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Alice Levine on the pain of being a chronically late person

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Stylist Team
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Radio DJ Alice Levine

Five Minute Philosopher is a weekly series in which Stylist gets profound with people we love. From her thoughts on the meaning of life to her greatest fear, what will TV and radio presenter Alice Levine make of our existential questions?

What is the meaning of life?

I’m not sure, that’s a big question, but Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life seems to have loads of the answers.

What is the difference between right and wrong?

I think the difference is how you feel. It’s hard to conceptualise but the feeling is there.

Where is your happy place?

Swimming outdoors somewhere. Although I’m not one of those people who breaks the ice to go into Hampstead Heath pond.

Nature or nurture?

Definitely not nurture. I have a house full of dead succulents but I was very attentive.

Is it more important to be liked or respected?

I think if you’ve played it right, you can have both. But if I had to pick, I’d want to be respected because perhaps being the most popular isn’t end-of-life goals.

If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

Making ‘dadrotica’ a thing on my podcast My Dad Wrote A Porno. I think we might have actually coined the term, but there could be a legal battle there.

Who or what is your greatest love?

My family and the complete works of Julia Davis.

When did you last lie?

I lie five to 10 times a day, usually related to my estimated time of arrival.

Does the supernatural exist?

No, but my brother and I do often get nose bleeds at the exact same time – it’s a bit Eleven from Stranger Things. Hay fever or a ghostly presence?

Are you fatalistic?

Not really. I don’t go through life thinking I’m on a conveyer belt I can’t jump off, but sometimes it’s helpful to think that things are out of your control.

What is your greatest fear?

Spiders.

Animals or babies?

Babies! I always think they like me, but you’re literally just a series of shapes and colours to them.

What talent do you yearn for?

To be able to draw better. I recently started taking life drawing classes. I’m great at hips and boobs but can’t do hands or faces.

Do you like to be complimented?

I do and then I get almost immediately embarrassed. I prefer to be complimented on my work.

Do you have a high pain threshold?

I sometimes stop and wonder if I have a superhumanly high pain threshold and I just don’t know it… But then I stub my toe and think probably not.

What book do you recommend most to others?

There was a time when I relentlessly recommended The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero because I’m fascinated by the film that it’s about. I become a bit evangelical about things.

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn?

That people don’t know what’s going on inside your head. It’s your responsibility to communicate that to them and then it’s up to them to do what they want with it.

What food sums up happiness?

Food cooked by somebody else.

What have you never understood?

Parties. It’s so late, it’s really loud and I’m so tired. I just don’t get it.

What is the one thing you want to know before you die?

What life would be like if I turned up to places on time. My friend recently said to me, “Alice, imagine how different your life would be if you weren’t hot, sweaty and apologetic when everybody meets you for the first time.”

Are you scared of dying or what happens when you die?

I’m scared of having a messy end, but not dying itself. It’s inevitable.

Quinoa or Quavers?

Come on! There has be to be a better menu than that? I’ll have to go with Quavers, but you’re twisting my arm.

Alice Levine has partnered with Irish chocolate brand Lily O’Brien’s to act as a brand ambassador for their Share Wisely campaign. 

Images: BBC, Little Brown book group

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