The bedroom is very big, running the whole width of the house, and very dark. I'm allergic to sunlight, and so everything has to be as gothic as possible, with dark wallpaper and dark curtains. I sleep in a clapped- out bed with a bad mattress which gives me backache, so I often lie there thinking that I should get a new bed, too.
I'm the kind of person who is fully awake instantly, and the first thing I do is listen to the radio. I have a tiny Sony radio with an earpiece at the side of the bed, which I got at the Sony Radio Awards, and I have Radio 1, 4 and 5 on the pre-set buttons. I lie there listening for up to an hour, or until Chris Evans comes on at 7am, and I think what I'm going to say to Chris when he hands over to me at nine.
We have a son, Ben, who is five, and a daughter, Natasha, who is three. I get Ben up, and sit cracking fatherly jokes as he gets dressed, while Hilary, my wife, gets Natasha dressed. I then take the children downstairs and give them their breakfast, while Hilary has a shower. I get Ben a warm croissant with marmalade, and Natasha has a spicy fruit bun in a bowl. I give them orange juice, and fend off requests from them to have the television on. When Hilary comes down and takes over, I go upstairs to shave, clean my teeth and have my shower. I listen to the radio in the bathroom, too - radios seem to follow me around - and I have on either Chris or the Today programme. We also have a radio in the kitchen, but Hilary switches that off because Chris isn't always suitable for the children's ears.
I stand in front of my wardrobe for a ridiculous amount of time deciding what I'm going to wear. But I'm ready by about 8am, at which point Hilary takes the kids to school. Before I'm due to leave, I bundle them out of the house with reassuring comments about how great their day is going to be, but one of them has always forgotten something and has to run back.
When I did the breakfast show, the BBC would send a car for me, but it usually ended up arriving too early, too late, or going to the wrong house, which didn't make me very popular with the neighbours. Now, I drive myself to work, listening to Radio 1 or 4 as I go. I switch to 4 when Chris puts a record on - not that that happens very often.
I park in the Radio 1 car park, passing a greeting to whoever's running it that day, and call in at a nearby cafe to get breakfast - usually a croissant, coffee and grapefruit juice. I don't really like eating breakfast, and barely ever eat before leaving the house, though sometimes I might have a low-fat yoghurt. I do like good coffee, though, and might have two or three cups during the morning. I used to hate hot drinks, but when I started doing the early shift, I realised I really needed something warm and caffeine-laden. I never have BBC coffee, though - there seems to be no difference between their tea, coffee or vegetable soup.
When I get into work, I meet with my producer and broadcast assistant, who chase me around with notes and newspapers. We get a copy of every newspaper, and I look at them to get material for my show. At this time, I'm most interested in The Sun, the Mail and the Telegraph as they always seem to have the most broadcast-friendly stories, but I keep The Independent to take home. Then I think again about what I'm going to say to Chris, and write some ideas down, but I end up ignoring them. He's always on some other tack, and I just have to come up with something on the spot
Interview by Scott HughesReuse content