Answer Machine

  • The List
  • 1 August 2007

Shantha Roberts

She’s the face of BBC Scotland’s music programmes, who puts her success down to imagining the camera is a friendly robot. But Shantha Roberts would love nothing more than to be part of a gang of talking wildlife, even if she can’t make up her mind about whether she prefers dogs or cats

What’s the most rock’n’roll thing you’ve done today?
I got up two hours late for work because I was drunk 300 miles away! My home’s in Glasgow but I work in London at the moment – I checked in advance whether I was missing anything crucial, of course!

Which time in history would you love to have lived? And why?
I’d love to live in a culmination of all the best bits of the 20s, 50s, 60s and 70s – I don’t think you can go too far wrong with funk, rhythm’n’blues, outfits for curvy women, camper vans and Woodstock.

Your house is on fire; loved ones and pets are safe. You have a chance to go and retrieve one thing, what would it be?
I’d retrieve my handbag – it’s pretty much got my whole life in it anyway. And maybe the keys to my boyfriend’s Austin Princess so I can thereafter claim it as my own.

What was the last thing you stole?
I accidentally stole a bumper pack of loo roll, just by having it under my arm the whole time I was at the checkout. I walked straight out with it before I noticed. I felt guilty but it was so good for weeks having free luxury toilet paper!

If you could wake up tomorrow and have obtained one ability what would it be?
I would love to wake up tomorrow and be able to talk to wildlife – I’d be so happy! We’d have a gang!

How many times a day do you look in the mirror?
Too many! Working in front of a camera begs for it unfortunately – especially if you have to do your own make-up and can’t be trusted.

You could quit your job and start afresh tomorrow and have the skills to do something completely new. What would you choose to do?
Oh gosh where to start? I’d love to be a genius and multi-talented, on the drums maybe, or bass, in everything really would be great! I would mostly, however, love to be or have been David Attenbourgh’s sidekick.

Do you consider yourself organised? How often do you have to look for your keys?
My boyfriend says I’ve lost half the keys in Britain, and I nearly missed my train this morning. Need I say more?

Tell us the punchline to your favourite joke?

What’s your favourite biscuit?
Oaty biscuits, shortbreads, any home-made are best – none of which I can eat because of my wheat allergy. But, if they’re dunked in tea I’m sure they’re fine.

What song would you hate to be played at your funeral?

Anything by Robbie Williams or Celine Dion or songs of that awful ilk.

When did you last laugh out loud while reading a book?

Last week, in Deptford market’s second hand bookshop. I was having a browse when I spotted Conversations and Travels with Master Fwap. I need to go back and buy it now, the guy’s name nearly made me wet myself! Fwap. Does that really count? Bill Drummond’s ‘45’ made me laugh too.

Who would you like to play you in the film of your life?
I’d fantasise about Audrey Tatou playing me, when actually I’m probably most like a young boy.

When did you last dance? What was the occasion?
I recently had the pleasure of being in the recording studio with Isosceles – enough to make anyone want to dance good and proper! It is festival period though so have been bopping a lot, as I was doing last Saturday in the Captains Rest to Axis Mundi – amazing.

Do gentlemen prefer blondes?
Mentally I’m blonde, so I’ve got the best of both worlds really.

When did you last cry? What was the reason?
Briefly on the train this morning – it’s not ideal living away from my closest friends.

What makes you good at what you do?
I imagine the camera as a ‘friendly family robot’. I think I’m pretty adaptable too.

What’s your biggest regret?
Not having gone to art school when I had the chance – but what exactly is there to regret? I’m happy, healthy and with an abundance of friends and family. I’d be a fool to complain.

Are you a cat or dog person?
Dog. No, cat. No, dog.

What’s your all time favourite sitcom? Why?
The Mighty Boosh – it infiltrates and permeates one’s everyday life.

What’s the longest you’ve ever pursued a man/woman for? And was it successful or not?
I once followed a gang of youths who’d stolen a pod chair I found in a skip. I got them in the end! A taxi driver became heavily involved in the chase, free of charge. Does that count? I’ve never really pursued love typically.

What do you like least about your life?
Having too many material things I don’t need, and I wish I did more to help the planet and its folk.

What do you like best about your life?
The fact that music, wine and fine company is only ever a phone call away.

Shantha Roberts presents T in the Park Highlights with Dougie Anderson on BBC Two Scotland on Friday evenings at 11.35pm. More music moments can be relived online at She is also a presenter on MTV UK News.

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