Ich Bin: Arabella Weir, novelist and comedian


Tthe best-selling writer on interrupting people, what makes her unhappy – and doubling up her Nectar points



Arabella Weir is an actor, writer and comedian, best known for her appearances in The Fast Show. She has written several books including the international bestseller Does My Bum Look Big In This? She lives in north London with her two teenage children.

When were you happiest?
I’ve no idea! I don’t keep a diary and then compare relative happiness in it year on year. That said, I’m fairly content right now.

Where would you like to live?
In Italy in the summer and in Britain in the winter, I’ve only got one of them right so far.

What is your favourite sound or smell?
The sound of my kids laughing and the smell of a Bourbon rose my mother gave me.

What is your greatest life achievement?
Earning a living at doing what I love.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
ALWAYS be yourself even if it feels uncomfortable in the moment.

What is your earliest memory?
Realising that tears made street lights sparkle. It stopped me crying, too: I was four.

What makes you unhappy?
So much – sexism, racism, free schools, social engineering, delusional despots – how long have you got?

What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
A mute chauffeur and cook.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Interrupting people. I do it even when I’m interested in what they’re saying.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I stopped feeling guilty ages ago: if you’re going to feel bad about it, don’t do it.

Out now. Arabella's first book for young people.
Out now: Arabella’s first book for young people.
Where do you hang out?
In Crouch End with my mates or around my kitchen table.

Who or what do you hate and why?
I hate no one. I’m way too marvellous for that!

What’s been your best experience? Worst?
The best was having both my kids. The worst was losing my best pal, Helen Scott-Lidgett, to cancer. I miss her everyday.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
As with guilt, I’ve stopped beating myself up about things I couldn’t possibly change without altering and reducing my life in a depressing way.

What’s the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Which one are you?

Tell us a secret.
I pick my nose and eat it.

What has your career taught you?
No one knows as much as you do about you.

What is your favourite dish and why?
Bread and butter pudding made with stale panettone and toasted pine nuts.

The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird, is just out. Why start writing for young people now?
I am a teenager, all my reactions to everything are those of a teenagers, I’m always waiting for someone to tell me off – so I thought I’d write in that voice. What I’ve got to tell them is they’re right, they do know everything. I’m already working on the second book in the series: this one’s called The Endless Trials of Tabitha Baird.

What did you do today?
I had therapy, then walked to Muswell Hill to get my son pens for his art GCSE tomorrow and then spent an inordinately long time in Sainsbury’s trying to redeem the double-up offer on Nectar points before the deadline ends. Didn’t do any work, very poor show.

Describe yourself as an animal.
A grisly bear.

Follow Arabella on Twitter: @ArabellaWeir


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