Naughty, but nice: Things we secretly love

'Q' magazine this week named 100 terminally uncool pop songs that it's OK to enjoy on the quiet. But why stop there? There's a whole world of guilty pleasures to savour - from raiding the fridge at night to the sound of yodelling. What's yours?
Click to follow
The Independent Online

JOAN SMITH, COLUMNIST: Double chocolate-chip muffins

"I had to think about this one, as I have many pleasures in life, but very few that I feel guilty about. After an hour or so in the gym I like to retreat immediately to the bar, where I indulge in a double chocolate-chip muffin and undo all the hard work I've just done. I find the gym so intensely boring that the only way I can keep going on the machines is by visualising what I am going to eat afterwards."

BORIS JOHNSON: TORY MP, Children's spaghetti

"Guilty pleasures? Oh Lord, there are so many, how do I choose? What do I feel guilty about? Let me think ... cheese, no. Sneaking ... no. It has got to be eating the children's spaghetti in the middle of the night, with cheese, in my nightwear and then disposing of the evidence."

PIERS MORGAN, JOURNALIST: David Hasselhoff

"It would have to be David Hasselhoff. He is my fellow judge on an American show called America's Got Talent, where performers compete for a £1m prize. It must be Hasselhoff, everything about him smacks of guilty pleasures."

LAURENCE LLEWELYN-BOWEN, TV PRESENTER / DESIGNER: Drinking gin in bed

"Guilty pleasures, hmmm. It would have to be my Thursday night ritual: drinking gin in bed from a cup and saucer, while watching Braniac - the classy quiz show hosted by Richard Hammond on Sky. There is something so decadent about drinking gin from porcelain rather than from glass."

CLAIRE RAYNER, AUTHOR AND THERAPIST: Chocolate-covered nuts

"Well, you actually just caught me in the midst of a moment of indulgence. My husband is an absolute chocoholic and he always keeps a stash in a bowl on our living-room table. Each time I walk past I have an inner struggle, telling myself 'I won't, I won't', and ultimately I always succumb. At the moment I am eating a chocolate-covered Brazil nut, and comforting myself with the knowledge that it is a rich source of dietary iron. If that reasoning fails, I remind myself that a life without the odd guilty pleasure is not a life worth living. Anyone existing without just a little sin is no friend of mine."

KATE MOSSE, NOVELIST: Peanut butter on toast

"One of those old-fashioned comfort foods from my student days - food we now know is bad for us. But when I've been working really hard and I'm really tired, all I want is a cup of tea with lots of sugar and a slice of white bread with a great heap of peanut butter on top. And it has to be cheap white bread - it completely loses its appeal if it's nice bread."

DINOS CHAPMAN, ARTIST: Rotten.com

"That's easy: rotten.com, the website that defines itself as 'the soft underbelly of the net, eviscerated for all to see: rotten.com collects images and information from many sources to present the viewer with a truly unpleasant experience'. Stuff like people being struck by lightning, dismemberment and the varieties of dog excrement. I've been into it for ages, I am a regular contributor - though only as a viewer. It appeals as a medium that makes me grateful to be alive."

JIMMY CARR, COMEDIAN: Vente Soy Latte from Starbucks

"I know politically I should support independent retailers and free trade and all of that but I just love Vente Soy Latte from Starbucks. Wherever I go in the world they're always the same. I know exactly what I'm ordering and I know that it will be good. I'll have one any time - anything up to four times a day. Three shots in each - that's 12 shots a day - more of a dependency than an addiction if those aren't the same thing. I can be in any mood but enjoy it in lulls."

JULIAN CLARY, COMEDIAN: Listening to yodelling

"Listening to yodelling, which I have to do on my own because no one can stand it. I love an Australian yodeller called Mary Schneider. I've got everything she ever recorded. She can do anything - she can yodel the William Tell Overture. It makes me laugh when I'm in a bad mood. I'd sing along but I can't compete with Mary - it is very difficult."

RANULPH FEINNES, ADVENTURER: Mayonnaise

"I wrote a book called Fit for Life and castigated people who eat too much unhealthy food so I only indulge in those things when I know I can't be spotted. Mayonnaise is my biggest weakness. I had a heart attack some time ago brought on by high cholesterol. I think mayonnaise was part of the cause."

FYFE DANGERFIELD, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Eating cheese

"Whenever I'm at a railway station, I find myself physically unable to walk past those West Cornwall Pasty stalls without giving in to the smell of cheese and onion, cheese and mushroom, cheese and vegetable... the whiff of melting cheese exerts some kind of magnetic force on me. And pastry, which is basically just butter isn't it? I'm trying to curb it because I'm in my mid-twenties now and I think I'm getting a little pot belly. To complete my guilty pleasure scene though, I'd be listening to Bryan Adams too. It just makes me feel happy, even though it's all pretty cheesy. We're back to cheese again, aren't we?"

JON SNOW, NEWS PRESENTER: Cake mixture

"It always tastes better than the finished article - one of life's pleasures."

ADRIAN CHILES, TV PRESENTER: Watching Bergerac

"Late at night when the wife and kids are in bed, I open a bottle of red wine, settle down and watch episodes of Bergerac. It has to be on my own, otherwise they mock me. I've recorded my own library on Sky Plus and just dive in. There used to be some quite foxy actresses in some of the earlier episodes - before they were famous. I distinctly remember seeing Greta Scacchi's breasts."

Comments