■ The presenter, 39, talks about his new radio show, dropping his trousers and England’s World Cup chances
What are you up to on your new Absolute radio show?
Me oversharing things from my life and lots of fun from the guests. I’ve never allowed the guests just to come on and peddle their wares for free. We make them earn it. Several years ago I stopped doing junkets with big movie stars as you’re given four minutes with someone sitting in a heavily branded room and there’s nothing in that for my listeners. We also give away gig tickets.
You once worked in Greenwich Market — what was that like?
I didn’t work on a stall, I worked in a vintage clothes shop on the market. The owners gave me a great musical education — we played a lot of Bowie and The Who in the shop as we got a lot of mods in. And the owners instilled a good work discipline in me. I was 20 and they said I had to have things in the diary to do every day for work or every day becomes your weekend — and while sitting at home playing the PlayStation all day on a Wednesday might sound nice, their advice from all those years ago is still really good advice because there’s a lot of downtime if you’re trying to become a broadcaster.
Is there an assumption that anyone off the TV can do a radio show?
There was a time when I was a TV presenter who did a radio show and now I’m proudly a radio broadcaster who does a bit of TV. When I got into radio I started doing a proper live show with people getting involved and was bitten by the bug immediately. I’m not particularly worried about what any of the other breakfast show hosts are doing. You need to run your own race. You have to make your own show.
Did you do any memorable shoots during your time as a model?
I did a spring/summer shoot in Cornwall in January. I was trying to look buff in T-shirts and shorts but in reality I was a skinny, shivering guy with goose pimples everywhere and his penis climbing up inside himself. Then I was sent on a swimwear shoot, which I didn’t realise until I got to the casting, and we had to stand in a paddling pool and drop our trousers. It was quite humiliating. I’m glad broadcasting came along when it did.
There are people who are loved by the nation who are real tossers to the runners on their shows
You’re a footie fan. Why do you support Charlton Athletic?
I grew up a ten-minute walk from the ground. If I wasn’t at the football I could hear if we’d scored from the roar of the crowd. We spent seven glorious seasons in the Premier League and having the Manchester United coach driving around SE7 was quite captivating. The last few years in League One hasn’t been as appealing but that’s football.
Who’s your favourite footballer?
As with all Charlton Athletic fans, a hero of mine is Clive Mendonca for his heroics in the 1998 play-off final win against Sunderland that took Charlton to the Premier League for the first time.
What are England’s chances at the World Cup?
Every time there’s a tournament I utter the same two things. Firstly I think, ‘England can do something’, quickly followed by, ‘you always say this and it never happens!’ This time, I genuinely hope only sentence one will be necessary! I know England have been dogged with fantastic Premier League players who can’t seem to do it for the national team. This time, with youth on their side and what I think is a very pleasing confidence that I can see from the team, we might see them turning it on in Russia.
Who are your favourite pundits?
My favourite is Jamie Redknapp because I know him and he’ll kill me if I don’t mention him. Paul Merson is also brilliant — while he makes fun of himself and he cannot pronounce all of the words he wants to, beneath that clownish self-effacing exterior he really understands football and his opinions are normally spot on.
You got married recently — how did it go?
It went really well — there was no Uncle Knobhead, no one got too drunk and we only invited our closest friends. We got married on a Friday in front of family and the next day we had a party. It didn’t consume our lives for a year, we did it quite quickly.
What lessons has your showbiz career taught you?
To be nice to people. There are people who are loved by the nation who are real tossers to the runners on their TV shows. So be nice, be punctual and wear a blazer for everything. When I worked in Greenwich I’d go to the pub afterwards and there was an older man called Lawrence who used to prop up the bar and I’d buy him a beer. He once said: ‘David, always wear a blazer because if nothing else you’re more likely to get upgraded on an aeroplane.’
Dave Berry presents the Absolute Radio breakfast show from 6am to 10am, absoluteradio.co.uk