For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to journalist GILES COREN.
Once called “the angriest man in Britain”, Giles is a longtime journalist, most recently for The Times. He has encountered more than his share of controversy, but professes himself officially serene these days after years of psycho-analysis. He has co-starred with Sue Perkins in ‘Edwardian Supersize Me’ and ‘The Supersizers Go’ series for the BBC.
He was named Food and Drink Writer of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2005, and is still the Times’ resident restaurant critic. He has teamed up with online restaurant booking website OpenTable for their latest poll into how many people complain about their meal, and which city has the most complainers. To mark this association, Giles sat down with HuffPostUK for some Wise Words...
What do you do to switch off?
I sleep. I sleep nine hours every night, I have a little nap after lunch, and, if I’m going out for dinner, I sneak in an extra one before I head out.
How do you deal with any negativity that comes your way?
I used to be a very angry person, I used to throw things and break them. Then I had five years of constant psycho-analysis, and I don’t get angry any more. Saying that, on Twitter I swear at people all the time, but I find that if I say ‘You’re so sexist and racist’ – pretty much in response to anything – they soon go away.
When and where are you at your happiest?
When my children are asleep.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
It was from my dad, and it was regarding homework. He said: Don’t write the first thing you think of, everyone will write that. Don’t write the second thing you think of, all the bright students will do that. Write the third thing you think of, and then you can be sure it will have come from only you. He was saying it about homework, but I’ve tried to apply it ever since.
What has been the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
Sometimes it’s not necessarily you who’s actually crazy. Sometimes it IS her. Not all the time, but sometimes.
What would you like to be able to tell your 13-year-old self?
One day you will, in fact, lose your virginity.
What are the three things at the top of your to-do list?
Live to see my grandchildren; repaint the front door; drive to the airport in good time.
What do you think happens when we die?
Our wives get everything.
When or where you have felt in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
Lords Cricket Ground.
What is the quality you most value in your relationships?
A blow job at the Groucho Club… I’m KIDDING!... okay, good sex.
What keeps you grounded?
What was the most recent act of kindness you received?
I was dining at a restaurant, and they brought out a plate of fresh scallops as a little treat. They made me very ill later, but it was a lovely thought.
You can check out some of the UK’s most entertaining complaints with OpenTable and Giles Coren above