146 Questions with… Dolly Alderton

Our flagship profile series is back.

Four issues ago, we shocked the world with an interview format like no other – well, quite like one other, but as we continue to insist, twice as good and twice as prestigious as Vogue’s puny ‘73 Questions’. Our last subject, gargantuan goal machine Adebayo Akinfenwa, set a pretty high bar for both quality and quantity, clearing through 12 of our impertinent questions in the allotted 146 seconds he had to answer them. Can the Beast be beaten?

Step forward, our latest contestant: Dolly Alderton. Speaking to us amid a hectic publicity schedule for her latest novel, Dolly was kind enough to give up just over two and a half minutes of her time. Sadly, we were stupid enough to waste that time with a sparkling new set of 146 questions.

  1. Introduce yourself, in a word. Lush. 
  2. How are you? Stressed out because I just cannot operate my iPhone, and there’s been a massive drama with the iPhone iCloud backups and I just cannot believe that my entire life has become dependent on this one device and I feel like I’m in a toxic co-dependent relationship with it that I never agreed to.
  3. Who is your favourite Spice Girl? Ginger.
  4. Who is your favourite England manager? I literally could just name any man’s name. They’re usually two first names, so I’m going to guess one, like: Gareth John. 
  5. Who is your favourite Bond? Sean Connery.
  6. What’s your favourite train line? The First Great Western, although I’ll never forgive them for removing the buffet carriage. 
  7. Have you ever bought cryptocurrency? Absolutely not.
  8. Name one beloved sitcom that you do not like at all. How I Met Your Mother.
  9. Where do you stand on Scottish independence? I think we should leave it up to them. 
  10. If you throw up in a pub, club or bar, should you be liable to pay for cleanup? Yes.
  11. Is it acceptable for adults to watch cartoons? Only if they’re committed stoners.
  12. Is IQ a flawed measurement of intelligence? Yeah, definitely.
  13. Why don’t people go to the theatre anymore? Because it’s so shit and boring, and expensive. 
  14. How many of society’s current problems would you attribute to Tony Blair? Ooh, hahaha. Oh no! This question! I would say three ones, and they are all massive, but only three. 
  15. Have you ever met a spy? No. 
  16. Why is it wrong for a bodybuilder to use steroids? Erm, because, erm… you know, I really can’t muster an opinion on that. 

And everything we didn’t ask:

