James Blunt: ‘I walk up to strangers and tell them they’re beautiful’
Born in Hampshire, James Blunt, 47, became an officer in the British army and served with Nato forces during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. In 2004, he released his debut album, Back to Bedlam, which went on to become the UK’s biggest-selling album of the decade. On 19 November he will release his greatest hits, The Stars Beneath My Feet (2004-2021). Next February he will tour the UK. He is married with two children and lives in Ibiza.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
People who are slow.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
My third time playing at Glastonbury, I crowd surfed, but the stage was too high to climb back on to. I started shouting at a guy on the stage to help me up – but then realised he was the BBC cameraman and I was shouting, “Help me!” to the nation.
Describe yourself in three words
James Cucking Funt (sic).
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My hair, face, nose, neck, stomach, legs and feet. But I have great guns.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Alison Hammond. I did Bake Off with her and she is just awesome.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I occasionally listen to James Blunt.
What is your most unappealing habit?
Walking up to strangers on the London underground and telling them they’re beautiful.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A lawyer. I did work experience and was sent to the public gallery at the high court. The man in the dock was a 50-year-old accused of buggering a cat on the Metropolitan line. I decided to become a musician instead.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Someone on Twitter, who no one has heard of before or after, told me that I was no longer relevant.
Would you choose fame or anonymity?
From experience, I would seriously advise rich and anonymous.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
To the British public generally. They know why.
What does love feel like?
Like nothing else, I guess.
If not yourself, who would you most like to be?
Leonardo DiCaprio seems to have a fun life.
When did you last cry, and why?
I put out a song called Monsters on my last album, about my father’s illness – he had stage four chronic kidney disease – and a handful of people offered him a new kidney. People’s kindness really touched me.
How often do you have sex?
I thought this was the Guardian, not the Daily Mail.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
If my children could change their own nappies.
What has been your closest brush with the law?
Being ex-army, I’m institutionalised. I don’t break the law.
Would you rather have more sex, money or fame?
Thanks, but I have enough already.