‘I want to find not just love. I want obsessive love’: Inside the head of… Nick Grimshaw
The Radio 1 Breakfast Show host, 28, wants to go for dinner with Madonna, was once forced out of his flat by a mouse – and remembers his mum blasting the Clash from her car radio when he was tiny. Oh, and he dreams of seeing AC Milan play… at Glastonbury
What is your earliest memory?
I was being driven to nursery. I was in my mum’s Fiesta. She was wearing black leather driving gloves and an Eighties polka-dot blouse. The Clash song Should I Stay Or Should I Go? was playing on the radio. My mum felt my hands and said they were like toast, then I got taken into the school. I remember just being really confused about my hands being like toast, thinking: ‘Did they smell of toast or did they look like people could eat them?’
What sort of child were you?
Loud, inquisitive, rebellious, mischievous. I never wanted to go to bed and when my mum and dad had dinner parties, I wanted to be there talking to everyone, showing off. All my childhood memories are of people, noise, running around. I come from a very loud, open family. Everyone is very honest about their emotions, there’s lots of warmth, lots of shouting – it’s always full-on and I was always right in the middle of it all. I was a happy kid because I loved my family. I was never worried about school – I didn’t care if I passed exams or failed them, it was never that important to me.
When did you last feel happy?
Believe it or not, this morning. I woke up before my alarm went off at 5.30am and I just had this sensation that I was actually getting up to do my dream job. I was dancing around in my kitchen thinking: ‘I am so lucky, I am so lucky.’ I never thought I’d get to do this.
When did you last cry, and why?
I cried non-stop on the night of Comic Relief. I was hung over, crying my eyes out and on the phone every five minutes donating money. My American friends were like: ‘Is this you enjoying yourself? Is this what British people think is funny?’
What has been your biggest achievement..?
Workwise, it’s getting The Radio 1 Breakfast Show. Personally, my greatest achievement has happened over the past year. It is all to do with really feeling comfortable about who I am and liking myself. I used to feel awkward meeting new people – toning down my northern accent and pretending to like the theatre because it made me sound more intelligent, when the truth is I actually find it boring. I am always totally myself now, which is a big achievement for me.
What would you like to be better at?
I’m good at cooking. Cooking is all about rules and I really respond to that. I want to get better and better at it. I want to go on MasterChef. I’m completely obsessed with that show. I’d also love to be able to sing and play music – I’m just about to start piano lessons – but I have the most toneless voice known to man.
What is your best character trait..?
I don’t believe in star signs, but a friend was reading me a book about Leos yesterday and I tick every one of my sign’s boxes. I’m loud, I love being the centre of attention, but I’m also incredibly loyal. I think that’s a good trait. I’ll stick with you to the end.
… and your worst?
I’m always late. I also never listen to advice.
Who would your dream dinner date be?
Madonna in her 1991 era. I recently watched In Bed With Madonna and it just blew me away how strong she was, telling record-company bosses to **** off. She was making millions for them – she called the shots.
Who are you closest to?
My sister Jane. She is 11 years older than me. I’ve got a brother, Andy, who is 13 years older than me but he’d left home when I was growing up so it was always me and Jane (an accountant). I speak to her pretty much every day. I’m also really close to her daughter, Olivia, who is 18 and more like a sister to me.
What is your biggest fear?
Rodents. I had to move out of my flat a couple of years ago when I found a mouse.
How do you relax?
I don’t. For every one night out, I stay in for five nights, but during the week I have to be doing something. My parents had incredible work ethics and it’s had this knock-on effect on me so I can’t lie around watching daytime TV – I have to be reading a book or having a meeting. I relax a bit at weekends. I allow myself to slob around, watch old movies, cook, eat, drink and lay around doing nothing.
What is your biggest regret?
No big regrets, just small ones like never having had a six-pack in my teens or 20s. It’s getting too late now.
What or who do you dream about?
Last night I dreamed about Glastonbury. I went down there with Huw Stephens (Radio 1 DJ) – he’d built a house on the John Peel set and there was a football match with AC Milan. Then suddenly I was in Asia, probably because of a text I’d been sent by my mate Henry (Holland, fashion designer), who is in Korea.
Who is the love of your life?
My friends and my family. I don’t have anyone special. I want someone. I want to find not just love, I want obsessive love.