QUICKFIRE: Heiress Petra Ecclestone on Christmases past and present, life lessons and what she hates in a man

Heiress Petra Ecclestone on Christmases past and present, life lessons and what she hates in a man.

Petra Ecclestone
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Guilty pleasure? Coco Pops – I used to have them every morning, but I’ve cut down to once a week.

Where is home? Los Angeles, where I have a house with 14 bedrooms, a bowling alley and a hair and nail salon. I also have a home in Chelsea and come to London about every three months.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Dolly Parton.

Biggest bugbear? I hate bad manners, especially in a man.

As a child you wanted to be… A primary school teacher.

Earliest Christmas memory? Sneaking to the top of the stairs with my sister Tamara to watch our parents put the presents under the tree. I think that year I got a Sony robot dog.

First record you bought? The Spice Girls’ debut album, Spice.

Your best quality? I’m open-minded and non-judgmental.

And your worst? I’m very stubborn.

Top of your bucket list? To swim with sharks.

Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Commission a work by the street artist Mr Brainwash as a Christmas present for my boyfriend Sam.

What’s on your christmas menu? We always have traditional roast turkey. My contribution is the stuffing – and that comes out of a packet! I will be in LA with my mum, my sister and our children.

Dream dinner-party guests? David Blaine, because I love magic, the Queen, the Dalai Lama and Temple Grandin, a leading spokesperson on autism.

Cat or dog? We have seven dogs, including a St Bernard called Beethoven who’s as big as a horse. I’m allergic to cats.

Magic moment? Taking my three children [Lavinia, five, and twins Andrew and James, three] to see Petra’s Place, a therapy centre I have just opened in London to support pre-school children with autism and their families.

Starstruck moment? Bumping into basketball player Kobe Bryant in a Milan street when I was about ten. I’m a huge fan.

Favourite tipple? Pineapple juice and Malibu.

Hangover cure? Nurofen.

One thing that would make your life better? A quicker way of travelling from LA to London.

Philosophy? This too shall pass – no matter how bad things are, it won’t last forever.

Advice to teenage self? Don’t care so much about what others think of you.

Lesson you’ve learnt about money? It changes people – for the worse, if you are a weak person.

Lesson you’ve learnt about men? They can be selfish pigs.

Most extravagant purchase? My house in LA. It’s really cool, but I want to sell it and move somewhere smaller.

Best Christmas present you ever received? A lovely rose gold and diamond ring from my mum.

Biggest fear? I worry about the world my children are growing up in, which is becoming more evil daily.

Celebrity crush? Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey. He’s the full package.

Happiness is… My children.

For more information about Petra’s Place Autism Therapy Centre and to register your child for treatment, go to petrasplace.co.uk

Interview by John Koski