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My Secret Life: Rob Brydon, comedian, 46


My parents are... Joy and Howard. They were always very supportive of their son wanting a career in show business; I don't think they ever thought twice about it, which gave me great confidence.

The household I grew up in... was policed by the very parents mentioned in the previous answer. They ruled with a rod of flexi-rubber.

When I was a child I wanted to... climb trees, build dens and pretend to be Robin Hood.

If I could change one thing about myself... My skin, my complexion: it's very scarred from my acne.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... singing children to sleep.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... rugby. You had to do it at school; it used to terrify me. I'd hear the sound of the studs on the concrete floor as you came out of the dressing room – like the sound of Nazis coming with their dogs in Schindler's List.

At night I dream of... They're often journeys or a quest. I've had dreams where I'm in ships with many levels that stretch across entire oceans. I wish I could harness them.

I wish I'd never worn... When I was a teenager I was complicit in the purchase of red trousers, red shoes, a red shirt with a white collar à la Del Boy, and a white tie.

What I see when I look in the mirror... I see myself through the filter of my own eyes. I think everybody when they look in the mirror sees a selective view of themselves – you choose the angle you look at, and that's why it's always surprising when you see a photo.

My favourite item of clothing... I'm always happy in a pink shirt. I'm very comfy in cords and a jumper, Woody Allen clothes, but I feel when I wear them I'm giving in.

It's not fashionable but I like... Rod Stewart.

A book that changed me... The Railway Man by Eric Lomax, a true story about a chap and his experiences as a prisoner of war in Japan. I found it profoundly moving. It's about forgiveness and acceptance, and I was in floods of tears by the end. I thought it was something all schoolchildren should be forced to read – then a generation might grow up more prone to the avoidance of conflict and war. I haven't managed to have that put as legislation yet!

The last album I downloaded... Paul Simon's album, So Beautiful or So What, and an old Pink Floyd album. Hugh Laurie's record is surprisingly good – not because I didn't think he had it in him, but it's better than I thought it was going to be.

Movie heaven... Watching a French film that I know nothing about.

My secret crush is... I wouldn't turn Lorraine Kelly away if she was hammering on the door one dark, windy, night, looking for shelter. I'd say, 'Get out of those wet things, Lorraine...'.

The last time I cried... When my son was born this June.

What's the point? Oh, I wish I knew. My worry is that there isn't one.

My life in six words... Remarkably slow starter, gets there eventually.

A life in brief

Rob Brydon was born in Swansea in May 1965. He studied acting at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama before joining BBC Wales as a radio and TV presenter. In 2000, he had breakout success with TV comedies Marion and Geoff and Human Remains. He has since appeared in shows such as Gavin and Stacey and The Trip, films including A Cock and Bull Story, and toured as a stand-up. His memoir, Small Man in a Book, is out now. Brydon lives in Strawberry Hill, London with his wife and children