Harry Hill: 'There's no such thing as healthy eating'

The comedian on doctors' diets and helping farmers in Malawi

I was a very small kid and at school lunches if you didn't eat every morsel they'd make you sit up on stage until you had, then say "Finish!" So I carried a note from my mum saying "Please give him smaller portions".

When I was a kid dinners with all the family could be fraught with arguments. Mum made a rod for her back, cooking for us and then again for my stepdad. He and Mum would eat something more exotic, like chilli con carne, often with the doors closed. Mum says – and I appreciate it now – that it was the only time they had together.

The best thing about the TV Burp fight between the Naughtiest Vegetarians – Heather Mills v Adolf Hitler – is that I was cheering "Come on Hitler!"

When I was 14 Dad's job took us abroad. It was quite a culture shock, moving from Staplehurst in Kent to the 40th floor in Hong Kong for two years. I still wanted English food and Mum preserved that. I can't remember having one Chinese meal all the time I was there.

When I was a junior houseman at Doncaster Royal Infirmary I'd go to the canteen and load up a tray, get to the till, pay, sit down, then be called to a cardiac arrest. When I'd get back it'd be cold, so I'd get crisps or a sandwich.

My wife Magda's always taken the piss out of me for it, but I never knew about pasta before we met. I just knew of spaghetti and spaghetti hoops. I once made spaghetti bolognese for her and our kids, but put too much meat in and I've never been allowed to forget it.

I lived through a time of eggs being "bad for you". But what could be more natural than eating an egg? I also lived through the margarine revolution. Margarine is made by passing sunflower oil over an aluminium catalyst – and there's nothing natural about that.

I hate the phrase "healthy eating". You're either well or you're ill; there's no such thing as healthy food, as such. It's not an accurate term. People say they have, or do, something every day to be healthy, but don't know if they're healthy at all, not being able to see into their own heart or brain.

Beyond helping farmers in Malawi, what I wanted from my Harry's Nuts is for them to be quite dark roasted, so they have what you might call a quite-nutty flavour. I've been a connoisseur of nuts since first going to pubs.

If I had to be food I would choose to be a chocolate brazil.

Harry's Nuts! are available from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and other outlets


John Hind

The GuardianTramp

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