My Secret Life: Zoe Ball

TV & radio presenter
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The Independent Online

Zoe Ball was born on 23 November 1970 in Blackpool. She was the first woman to host the Radio 1 breakfast show and became a household name as a presenter of Channel 4's The Big Breakfast. She lives with her husband, the DJ Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), and their son, Woody, in Hove, Sussex. She is touring with Strictly Come Dancing Live! until 19 February.

I drive...A BMW Chelsea tractor, which is quite embarrassing. And then there's our Citroë* DS from 1969, which our son Woody calls it the Frog. It comes out in the summer, our big green sun bus. And I ride a bicycle around town.

If I have time to myself...I get into bed and watch movies – it doesn't matter what.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... building Lego. I even built the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars the other day.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... maths. Everyone thinks that I'd be really good because my dad [the television presenter Johnny Ball] is a science man, but I'm terrible. And drinking – I used to be a right old one, but these days I just can't take it any more!

A book that changed me...anything by John Updike, particularly Your Lover Just Called.

Movie heaven...Harold and Maude, with its fabulous Cat Stevens soundtrack. Or The Jerk. Or Arthur – Norm and I know it by heart; I play John Gielgud and he's Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli.

Comfort eating...soup with cut up cheese in it. Then there's the Norm board, which he brings me in bed – crisps, pickle and cheese.

When I was a child...I wanted to be Fanny Brice, as played by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl – she was quirky-looking and funny, rather than beautiful and vacuous.

All my money goes on...holidays and Lego. And shoes and bags and jackets. And pyjamas.

My favourite building...is the Pantheon in Rome, where we recently went for a romantic weekend. You kind of feel like if you squint and everyone disappears, you're in the heart of the Roman Empire.

It's not fashionable but I like...pyjamas. A lot.

If I wasn't me I'd like to be...Alexa Chung. I love her and her boyfriend so much. I met her briefly in New York recently and she's wicked.

The shop I can't walk past...Tribeca [a clothes shop] in Brighton.

My favourite work of art...one of the Rothkos at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.The soundtrack to my life ... a lot of new folk, like Ben Kweller, Fionn Regan and Laura Marling. Recently Radiohead and the Arctic Monkeys too.

The best invention ever...is the iPod, as I do lots of travelling and need music in my life the whole time. If I'm without it, I might as well have lost a limb.

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