Will Young: ‘I love my dog. I love cleaning. I love singing…’

These are a few of my favourite things, says singer Will Young

I was fairly introverted as a child. My earliest memory is knowing where the chocolate digestives were in the cupboard and thinking: “I’m having those biscuits…” I was a toddler; there’s photo evidence of me going for them. I was determined at a young age – particularly when it came to chocolate.

When I think of my childhood, the first thing that comes to mind is nature and being outside a lot. Helping my dad in the garden, having sword fights… an innocent, quite traditional, country upbringing. We had an old farm and lots of animals – ducks, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats. We were always rescuing ducklings that couldn’t float. We would put them in the warming oven to get them feeling better and they’d swim in the sink.

Being in the garden brings me happiness. I love my dog. I love cleaning. I love singing. I love being in my car. I love looking at my car. I love cars. They’re pieces of art. I’ve had a Mercedes G Wagon for 10 years. Very utilitarian. It looks like a Tonka truck and I love it for that.

Acting came first. Acting and comedy. I found it energising and I felt I was naturally good at it. I was 13 when that came alive. I was mirroring people I enjoyed watching. I remember playing a director and I kind of mirrored French and Saunders in the way they’d move on stage and interact with audience members. I’ve carried that forward.

What am I scared of? I can’t bear ice-lolly sticks. Even talking about them makes me feel sick. Something must have happened in a previous life.

Julia Roberts made me feel starstruck. I met her at the Baftas in Los Angeles. I couldn’t stop the theme tune of Pretty Woman from going round in my head. I was staring at her and thinking, “Gosh, you’re really beautiful.” I was starstruck from afar with George Clooney and Brad Pitt, too, at a Live 8 thing. They looked as if they’d fallen from some Grecian myth.

I’m depressed by the government, what they’re doing with Ukraine. It makes me feel hopeless. I don’t like being lied to and treated like I’m stupid. Just be honest. Say you don’t want any refugees rather than lie constantly. It must be exhausting. It’s gaslighting and dishonourable. There’s got to be a time when, as a politician, you go, “I can’t do this any more. I’m just toeing the party line and lying.”

Sex isn’t that important to me. It used to be; it’s not really now. It’s one element of a relationship. I won’t be with someone who’s not emotionally aware. Communication is the secret to a happy relationship, but the right communication. The key is being heard and having fun. It’s really important, humour.

I absolutely love getting older, because I get more content every year. I’m always trying to work on myself. I’m always accruing more wisdom. I’m not scared of death. How would I like to be remembered? As a kind person who’s quite funny.

Be Yourself and Happier by Will Young (Ebury, £14.99) is out now. Buy a copy for £13.04 at guardianbookshop.com


Katherine Hassell

The GuardianTramp

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