Ruby Wax MBE on tour

Liz Nicholls

Liz Nicholls chats to author, comedian & mental health campaigner Ruby Wax whose I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was UK tour has been extended by popular demand

Q. Hello Ruby. I loved your book, I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was – it helped me a lot. Do you think it’s your best?
“Oh thank you, that means a lot. Well, I’m not sure but being on tour with this book has been the most fun, so that’s a clue. And I love it when people talk to me afterwards to say they feel less alone. So there is a reward for me ending up in a mental institution, after all.”

Q. One thing I loved was that you discovered your love for your husband Ed, your ‘rock’…?
“Yes, we never say stuff like that. Eddie’s sitting in front of me now, and he’s thrilled. No, we’re not a lovey-dovey couple at all, that’s why it’s lasted so long. That and distance.”

Q. Did you enjoy studying for your master’s [in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy] at Oxford Uni?
“Oh yeah! My favourite expression now is ‘I went to Oxford’. I was in Summertown so it wasn’t quite the cloistered, beautiful Oxford that everybody pictures but I was so entranced by the subject, the mind, the neuroscience of it. I said to them: if you don’t let me in I’m going to study it anyway.”

Q. How important is ritual in your life?
“Really important. I don’t have enough because I don’t have religion – I wish I did. I have to do mindfulness every day. It’s a work-out for the mind otherwise I’m all over the place.

Q. You were so honest with Louis Theroux on his Grounded podcast and it led to you being on TV more again. How do you feel about him now?
“I think what a decent human being he is. I didn’t do that interview so I could get back on TV. But it was a sweet thing he did. And, really, the man knows how to interview. So that’s fine: I can see the attraction now.”

Q. You made your name interviewing people, and doing it well. How do you feel about Donald Trump now?
“Let’s not discuss it: it’s too upsetting.”

Q. Is there anyone you’d like to interview?
“Not really. The people who I’d really like to speak too are vary of a camera. In politics now you couldn’t get to anybody or get any answers out of them, so what’s the point?”

Q. Do you watch much telly?
“Only Netflix and Amazon. No terrestrial or news; too many weapons of mass distraction, it creates a sense of terror we don’t need. But Married At First Sight Australia is a masterpiece. I’ve got a fan group and won’t have anything said against it.”

Q. What’s your favourite book?
“Too hard but A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Falling Upward by Richard Rorh are both brilliant.”

Q. Who would you choose as your dream parents, as obsessed to the parents you had?
“Hmm. Maybe Barack and Michelle Obama? They’d be great”

Q. Would you have liked to have a sibling to help you feel less alone as a child?
“It would have been nice but I’ll never know. You might want a brother or sister but what if they just spent their life beating you up?”

Q. If you had a magic wand what would you wish for?
“That people would be less savage. But that’s not going to happen.”

Q. Do you enjoy being on tour?
“I’m happier being on tour than doing anything else. I love being on trains, in a different hotel every night, and I love exploring the town I’m in and chatting to people after the show. I’m curious and I like to investigate each town. Coping with real life, that’s the tricky bit, but never touring.”

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