John Barnes: Ask A Silly Question
Hi, John. First things first: ever been to a petting zoo?
What’s that? A Stan Collymore dogging thing?
You know: goats, sheep, fluffy rabbits.
Yeah. I take my daughters to one in Chester.
What’s your favourite animal to pet?
None. I’m not an animal lover. Gerbils, rabbits, I don’t like them. I just stand in the corner and let my wife and kids get on with it.
Do you actively hate animals? Would you machine-gun the petting zoo if I offered you enough money?
No way. I won’t even kill a mosquito or a spider. My daughters laugh at me for that!
An almost Buddhist system you’re operating, Barnso…
Well, now you mention it I do believe in certain parts of Buddhism, and reincarnation is one of them. I don’t want to come back as a mosquito! I even feel guilty if I accidentally step on a slug.
Are you a keen recycler?
No. I just put everything in the bin. I can’t be bothered separating stuff and messing round with four different coloured bins. Glass, paper, whatever. Let someone else sort it out.
Disgraceful! If you were murdered by angry environmentalists, which fictional detective would you like to take the case?
Columbo. He’d get the right result. I’d have him backed up by the CSI Team. They’ve got the computers and forensics. They could pass on the scientific information to Columbo.
You’ve been on Simply Come Dancing recently. You’ve also been around footballers. Who was the worst dancing footballer you’ve ever seen?
Take your pick! Stevie Nicol’s probably the worst. Alan Hansen can’t dance, although he’d try to avoid it. None of them can dance. Michael Thomas, Mark Walters – the black boys could dance.
You’re rocking the karaoke mic. Do you rap Ice Ice Baby or MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This?
[Hammer-like] Can’t Touch This. Although I’d rather do Dock of the Bay; a bit of classic Otis Redding.
What’s the oddest dream you’ve had?
I have a shark phobia. I had a dream once that I was in Leicester Square, and there was a shark on the top of a bus, which fell down and killed me. It’s annoying, because I stay out of the water to avoid sharks, and then one gets me in the middle of London.
You’ve got a cracking Jamaican accent, but if you had to swap it, what accent would you choose?
I’d go for Italian.
For the ladies, right?
Yeah, they love an Italian accent! But I guess it wouldn’t work in Italy. It’s just sounding different. Maybe in France, they think a Brummie accent is sexy.
What’s you’re cooking speciality – say if you were trying to woo a lady?
Indian. Although obviously you don’t make a big curry to impress a lady – you go for lobster or oysters.
What’s the most ill you’ve been?
I had labyrinthitis for four days. You get really, really dizzy.
Do you ever bin your kids’ artwork?
I always keep it for a bit. It gets put in a pile for a few weeks, and then when it stacks up on the side, I’ll just say: “Right, these can be thrown away.”
Ever contemplated living on a barge?
I wouldn’t go for one out in the Norfolk Broads, but maybe one off Chelsea Harbour might be alright. It’s a lovely central location.
Finally, is this interview a complete waste of time?
If it’s aiming to give an insight into me, then it probably is. But it’s not a waste of time for you. You’ve got pages to fill.
Yup. We need a page of utter nonsense every month; thanks for helping. There’s just space for a charity plug...
I’m supporting a Wash ‘n’ Go campaign called Score Ethiopia. Schools around the country are being asked to design football kits, and the winning entry gets their kit made up and sent to schools in Ethiopia.