‘After hosting the Big Family Show, I’m finally off to Israel!’

‘After hosting the Big Family Show, I’m finally off to Israel!’

Salt beef or cholent? Smoked salmon or cream cheese? Get to know the haymishe side of Big Family Show & Expo co-host Nick Ferrari, ahead of the big day on Sunday 17 March.

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

It’s hard to imagine not waking up to Nick Ferrari.

From 7am to 10am on week day mornings, his dulcet tones on LBC ease Londoners into whatever angst-ridden issue is dominating the headlines.

As a newspaper veteran Nick knows how to make a splash on air and he has entertained us with numerous memorable encounters such as exposing the miscalculations of former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott who had budgeted £300,000 for 10,000 new police officers.

“What are you paying them?” queried Nick who already knew the answer. Always on his toes, even though he is sitting down Nick knows how to make mincemeat of guests with opposing views, but is much kinder to callers – or at least he tries to be.

David Cameron – remember him – once suggested that if he stood as the Tory candidate for London mayor he would win, but rather than risk it Nick has remained on air while sharing his talent with TV, most recently as a regular on Sky’s The Pledge.

So what else would you like to know about Nick Ferrari…?

How long have you been on LBC and what do you love about it? 
Records hadn’t begun when I joined LBC, but it was around the time the ravens arrived at the Tower of London! It does, I know, sound corny but it really, truly is the listeners. You simply never know what they’re going to say, or what’s going to happen next. I remember when I was in an episode of Extras with Ricky Gervais and he came to the studio, listened for a while and said some of it was comedy so brilliant it could never be scripted.

Who is your favourite Jewish caller?
This is a very moving one. It was an elderly woman from Temple Fortune. We were discussing the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day and she called in. She said: “I was a 14-year-old girl imprisoned in Auschwitz. Can you imagine what I went through?” That chilling line has never left me.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron, hosted by Nick Ferrari.

Have you been to Israel and if not why not?
No. Twice it was arranged (OMG! one occasion with Boris Johnson) and on both occasions just days before I was due there were significant uprisings! A working trip for a charity is being planned for later summer, so watch out!

If you make it to Jerusalem what will you write on the paper you put into the Kotel?
A prayer giving thanks for, and asking for, continued safety and security of my family and loved ones.

Have you ever been to a Jewish wedding?
No. But if any insanely Jewish lady is reading this…

What was your best year in Fleet Street and why?
I loved Fleet Street, but truthfully probably the year The Sun left it and went to Wapping. It was the start of a glorious revolution.

What do you like on your bagel? Smoked salmon naturally. But no cream cheese, thank you.

What topic in the news would you most like to drop from your show? Terrorist atrocities and paedophile rings.

Will you be watching the Eurovision Song Contest live from Tel Aviv? 

I won’t be watching, but my favourite Eurovision winner has to be Bucks Fizz. I reported on them for the Sunday Mirror and then The Sun and they were smashing folk.

How do you wake up in the morning and what time is that?
At 5.30am a member of my staff quietly enters the room and gently strokes the side of my face while the sound of whales plays in the background. My bath is then run and the newspapers freshly ironed.

Finish the line: “If I Were A Richman…….”
“I’d get the same tax lawyers as Starbucks.”

Do you get fan mail? Best Example?
Both fan and hate mail. Not sure if it qualifies as best, but I have been in receipt of pictures from a few women of parts of their anatomy only their lovers should see! I’ve no idea why! And I’ve certainly never asked for it.

Salt beef or cholent?
Salt beef. My late dad worked at the Daily Mirror when it was in Holborn and he used to take me to a restaurant called The Nosherie in Hatton Garden. The salt beef sandwiches were simply out of this world.

Magically, your heritage reveals that you are Jewish, what name would you choose for yourself?
Anything that goes as well as “Nick” in front of the name Ferrari.

You are invited to a Passover dinner, who would you like the other seven guests to be? 

The Duke of Edinburgh, Angela Merkel, Jennifer Aniston and Kim Jong Un would be at Nick Ferrari’s Passover seder

Assuming they have to be living: Jeff Besoz, the Duke of Edinburgh, Kim Jong Un, Angela Merkel, Alan Carr, Julian Assange and Jennifer Aniston. She’s sitting next to me, by the way.

Best piece of advice you have been given?
Try to maintain a sense of humour. And never be the last to leave the green room.

A tourist asks you to recommend two unique things to do in London?
Be sure to stand on Waterloo Bridge as dusk falls; a truly stunning and unique view. And, finances permitting, eat out as much as you can. The restaurant scene in this town has gone from being worse than the worse public school in the 1950s, to being the buzziest around.

If you could ask any question to a living politician who and what would it be?
Emmanuel Macron. “Why do you suppose more and more of the country are starting to despise you?”

Barbra Streisand or Goldie Hawn? And why?
Goldie Hawn. I remember watching her as a boy in a wonderfully anarchic TV show called Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In. She was tremendous.

If you weren’t a journalist and presenter, what would you be and why?
As the Chief Rabbi post isn’t currently vacant (and I don’t think I qualify) I’ll go for conductor. Of music by the way, not buses.

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