Louis Theroux on how he’s celebrating his birthday in lockdown

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Helen Bownass
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Louis Theroux

The documentary and podcast maker talks exclusively to Stylist about his lockdown birthday plans and the joy of day pyjamas. 

Louis Theroux turns 50 in a couple of weeks. A time to celebrate with loved ones. A moment to reflect on everything he has achieved in a career in documentary making that has spanned 26 years and over 60 shows. An occasion to say cheers to a pivot into chart-topping podcast making.

Only, like everyone else born in March, April and May, Louis will be celebrating his half a decade on this earth from the comfort of his living room. “We were going to have a big party because it’s my 50th. So various save the date messages have gone out, we were going to be in a pub not far from where we live, and everyone was going to come over; I was really looking forward to it,” he exclusively tells Stylist. “So that’s been, I guess, postponed… “ 

Great British Bake Off: Louis Theroux
Great British Bake Off: Louis Theroux

When questioned about what the big day might look like now, he says it’s yet to be decided (we have a few suggestions about how he could spend the day). “Only time will tell whether I can see people. It would be nice to see other people if not, then I’ll have a lock down birthday. Maybe with some virtual invitations or something perhaps with some family members.”

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However, there’s one thing Theroux isn’t keen on: a massive family Zoom free for all – like so many of us, he finds them overwhelming and hard to navigate. “What’s hard is, those cacophonous Zoom sessions. Where everyone is shouting and talking over each other,” he says, before launching into an impression of what they sound like: 

-’Let’s have a catch up?’


-’Yeah, what have you been doing?’

-’SHHHHH, he’s talking’ ‘Yeah…’ ‘No, you go…’

-’I was going to say, did you watch the thing last night. Gogglebox? YEAH.’

It gives me a headache when you’ve got like 20 people. The quizzes work well, because it’s more formalized.” 

Louis Theroux on this week's Stylist magazine

That’s not the only thing Theroux reveals, he also tells us that lockdown has got him into a new genre of loungewear. “I’m wearing my day pyjamas,” he explains to Stylist. I got out of bed, took one pair of pyjamas off and put another pair on. Pyjamas are so comfortable. I love to wear them. I’m a bit like Hugh Hefner in the Playboy mansion. I’m like the Hugh Hefner of North West London. But instead of a harem of models I have… let’s not stretch the analogy. I’m locked down with my family. Downstairs, it’s a home school situation. It’s not in the least bit glamorous.”

To read the rest of the interview from Louis, including his thoughts on  Joe Exotic, how to manage anxiety and the power of documentaries simply click on the link to activate your Stylist app download from either the Apple store or Google Play and enjoy! 

Grounded with Louis Theroux will be available on BBC Sounds on Monday 27 April and will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Wednesday 6 May at 8pm.

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