My Secret Life: Miquita Oliver, television presenter, 24


The home I grew up in ... My mum bought at a time when you could get big, posh flats near the Portobello Market [in London's Notting Hill] for no money. I hold a deep affection for that area and go back regularly.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... an actress. I'm still quietly harbouring plans.

A moment that changed me for ever ... When I was 15 I went to live with my aunt and uncle instead of my mum, for money reasons. It was a huge shock to my system, suddenly living with six people rather than one. Hopefully it changed me for the better.

My real-life villain ... Anyone who sneaks into people's homes and causes harm to them. I have a real fear of that and as a result, I am a total wimp when it comes to being alone in the house at night-time.

My greatest inspiration ... is my cousin Phoebe. She is a very strong person. I have deep respect and admiration for her.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I'd have better, more effortless hair: my call-time at work would be very different if I had.

At night I dream of ... I have a lot of anxiety at the moment, about a lot of things: my career, failure – everything and anything. Scary, angst-ridden dreams are the result.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... is the same thing that I saw when I was six years old. It's quite worrying and slightly irritating.

My style icon ... Jane Birkin. There's something so wonderfully, brilliantly British about everything she did, even the way she stood. I like girls who look like they never brush their hair. That's the key to real style.

The shop I can't walk past ... The Grocery on Kingsland Road in east London. It's an organic food market, set up by my friends. That's something people often talk about doing, but they actually did it, and it's there and it's real.

The best invention ever ... is the camera. I have a big old Canon and have created a huge picture wall of memories in my kitchen.

A book that changed me ... The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan. I read it about six years ago and just re-read it. It's harrowing and just brilliant.

My favourite work of art ... is an old painting by [the 17th-century Dutch painter] Jan Wijnants, which hangs above my bed. It's an English country scene, really creepy and dark. I found it at the market.

My favourite item of clothing ... are my Balenciaga jeans. They're the perfect skinny, denim-like leggings. I never take them off.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... skiing. It isn't something I expected to be good at, but I am an amazing skier.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... finishing books. I have three or four un-read.

All my money goes on ... taxis and being out: eating, drinking, and just being. Once I leave the house it costs a lot of money.

It's not fashionable but I like ... folk music. Johnny Flynn is brilliant, as is Laura Marling. But sometimes I might fall upon the odd Maroon 5 CD. And I'm just a little too happy listening to Jack Johnson.

If I have time to myself ... I read magazines and rip out pictures of clothes I like. I have 10 folders full of ideas. Just the sound of the paper ripping relaxes me.

My flat is ... in the middle of Shoreditch [east London]. I'm really into noise and live on a main road with a balcony, which is my idea of heaven.

My most valuable possession is ... my Blackberry. I lose my phone a lot and each time I do I'm struck by the impact. Every time I look in my bag and see it there, I'm joyous that it has survived for so long.

My favourite building ... St Paul's Cathedral, it's so London. I travel a lot for work, but whenever I come back I'm thrilled to be home. There's nowhere else quite like here.

Movie heaven ... Anything Nineties and British, like Peter's Friends. In fact, anything with Stephen Fry in it.

The last album I bought/downloaded ... Laura Marling. I've bought it seven times. It's a CD that continues to get lost in this house. I love everything about her.

My greatest regret ... is not talking Simon Amstell into doing another year of Popworld. I didn't appreciate what an amazing thing it was to be part of at the time, and I know I could have made him stay another 12 months.

My life in six words ... I got very lucky, very young.

A life in brief

Born in April 1984 in Paddington, west London, Miquita Oliver is the daughter of former Rip Rig & Panic singer and television presenter, Andrea Oliver. She started her own television career at the age of 16, co-presenting Channel 4's irreverent music show Popworld, with Simon Amstell. She lives with a friend in Shoreditch, east London. Her latest show, Month with Miquita, starts this Monday at 7pm on 4Music

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