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You can tell a lot about a person from their food secrets | Grace Dent

Comfort Eating, our restaurant critic’s new weekly podcast, is a fascinating, funny glimpse behind closed doors. What are the snacks that see her celebrity guests though tough times?

My new Guardian podcast, Comfort Eating, in which I talk to famous folk about their food secrets, is my dream opportunity for an honest chat. Interviewing celebrities is always a bit of a tussle: they arrive semi-spikily, bearing lists of things they don’t want to talk about, or they don’t want to be there at all, or they’ve been a prisoner all day in a hotel suite, repeating dull anecdotes about their latest project.

Many times, the most exhilarating part of any TV interview comes right before the cameras roll. That’s when the audio person asks, “OK, quickly, just tell me what you had for breakfast?” It’s not a real question even; it’s just the time-worn way audio people nudge celebs to make a noise so they can tinker with the sound levels. But it’s the bit I love the most – and the bit when famous people are most off-guard. “Two Creme Eggs … I can never stop at one. They remind me of being a little boy,” one gym-honed British thesp replied. Or, from the mouth of a sylph-like sex symbol: “Ritz biscuits with Primula cheese and Branston pickle. I carry them in my suitcase to keep me sane.”

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