Emma Freud on East Anglia, David Tennant, goat yoga and a bit of a Robbie Williams fantasy...

PUBLISHED: 12:49 10 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:43 10 March 2019

Emma Freud shares her love of East Anglia Photo: Dan Hallman BBC Good Food

Emma Freud shares her love of East Anglia Photo: Dan Hallman BBC Good Food


To mark Red Nose Day for Comic Relief on March 15, Emma Freud shares her East Anglian heaven and hell and reveals what she would like Robbie Williams to do in her honour...

Emma Freud, OBE, Executive Producer of Red Nose Day, has helped to raise £1.3 billion to support people leading incredibly tough lives in the UK and internationally. She also helped create the Make Poverty History Campaign and co-produced the Live 8 Concerts. Emma is also a broadcaster, presenter and columnist for BBC Good Food, The Times’s Luxx Magazine and a reporter for BBC Radio 4. She has four kids, three cats and a dog and says, ‘I’m planning on moving back into guinea pigs now’. She talks to Gina Long, MBE

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I grew up in Suffolk and my children have spent almost every holiday there. It’s the place in the world that makes the most sense to me. I’ve also recommended it as the best place on earth to everyone I’ve ever met - so i don’t think I’ve helped the traffic situation in the summer… .sorry about that.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

Everything. It’s beautiful in a quiet way. The people are wonderful in a friendly way. The skies are massive, there are murmurations in the winter, and a big contingent of people in our village go swimming in the North Sea every morning all year round. Also, you can do goat yoga. To be honest, I wouldn’t do goat yoga, but I like the fact that someone in Suffolk is leading that charge.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

The busy roads in summer...

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

Definitely The Anchor in Walberswick.

What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

A walk along the beach to the pub. Then if it’s warm eating out in our garden with friends, family, someone trying to BBQ something and some alcohol. If it’s cold - well, exactly the same but with more to drink.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?

Southwold Pier.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Latitude Festival

What your specialist Mastermind subject?

David Tennant.

What is always in your fridge?

Cheese. Beer. A lot of beer.

What’s your simple philosophy of life?

Be kind. Be positive. Keep your emails short.

What’s your favourite film?

The Sixth Sense. And the Truman Show. And the Railway Children. And Elf.

What was your first job?

It was a singing telegram at my brother Matthew’s company - it was awful. My speciality was the Gorillagram. Wearing a full monkey suit on the Tube was like the ultimate walk of shame.

What is your most treasured possession?

Currently, it’s a huge cut out of my eldest son that he gave me for Christmas so that I didn’t miss him when he went back to college.

Who do you admire most?

Too many to name here - Emma Thompson, Josie Naughton [Co-Founder of Help Refugees], my remarkable daughter Scarlett [Curtis].

What is your biggest indulgence?

Great Bread. Cold Butter. Good Cheese. Beer. Quavers.

What do you like about yourself most?

I love my friends with a passion, and I’m loyal.

What’s your worst character trait?

I keep adopting new pets despite my boyfriend being allergic to them….I feel like a few sneezes are worth it for a new kitten.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

We had an amazing man in our village who lived on the green, and took his annual holidays in a house on the beach 200 yards away from his home. My kinda guy. I’m slightly more daring than him and would plump for Southwold. It has everything.

Best day of your life?

In case my children are reading this - it’s definitely the days they were born. If they aren’t reading this, it was the day in 2015 when Comic Relief reached the total of having raised £1 billion over 30 years. I cried. A lot.

What’s your favourite breakfast?

I don’t eat breakfast. Just tea, then tea, then coffee, then coffee, then more tea til lunch.

What’s your favourite tipple?

I can’t answer that in one 
answer. Day to day it’s IPA beer. In a retro mood, it’s a snowball, late at night it’s tequila. I adore the taste of good gin and anything sweet and alcoholic is a joy - Baileys, rose liqueur, toffee vodka - I’m lowbrow.

What’s your hidden talent?

Dancing. My friends say I look like I am doing a gym workout. My children say that I should only do it in a locked cupboard - but they’re wrong. I have moves.

What’s your earliest memory?

Being swung in a blanket in our garden in Suffolk by my elder brothers. My memory is the overwhelming feeling of protection and joy.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Angels by Robbie Williams. With Robbie Williams singing it himself. Preferably naked.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I really, really like a spreadsheet. I’m so chaotic that they make me feel everything’s going to be OK.

What’s the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

“The train from Ipswich to Darsham has been cancelled.”

Tell us why you live here.

It’s where I feel most at peace.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

Red Nose Day is on March 15 - 50% of the money is spent on remarkable projects all over the UK, including many in Suffolk. We’d love you to do something for us this year - buy a red nose, enter our prizeathon, take part in our Danceathon, sponsor me to create a spreadsheet for you.

Anything. It all helps raise money for people living really tough lives. The website has about 1000 ways you can help. And quite a few jokes. And thank you.

Follow Gina Long @geewizzgee1

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