My Secret Life: Kate Humble, wildlife presenter, 41


My parents ... instilled a real sense of priority in me; they made me realise that the most joyful and important things in life cost nothing. My dad worked for IBM – I was never quite sure what he did. My mum looked after me and my younger brother Charlie.

The house I grew up in ... was great for playing hide and seek but full of spiders. It was a Victorian farmhouse next door to a working farm in Berkshire. We'd moved away from London when I was nine months old.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a Red Indian or a Gypsy or in the circus: all of them involved horses and being semi-nomadic.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd have a prehensile tail, like a monkey.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... wolf-whistling.

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

At night I dream of ... bees. Last night, I dreamt that they were all swarming.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... is someone who should probably look in the mirror more often.

My favourite items of clothing ... are my wellies.

I wish I'd never worn ... a ra-ra skirt: what a completely ridiculous idea that was.

It's not fashionable but I like ... Marmite on apples. A friend of my grandmother's was a vegetarian back in the days when no one was, and it was her favourite snack. She introduced it to me and I became obsessed.

I drive/ride ... a Skoda Octavia estate, and very occasionally my donkey, Bertie.

My house is ... set in one of the most beautiful places in the world, up a dirt track on a hill looking over Wye Valley. There are woods below and farmland all around; it feels like a total retreat.

My favourite building ... is the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. It's full of birdsong, with a wonderful shady courtyard, and has a feeling of complete peace about it.

My favourite work of art ... is probably 'The Angel of the North' by Antony Gormley; it is slightly and gloriously impractical.

A book that changed me ... was a field guide: 'Birds of Southern Africa' by Ber van Perlo.

Movie heaven ... is 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', curled up on the sofa on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I love the rebelliousness of it; although it's fundamentally glamourising two terrible criminals, there's something uplifting about the film too.

The last album I bought/downloaded ... I've never downloaded an album. My husband does that, and I listen and think: this is nice.

My secret crush ... is Nicolas Cage in 'Raising Arizona': scruffy and badly behaved.

My real-life villain ... is Robert Mugabe.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Dylan Moran.

The last time I cried ... was watching a clip called 'Jill and Kevin's Wedding' on YouTube: it's a clip of people waiting in a room for the bride and groom to arrive and it's totally wonderful. I cry all the time, it's my dad's fault. He'd put on a piece of music at home and hide behind his newspaper and sob.

My five-year plan ... is to do everything I can to keep the British countryside the special place that it is, and to spend as much time as I can surrounded by it.

What's the point? The point is to recognise that humans have a disproportionate influence on the rest of the world, and to understand how important it is that we expend energy in a positive way, trying to understand nature and wildlife, rather than separating ourselves from it.

My life in six words ... Big walks, big talks, big laughs.

A life in brief

Kate Humble was born in London in December 1968. She started her career as an actress and TV researcher before making her name presenting BBC's Springwatch. She lives in the Wye Valley with her husband Ludo, her dogs Badger and Bella, and a hive of bees. Kate is fronting a campaign called 'Break the Habit' to encourage people to switch to organic milk

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