First and last: AL Kennedy interview

  • The List
  • 18 April 2013
First and last: AL Kennedy interview

credit: Kevin Low

Author and comedian on Leo Sayer, chestnut soup and funeral conga lines

First record you ever bought
I can’t recall. Maybe something by Queen. Probably something embarrassing like Showaddywaddy, or Slade.

Last extravagant purchase you made
A new suit. They lend confidence. And prevent troubling choices.

First film you saw that really moved you
Dr Doolittle. Apparently it made me distraught.

Last lie you told
I‘ve never told a lie.

First movie you ever went on a date to
I feel dating and film-enjoying would be incompatible so have never tried it.

Last time you cried

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
Remember more work I could do.

Last great meal you cooked
Every evening … no, not really. Last month I invented a recipe for chestnut soup that was quite pleasant.

First crush
Is now one of the many TV celebrities being investigated for offences against children, so I’m not going to say. I was 4. We never met.

Last book you read
The Maltese Falcon. Again.

First great piece of advice you were given
You can’t hate someone that much and stay well.

Last time you were star struck
Watched a screening of Catch 22 once and afterwards, to my surprise, there was Alan Arkin. That was a bit wow. And I always forget how much Bill Nighy will fill a room. I think I remember, but I don’t. That’s proper room-fillage, that is, even if he’s just mucking about or having a cuppa.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Ensure press freedom and press responsibility, turn the Palace of Westminster into a museum, ensure MPs rely on public services for salary, accommodation, their family’s education and health care, enact Beveridge’s reforms and wind back Beeching’s cuts wherever possible – and then bar myself from running the country.

Last meal on earth – what would it be
I’m guessing I wouldn’t be peckish.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
Anything they’ve got by Elvis Costello.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
I wish …

First time you realised you were famous
People started dropping things and falling over around me. Not that such things happen often.

Last time someone criticised your work
Probably all the time – I try to keep away from all that, good or bad.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
I’ve no idea.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
Two mangoes for a pound from the shop down the hill – they were rubbish.

First concert you ever attended
Probably Leo Sayer. I know, I know …

Last time you bought someone flowers
My mum – for her birthday.

First object you’d save from your burning home
I have all my needful objects in my pockets at all times.

Last funny thing you saw online
Joss Wheedon’s ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ promo for Romney. There’s a lot of unfunny stuff out there, I don’t see much I like.

First job
Selling brushes door to door.

Last person you fantasized about
Yeah, like I’d tell you. No one who doesn’t do the same back – it’s only fair.

First word you spoke

Last crime you committed
Not sure. Arguably, should the police have wanted to, I could have been arrested for some semi-invented reason or other at all kinds of demos in the last few years. Wear tweed – you don’t get lifted, would be my advice.

First song at your (potential) wedding
I’d leave that up to him – he’s good at music. And it’ll never happen.

Last song at your funeral
Something fun for the conga line, I’d hope. It will be none of my business, I’ll be gone.

First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
Depends on the award.

Last thing you recommended to someone
A back support chair.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
Someone who knows he’s the first thing I think of in the morning.

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep

AL Kennedy: On Writing, Mitchell Library, Glasgow, Fri 19 Apr.
Gavin Francis, Sara Wheeler and AL Kennedy: Antartica, Sat 20 Apr

AL Kennedy: On Writing

AL Kennedy riffs on her popular Guardian blog.

Gavin Francis, Sara Wheeler and AL Kennedy: Antarctica

Gavin Francis' Empire Antarctica is the story of one man and his fascination with the planet's loneliest continent, as well as the emperor penguins who weathered the winter with him. He is in discussion with Sara Wheeler, whose book Terra Incognita, telling the story of an eventful seven months on the continent, was an…

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