My dream guest list for dinner? Fred, Elvis and JFK

Claudia Redmond - A broadcast journalist living in Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead. Picture for Question Time in the HeraldExpress.
Claudia Redmond - A broadcast journalist living in Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead. Picture for Question Time in the HeraldExpress.
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What’s your earliest memory?

Bouncing up and down in my playpen to the music of Eddy Grant and John Hall from 1960s group The Equals, who hit the top of the charts in 1968 with Baby Come Back. They were friends of my dad and were all jamming in the living room.

What do you wish they’d taught you at school, but didn’t?

The importance of networking and never being afraid to put yourself forward for a job, even if you get knocked back.

Ignore what you’re doing now – if you could do any job in the world, what would it be and why?

Best-selling author writing lovely stories like Maeve Binchy. I would spend my time on a laptop overlooking Garnish Island in Glengariff, County Cork, bringing the characters in my head to life. Celebrities would attend my latest book launch, sip champagne and tell me how wonderful I was! Lol!

Of all the places you’ve been in your life, which would you recommend to a stranger?

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India. It is the most romantic place I have ever visited and a stunning structure, with a beautiful love story attached to it.

If you could pass one new law tomorrow, what would it be and why?

Tricky question... it would have to be something that would help the elderly people in this country.

So many have contributed so much and yet are left to live alone and often in horrible conditions, this has to change.

You can invite three people – living or dead, from any period – round for dinner. Who are they and why?

Fred Astaire because I grew up watching him dance so elegantly in the black and white movies – my grannie met him in Cork and said he was a wonderful man.

Elvis Presley because my dad used to sing like him and that is why my mum fell for him! I would love him to serenade me over dinner.

John F Kennedy because despite his failings he was still the first Catholic President in the United States and left his mark, also my kids go to John F Kennedy School so I would ask him to come along to an assembly and leave a plaque!

If you were stuck on Death Row, what would you pick for your final meal?

A big roast dinner complete with home-made gravy and extra roast potatoes with some Kerrygold butter.

And if you could write your own epitaph or come up with famous last words in advance, what would you pick?

I would have to steal Spike Milligan’s fantastic epitaph: “I told you I was ill!”

How do you relax?

Going to the theatre, even though it is often in a professional capacity as I report for the arts and entertainment section of BBC Online.

It is such a treat to interview performers such as Alan Cumming, Adam Garcia, Michael Flatley and stars of The Royal and English National Ballet among others.

The theatre is a great place to totally lose yourself and laugh or cry, a total escape.

If you had to give up something tomorrow, what would you find it hardest to live without?

My family! They are my rock and I love them so much, my life would be meaningless without them surrounding me. We share so much laughter and great times together, life is such an adventure.

What’s the most important lesson that life has taught you so far?

To believe in myself and my abilities, I recently studied part-time for an MA in Theatre Studies (Performance and the City) at Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London – it was tough but I managed it.

My Grannie Kearney used to always say “If you don’t ask you don’t get!” and also “You are just as good as anyone!” and the most important one – “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face!” Grannie was a great philosopher!

Favourite films of all time?

Saturday Night Fever! Loved that film so much I even went to disco dancing lessons at the time and got a gold medal for my Night Fever routine and appeared on a BBC show. John Travolta was so gorgeous in that film!

Also I love weepies – Terms of Endearment, Beaches, Steel Magnolias, The Champ – and for laughs you can’t really beat Jim Carrey in any film.