My Secret Life: Adam Ant, 58, musician

'I toured the world and saw none of it'

When I was a child I wanted to be… George Best.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… reading complicated legal documents (only 25 years too late in some cases).

You may not know it but I'm no good at… computers.

At night I dream of… the many vivid, complicated, and surreal episodes of which I am involved.

I wish I had never worn… a designer dress suit when I was presented to the Queen after a Royal Variety Show. Her Majesty remarked: "Hello Adam, I didn't recognise you without your make-up".

What I see when I look in the mirror… A vintage car that needs some maintenance.

It's not fashionable but I like… Julio Iglesias' version of "L'amour": takes me back to eating pasta in Notting Hill Gate in 1984 as a punk rocker.

I drive/ride… taxis, and the occasional vintage motorcycle.

My house is… comfortable, full of books and paintings, with plenty of room for my Dogue de Bordeaux, Billy.

My favourite work of art… Christ Preaching at the Cookham Regatta by Sir Stanley Spencer. My family has a connection with Stanley Spencer – my great aunt lived in Cookham. I saw Spencer when I was very small, too – he looked like the bogeyman pushing his pram with his paints in it.

My favourite building… Chiswick House.

A book that changed me… A Childhood: the Biography of a Place by Harry Crews. He's an underground, cult writer but he is by far my favourite author – every line is beautifully crafted. He was an ex-boxer, tough guy, and he used to sit on a bunch of bricks looking at the wall writing… he was a self-taught writer.

Movie heaven… The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Tony Richardson. It just really changed my life. I was quite young when I saw it, about 14, but it must have gone in – I ended up wearing the very same jacket as David Hemmings in the film. It's a unique document about what a carve-up it was, the Crimean War. It was a very unpopular film when it came out. I actually flew back from LA to see it in a cinema once, it was shown so rarely.

The last album I bought… Erik Satie's Piano Music. There's not a lot of contemporary music out there that I want to buy at the moment.

My greatest regret… Going around the world on tour and seeing none of it.

My secret crush… Carol Vorderman.

The last time I cried… Watching Wall-E.

My five-year plan… To play live to as many people as possible.

My life in six words… Up and down like a bride's nightie (sorry – that's seven!).

A life in brief

Stuart Leslie Goddard, aka Adam Ant, was born in London in 1954. He began playing music at art college. In 1976 he became seriously ill after overdosing on prescription pills. Upon recovery, he changed his name and founded Adam and the Ants and won fame as a leading figure of the New Wave movement. After the band's break-up in 1982 he enjoyed solo success before a long period out of the limelight. His new album, Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter is out on 21 January

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