Stars in their own eyes

Even the famous were young once. Elaine Carlton talked to four big names about youthful ambition

Chris Tarrant, Capital Radio breakfast show presenter: My only real dream as a boy was to be captain of the England football team but I more or less abandoned that particular dream when I changed schools at the age of 13 to discover that we only played rugby.

I never really had any career plan - I really have just drifted from one job to another. I did get a university degree in English, but I've driven lorries, worked as a security guard and I was a teacher in a particularly rough all-boys school in the East End of London. It was while I was there that I got matey with the husband of one of the teachers, who invited me to join him as a researcher at a small TV company. I then sent a letter to every single, small, local TV station in the UK pestering them for a job. It was an outrageous, brash letter which certainly couldn't be ignored. I told them I wanted to be the face in front of the camera.

ATV and Yorkshire TV both invited me up for an interview. In a moment of madness, ATV offered me a week's work on their nightly news programme. That was in 1972 and I've never been out of work since then, but I still don't have a career plan.

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