The One Show’s Nick Wallis shares his cultural fix
PUBLISHED: 18:26 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 18:26 01 February 2017
As a presenter on The One Show, Nick Wallis has his finger firmly on the cultural pulse. Here, we put him under the Surrey Life spotlight to find out his favourite local haunts around his hometown of Walton-on-Thames
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2017
If I want to go to the cinema I… will go to our local Everyman. Everything is set up perfectly for a decent, if expensive, night out. I love the cushions on the double seats and the wine coolers under the armrests. A classy joint.
The last film I saw was… Return of the Jedi on DVD (the original theatrical release – not that terrible remastered abomination) with my five-year-old son. He didn’t like Jabba’s Palace, but he loves the Ewoks.
For my theatre fix, I like to… watch my friend Tom Beard doing pantomime. Over Christmas, he played Viscount Biscuit in Beauty and the Beast at the Leatherhead Theatre. And, darling, he played him BE-YOOO-TIFULLY. Tom also wrote and directed the entire production. He has a galloping energy and brings general derangement to anything he touches. Our kids love everything he does.
I’m currently reading… Addiction: A Kind of Loving by Dr David Marjot. Dr Marjot lives in Weybridge and is retired now, but he remains one of the leading experts on alcohol addiction in the UK. Addiction is part medical text, part psychological treatise, and I have learned so much about the whys and wherefores of drinking from reading his work. The last novel I read was Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Quite how someone writes with such dazzling but unflashy precision puts almost everyone else to shame.
The last time I went to my local library was… just the other day, although shamefully it was to use their wifi and get a DVD out. My eldest daughter was a voracious reader and used the library all the time before she discovered Snapchat. I studied literature at university and we are trying to keep up a family interest in long-form novels, but we are fighting a losing battle.
At home, I’m most likely to be listening to… Spotify. I’ll either construct playlists from the artists I grew up with, like the Pixies, Throwing Muses, Cocteau Twins, Nick Cave, Sisters of Mercy, Talk Talk and The Cure, or I’ll experiment with recommendations from friends and algorithms. They have led me to DIIV, M83, Dot Hacker, Amusement Parks on Fire and Phosphorescent, as well as a bunch of stuff I missed first time around. Radiohead have been ever-present in the last 20 years of my life.
In the car, I generally listen to… Now 94, under duress, as demanded by my children. If I had to pick a default radio station it would probably still be BBC Radio 5 live, but I do find myself listening more and more to BBC Radio 4, Absolute Radio and TalkSport. When I’m not listening to music or radio, I download and listen to the Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre podcasts, a series in which he chats with some of the biggest names in comedy. I am such a fan – I contribute five pounds a month to help keep them going and recently went on my own to see one go out live. I also love Adam Buxton’s podcasts too. Beautiful little diversions.
The TV programme I never miss is… The One Show, of course. And all the ITV News bulletins. And Inside Out South and Criminals: Caught on Camera on Channel 5. Ace telly. Check ‘em out. Favourite programmes in which I don’t have a professional interest are: Match of the Day, The Great British Bake Off, Question Time, Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross.
My favourite cultural event in Surrey is… the Christmas Eve children’s service at St James’ church in Weybridge. It’s so popular they do two – one straight after the other. All the kids dress up in nativity costume and there’s an anticipatory bonhomie in the air. We haven’t missed it in ten years. w
• Catch Nick Wallis on The One Show on BBC One (http://bbc.in/2frdFRV) and on ITV News. See his website at nickwallis.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickwallis