David mitchell and victoria coren dating
“I love quizzes with the same part of my brain that likes puzzles and Sherlock Holmes stories, and Only Connect is infuriating and brilliant and what I love about it is that the people who come on it haven’t got bleached hair and don’t want to be rock stars, and aren’t represented very often on television,” she says, delivering it in a single, breathless sentence.
“They are properly clever and interested in knowledge and arcane facts and they look nice and tidy in their favourite jumper.
’ But the truth is, I’ve got it written down in front of me.” I fear the lady doth protest too much, having bagged the now bearded David Mitchell – “I love the beard.
It makes him look Russian” – without whom the entire panel-show industry would crumble to dust and fall far, far beneath the watershed.
“I am filled with this bizarre mix of thinking David could have done a lot better than me and feeling we’re so alike and complement each other so wonderfully that we are the ideal match and couldn’t possibly be with anyone else.” For all her self-effacement, Coren, daughter of the late Punch satirist Alan Coren and sister of food critic Giles, is herself quite a catch.
“I mean, he’s a hugely successful television comedian, he could have had a gorgeous 24-year-old skinny wife with a tiny nose and a string bikini, but he chose me! ” Coren, or Coren Mitchell as she haphazardly calls herself when she thinks it won’t cause too much confusion, is so disarmingly, so extravagantly in love with her husband of 10 months, I (almost) forgive her.
It might be just the ticket for the forthcoming European Poker Tour (EPT) taking place in London early next month, at which Coren – who was the first woman to win an EPT event in 2006 for £500,000 prize money – will be playing.
But not such a good look in her role as presenter of the unapologetically erudite, lateral-thinking quiz show Only Connect, which begins its eighth series tonight on BBC Four.
“I never thought I’d get married, and if I ever did, it would be a dreary compromise so I’d just wear a C&A twinset.” Despite being head-over-heels in love, she remained adamant she wouldn’t do the meringue thing.“I’m infuriated by stubborn stupidity but charming, happy ignorance is fine. Writing is hard and I don’t do much of it, but a writer is what I strive to be.” Occasionally she appears on Question Time, but has been known to precipitate consternation when her views aren’t predictably Leftie, thereby causing an imbalance on the panel. In terms of tax-and-spend stuff and dreaming of a Utopian socialist world, yes,” she says.Besides, these days you can have babies well into your eighties, so the way I see it, I’ve got decades left.” In the meantime, she will continue to multitask her way through three careers. “But I think ultimately I’m a libertarian because I’m concerned about the massive curtailment of personal freedom.I hate all the CCTV cameras and ID checks and proposals that you can’t even smoke in your own home and this insane preoccupation with banning things.I expect that makes me far more Right-wing than any political party.” She is joking, I think.