Paul Merton interview

Are you romantic? Definitely! I like to surprise Suki with flowers. I'm endlessly amazed at how much she appreciates them. It's wonderful to see the reaction you get from the unexpected appearance of a bunch of blooms.

My loves
Oysters.
When I used to do the Edinburgh Festival there was a bunch of guys selling fresh oysters and I'd eat ten daily – marvellous.

Portmeirion. I visited for the first time ten years ago and was amazed by the architecture, designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village.

Tottenham Hotspur FC. As a kid I liked Jimmy Greaves, who was playing for them back then, because he was funny. I've supported them since.

Silent films. I'm so pleased to see them make a comeback with The Artist.

My hates
Swede.
I'll never forget my first experience of swede. It was at school and I thought I was getting mashed potato. I've never got over it.

Flying. I was flying to the Maldives in 2000 when the plane went through turbulence – after that, I didn't fly for four years. Then a job came up in India, so I did a simulator flight and learnt about what goes on in the cockpit. I'm fine now.    

Canned laughter. If you became a comedian in the 80s you had to work the circuit and make people laugh. Canned laughter is cheating.

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