Interview: Hardeep Singh Kohli – First and last

  • The List
  • 13 November 2014
Interview: Hardeep Singh Kohli – First and last

The Scottish foodie and raconteur reveals all about his embarrassing wardrobe, Westlife and his ‘wee mum’

First record you ever bought
I'd like to say it was Motörhead's ‘Ace of Spades’ or some Ibiza dance remix of A Guy Called Gerald. But it was Bucks Fizz and ‘Land of Make Believe’. I know, I know …

Last extravagant purchase you made
Dinner last night. I don't spend extravagantly on many things these days. But food …

First film you saw that really moved you

There's a beautiful Hindi movie called Roti, Kapra aur Makan (Food, Clothing and Shelter). It was about the dispossessed of India, those affected by natural disaster. Had me in tears again and again.

Last lie you told
I never lie …

First movie you ever went on a date to
Top Gun. It was a first date. It also happened to be the last date. I never got to enter the Danger Zone.

Last time you cried
Yesterday. With my girlfriend. She fed me a bad scallop. There were consequences.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
Cook. I love cooking. It's my ultimate release, my ultimate pleasure. I just escape the hurly burly of it all while fixating on cooking times for pork belly.

Last great meal you cooked
Day before yesterday. Rosemary roast chicken, slow roast red onions, sweet potato and a wee salad caprese.

First crush
Caroline McGibbon. She had great roller skates and better legs. She didn't even know I existed. She still probably doesn't.

Last book you read
My friend David Ross has written a brilliant book about Glasgow in the late 1970s called Last Days of Disco. I loved it.

First great piece of advice you were given
‘It's not enough to win the race; you have to be ten yards in front of the next placed person.’ My mum.

Last time you were starstruck
I don't really believe in being starstruck. I met a psycho-geriatric nurse the other night after a gig. She has been the most impressive and awe-inspiring person I've met in a while. A genuine hero.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Action Scottish independence.

Last meal on earth: what would it be
My mum's lamb and potato curry with ginger pickle and hot, fresh chapatis. No better cook than my wee mum. I'd eat it with my dad.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
Caledonia’. Let me tell you that I love you and I think about you all the time …

Last time you exploited your position to get something
I needed to buy my girlfriend an iPad. I had very little time. I'm afraid to say I leveraged being off the telly.

First time you realised you were famous
I don't regard myself as famous. Just a well-kent face, as we say in Glasgow.

Last time someone criticised your work
Daily. One of the great joys of social network. If you aren't annoying someone you have to wonder whether you are doing the right thing.

First three words your friends would use to describe you

Big, brown, hairy.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
I have a wardrobe full of such constant reminders of my inability to think cogently in a sale situation.

First concert you ever attended

Iron Maiden, Glasgow Apollo, 1985. Amazing. Told my parents I was going to a careers evening at Strathclyde University.

Last time you bought someone flowers
Two weeks ago. I love sunflowers and my GF was visiting and the sun was out over Edinburgh. So I thought it would be apt.

First object you’d save from your burning home
A painting called ‘World Service’ by an artist called Tony Scullion. My daughter and I both regard this as our favourite painting ever.

Last funny thing you saw online
Dean and Jack on YouTube are funny, sweet lovely lads. I've just been making a Radio 4 doc about internet vloggers.

First job
Working in my wee mum's shop. Great fun, every Sunday, getting up early and bundling papers.

Last person you fantasised about
Now that would be telling …

First word you spoke
‘More’. Hence my stature / belly.

Last crime you committed
I inadvertently stole a spoon from a cafe. I didn't mean to, constable, really; it was a lovely spoon.

Last song at your funeral
Mirrorball’ by Elbow, more than likely. Or anything by Westlife: if I’m dead why should anyone else enjoy life?

First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
My ex-wife, best friend and soul mate forever.

Last thing you recommended to someone
Lilyhammer, the Netflix show. I watched it recently and loved it.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
Where is the on switch to the wireless?

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep

I have a pillow, I have a bed, I have a roof.

Hardeep is Your Love, The Stand, Glasgow, Sun 30 Nov.

Hardeep Singh Kohli Live

Energetic humour, storytelling and wordplay reflecting on love, romance and heartbreak from the British writer and comedian.

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