The 5-minute Interview: Dame Kelly Holmes, Athlete

'I'd like the country to feel more united'

Kelly Holmes, 38, took gold in the 1,500m and 800m at the 2004 Olympic Games. She was made a Dame in 2005. She has taken up a role as Nivea ambassador for Cancer Research UK's Race for Life.

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

Having the afternoon off, which means doing paperwork and replying to fan mail. I reply to all the letters I get.

A phrase I use far too often ...

"Um ..." I'm so indecisive.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

Hundreds and thousands of ladies taking part in the Race for Life. I think it's a great cause.

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

The number of people that turned out for me for my homecoming parade after the 2004 Olympic Games. From Hildenborough to Tonbridge there were people hanging out of windows, off lampposts, everywhere, it was just extraordinary to see. I felt totally overwhelmed.

A common misperception of me is ...

That I'm tall. I'm only 5ft 3in. I guess I must have filled the TV screen when I was running because I bounce up and down a lot and my strides are pretty big.

I am not a politician but ...

I think political parties should work more closely. I'm kind of apolitical and I'd like the country to feel more united.

In moments of weakness I ...

Can't open a packet of sweets or chocolate without finishing them.

I'm good at ...

Developing things from an idea to making them work. I'm a very visual learner, so I'm good at making writing into something visual.

I'm very bad at ...

Swimming, tennis and timekeeping. I used to be good at timekeeping in the Army

The ideal night out is ...

The theatre and going out for meals with friends. I'm not a drinker.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is ...

Never give up trying.

Miranda Bryant

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