Giles Coren was born in 1969 in Paddington. He is food critic at The Times, as well as a television presenter most famous for hit BBC show with Sue Perkins, The Supersizers. In 2005 he published his debut novel Winkler. His latest book, How to Eat Out: Lessons from a Life Lived Mostly in Restaurants, is published by Hodder & Stoughton.
When were you happiest?
When I wheeled my newborn daughter Kitty down my road for the first time on a bright cold February morning in 2011, to show her off to the neighbours, and then on up Highgate road to the top of Parliament Hill to show her London and the World and everything that would one day be hers (I may have been over-reaching a little).
Where would you like to live in the manor?
In my house, but maybe with the next door as well, all knocked through to make ten beds with a giant garden. Oh fuck it, actually my whole terrace would be nice. Six houses or something. All rolled into one. Or possibly one of those detached villas on Dartmouth Park Road, but it’s a bit posh up there.
What is your favourite sound or smell?
Coalsmoke from chimneys in November (not smokeless shit but the old-fashioned stuff which you can get from Mehmet on Leverton Street).
What is your greatest life achievement?
Haven’t achieved anything really. I published a novel in 2005 which I had always wanted to do, but nobody really noticed.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
What is your earliest Kentish Town memory?
School swimming gala at the old gunky KT baths, 1978 or thereabouts.
What makes you unhappy?
Contemplating the death of newspapers.
What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
My father still being alive.
What is your most unappealing habit?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Parly Hill girls.
Who or what do you hate and why?
Dogshit on my street.
What was your best experience in NW5? Worst?
a) Pulling a girl who worked in the Owl bookshop.
b) Being burgled (not related)
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Penis too big.
Where would you live if you could live anywhere in London and why?
I’d live where i live now. There are bigger and more beautiful houses but they aren’t in Kentish Town.
Tell us a secret.
What has your career taught you?
That writing for money and writing for pleasure can, sometimes, be the same thing.
What is your favourite dish and why?
Linguine alle bottarga, because I first had it in Pane Vino opposite KT tube, and subsequently all over italy, but never better than in Kentish Town.
What was your best gig and why?
I hate gigs.
Describe yourself as an animal.
Any kind of cat: kill what you need, eat it, then sleep the rest of the day.
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