Interview

Sunday with Kirsty Wark: ‘The Isle of Arran is my joyous place’

The news presenter plays tennis, walks on the beach and relaxes with wine and cards

‘I’m only truly at peace when I know where the kids are’: Kirsty Wark.
‘I’m only truly at peace when I know where the kids are’: Kirsty Wark. Photograph: Scott Garfitt/Rex/Shutterstock
‘I’m only truly at peace when I know where the kids are’: Kirsty Wark. Photograph: Scott Garfitt/Rex/Shutterstock

Last modified on Tue 15 Dec 2020 15.39 EST

What’s your morning routine? I’ve played Sunday morning tennis for 18 years – I’m up at 8am to check the weather from the window of my Glasgow bedroom. Quite often in Scotland it isn’t glorious sunshine, but we get out come rain, hail or shine. Our match is a ritual, however stressful the week has been, however hungover we are.

How do you relax? By taking the ferry to the Isle of Arran, where I set my first book. I walk along the empty beach at Blackwaterfoot, before visiting Brodick Castle’s gardens. I’ve been going for years, it’s my joyous place. I feel mmy shoulders ease down as I drop a few gears on arrival.

Do you work? I’ve turned down plenty of weekend jobs; there’s no value in filling your head with news permanently. And especially now, with work being so intense, I need time away. Looking out over a vista I can take a breath knowing I don’t need to think about the pandemic’s every development.

Your Sunday uniform? An oversized men’s Bella Freud sweater, black trousers and Timberlands. On Sundays I dress to relax. Still, I always have to bear in mind what I’ll want to wear on Newsnight, in London, the following week: it can’t be caked in mud, or at the bottom of my Glasgow laundry basket.

Sunday evening? A game of cards, dinner and wine (less than the previous evening) accompanied by Joni Mitchell. Then I think about the week ahead – reading the news sites and packing. Leaving for London on a Sunday night feels wrong. If I have to, I’ll take the sleeper train – a treat to take the edge off.

Last thing you check on your phone? Last-minute messages to check the kids are OK, even though they’re 20 and 30. I’m only truly at peace when I know exactly where they are. And then I’ll do some online clothes shopping, playing my part to help the economy.

Kirsty presents The Reunion Christmas special – Strictly Come Dancing at 9pm on Christmas Eve, repeated at 9pm on Christmas Day, on BBC Radio 4

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