My Secret Life: Lauren Laverne, TV & radio presenter, 30


The home I grew up in... was packed to the rafters with books and instruments; we once counted 18 stringed instruments in one room.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... an author.

The moment that changed me for ever ... was giving birth to my son. It completely and immediately shifted the axis of my life. It's ironic that the most commonplace things – love, birth, death – are the most profound.

My real-life villain ... There are many and they are all the obvious ones.

My style icon ... Miss Deborah Harry has élan by the bucket-load.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd increase my stocks in what I call the Old Lady Virtues: felicity, charity, prudence, verity.

At night I dream of ... a big, green, primordial sea. It's half-scary and half-beautiful, like all the best things.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... One of the blessings of my job is getting used to the way you look. You either accept yourself or become one of those weird pixies with chopped-up faces and emulsion veneers.

My favourite item of clothing ... changes all the time. Right now it's the Giuseppe Zanotti boots my husband got me for our anniversary.

I wish I'd never worn ... anything bland. Better to be daring and burn the photos than live life in beige.

It's not fashionable but I like ... speech radio. Radio 4 and BBC London are my favourites. Vanessa Feltz is particularly strong.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... lyrics. I know all of them. Maybe I was a music search-engine in a previous life.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... cooking. I get asked to come on cookery shows and have to turn them down out of shame.

All my money goes on ... Amazon, Net-a-Porter, My Wardrobe, Asos. I have great shoes, no regrets – and Fergus has a stellar book collection. I totally recommend [the children's book] Noisy Things That Go by Jo Lodge.

I drive ... Mr Laverne does all the driving. Our car is a bit Knight Rider. I was supposed to have a couple of weeks at the end of my pregnancy to learn what all the buttons do, but the car arrived late and I haven't had five minutes.

My house is ... my favourite place to be. It's in a part of London like the countryside, but with people and a Space NK at the end of the road. There was a naked woman outside Pizza Express last week, wearing a cowboy hat.

My most valuable possession is ... See above. The house, not the naked lady.

My favourite building ... is Durham Cathedral. I've been going since I was a kid. I love the ancient choirboy graffiti.

Movie heaven ... At the moment I am having an Anthony Michael Hall revival.

A book that changed me ... A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. I remember secretly reading it in English class. My teacher caught me and I thought I was toast, but she took me aside and whispered, "Very good. Have you read Catcher in the Rye?"

My favourite work of art ... Velazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X.

The last album I bought/downloaded ...I'm DJing at a friend's wedding in a couple of weeks, so I downloaded some vintage tracks – "Land of 1,000 Dances" being my current favourite.

The person who really makes me laugh ... My brother's one of the funniest people I know. He can take it to the dark side like no one else.

The shops I can't walk past ... Charity shops. I'm a born rummager. I've made some of the most fantastic discoveries in charity shops – an eel-skin clutch and a signed copy of Choke.

The best invention ever ... Easy, the internet. It kicks the wheel's arse.

My greatest regret ... I'm too forward-looking. My head's always about six months in front of the rest of me, which brings its own problems; regret not being one of them. In 10 years' time, I hope to be ... wildly rich, inappropriately dressed and having the time of my life.

A life in brief

Born Lauren Cecilia Gofton on 28 April 1978 in Sunderland, Lauren Laverne started out in Nineties pop group Kenickie before becoming a television and radio presenter. She lives with her husband, DJ and TV producer, Graeme Fisher, and their young son, Fergus, in north London. Lauren is currently a judge on T4's talent show, Orange Unsigned Act, on every Sunday at 12.40pm

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