My Secret Life: Gary Numan, musician, 53


My parents were... very supportive, they helped me every step of the way getting into the music business. My dad managed me until about a year and a half ago.

The household I grew up in... was very happy; both me and my brother were made to feel like the most important things in the world. It felt very safe.

When I was a child I wanted to... be a pilot, and a pop star. So I did all right.

If I could change one thing about myself... I'd be taller. I'm five foot eight and a quarter – the quarter being particularly important – but I'd like to be six foot.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... making candles – it's a weekend passion of mine. A long time ago my wife got me a candle-making kit and I really enjoyed it.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... conversation. I've got Asperger's, so I find it difficult to chit chat. I've got about three or four sentences and then I'm in trouble.

At night I dream of... I actually don't dream at all. I'm not sure whether that's a problem.

I wish I had never worn... I could go for the rest of the day on this one! The most hideous was jumpers tucked into the top of my jeans. Oh, and I wore braces on the outside. Jesus Christ, that's disgusting.

What I see when I look in the mirror... Time, unfortunately. I look in the mirror very rarely.

My favourite item of clothing... I've got some army surplus boots with a zip and they're just the coolest things in the world.

I drive/ride... a Jeepster Commando, because I need a seven-seater for the kids, a Dirt Buggy and a Yamaha motorbike.

My house is... a florescent can't-miss-it pink. It really annoyed the neighbours.

My favourite work of art... A statue of St Bartholomew in Milan Cathedral. He has no skin, he's holding it over his arm – it's amazing, I've never seen anything like it.

My favourite building... Warwick Castle. I love castles.

A book that changed me... Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I used to read a lot of Philip K Dick, and that one really stood out.

Movie heaven... It would have been Blade Runner, but now it'd be getting the extended versions of The Lord of the Ring films and watching them all non-stop.

My greatest regret... It's corny, but it's that I met my wife Gemma quite late in life. I wish I had met her 20 years before: my life would have been 20 years happier.

My secret crush... I swear to God, I don't have one. One of the things that made me realise my wife was the right person, was that that stuff all went away.

My five year plan... is to drastically increase my work level and put out far more albums.

What's the point? To give as much to those you love as you possibly can. It's the only thing that matters. It's quite a selfish view – I'm not going for world peace.

My life in six words... unusual, exciting, difficult, stressful, rewarding, ongoing.

A life in brief

Gary Numan was born in 1958. He is widely considered the grandaddy of electronic pop music in the UK and his most famous songs, 'Cars' and 'Are Friends Electric' – released while he was in the band Tubeway Army with his uncle – topped the charts in 1979. He subsequently went on to make 17 solo albums and next month, his latest record, Dead Son Rising, will be released. He lives in Sussex with his wife and three children

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