My Life In Travel: Armando Iannucci

'I really enjoyed doing a bit of scuba diving in Turkey'

First holiday memory?

My mother used to take my sister and me to Blackpool. We grew up in Glasgow and we'd go for a week to see the big summer shows like Freddie Starr and Les Dawson – it was hilarious. I have a memory of another boy who used to run around where we stayed and one day he ran through a glass door. I did the same thing decades later in Cape Cod taking the suitcases into our room.

Best holiday?

My wife once won a really great holiday competition, which was travelling all around south-east Asia – we made it our honeymoon. We also did a really special family holiday a few years ago in Chile. We went out to visit friends in Santiago and travelled around places like the Atacama Desert and San Rafael Glacier in Patagonia, which was just fantastic. We were on a little dinghy and an enormous wall of ice fell into the water. I really felt I was on the other side of the world; there was nothing familiar about it.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

We used to go to Newport in Pembrokeshire quite a bit. It has lovely flat beaches with rock pools and beautiful countryside. It's one of those places you can go to in the summer and it doesn't matter if the weather is appalling because there's always somewhere to explore.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Getting into the rhythm of doing nothing. I've always been hyperactive so I grew up thinking that going on holiday was about doing lots of different things. I remember being on holiday about three years ago and it dawning on me that I hadn't done anything by midday and that was good. I now really like allowing time to pass and doing nothing. We once went to New England and just spent day after day looking at the colour of the leaves.

Ideal travelling companion?

My wife introduced me to the notion of travel; she'd been to lots of interesting places when I met her. She's great at organising and we have fantastic times together.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I think I've learnt to become a beach bum; it's rather nice.

Greatest travel luxury?

I always take books. I don't take trash – I take meaty history books or big classic novels.

Where has seduced you?

There was a place called Ubud in central Bali that we visited on our honeymoon. It's away from the beaches and I thought it was really magical. It's a very arty place.

Better to travel or arrive?

I always enjoy the travelling experience because nobody can get hold of you and for that reason I look forward to long plane journeys. I don't bring my Blackberry or laptop on holiday and I've learnt to stop looking for English newspapers.

Worst travel experience?

A notorious holiday in Saunton Sands, Devon, when we thought we'd go British for once. It was terrible. It had been a really good summer but we hit it during two weeks of the foulest weather imaginable and there was literally nothing to do. There was a desperate drive to an aquarium in Ilfracombe, which was four rooms cluttered with people. On reflection we really should have just gone home.

Worst hotel?

A family resort in Spain. Being stuck there if it had been nice would have been fine, but it was more like being stuck in prison. It was the sort of place where ordering a coke was the equivalent of £5 each.

Best hotel?

In Ubud we stayed at the Amandari, which really spoilt us. Whenever we go to another hotel we find that subsequently elements aren't quite right. We compare everywhere to it.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

I really enjoyed swimming and doing a bit of scuba diving in Turkey. It was my first experience of diving and the water was lovely and clear and warm.

Best meal abroad?

During our honeymoon we were in Singapore for a day

and somebody recommended a place that was a training centre for chefs, where you are essentially their guinea pigs. We were waited on hand and foot by five or six people; someone would just be in charge of bread. It was fantastic food and service.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I unpack completely to get it out of the way so that the suitcase doesn't stare at me.

Dream trip?

I'd love to see a bit more of America and to take my kids to see places like the Kennedy Space Center.

Favourite city?

It has to be Rome, I just find it absolutely magical – the food, the sights, the old and new, the culture, churches and ruins... I like the fact you can walk around and it still feels busy and bustling.

Where next?

I'm about to go to St Lucia for the third time, which I think proves I have become a beach bum. It's really nice and relaxing there and the kids love it.

'In the Loop' is available on DVD and Blu-ray. 'The Audacity of Hype' by Armando Iannucci is published by Little, Brown on 3 September

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map