Adrian Chiles: Ask A Silly Question
Hi Adrian. There’s some great music playing in the background there.
That’s Howlin’ Wolf. I’ve got the blues - I’m a f**king Albion fan.
OK. You see Gary Lineker bending over to inspect a penny on the pavement. A speeding bus approaches. Do you boot him up the arse?
I wouldn’t. He’s always been good to me and I admire him. He’s a grafter. I wouldn’t resort to murder to further my career. And even if I did, do you think I’d admit to it? I know I look stupid…
What's the most ill you've ever been?
I went to Australia 20 years ago and lay on a beach all day reading Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy. I was very badly burned. The next day, I got chicken pox. I had a million pus-filled sores coming up through my lobster red skin. Awful.
Eww. Did any of your mates ever nickname you Voodoo Chiles?
No. I was known as Eggy at school. I’ve no idea why. To this day, people stick the telly on and go “f**king hell, it’s Eggy”.
And does Eggy like a scotch egg?
I’m a massive fan. A friend of mine from University sends me scotch eggs on my birthday. This year, because I was 40, he sent me a whole leg of Serrano ham. It was nice, but to be honest, I’d have preferred an extra-large selection of scotch eggs.
Which of your Alan sidekicks would you least like to be on the wrong side of: Sugar or Hansen?
Sugar. They’re both quite soft underneath, but Sugar has more menace. In a fight I’d fancy myself more against Sugar, because he’s older. But then I’m sure he’s got people he could use to “sort me out”.
Have you ever picked up anything off the floor and eaten it?
Yeah, I picked up a grape yesterday. Or was it a strawberry? Yes, a strawberry. Although I washed it first, so I don’t know if that counts. There was no fluff on it.
Did you apply the five-second rule?
If it’s down there for more that five seconds, it must be binned.
Would you intervene in a scrap between two women in the street, or would you stand there shouting “fight, fight”?
I have very recently intervened in a fight between two women, but don’t ask for any details. They know who they are and should be ashamed. They weren’t fighting over me.
Ever poured boiling water on an ant?
I wouldn’t be callous enough to do it to one ant, but if there’s a whole stream of the little f**kers, I’ll give them what for.
Considering her quote, “Last time Albion got promoted, I gave birth nine months later”, was your wife pleased West Brom avoided promotion?
I wouldn’t say pleased - she’s not quite that cruel. I’m usually emotionally wrought whatever has happened to West Brom. I go to bed and sleep early either way. I’m pretty useless.
Do you throw your child's school artwork straight in the bin?
Yeah. I’ve been caught out several times and they look at me like it’s absolute heresy.
In Sex Lives of the Potato Men you played “sex party host”. Was this your lowest ebb?
It was harrowing because I was very overweight at the time. I didn’t realise until I saw myself semi-naked on screen. I had a towel round my waist and looked like Joe Bugner in his declining years. I tried to hitch the towel up, Simon Cowell-style, to cover my spare tyre, but the French continuity woman – who was unspeakably beautiful – kept pulling it down. Humiliating.
What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
My dreams recently have been incredibly boring. I’ll have a very involved dream about opening my front door and shutting it again. I had one the other day about cleaning my toolbox. Very, very tedious.
Finally, is this interview a total waste of time?
Certainly not. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m sick of answering the same old questions. Especially “how do you get on with a Birmingham accent”?
So, how do you get on with a…
From the October 2007 issue of FourFourTwo.