? I like saving. I don’t know if that’s a big lesson, but it’s done me no harm.
Last film that made you cry? Coco.
Where would you time-travel to? The present is quite enough to cope with.
First record you bought? Faith by George Michael.
Most extravagant purchase? There isn’t one thing, but my biggest extravagance is travelling around London in black cabs. I’m anti-Uber.
Best present you ever received? A Raleigh racing bike that my mother bought me for Christmas when I was 14. She had convinced me that I wasn’t getting a present that year because money was tight.
Celebrity crush? Maura Tierney, who played Abby Lockhart in ER.
Happiness is… A funny day with friends and certain members of my family, but not all of them.

Robert’s memoir How Not To Be a Boy is published by Canongate Books, price £8.99. For details of his appearances at literary festivals, go to canongate.co.uk/robert-webb-tour

Interview by John Koski