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Rick Edwards: ‘My job forces me to be a bit more vain than I would be otherwise’

TV presenter, Rick Edwards quizzes other people on BBC daytime show !mpossible. Gabrielle Fagan puts him in the spotlight instead

Gabrielle Fagan

Tv presenter Rick Edwards is hard to pigeon-hole.

He’s spanned a variety of roles over the years that have involved him in the worlds of sport, politics and game shows, and now he’s host of BBC daytime quiz show, !mpossible, as well as the end-of-show presenter for Channel 4’s Made In Chelsea.

The 38-year-old first found fame in 2007 on T4, before hosting E4’s relationship game show Tool Academy. He’s also commentated on the 2012 Paralympics, co-presented BBC politics discussion show, Free Speech, and, last year, ITV2 panel show Safeword. He also hosts a radio podcast series, Science(ish).

Last year, he married actor Emer Kenny (27), who played Zsa Zsa Carter in EastEnders. Rick answers our questions about love, life, grooming and tricky interviewees ...

What does your wife mean to you?

Everything — she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and has changed my life. It was pretty close to love at first sight when I saw her, and we were engaged within seven weeks. As I’d only met her parents twice, they naturally asked, ‘Isn’t this a bit quick?’ but we both knew that we had to be together forever.

She’s perfect, my total soulmate, as well as beautiful, super-smart and really funny. We’ve been married a year and I still love saying, ‘My wife’. Being married gives you this intangible feeling of security and with Tippi, our cat — I’m a mad cat lover — we’re a tight little unit, although we’d love children at some point.

Do you care about your appearance?

Looking good’s important for my job, so that forces me to be a bit more vain than I would be otherwise. I have a trainer at the gym who’s very tough on me, so I stay in decent shape. I moisturise my skin and use eye creams. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been interested in clothes and fashion and I like to dress well, but I go for a ‘classic’ look — wild, trendy things look odd on me.

How do you look after your health and wellbeing?

I love sport and I’m hugely competitive. My best friend and I challenge each other to be the best at football, bowling, badminton etc. We also play snooker and recently took part in an international backgammon tournament.

I’m pretty fit although, because I’m tall — 6ft 5ins — I have a bit of an irritable lower spine, so I go to an osteopath regularly to keep it stable. As I stupidly sniffed pure ammonia in a school science lab when I was 14, and burnt away a lot of the olfactory cells in my nose, I have a very patchy sense of smell.

I eat pretty healthily and I’m aiming eventually to become a pescatarian (no meat, but will eat fish), but I can’t resist the occasional treat of a steak.

How do you handle stress — can you recall any particularly squirm-making TV moments that you struggled with?

My most memorable were on T4. I misjudged it with Russell Crowe once, which was terrifying. He was running really late, looked really angry and the set layout meant I had to sit so close to him our knees were touching, which was so awkward. I’d read about him getting bored with the same questions, so I asked him a jokey question, which he totally hated and there was a long silence. He stared at me and hissed, ‘What’s the point of that question?’ After that it was downhill all the way.

On another occasion, I asked Jake Gyllenhaal how he’d react if he landed a romantic role, but the person he’d have to kiss was his sister, Maggie, who’s also an actor. Sadly he didn’t see the funny side and said it was a ‘disgusting’ idea. You just have to put those moments down to experience.

How do you cope with life’s ups and downs?

While I was at Cambridge, studying maths and natural sciences, I got through to the final round for a job presenting on T4, but just as I was about to quit university to take it, they chose someone else.

I was so crushed until my dad told me experiencing failure was good because it meant you appreciate success. I finished my degree and eventually worked at T4 anyway, which taught me about not giving up and realising life’s full of surprises — good and bad. My dad’s great advice is, ‘Get a good night’s sleep’ which is simple, but always helps.

  • Rick Edwards is supporting the Viral Cats campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of vaccinating our feline friends. Visit www.viralcats.co.uk

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