Interview: Alex Zane

Dan Poole
Thursday 26 June 2008 07:00

Most of you will recognise Alex Zane from Popworld, Channel 4’s Sunday morning music show. Quite a few of you will recognise him as the quizmaster from Balls of Steel, the comedy show – also on Channel 4.

Some of you will remember his impish grin from his days presenting TRL on MTV. None of you will recognise him from his formative days presenting on XFM, because it was a radio show and you wouldn’t have been able to see his face. But it was Ricky Gervais who hand-picked him for that show, and he thinks he’s great.

His fellow presenter on Popworld, Alexa Chung, also thinks he’s great: “‘He’s lovely, really lovely… so far we get on really well.” Yes, Alexa, so far: you haven’t read his answers to our pick’n’mix bag of cultural questions yet…We’re joking of course. Read on for Alex’s artistic advice, with a few “helpful” comments from us when his age shows (he’s 27 you know) and we’re not really sure what he’s talking about…

Best song to wake up to?

“Perseverance” by Terrorvision.

Best book to fall asleep to?

Twelve by Nick McDonnell. Although it’s too good to fall asleep to. Probably read one of your more complicated course books if you need a rest.

Best film to get you inspired?

Smokey and the Bandit. If they can illegally transport a truckload of beer across America, you can do anything. [A 1977 film starring Burt Reynolds. Obviously you should try something different to illegally transporting a truckload of beer across America- ed.]

Best album to study to?

Dummy by Portishead.

Best TV show to eat your dinner in front of?

You don’t really eat dinner in front of the TV as a student but you do eat breakfast in front of it. I recommend Homes Under the Hammer or To Buy or Not to Buy. On around 10am.

Best book to read in a café?

Where’s Wally? Everyone can join in. You’ll make friends.

Best band to dance round your room to?

Shampoo, especially the song “Trouble”. Play it very loud. I had that single recorded off the radio and looped on a C90. I played it very loud every morning till it went missing. [A C90 is a cassette tape. You know, the things that used to go in Walkmans- ed.]

Best director to get the boxset of?

Don’t go for director, go for the Alien Quadrilogy. Purely because it has the word “quadrilogy” in it.

Best magazine to waste time with?

The Fortean Times. [A monthy journal of strange phenomena. Spooky- ed.]

Best artist to have on your iPod in the library?

Ray Parker Jnr, who wrote the Ghostbusters theme tune. Remember the start of that movie..? [No, we couldn’t either! However, a little bit of research into the 1984 classic and what do you know, it’s Slimer in a room with an awful lot of books in it… ed.]

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