First and Last: Sanjeev Kohli

Interview: Sanjeev Kohli – First and Last

River City star and TV presenter on kilts, crosswords, crying and crime

Sanjeev Kohli will be back on the live stage as shopkeeper Navid in Still Game. Here he takes on our First & Last Q&A.

First record you ever bought
I was the youngest of three and never had to buy records; I just listened to my brothers'. So my first purchase at the age of 17 was Prefab Sprout's From Langley Park to Memphis. Had I been the eldest, it might well have been 'Tarzan Boy' by Baltimora. So, it's a good job I wasn't the eldest.

Last extravagant purchase you made
I'm rarely extravagant. I'm usually vagant. I did buy a full kilt outfit at a charity auction I was hosting a couple of months ago. I'd only done it to get the bids started, but I misjudged the room and ended up buying it. No regrets though: I fully expect to be the next face of Scott's Porage Oats.

First film you saw that really moved you
A Hammer film called The Ghoul gave me nightmares for three years. At the end of Cinema Paradiso, I cried so much I was only 15% water. Clinically dead.

Last lie you told
I was the only Asian kid in the St Winifred's School Choir (there were no Asian kids in the St Winifred's School Choir).

First crush
A girl called Julie in my primary one class. I let her catch me during a game of Kiss Cuddle and Torture. That was the 70s of course. Now it would be Kiss Cuddle and Rendition.

Last book you read
So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson.

First movie you ever went on a date to
It might actually have been Cinema Paradiso. It wasn't really a date-date, it was a girl who was a friend who I fancied without her knowing. I'll never know if she was more impressed by my sensitivity or more repulsed by my tears and snotters.

Last time you cried
Probably watching Up. It's on about five times a year in our house, and that opening sequence gets me EVERY TIME.

First thing you do when you've got time off work
Judging by my previous answers? Cry. And a LOT of my spare time is spent in TK Maxx, and in various coffee establishments doing crosswords.

Last great meal you cooked
My killer dish is a chicken curry full of coriander and fenugreek. Never understood the obsession with heat: for me it's all about the herbs. As the song says, 'it's all about the herbs, 'bout the herbs, not chilli'.

First great piece of advice you were given
'People are thinking about themselves way more than they are thinking about you.' Took me a while to believe it, but it's true.

Last time you were starstruck
I gibbered relentlessly at Peter Capaldi in the Apple Shop in Buchanan Street. He's probably still wiping off the spittle.

First thing you'd do if you ran the country
Limit the number of cars anyone could own to two. Why does anyone need more than two cars?

Last meal on earth
My mum's lamb curry and a big pillowy nan bread.

First time you realised you were famous
I was semi-stalked in a Top Shop in London by a young guy. He asked me where my bodyguard was. I whispered, 'Next to the exit. NO SUDDEN MOVES!'

Last time someone criticised your work
Some imbecile on Twitter. I love Twitter, but it's crawling with people with less than nothing to say and the means to say it.

First song you'll sing at karaoke
'Dead Ringer for Love'.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
I would NEVER use the line, 'do you know who I am?' Unless I had actually had a head trauma and was suffering from amnesia. I was once given a bacon roll for free from a van, though, which should give you an idea of the stellar level of my celebrity.

First three words your friends would use to describe you
Punctual, tardy, contrary.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
The first time I bought skinny jeans (aged 39): I returned them two days later. The assistant asked, 'can I ask what's wrong with them?' I replied, 'I'm what's wrong with them'. I resembled an amputee spider.

First concert you ever attended
I think it was Rainbow, 1983, at Edinburgh Playhouse.

Last time you bought someone flowers
If we're being honest, flowers are a pain in the arse. Water gets everywhere. I gift practical things, like wooden coat-hangers and themed erasers.

First job
Part-time waiter at The Gulistan in Bishopbriggs.

Last funny thing you saw online
Peter Serafinowicz and his various revoicings of Trump.

First book you read for a second time

Last crime you committed
I wore a chunky shoe with a skinny jean. I got community service.

First person you'd thank in an award acceptance speech
My mum and dad. They worked their socks off to get me a good education and they rolled with my subsequent unconventional career choices.

Last song you'd have played at your funeral
Something really long, like 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' by Iron Butterfly. Really rip the arse out of it.

Still Game: Live 2, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Sat 4–Thu 16 Feb; River City, BBC One Scotland, Wed, 8pm.

Still Game: Live

The stage version of Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill's TV sitcom of ageing disgracefully, starring Ford Kiernan as Jack Jarvis and Greg Hemphill as Victor McDade.

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