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My Secret Life: Alex Horne, 33, comedian


The household I grew up in... was very male. I've got two brothers and there was a male dog and two male cats and every family we knew had three boys. Great for us, slightly less great for my mum.

When I was a child I wanted to be... embarrassingly, the great novelist. Or a respected charity worker. I still think both might come true.

If I could change one thing about myself... I would be better at accents. I am genuinely good at copying people's handwriting, but that's less help on stage.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... I am almost incredible at table football. It's nothing to be proud of.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... reading books – even though I've written two and want to write the best in the world.

I wish I had never worn... At my dad's 50th [birthday] I wore a kilt. I'm a quarter Scottish but that's not enough to warrant wearing a kilt at any point in my life.

At night I dream of... my next show. They tend to go quite well in my dreams. And then I do the show and it doesn't go quite so well.

What I see when I look in the mirror... Not enough wrinkles. I'm worried that, at 33, it reflects a life that's been a bit boring.

My favourite item of clothing... Bowling shoes. They're from eBay but people think I've stolen them, something everyone wants to do – I quite like that they give me that air of recklessness.

My favourite building... This is vaguely soppy – it's All Souls Church by Broadcasting House. I met my wife on the steps of the church before our first date.

Movie heaven... Any Bond film.

My greatest regret... Supporting Liverpool football club. I wish I'd supported the club where I grew up so I would have a good reason to be fanatical.

My secret crush... Vorderman, I'm afraid. I'm a big Countdown fan. I was on it a few years ago, and she lived up to everything I had expected.

My real-life villain... Meddling execs, especially in TV.

The person who really makes me laugh... My two-year-old son, Tom. He will insist on eating a meal with a box on his head because he's a robot and then get upset because it's difficult to eat food with a box on your head.

The last time I cried... My son Barney's birth, Christmas day 2010. It was happy crying. But it kind of ruined Christmas!

My five-year plan... Everything goes out the window slightly with kids – we've written off the next 20 years.

My life in six words... Not wasting a very lucky life.


Alex Horne was born in 1978. He studied at Cambridge University where he was a member of the Footlights. Horne made his Edinburgh Festival debut in 2000 with his show How To Avoid Huge Ships. He continues to tour as a stand-up, and also fronts 'The Horne Section', a live jazz comedy showcase. He has published two books, Wordwatching and Birdwatchingwatching. He lives in Chesham with his wife and sons. Horne's latest show, Seven Years in the Bathroom, is at the Soho Theatre tonight and tours in April