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Fine Young Cannibals’ Roland Gift answers our health quiz

Fine Young Cannibals’  Roland Gift has answered our health quiz

Can you run up the stairs?

I always run up the stairs. You hear so many stories of people retiring to a bungalow near the sea and they’ve dropped dead inside a year — no stairs, you see. Tai chi, swimming and yoga keep me fit: I swim two kilometres every other day.

Get your five a day?

Yes. I try to go for what’s in season although we eat quite a bit of seaweed — not sure how that fits with the seasons. I can’t eat octopus these days. They’re too smart and I’m beginning to feel the same about all animals.

Ever dieted?

I’ve gone through periods of food fascism, including gluten free, but the best way to lose weight is to eat less. I don’t concern myself with weight — if I can’t get into pants from last year it’ll bother me into getting into shape.

Any family ailments?

‘Hereditaries’ can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. How you think has a direct effect on your health: winter comes and some people tell themselves they’re going to get a cold, and they do.

Worst illness/injury?

As a child from Birmingham I used to spend summer holidays in London. When I was ten I stayed in a commune in Islington and one evening I’d gone to some kind of political meeting followed by a social: after a couple of bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale and a dance I was drunk. I hitched myself up to sit on the wrought iron rail outside a friend’s house and fell backwards on to the concrete basement. I was concussed and lay in bed for three days before anyone realised I had a broken arm.

Pop any pills?

As a rule I don’t take supplements. If your food is good quality it should provide for your needs.

Had anything removed?

Only teeth. As a child I was taken to the dental hospital where they knocked me out with gas — waking up was like having a very bad hangover.

Ever been depressed?

I think I have but not recognised it. One of the first times was after my then girlfriend went back to her home town after her degree. For months I grew my hair and retreated into an overcoat, self-medicating with alcohol. She came for a visit and after some harsh words from her, I resurfaced.

Cope well with pain?

I’ve got a high threshold so long as it’s not doing me damage. I can go for months with a toothache, not because I don’t like my dentist, it’s just a bad habit.

Is sex important?

I do find I can get irritable these days especially if it gets overlooked.

Any phobias?

No phobias, more dislikes. I dislike flying — it’s to do with not being in control.

Like to live for ever?

I will.

  • Roland’s two-week UK tour starts in Hull on December 2. For tickets visit