QUICKFIRE: Simon Reeve on dark times, strange souvenirs and women in charge

TV globetrotter Simon Reeve opens up about his biggest bugbear, dream dinner party guests and advice to his teenage self.

Guilty pleasure? You’ve Been Framed. I watch it with my son Jake [seven].

Where is home? A converted barn in the wilds of Dartmoor, Devon.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Steven Seagal – I think it would be very funny.

Biggest bugbear? Toilet seats that won’t stay up.

As a child you wanted to be… A van driver. I went for a couple of dozen driving jobs after I left school, but never got any of them.

Earliest memory? Having a lumbar puncture when I was four and had meningitis. The pain was horrific.

Secret to a happy relationship? Learning to compromise.

Your best quality? Empathy.

And your worst? Rage, sarcasm, ego – I’m not sure where to begin!

Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Fill a room with gifts and candles for my wife, Anya, quite early on in our relationship.

Last meal on earth? A full English breakfast.

Dream dinner-party guests? My friends, who I don’t see often enough.

Advice to teenage self? Stop worrying. As a teenager, I got so low that I came close to ending it all.

Cat or dog? We have an Alsatian collie cross, Obi, a cat called Cookie and we feed a wild cat named Barney.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Someone youngish who feels a bit old and ravaged inside.

Starstruck moment? Meeting Keith Richards before a Rolling Stones gig.

Favourite tipple? Prosecco and Guinness, but not together.

Hangover cure? A pint of water before bed.

Top of your bucket list? To repeat my travels with my family. I am desperate to show Jake this wondrous world.

Secret skill? I am able to juggle carving knives.

One thing that would make your life better? Training Obi to retrieve would be transformational.

Philosophy? Take everything step by step. This got me through a dark place.

Biggest lesson you have learnt about money? I’m hopeless with it.

Biggest lesson you have learnt about women? If they ran things in certain tricky parts of the world, there would be less fighting and corruption.

First record you bought? ‘Breakin’…There’s No Stopping Us’ by Ollie & Jerry.

Most extravagant purchase? A ghetto blaster that cost me £120 when I was 14.

Best present you ever received? Our guide in Dagestan, southern Russia, gave me a big slab of stone with a laminated picture of his village on it and some stinky dried fish before waving us off at the airport.

Biggest fear? Letting my son down.

Celebrity crush? Eva Green.

Happiness is… Finding meaning in life – it has been a real focus for me.

Simon’s memoir, Step by Step, is published by Hodder & Stoughton, price £20. To order a copy for £16.99 (A 20 percent discount until 7 October, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 08445710640; P&P is free on orders over £15 His UK theatre tour, An Audience with Simon Reeve, continues in Liverpool. For more information, visit simonreeve.co.uk 

Interview by John Koski