The 5-Minute Interview: Gloria Hunniford, Radio and TV broadcaster

'I'd like to be in charge of London Transport'
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The Independent Online

Gloria Hunniford, 66, presents "Heaven and Earth" on BBC1. She is fronting the EDF Energy "Safe, Warm and Well" campaign to raise awareness of the ways in which people, particularly the elderly, can stay warm over winter

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

Working on my garage with my husband [hairdresser Stephen Way]. I run a foundation for Caron [her daughter, the late Caron Keating who died of breast cancer in 2004]. The letters tend to build up but I try to keep up with it.

A phrase I use far too often...

"I have to say." I've noticed that my son uses it as well. I also use "Basically" a lot.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Good communication. People don't communicate properly. Incorporated into that are manners. People don't say thank you enough.

The most surprising thing that happened to me...

Was when I was offered Jimmy Young's slot on BBC Radio 2. It was a complete life-changer for me. After two weeks I was offered a permanent job and moved to London. My husband [Don Keating, who she divorced in 1992] was offered directing work in South Africa. It was extraordinary - we had never been apart for longer than two weeks.

A common misperception of me is...

That I am primarily an entertainer but I am trained in news. Before watching my Heaven and Earth programme, people didn't realise my background was news. Where you are first trained, that is where your heart is.

I am not a politician but...

It's the most disturbing, controversial job you could have but there are times I'd like to be in charge of London Transport. All this traffic, delays and congestion.

I'm good at...

Listening. Without wanting to elevate myself too much, I think I make a good, loyal friend. I regard it as flattering if someone asks for advice. In my job, I have to listen, too.

I'm very bad at...

Being patient. I want everything yesterday. If I decide to do it, it has to be now. I'm bad at dealing with creepy-crawlies

The ideal night out is...

Good theatre and good friends. I like a real diverse range of theatre.

In moments of weakness I...

Have that piece of cake I swore I would never eat.

The best age to be is...

Definitely 39. Its a great age You have begun to know what to do in life. It's so much better than 40.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this...

My father taught us to live every day and since Caron died that has really come home to me.

Sara Newman

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