When was the last time you forgot why you’d gone upstairs?
Every day. All the time. Where are my glasses? Oh, they’re on my head.
Which decade did you most identify with?
I suppose the Sixties, because that was when I was a teenager and that’s when you feel most in tune with your own time and surroundings.
Train or car?
Both. Love driving, love trains.
Plane or ship?
Ship. I like looking at the water.
What was the last complaint or protest you made?
I was in a shop recently. They were playing a song that included the word ‘motherf***er’. There were children around so I told the manager that I didn’t think it was appropriate.
What was the last text message you wrote?
It was to Jonny Campbell, the director of the Morecambe and Wise film I’m making. I was wondering whether Ernie should be wearing a uniform in a particular scene or not. I love texting. To be honest, I’d rather text than speak.
When was the last time you broke the law?
I did a U-turn the other night.
Did you care about turning 50?
No, I was fine about it. The age I really minded was when I turned 26, for some reason.
What was the first record you bought?
Sloop John B by the Beach Boys in 1966. But I can’t remember the lyrics.
What was the last good deed you did for the planet?
I went to the dump on Sunday morning with clothes, metal and batteries. I’m very assiduous about that sort of thing. I love the dump. I never collect or hoard anything.
What do you wear around the house?
Jeans and a T-shirt. That’s been my sort of uniform since I was about 14.
Twitter: Yes, no?
No, not at all. I haven’t got enough time for it in my head.
When was the last time you did something adolescent?
I get the giggles, always at inappropriate times and in inappropriate places. I love that feeling. It’s the nicest thing about being alive.
What song gets you on the dance floor?
I can’t dance.
What makes getting older easier?
That you care less about what other people think and that you can give yourself permission to do more things.
What would your 16-year-old self think of you?
I think she’d be relieved to know that the things she hoped to do had come to pass.
What makes you grumpy?
People not doing what they say they’re going to do. Oh, and when the boiler stops working. I had no hot water the other night and that did make me quite grumpy.
On whom did you first have a teenage crush?
Paul McCartney. He was definitely my favourite Beatle. He looked like the most approachable.
Do you prefer your life now or would you prefer your youth back?
I like my life now. And I’d like to live as long as I’ve lived up to now but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
What’s the bad habit you can’t break?
Having a negative frame of mind.
Who gave you your first kiss?
He was called Brett. That sounds American but he was from Rochdale. We were both 15.
Name two famous people from the past you’d like to sit next to at dinner.
Morecambe and Wise to my left and, on my right, Charlie Chaplin. He had such an incredible career. He made that leap from abject poverty to becoming the most famous person in the world. My choices are all funny people, but I’m interested in funny people because they’re more fun to be with.
This article was first published in the December 2010 issue of Saga Magazine. For great articles like this, subscribe to the print edition or download the digital edition today.