  1. Would you ever use steroids?
  2. How long is too long to go without replying to a friend?
  3. If cannibalism was socially normalised and ethical in its production, would you be minded to try human meat?
  4. Have you ever headbutted anyone?
  5. Are people who call George the best Beatle liars or just not sufficiently clued up on Paul and John’s solo stuff?
  6. NATO, what are we saying – yay(to) or nay(to)?
  7. What’s your standard order from a Chinese restaurant?
  8. Would you ever buy an electric car?
  9. Why did people stop caring about organic produce?
  10. Is pet ownership inherently cruel?
  11. Do you know of anyone who has ever tipped a cow?
  12. Do you read newsletters?
  13. Would you subscribe to a newsletter?
  14. Would you subscribe to our newsletter?
  15. People don’t seem to have credit cards anymore. Why is that?
  16. Do you think you will see a state secede from the USA in your lifetime?
  17. With six months of elite, Olympic-standard training, how fast do you think you could run the 100m?
  18. How do I get into Berghain?
  19. Beautiful world, where are you?
  20. Are lawyers paid too much?
  21. What is your star sign?
  22. Do you feel an expectation to make more of Christmas than you typically would, in order to make your loved ones feel better about it?
  23. Did Margaret Thatcher have girl power?
  24. Did she effectively utilise girl power by funnelling money into paramilitary death squads in Northern Ireland?
  25. Are ghosts real?
  26. Single or double?
  27. Do you think I need to bring a jacket?
  28. Is the correct answer to any agony aunt problem to just grow up?
  29. Do you think Keir Starmer goes down on girls?
  30. When will people talk about how fit Keir Starmer’s wife is?
  31. What if it never wears off?
  32. Did OJ do it?
  33. When will they finish the Old Street roundabout?
  34. Should Malala get a divorce?
  35. Will podcasts permanently displace radio?
  36. Marcel Proust once wrote; ‘we are able to find everything in our memory, which is like a dispensary or chemical laboratory in which chance steers our hand sometimes to a soothing drug and sometimes to a dangerous poison’. With that in mind, did I turn the straighteners off this morning?
  37. Did you turn your straighteners off this morning?
  38. Are you sure?
  39. When was the last time you used a physical map for directions?
  40. Why is Pret so fucking expensive all of a sudden?
  41. American literature or British literature post-1900. One has to go, forever. Which one?
  42. What would be the optimal speed for being hit by a car, if you had to pick?
  43. Would you rather be hit by the front or the back of a car, at the speed above?
  44. How many times have you wet yourself, to the nearest ten?
  45. Have you ever shat yourself?
  46. When CEOs and the like give interviews saying they work 100 hours a week… do you believe them? No one can work that hard!
  47. Least favourite country. Don’t think about it. Just say it. What is it?
  48. The musician Dean Blunt once said that ‘Berlin is a coffee shop for people that have failed in their own city.’ Do you agree?
  49. Are you somewhat troubled by Elton John being termed a ‘national treasure?’
  50. What do you think Tony Blair’s iPhone password is?
  51. How many of your immediate family listen to Rory Stewart and Alistair Campbell’s podcast?
  52. Butler. Cook. Driver. Bodyguard. You can only have one: which one do you choose?
  53. Are balding men right to be anxious?
  54. Do you think it’s acceptable to dodge a bit of tax?
  55. What was the last bit of furniture you bought?
  56. What’s the best cure for heartbreak?
  57. What’s the best cure for a hangover?
  58. Do you reckon the LAPD know who shot Biggie?
  59. Do you reckon the FBI know who shot JFK?
  60. Would there ever be a justifiable case for assassinating a public figure?
  61. How many XL Bullys do you reckon you could kill with a single grenade? (It’s a question of ballistics, if anything.)
  62. What’s one thing from your childhood that you now recognise as racist but did not notice at the time?
  63. Have you ever been to M&M World?
  64. Polyamory: chic or unchic?
  65. Is true crime inherently exploitative?
  66. What discontinued food product should be brought back, by law?
  67. Do you reckon Prince Phillip shagged the Queen in anything but the missionary position?
  68. David Walliams! What the fuck! How much longer will this go on for?
  69. How often do you shoplift from supermarkets?
  70. Would you like to own a gun?
  71. Come on you know you would. A sexy little pistol?
  72. What was your dissertation about?
  73. Tell us a joke. Go on. A little gag.
  74. What do you think Kerry Katona’s up to these days?
  75. Is life too short?
  76. The current human life expectancy is 68.9 years. What should it be?
  77. Who’s the funniest person you’ve ever met?
  78. Who’s the funniest person you’ve never met?
  79. Who’s the most disappointing celebrity you’ve ever met?
  80. Who’s the most disappointing celebrity you’ve never met?
  81. Camberwell: why do people keep moving there?
  82. What’s your credit score?
  83. What’s my credit score?
  84. Should Gail’s Bakery be tried at The Hague for their war crimes?
  85. Given the choice and the opportunity, do you believe you would sign a contract with a Saudi Arabian club if you were a professional footballer?
  86. Do you have a finsta?
  87. Can we see it?
  88. Aw, why not?
  89. Does consciousness continue after physical death?
  90. When did you last have a really good BNO?
  91. Speaking from a sartorial and apolitical perspective, is it fair to say that Colonel Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi is the most fashionable dictator in recent history?
  92. Who do you think would win in a fight, Hanya Yanagihara or Colleen Hoover?
  93. How many cold lagers could Karl Lagerfeld fell?
  94. Sometimes when you’re in a pub toilet washing your hands and a stranger is at the sink next to you, do you wash your hands for a bit longer to prove to them you’re normal?
  95. Which round do you think Hitler would have got to in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Chris Tarrant era, not Clarkson)?
  96. Have you ever met a woman who has a ‘thing’ for brutalist architecture?
  97. Gun to your head: Which Super Mario character do you fuck?
  98. In retrospect, do you think we were actually a bit harsh on Gordon Brown?
  99. What was your screentime this week?
  100. When you have a toothache is the pain in your mouth or in your brain?
  101. Do you have any recurring nightmares?
  102. What’s the worst meal you’ve ever eaten in a restaurant?
  103. Should shoplifting be decriminalised?
  104. What’s the best Lost Mary flavour?
  105. When you cook pasta, do you save a little bit of the pasta water to add to the sauce afterwards, or is that just bullshit made up by cooking bloggers?
  106. Does evil exist?
  107. How long should I wait to text back?
  108. Have any of your friends ever had an ugly baby, but you pretended you thought it wasn’t ugly because you didn’t want to hurt their feelings?
  109. Is property ownership inherently theft?
  110. What’s the most drunk you’ve ever been?
  111. Why are McFlurries so bad now?
  112. In a modern, democratic society what is the role of government?
  113. What did you have for lunch?
  114. Why does suffering exist?
  115. Do great minds really think alike?
  116. Is it OK to tell your spouse off for leaving a laptop charger on the floor when your own shite litters the entire house?
  117. Would you donate your organs to charity?
  118. Would you donate a Hammond organ to charity?
  119. Has it been long enough that we can admit Your Highness was an excellent name for a medieval-set stoner comedy?
  120. Reincarnation was first postulated by Vedic scriptures around 1000–500 BCE. If the theory is true, then since Earth’s population was around 100 million at that time, where have the extra 7,999,900 people come from?
  121. Do you think the participants in Soccer Aid give a shit?
  122. Dried flowers. Wax melts. Potato skins. What will be the next overpriced lifestyle fad repurposed from the rubbish of existing products?
  123. Many hands make light work. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Which is it?
  124. There should be some form of speed limit on the autobahn, surely?
  125. They make burgers too big to eat nowadays don’t they?
  126. They say things you’ve lost are always in the last place you look, but that’s because you won’t continue to look for them once found, no?
  127. Why am I like this?
  128. What’s wrong with me?
  129. Do you think collectors of Nazi memorabilia are unfairly demonised?
  130. What’s your book about?

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