The comic turned quiz host tells The Sunday Post about his mastery of Elvis trivia, the difficulties of parenthood and getting married to his gran…
Did you have to get into quizmaster mode and buy a spangly jacket to prepare for The Switch?
Some people can wear a spangly jacket and look like a million dollars. I can take a million-dollar spangly jacket and look like a dollar! I try to stick to the less adventurous outfits.
Do you like quiz shows?
These days it’s one of the few kinds of programmes the entire family can watch. Television used to be a communal experience, nowadays everyone watches what they want on their own screens. It’s nice for everyone to gather round and participate in a quiz together. That’s the role of quiz shows now – quiz shows and David Attenborough programmes.
What is your quiz strength?
I don’t want to say – if I pick one I’ll immediately get the next 10 questions on that topic wrong! If I had to be specific I’d consider myself an expert on Elvis movies and James Bond. There are some James Bond questions on The Switch – the sad part was I wasn’t allowed to answer them.
When did you decide you wanted to get into entertainment?
I think I was about five or six. I feel I was extraordinarily fortunate to get to do something I always wanted to do. Overwhelmingly most of the world have to work for a living, so I try to be very humble about this.
You’re a dad to a teenager – how tough is that these days?
Every part of parenthood is a privilege. The greatest challenge now in parenting, possibly, is the number of distractions has increased. How we communicate was very different when I was a child, and I think that trying to ensure your child grows up balanced it’s much more difficult now. I think we have less control.
What do you like to do as a family?
The things you do together define you as a family unit and that includes sitting round the television. If it’s being competitive – in the friendliest way possible – then that can help. Luckily, none of us are bad losers.
Your wife, Meera, is also a comedy actor – are you ever competitive?
One of the reasons our relationship has worked so well is we saw the value in being a team. With The Kumars At No 42, a show I created, I gave Meera the funniest part. I used to get people coming up to me apologising and saying the grandmother was the funniest character. That’s great! You were supposed to like her.
Sanjeev is presenting ITV’s brand new quiz show The Switch, which is on Mon-Fri at 3pm.