The 5-minute Interview: Gavin Esler, journalist and television presenter

'I'm not posh – I lived in Glasgow'

Gavin Esler, 55, has been on the front line of the BBC's current affairs broadcasting since 1997. He joined the 'Newsnight' team in 2003. His latest book, 'A Scandalous Man', is available now in hardback.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Talking to Penelope Cruz. She's holding on the other line.

I wish people would take more notice of...

The no-parking sign when blocking me in.

A common misconception of me is...

That I must be posh. I spent the first three years of my life with my parents, grandmother and two aunties in a tiny council house in Glasgow.

A phrase I use far too often is...

"I must paint that skirting board in the hall."

The most surprising thing to happen to me was...

Surviving my infancy. I almost died at three weeks.

I'm good at...

Cooking.

I'm very bad at...

Home improvements and dealing with very stupid people.

I am not a politician but...

I mostly like politicians. Very few of them are evil, although quite a lot are delusional.

In moments of weakness I...

Begin to think Jonathan Ross is entertaining.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

This is the only life I'm ever going to have, so shouldn't I at least try to be happy?

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