QUICKFIRE: Kate Humble on sharks, wolf-whistles and a surprise proposal

TV presenter Kate Humble on sharks, wolf-whistles and a surprise proposal.


Where is home? A four-acre smallholding in the Wye Valley in Wales, which I share with pigs, sheep, chickens, three dogs, two feral cats and my husband Ludo.

Guilty pleasure? Very stinky blue cheese, particularly a Welsh variety called Perl Las.

Career plan B? I would love to have been a circus stunt rider.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Animal from the Muppets.

Biggest bugbear? Joint number one are bad manners and ‘health and safety’ as the default for saying no.

As a child you wanted to be… A groom – I loved mucking out and looking after horses.

Secret to a happy relationship? Space and independence.

Your best quality? I’m a grafter.

And your worst? Impatience.

Last meal on earth? A properly good pork pie with lashings of piccalilli and a Cox’s apple.

Dream dinner-party guests? Sarah Millican, David Sedaris, Elizabeth I, Roald Dahl, Michelle Obama and Alfred Wallace, a great naturalist, who was a contemporary of Charles Darwin.

Advice to teenage self? The best years of your life are still to come.

Cat or dog? Dog! We have two rescue dogs, Badger and Bella, and my beautiful working Welsh sheepdog, Teg.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Increasingly less! I’m getting to the stage where I might need glasses.

Big break? On my second day working as a researcher on BBC One’s Holiday programme, the boss asked me to do a screen test. I was mortified, but it’s where everything started.

Career highlight? Capturing a sixgill shark on film in deep water off the Cayman Islands. It was a remarkable moment that I will never forget.

Favourite tipple? Gin and tonic.

Hangover cure? Toast and Marmite, a pint of tea and a long walk.

Top of your bucket list? To see a giant squid in its natural habitat.

Secret skill? I can wolf-whistle loudly.

Philosophy? Be curious always.

Biggest lesson you’ve learnt about money? It’s not worth compromising your principles for.

Biggest lesson you’ve learnt about men? They’re not women.

Where would you time-travel to? Back to see the earth before humans evolved.

First record you bought? ‘I Only Want to Be With You’ by The Tourists.

Most extravagant purchase? A lake in the Dordogne, France, along with an acre of land and a tiny shack – it’s heaven.

Best present you ever received? The rind from a salami, which Ludo wrapped around my finger when he proposed to me in Prague in 1992, because he didn’t have a ring.

Biggest fear? Being kept alive when nature would let me die.

Celebrity crush? Sir David Attenborough.

Happiness is… A long walk with a great pub at the end.

Kate’s new book, Thinking On My Feet, is published by Aster, price £20. To order a copy for £16 (a 20 percent discount) until 4 November, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640 P&P is free on orders over £15.

Interview by John Koski