Mariella Frostrup has a voice, and she’s not afraid to use it. The British broadcast journalist and television author has been a fixture on screens and on speakers since the 90s, when she began hosting arts-and-culture programs. From 2002 to 2020, Frostrup was the regular presenter of the program Open Book, on BBC Radio, on which she interviewed authors and reviewed new works of fiction and nonfiction. She now has her own daily lunchtime show on Times Radio, covering everything from current affairs to arts and culture, and hosts the podcast Books To Live By, talking to guests such as Cate Blanchett, Dominic West and David Walliams about the literature that has influenced them most. She also writes a Sunday Times column by the same name, using books to solve readers’ dilemmas. Recently, she has been campaigning to raise awareness about menopause, and has authored Cracking the Menopause: While Keeping Yourself Together. Herewith, she reveals her key components of the good life. —Ashley Baker
Airline: British Airways. I have Stockholm syndrome—the worse they treat me, the more devoted I become!
Airport: Bristol. It means I’m home. You can pass through it in five minutes on a good day.
App: 1Password, for when senility strikes.
Bag: A small designer one, accompanied by a large canvas tote!
Bedtime: As early as possible. Bad days are when in the morning I want to get back in immediately!
Bike: I loved my Vespa back in the day. Nowadays, I prefer two speedy feet.
Birthday: So many of them have passed, I’ve started to ignore …
Boyfriend/girlfriend: My husband wouldn’t like it, but if you forced me, Camille Cottin.
Breakfast, weekday: Coffee and a Medjool date.
Breakfast, weekend: Whatever my kids don’t finish—bacon, pancakes, scrambled egg, avocado, you name it.
Child: Wouldn’t want to be one right now …
Cocktail: Yes, please. Early evening, with a girlfriend.
Cocktail appetizer: Best not—I’ll eat them all.
Couple: Nelson and Graça.
Disguise: Blonde hair!
Dress: Alex Eagle is my style guru; I dress down whenever possible.
Drive: Around Sicily, playing “Losing My Religion,” by R.E.M.
Enemy: Life’s too short.
Escape: Into a book or out to sea.
Family: Molly and Dan, the poles by which I navigate.
Friend: Natalie Rucellai, my savior so often I’ve lost count.
Good-bye: I prefer “au revoir.”
Hotel: Hotel de Russie.
“Like water off a duck’s back.”
Movie: My Life as a Dog.
Neighbor: Lady Catherine McCullin, my talking/walking partner.
Nonfiction book: Dictatorland: The Men Who Stole Africa, by Paul Kenyon.
Novel: Unless, by Carol Shields.
Pet: My walking buddies, Poukie and Bomb.
Piece of advice: “Like a baboon can’t see its own red bottom, so a human being can’t see their own shortcomings.”
Podcast: Wind of Change.
President: Mary Robinson and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Restaurant: The River Café in London.
Second spouse and forever spouse: Jason McCue, my safe harbor.
Singer: Nina Simone.
Television series: The Bureau.
Theme song to your life: “Shut Up and Dance,” by Walk the Moon.
Time of day: Early morning.
Toast: With Marmite.
Vacation: As often as possible.
Weekend bag: Bill Amberg.
Work of art: The “Almond Blossoms” series, by Vincent van Gogh.