January 15, 2000 12:00
MR CORNERSHOP ON THE COUCH
We discover the [b]'Brimful Of Asha'[/b] star's first love was [b]Floella Benjamin[/b]during our in-depth probing...
"Oh no! I don't look at songs like that, so I really can't say."
What is heaven?
"Being at home with a cup of tea in my left hand and my two moggies around me."
What is hell?
"The last ten years. That was pretty hellish in many different ways and I don't think it can get worse than that."
What's your earliest memory?
"A lot of things seem to pass me by - they still do - so I never really took things in like that. It's probably just my grandmother dressing me for school or something. Not that inspiring for a first memory, but there you go."
What's your greatest fear?
"Doing 'On The Couch' things like this."
Who is your greatest hero?
"William Morris. He was socialist in outlook and he was very productive in lots of different areas and he had a great biblical beard."
What's the worst trouble you've been in?
"Getting caught shoplifting when I was younger. That meant more to me then than if I got in trouble now. In fact, I'd probably get caught shop fitting rather than lifting these days. Also, when I got a bit older I was arrested in Birmingham but that really didn't mean that much because it was a set-up."
Who was your first love?
"Floella Benjamin when I was about eight or nine."
Upon whom would you most like to exact revenge?
"No-one. All the stuff in the papers is all a bit of a game and it's not really real so there's no need to take it that seriously. I wouldn't bother."
What's your most treasured possession?
"It used to be a nice little space pen that was a good luck thing. When I was buying it, an American astronaut came in and bought about ten of them 'cause you can write upside down with them and everything. Unfortunately, a few months ago I lost it."
What can you cook?
"Eggs any way you want. That's about it."
What's the best piece of advice you've ever receieved?
"My design teacher said 'Always buy quality'. It's good advice but there's not a lot of it these days."
What have you most regretted doing while drunk?
"Everything really. It was all quite terrible. That's why I don't drink any more."
Can you read music?
If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?
"I think I'd go and nick twelve space pens for lots of good luck."
What would your three final wishes be?
"Oh God. I can't answer that. As hard as things have been, everything has gone my way and I couldn't have hoped for anything better so I don't really want anything else."