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Angela Scanlon on love, kindness and the joy of cheese toasties

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Helen Bownass
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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 presenter Angela Scanlon make of our existential questions?

What is the meaning of life?

To love and be loved. We complicate it endlessly but ultimately we all share this planet and our reason for being is human connection.

What is the difference between right and wrong?

Intention.

Where is your happy place?

The bath. If it wasn’t weird I’d bring my close friends and some family members in to hang out, but I suspect that might ruin the vibe.

Nature or nurture?

Both. Babies are perfect, then we accidentally “nurture” them into trouble.

Is it more important to be liked or respected?

I think people fall into one of two camps: you’re either a dog or a cat. Dogs want to be liked – they jump and lick and aim to please; cats are more aloof, but maybe they’re just less concerned about being liked. In my mind I’m a cat, but in reality I’m a drooling, panting dog.

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

That I was kind. Brilliantly talented but kind AF!

Who or what is your greatest love?

My husband. He is the very best egg. He helps me strive for BIG things while appreciating the small stuff. He just gets it, and me. Plus, he keeps me off Instagram.

When did you last lie?

I can’t lie. Well, my mouth can but my face never catches up quick enough. I’m honest, sometimes to a fault.

Does the supernatural exist?

100% yes. I am so deep into the moon and planets and astrology and all that shit. The greatest things on Earth can’t simply be explained by science.

Are you fatalistic?

Kind of. I believe there’s a destination but we get to choose the path. I don’t like the idea that everything I do is predetermined.

What is your greatest fear?

Dying before I’ve figured everything out. That, and having to sleep in scratchy sheets.

Animals or babies?

They’re the same… I have a one-year-old and when they’re that small the lines are blurry (as is your mind). Babies are basically tiny little nuzzling animals always searching for a nipple, but babies smell infinitely better than animals.

What talent do you yearn for?

I would quite like to be able to sing or at least remember the lyrics so I can contribute to a late-night sing-song without using an iPhone.

Do you like to be complimented?

Mostly yes. But if I’m in a place of self-loathing then anything that doesn’t feed that is wildly uncomfortable.

Do you have a high pain threshold?

Yes. I had a baby without drugs but maybe that’s stubbornness rather than any exceptional biological ability.

What book do you recommend most to others?

Oprah’s What I Know For Sure, although I tend to recommend podcasts these days. I’m launching one imminently so you should subscribe to that immediately please. It’s called Thanks A Million. Thanks, a million…

Which lesson has been the hardest to learn?

That my freckles are here to stay. As I kid I wanted to scrub them off… I love them now.

What food sums up happiness?

A cheese toastie. The filthy kind that’s been buttered on both sides with bright yellow cheese oozing out.

What have you never understood?

Catholicism.

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

“When should I go home?” I would happily stay on the couch for weeks but when I’m out, I’m out! I have an awful habit of being the last to leave a party, which is classic ‘dog’.

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

I never really feared dying myself and sometimes I fantasise about my funeral – a full Irish Catholic affair with open casket, three-day wake, crying, roses and muck, singing, whiskey, the works. Since I’ve had a daughter, I can’t bring myself to think about it.

Quinoa or Quavers?

Quinoa. I’m more of a Skips girl.

Angela Scanlon hosts Your Home Made Perfect on BBC2 on Tuesdays at 8pm 

Images: supplied

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Helen Bownass

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