Caroline Quentin: ' I once said everything I'd done in my career was rubbish. It was a joke, but it has been following me around ever since'


Property is the national obsession I've done a lot of restoration myself, something like 13 properties now. It's about nesting, and aesthetics. I like my home to be as lovely and comfortable as it can be. We all like watching it on TV because it's so often torture going through yourself, but less so when you are just the viewer.

It's quite rare in comedy for lead roles to go to women So thank you, Noël Coward! I'm currently in his play Relative Values, in which the two lead roles – mine and Patricia Hodge's – are both female. Actresses of a certain age [Quentin is 52] are always struggling to find good parts, so it's nice to be bucking that trend.

Spontaneity is the key in life I'm far too chaotic to be ambitious, but I am spontaneous. If I feel something is good, whether it's TV, theatre, or presenting, then I do it. If something touches your heart, go for it.

I fell in love with India I was there for 10 weeks in March 2011, filming a travel show called A Passage Through India, and the time I spent there was one of my favourite times in my life. I miss it, and think of it every day. I took the family there on holiday, and we all decided we want to live in Mumbai. It's a fantasy, but India's that kind of place, isn't it?

Careful what you quip I once did a Q&A at Bafta, and suggested that everything I had done in my career was rubbish. It was said as a joke, but it has been following me around ever since. A shame, really, because it makes me sound terribly neurotic, and I'm not. I'm not!

I trained to be a dancer I was a hoofer, part of the chorus line at the end of the pier, but then I auditioned for a play, a classy director came to see it, and he took me straight to the Royal Court. It sounds naff to suggest it, but everything I've done since feels like the most incredible privilege, a happy accident.

Comedy is everywhere I never believe anything that doesn't contain an element of humour to it. To me, life is absurd, hilarious, ludicrous, and even in the darkest of times, there will be things to make you laugh. That's why I love doing comedy, because all life is there.

'Men Behaving Badly' somehow summed up the 1990s Who saw that coming! It was just another sitcom initially, but it tickled the nation's fancy. I still get 15-year-olds coming up to me saying they are watching it on those satellite channels, and loving it. I haven't watched it myself, but then I don't have those extra channels.

My children are proud of me They came to see me in Relative Values the other night, and beamed with pride. What a lovely thing to hear from your children, eh?

I've been a keen gardener since I was 25 I love nature, and animals. My husband kindly allowed me to have some chickens a few years back, and now we live on a small holding in Devon: chickens, sheep, lots of vegetables. It's a hobby, but also our life, and it's blissful.

My husband is bloody marvellous He used to work in television, but re-trained as a cosmetic scientist, and has just launched a range of personal-care products for teenagers. It's unisex, and not sold to them on the basis of their sexuality or using sex to sell. It's simple and honest and brilliant.

I love people I'm genuinely very sociable, so when people recognise me and come up to say hello, it's not a hassle. I can travel around most of the country now and soon find someone to talk to. It means never feeling like a stranger.

'Restoration Home', presented by Caroline Quentin, airs on BBC 2 at 8pm on Wednesdays

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back