Interview: Caitlin Moran, How To Build A Girl

Q&A: Caitlin Moran

Journalist, author and writer of sitcom Raised by Wolves takes our First & Last quiz

Comedian and writer Caitlin Moran is on tour again with How To Build A Girl, we caught up with the wannabe Mrs Edward Scissorhands to find out if the kids or the laptop would be the first thing she'd save from her burning home …

First record you ever bought
It was Reading, Writing and Arithmetic by the Sundays. At the time of purchase, I’d never heard the Smiths, and when I finally did hear them, I wrote carefully, in my diary, ‘The Smiths sound like the Sundays, but with a HORRIBLE moany-man singer’. It’s an appraisal I’d still stand by.

Last extravagant purchase you made
A 10ft-high plum tree for the garden. I now spend most of my time sitting on a chair looking out of the window, waiting for it to blossom.

First film you saw that really moved you
I remember watching Awakenings with my brothers and sisters, and all of us crying so hard we had to lie upside-down on the stairs to get the blood back into our heads.

Last lie you told
‘How could I possibly have drunk a whole bottle of Martini Rosso on my own? That would be the work of a mad woman.’

First movie you ever went on a date to
I’ve never been on a date to a movie, but I worked as an usherette when I was 17 and saw Edward Scissorhands 17 times in one week. He was a formative sexual influence, and still is. I would happily have married him and become Mrs Scissorhands. But I would have perhaps saved up for him to have an operation so he could be Mr Edward Fingerhands, in case he scythed my genitals off when things became sexual.

Last time you cried
I wanted a hot cross bun this morning but one of the kids had eaten the last one. That felt pretty emotional.

First thing you do when you have time off work
Go on Facebook and ‘like’ everything everyone has said to me whilst watching Friends.

Last great meal you cooked
ALL my meals are great. I made Nigella Lawson’s Sauternes custard last week, as she described its texture ‘as pale and wobbly as a courtesan’s inner-thigh’. It was! Plus! Custard with booze in! That’s next-level shit.

First crush
Buck Rogers, from the 21st century. He was like a cheap, rip-off Han Solo. I swore my sister to secrecy about my crush (‘you MUST NOT TELL ANYONE’) and she went downstairs straight away, opened the front room door and shouted ‘MUM! CATE FANCIES BUCK ROGERS!’

Last book you read
Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks. All about words describing nature that are being lost. Falcons used to be called ‘wind-fuckers’. Amazing.

First great piece of advice you were given
From my husband: ‘don’t try and be legendary. Just be nice. It’s far less exhausting.’

Last time you were starstruck
I tried to touch Michael Sheen’s hair in a queue for the cloakrooms at the Royal Albert Hall. I love him. Fiery Welsh socialist. I’d do him as Tony Blair, Brian Clough or Kenneth Williams.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Introduce proportional representation and state funding of parties, run peer-reviewed research on which policies actually work and form a new party on the basis of them, abolish homework, renationalise the railways, move Parliament to Birmingham and make David Bowie’s birthday a national holiday.

Last meal on earth
Cheese sandwich. There is nothing better.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
My ‘Edelweiss’ makes grown men cry.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
I made my daughter go upstairs and fetch my glasses because I endured 27 stitches to birth her.

First time you realised you were famous
When someone ran up to me in Leicester Square and shouted ‘I LOVE YOU DAWN FRENCH!’

Last time someone criticised your work
I would imagine less than ten seconds ago on Twitter.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
On the floor.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
A 1950s nurse’s cape from Beyond Retro in Brighton. It has no armholes. Wearing it, I am a helpless triangle.

First concert you ever attended
Tears for Fears at the NEC when I was 15. I won tickets. Everyone got up and started dancing and I was scared. I had no idea you were supposed to dance at concerts. I pointedly sat all the way through, with an ‘I am here to APPRECIATE them as ARTISTS’ face.

Last time you bought someone flowers
My mother-in-law had a fall in Greece, and we met her at the airport with flowers. The thing about carrying a bunch of flowers around at an airport is you look a little like an assassin concealing a gun.

First object you’d save from your burning home
After the kids? My laptop. I would need to upload photos of the burning house to Twitter.

Last funny thing you saw online
Weasel on a woodpecker. Sometimes, in life, you’re the weasel. Other days, you’re the woodpecker. Everything is there.

First job
Delivering Thomson phone directories to the Warstones Estate in Wolverhampton. When it started raining, we dumped them all in the canal. Great days.

Last crime you committed
I may have illegally torrented Tina Fey’s new sitcom from America, but that’s less a crime, more ‘an emotional necessity’.

First book you read for a second time
Little Women. Young feminists making their way in the world, plus Professor Bhaer was hot!

Last song at your funeral
‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ by Queen. I hope everyone would enjoy the irony, whilst weeping.

First person you’d thank in an award acceptance speech
Michael Sheen, for forgiving me for touching his hair, then becoming my hot Welsh husband.

Last thing you recommended to someone
I strongly urged my sister to give it ten minutes before going into the bathroom after I left it this morning.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
Twitter!

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
Twitter!

Caitlin Moran will be at the Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 13 Apr (ticket price includes a copy of How To Build A Girl); Raised by Wolves starts on Channel 4, Mon 16 Mar, 10pm.

Caitlin Moran: How to Build a Girl

The columnist and author is off on tour to get lairy and talk about men, women, Bowie, feminism, massive hair and the revolution in her own light-hearted but thought-provoking style.

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