April 6, 2021
The former Ready, Steady, Cook presenter on his love of the children’s classic Animal Magic, and the Galloping Gourmet
Growing up, television was the only form of entertainment at home, apart from our Encyclopedia Britannica volumes, which were so enormous and packed with so many thin pages that we only reluctantly referred to them for schoolwork. Otherwise, we used to congregate as a family in the dining area, where there was a television. I was the youngest of three and that’s where we used to watch all our shows.
Probably the biggest influence on me was Animal Magic with Johnny Morris. It really stuck with me because I loved the way that he talked to the animals, a little bit like Dr Dolittle, and educate us about their lives. It was amazing to see the animals in different parts of the world, too – it somehow made them seem a lot friendlier to us and, for me, it began a lifelong connection with animals and pets.