My Secret Life Michaela Strachan

Wildlife presenter, 44

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a ballet dancer, but then I realised I didn't have the necessary arch in my foot.

My greatest inspiration ... is Lone Dröscher Nielsen, who runs the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. She works under very difficult conditions, and shows an all-consuming dedication to these animals.

The moment that changed me for ever ... was buying a holiday home in Cape Town, seven years ago. I met somebody out there, and have gone from a TV lifestyle in Bristol to something very different in South Africa.

I drive/ride ... a push bike, with a baby seat, but that's only good for going down hills. And I drive an Opel Corsa.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd have my smooth, football-shaped eyeballs back. I once had eczema on my eyelids and got into the habit of rubbing my eyes. It gave me a degenerative condition that changes the eyeballs to the shape of a rugby ball.

At night I dream of ... I once dreamt I was being chased by giant guinea pigs, who were skinning humans for coats. They caught me and I struck a deal, that I would help them capture people.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... someone I have come to accept.

My style icon ... I'm not desperately into style, I'm quite happy to be myself.

The shop I can't walk past ... I'm a sucker for markets. Every Sunday, my son Ollie and I go to one near our house and wander around looking at the crafts.

A book that changed me ... is 'Born Free' by Joy Adamson. It gave me a love for Africa.

The last album I bought ... was the Miriam Makeba commemorative album.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Ben Elton. I have read every one of his books.

It's not fashionable but I like ... comfy shoes. I'm no good with heels.

My favourite work of art ... is a big fish on a big canvas, by my son's class. It is turquoise and covered in sequins and it's amazing.

My favourite item of clothing ... is a simple, no-frills Ghost dress, which comes out at every ceremony, ball or party.

All my money goes on ... food. I have quite a big family and try to buy good, organic food. Every time I look at my Visa statement I'm shocked at how much it costs.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... balancing spoons on my nose. There was a full-page picture of me doing it at a charity event, next to pictures of Catherine Zeta Jones's wedding, in 'OK!' magazine.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... playing football.

If I have time to myself ... I exercise. I run eight kilometres a day and just got into cycling, Pilates and dance.

My house/flat is ... in a private estate in Cape Town. We have the most beautiful view of Hout Bay at the front, and mountains at the back. I love sitting on the veranda and watching the sun set between the two hills.

My most valuable possession is ... my photo albums. I'm very fastidious about them. I write a bit about each photo.

My favourite building ... would be a termite mound. These are the most impressive buildings I've ever seen, they never cease to amaze me. And they keep a constant temperature inside. How do they do that?

Movie heaven ... is 'Kinky Boots', which isn't as dodgy as it sounds. It's about a shoe factory specialising in boots for transvestites.

The best invention ever ... Sometimes I want to stop the world and get off. People should stop inventing new things. They might make our lives easier in the short term, but they end up creating stress.

I wish I'd never worn ... the really dodgy earrings I used to wear. I once hung a small hairbrush from my earlobe.

In 10 years' time, I hope to be ... balanced.

My greatest regret ... It's important people don't have them. Even a bad thing teaches you something. I just learn and move on.

My life in six words ... varied, exciting, interesting, happy, fulfilled, lucky.

A life in brief

Michaela Strachan was born on 7 April 1966 in Ewell, Surrey. A television presenter, she first came to fame in the Eighties on the children's programmes TV-am and The Wide Awake Club with Timmy Mallett. She then moved to BBC1's Really Wild Show and continues to present nature programmes. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her partner, their son Oliver and her three step-children

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home