A quick chat with Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston

The presenters talk brainpower, turning 40 and reuniting on TV for the new Five game show Britain’s Best Brain

So, tell us about your new show, Britain’s Best Brain?

Zoe “It’s novel for a game show because it tests contestants on five different parts of the brain – from risk to coordination – to find the overall best brain. My dad laughed when I said I was hosting it. He said, ‘You?'”

Which of the challenges are you best at?

Jamie “I was good at the recognition round but I couldn’t do the gyroscope, which spins you round to test coordination. The mental arithmetic has also reinforced my lifelong fear of maths. I failed my O Level so many times it became a GCSE.”

It’s nearly 10 years since you last worked together on The Priory. What has it been like to reunite?

Zoe “It was lovely, like putting on an old shoe! I have had other TV ‘husbands’ – including some who have been a nightmare – but Jamie was always my favourite… although Mark Durden-Smith came close.”

Jamie “Ignore that, I’m her favourite. To work together again was a breeze. It’s not like work really, even though it’s a more grown-up show for us.”

Do you still have fond memories of doing Live & Kicking?

Zoe “That was the most fun I’ve ever had doing television. My favourite part was we when we dressed up in silly outfits and did skits with Trevor and Simon.”

Jamie “It was lovely to do because it felt so informal and chaotic. We would do things in the Match of the Day studio or wander through Bill Giles’ weather report.”

You both turn 40 next year. How do you feel about that?

Jamie “It’s still youngish, isn’t it? I didn’t enjoy a huge chunk of my thirties. I’ve been waiting for my forties.”

Zoe “I have asked my husband Norman if, on my 40th, I can go away and get drunk, and he replied, ‘As long as you come home a few days later’.”

What do you watch on TV?

Jamie “FlashForward is really exciting, but I watch a lot of design and property shows too.”

Zoe “Norman and our son Woody love Traffic Cops, which Jamie narrates, but I love Strictly and The X Factor and whodunits, which drive Norman mad. Grey’s Anatomy is my favourite, though. My mum comes round and we get cakes – it’s brilliant.”

Zoe, would you ever do another reality show?

Zoe “I did Strictly because I love dancing, but I couldn’t do the jungle. They asked me, but I couldn’t eat kangaroo or take the rejection of being so boring I was voted out the first day.”

Jamie “That’s like when I joined Twitter. I couldn’t bear the fact you could see how popular you were by how many followers you had. I had to stop because I was using it as a rod to beat myself with.”

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