My Secret Life: Julia Bradbury, television presenter, 39

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The Independent Online

My parents were ... loving, warm, sincere and passionate. My mum used to be a clothes designer and entrepreneur and my dad worked in the steel and engineering industry as a marketing director.

The house/flat I grew up in ... was a beautiful 400-year-old rectory in Rutland: very rickety with low beams, steep stairs, a priest hole and lots of nooks and crannies. It was an adventurous place to grow up.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a vet, then an actress, then an advertising copywriter, all in very quick succession.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd like a slightly smaller nose.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... parallel parking. But you don't need to be any good in my present car: it has a camera at the back which shows you the space that you're moving into – in fact, I think it's cheating.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... maths. I hate anything to do with numbers.

At night I dream of ... everything. Often they're quiet violent dreams: I'm either being chased, I'm running or I'm flying; and they're often quite futuristic, of another time and another planet.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... A sense of humour.

My favourite item of clothing ... I buy clothes and shoes all of the time – I am totally obsessed. I have wardrobes full of them all so it would be hard to choose just one piece. I recently bought a new pair of summer sandals – they've got silver discs on them and they are my current favourite.

I wish I'd never worn ... that romantic-style shirt in the 1980s: white with a big white frill down the front. Very Spandau Ballet. Very wrong.

It's not fashionable but I like ... the singer Neil Diamond.

I drive ... a bullet-grey Range Rover Sport; I'm a real petrol head.

My house is ... my place in London is homely-meets-modern, and always open for a party.

My favourite building ... Anything that Zaha Hadid has designed. Everything she does is ergonomically superior to most other buildings on the planet.

My favourite work of art ... Anything by Rothko.

A book that changed me ... was 'The Prophet' by Khalil Gibran, which has passages about every section of life. My parents gave me a copy when I left home; it's a bit of a family Bible.

Movie heaven ... would be a double bill: 'Jaws' followed by 'The Girl on the Bridge'.

The last albums I bought/downloaded ... were the latest releases from The XX and Hot Chip.

My secret crush ... is Ashton Kutcher.

My greatest regret ... is not recording that duet with Lady Gaga.

My real-life villain ... is George W Bush.

The person who really makes me laugh ... Jack Nicholson makes me grin from ear to ear. I'd like to have a night on the town with him.

The last time I cried ... was watching 'Sense and Sensibility', again.

My five-year plan ... is to get more people engaged with the outdoors and thinking about the planet.

What's the point? The point is to love, the point is to live, and the point is to laugh.

My life in six words ... Always ready to try something new.

A life in brief

Julia Bradbury was born in Dublin in 1970 to a Greek mother and an English father. She started her career as an entertainment reporter for GMTV before joining the BBC's Watchdog programme. Since then she's made her name as a wildlife presenter, fronting Countryfile and several walking programmes for the BBC. Bradbury divides her time between London and Rutland, where she lives with her miniature schnauzer Lotte (right)