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Phil Collins: The last time I cried was when my marriage broke up

"I wish my face wasn’t as round, I wish I had hair" "I wish my face wasn’t as round, I wish I had hair" WENN

Phil Collins, 64, divides his time between the US and Europe. He has five children from three previous marriages.

Not a lot of people know this but I’m very good at... painting. I haven’t done it recently but when I lived in Geneva I used to enjoy painting water and boats, as well as a village on the other side of the lake, in watercolours. 

My best friend is… I’ve been with my manager Tony Smith for 40 years but I don’t know if I’d call him a best friend, and yet he knows more about me than most other people. Ronnie Caryl is someone I’ve known since being 13, so he’s probably the person I’m most at ease with. He’s in my band now.

My favourite TV show is... Extras. Fawlty Towers as well, and I always quote from it, but Extras I thought was a great series.

My perfect evening is... watching Extras! I’m quite happy staying at home with the boys these days.

I’d like to say sorry to... I think my dad more than my mum because I felt I didn’t see him as often as I could have done before he died, as I lived in Switzerland. You think they’re always going to be there. My dad died when I was quite young and I wrote a song about it, All Of My Life. 

My first kiss was with... I think she was called Linda. She was a Greek girl and I was about 11. As I remember, I kissed her first. I liked her. 

My biggest regret is... Sometimes it’s not spending more time with my father or my older children when they were younger. But I don’t think about that often, as I don’t want to beat myself up about it. I don’t really have regrets.

The one thing I’d change about myself is... I wish my face wasn’t as round, I wish I had hair. I wish I were a little slimmer. I should work out more but I always find excuses. The level of activity and the fitness that I used to get on the road just by running around the stage – well, I just don’t have any more. 

The last time I cried was… when my last marriage broke up. I was in New York and I would quite often cry. I listened to music that actually depressed me. But I cry if I watch a movie as well, I get completely taken in by it. I can cry if someone wins a gold medal, as I feel good for them. But actual proper crying, as in distraught, was then.

The first record I ever bought was… I think it was the Joe Brown record, It Only Took A Minute. I would have been about 10.

It’s not good for my image but I like... being nice. You’re told you should be a bit edgy and it’s viewed as not good to be nice. It’s crazy isn’t it? I don’t know how many people actually think that. 

If I could pass any law I would... I think it would be nice to have a smile day – for people to just be a bit nicer to each other and a have bit more compassion. 

I drive... a Range Rover. The shop I can’t walk past is… I usually buy clothes from Armani. I don’t go there very often but when I do, it’s expensive.

The most expensive thing I’ve ever splashed out on is… Apart from Jennifer Lopez’s old house in Miami? A single item was probably a Davy Crockett rifle. That was quite a lot of money.

My perfect Sunday is... knowing that it’s Sunday and doing nothing. Although I do that pretty much every day! Sundays have a weird feeling about them. You may remember Tony Hancock on a Sunday afternoon who was very funny.

One of them would ask, "What time is it?" "It’s five minutes after you last asked me." Sunday afternoon has that feeling. I don’t particularly like Sundays. 

My favourite place in Britain is... the Tower of London. I went round there for my 60th birthday and it’s so impressive.

My last holiday was to… For the last three years I’ve splashed out on the same boating holiday for the family and the crew know us now, so it’s not like work for them when we’re there. We were in Greece over the summer and this year they organised the "Spirit Olympics!" Lily [his daughter from his second marriage] and the boys are great. After a few days it becomes like brother and sister, "You’re really annoying me!" kind of thing, which is really great to see. 

I’m currently reading... I started reading Stephen Fry’s More Fool Me, but I left it in Miami. And I’ve just been bought Peter O’Toole’s biography.

The best day of my life was… today! Or I could be facetious and say tomorrow.

If I had half an hour left on Earth… I guess I’d phone everybody to say goodbye if they weren’t coming with me.

© Sunday Express, by Rachel Corcoran

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