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My life in ten questions...Sarah Cawood

''He's Just Not That Into You' changed my attitude to romance'

Television presenter Sarah Cawood was born in London in August 1972. Since 1997 the diminutive red-head has appeared on our screens as an anchor for MTV, Top of the Pops, the Eurovision Song Contest, Channel 4’s Richard & Judy and Five’s The Wright Stuff, among others.

The Independent Online asked her about her life in ten questions:

What would you normally be doing if you weren’t talking me? It’s really boring, but I would probably be cleaning the flat.[Laughs].

What’s the most surprising thing that’s ever happened to you? Oh crikey...that I make a living out of television. Oh, actually do you know what’s even more surprising? That I’m continuing to make a living out of television! It’s really hard to stay employed when you’re not 25 any more, so it is a constant surprise to me. It might all end next week! [Laughs] I’ll have to give it all up and go flip burgers.

Do you have any hidden talents? I used to be a ballet dancer so occasionally if I’m drunk enough I will attempt to do pirouettes, and/ or the dance of the cygnets from Swan Lake. If I’m at home I’ve been known to dig out the point shoes and show off. But it always ends in tears. Other than that I’m not sure, really. Not many people know that I re-trained as a make-up artist, so I can do a good face.

What are you particularly bad at? I can’t cook. I’ve been banned from doing cookery bits on telly. I’ve never skied, but I know I’d be terrible at it.

Describe the house that you grew up in. In the house where I lived in my formative years, between the ages of 11 and 19, I had a huge walk-in closet in my bedroom, which I filled with all my clothes and toys. I loved it! During my teens me and all my friends graffitied on the walls notes about all the boys we fancied and the parties we were going to - my mum didn’t mind us doing this because it was on the inside. So when I left that house I left a little note in there for the next people, to say ‘I’m sorry about the graffiti but I hope you enjoy the teenage ramblings.’

Is there a book that changed your life? Yes, it’s really sad, actually. I’m ashamed to say it but ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ by Greg Behrendt. I can spot it a mile off now. But you know what? I still hang on in there in shit relationships, even though I can see all the signs that he’s not interested. I’ll hang on hoping he’ll change. But men don’t. The more time they spend with you doesn’t make them like you more, they like you less. So, the book changed my life in that it changed my attitude to romance.

What the best advice you’ve ever received? My dad is a great sage and giver of advice. He said to me: In relationships never sacrifice your happiness for somebody else’s. Don’t stay with someone just because you know that leaving them will break their heart. You can’t do that. That’s not how life and happiness work. You’ve got to rip off the band aid. It will hurt. But then you can both move on. And the second thing he told me was: ‘Don’t ever try and change a man.’

What were you like at school? I was a total swot. I was the neatest in my class, my socks were always pulled up really high, my shirts were always neatly pressed. If I made a mistake on my homework I’d write the whole thing out again. I was a proper teacher’s pet. I’m still embarrassed. I really wish I could tell you I was rebel, but I was a corridor monitor and then a prefect.

If you could meet anyone from history who would it be? You know what there are two women I’d want talk to - Elizabeth I and Anne Boleyn. A mother and daughter combination.

What would you ask them? I’d ask Anne firstly, if she had cheated on old Henry VIII. I read a conflicting report today that actually there were five accusations of adultery levelled against her. So, law of averages says she must have been guilty of one of them. But then, she hadn’t borne a son, so I suspect he was trying to frame her. And I’d ask Elizabeth if she was really a virgin. [Laughs] Because we know she wasn’t!