My Secret Life: Frank Skinner, comedian, 54

Click to follow
The Independent Online

My parents are... big fans of TV snooker. After I left, they watched more and more – there were tournaments that went on till 1.45am and they'd stay up and watch them.

My parents are... big fans of TV snooker. After I left, they watched more and more – there were tournaments that went on till 1.45am and they'd stay up and watch them.

The household I grew up in... was a perfect mix of laughter, over-boiled vegetables and arguments.

When I was a child I wanted to... be a singing cowboy. It was the perfect combo of showbiz and the outdoor life. I have sung on horseback in Montana, but I realised that one of problems with the singing cowboy dream is that I found horses quite terrified me.

If I could change one thing about myself...I'd have a lower hairline – it's not to do with it receding, it's always been high. It's so high, I have to stand on a stool to cut my fringe.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... casual photography.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... sport of any kind. I have never managed to find a sport I'm good at – I love sport but I just can't do it.

At night I dream of... very mundane things; dreams are completely wasted on me! My dreams are things like: I'm in the supermarket, I queue, and then I leave the supermarket. It's basically my life but I happen to be asleep.

I wish I'd never worn... the Union Jack shorts I wore when I hosted the Brit Awards. I have never looked so protestant.

What I see when I look in the mirror... Tintin's dad. If they made a very realistic movie about Tintin, I'd be his slightly troubled, had-a-hard-life father.

My favourite item of clothing... My collection of hooded American Apparel tops. I have five colours; they're like mood hoodies.

I drive... a light blue BMW. I say that because I don't know any numbers or classes or where the spare tyre is kept – all I know about it is that it's blue.

It's not fashionable but I like... going to mass on Sundays.

My house is... It's a penthouse with amazing views of London, though I say so myself.

My favourite work of art... Bruegel's The Tower of Babel. I think it's a fabulously symbolic image of men thinking they can achieve everything with intelligence and science but failing. I stood in front of it for 25 minutes, there's loads in it, lots of detail.

A book that changed me... American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Movie heaven... Forbidden Planet.

My secret crush is... When I went to see The Social Network, I had strange feelings for Jesse Eisenberg.

My greatest regret... I wish I had started to play the ukulele much earlier in life.

My real-life villains... That would be Fifa.

The person who makes me laugh... I've got to say David Baddiel – he really does.

My five-year plan... More stand-up, less Question Time.

What's the point? The next laugh.

My life in six words... An Ealing comedy by Samuel Beckett.

A life in brief

Frank Skinner, born Christopher Graham Collins in January 1957, grew up in the West Midlands. After studying English at university, he decided to try stand-up comedy, calling himself Frank Skinner. He won the Perrier Award in 1991, and moved to TV with The Frank Skinner Show in 1995. He has worked extensively with David Baddiel, with whom he had a number one song, 'Three Lions'. He hosts a show on Absolute Radio every Saturday and his new book, Dispatches from the Sofa, is out now