Born in Cardiff,
When were you happiest?
I’ll be at my happiest today, and probably my gloomiest at some point today, too.
What is your greatest fear?
Physically, violence done to my close family. Mentally, voids.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I take on work that I shouldn’t, and reject things I should accept. I’m lazy. I lose my cool. Become emotionally committed. And so forth.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Deploration. Criticise, by all means. Argue. Dispute. But what is all this public “shaming” and mob sanctimoniousness, because someone has expressed a view that contradicts your own?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Forgetting a soap star’s name on stage in front of 2,000 of her fans. I can’t say who it was, because I’ve forgotten it again, and I fear that these days everybody else has, too.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An actor. Then I grew out of that and became one by default. Or sort of one: “Not really an actor”, said Michael Billington.
What is your phone wallpaper?
A picture of my wife sitting waiting for luggage at Heathrow and exhibiting two things I don’t possess: loveliness and self-composure.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My pop eyes and my apparent agedness.
Which book changed your life?
It’s a superfluity of books that counts. Don’t just read that one book, everybody: read lots and that will keep changing your life.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Sorry, I’m British and middle class, so I’ve already apologised to virtually everybody I have ever met.
What does love feel like?
Adolescent love feels like exquisite self-indulgence. Long-term love feels like a warm bath that needs a trickle of extra hot water every now and then.
What was the best kiss of your life?
I kissed all the
Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?
I am not good at saying “I love you” to people whom I do love and who need me to say it. I shudder at people who use the phrase casually: “Love you, hon!”
How do you relax?
I sail an old boat.
How often do you have sex?
What keeps you awake at night?
The next morning. It rarely turns out as bad as I think it’s going to be.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
No songs, please. Don’t make a fuss.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a charming, helpful, solicitous, generous, loving, carefree and constantly funny companion, lover and father. Some hope of that.