Bill Bailey: 'I don't bother with unsustainable fitness goals like … – The Telegraph

The comedian and musician on his lively three-generation household, and the calming influence of his pets
How do famous names spend their precious downtime? In our weekly My Saturday column, celebrities reveal their weekend virtues and vices.
I have six parrots and three dogs, so it’s a noisy awakening. They all want feeding or letting out. I make myself a coffee with my AeroPress coffee maker. I’m quite particular about this routine; it serves as my daily ritual.
I take other coffee orders – my 91-year-old dad lives with us, along with his dog, and my son, Dax, 19, is still at home with me and my wife Kris. The parrots will perch on the back of the chairs at the breakfast table and have a singsong and nick a bit of toast. As it’s the weekend, I’ll have some granola and yoghurt with chia seeds and cranberries.
I wander out to the garden barefoot and chat to the carp in the pond while I sip my coffee. They fascinate me. I’ve been very aware of my health in the last few years. I don’t bother with unsustainable fitness goals like running a marathon or breaking a bench-press record. I’m more about being active and incorporating small rituals into your life.
Dog walk. I’ll head to Wormwood Scrubs, West Gunnersbury or the local park in Hammersmith where there’s dog exercise areas for them to go crazy. Other dog walkers recognise me – especially since doing Strictly – and we chat… about dogs.
I head out for a 40-minute ride on my mountain bike. I cycle down one side of the Thames and loop round to the other side and back. I love being outdoors. I’m lucky to visit some amazing places when I’m touring with work in Australia or New Zealand and closer to home in Europe. I’ll always fit in a hike or seek out some awesome wildlife.
We always have a family lunch. I can make a half-decent omelette or my son cooks up something delicious like a great spaghetti carbonara. Kris has taught him well.
I write every day for my forthcoming Thoughtifier UK tour, which kicks off next February. I’ve become more organised and disciplined about it. I’ll spend a couple of hours writing up voice notes I’ve made during my dog walk into something coherent and I’ll put some music together as well on my tiny keyboard that attaches to my laptop. I also like reading. When Sean [Lock, comedian, who died in 2021] was quite ill, he would read them. I really enjoy the books, partly because it reminds me of him, but also because they have some great quotes from people like Marcus Aurelius, such as, ‘It doesn’t matter if 10,000 men have an opinion about the subject; it’s worthless if they know nothing about it.’ I think he might have predicted Twitter!
We have friends over for Earl Grey tea and snacks or my dad comes back from his dog walk and we chat. He’s great to have around and our friends love him because he provides brilliant conversation.
If we’re home, we’ll pop Strictly on the telly while we’re cooking dinner. It’s got a stellar line-up this year, with people of my vintage, so it’s very entertaining.
Saturday night is the night we will have people over for dinner or we’ll eat out at the local tapas restaurant, Los Molinos on Shepherds Bush Road, or The Grove pub at the end of my road. I enjoy a drop of white Burgundy or a white Rioja – no more Sauvignon Blanc.
After a very noisy dinnertime, the parrots finally go to sleep and the dogs calm down, so we’ll watch a classic film together or, if it’s my choice, science fiction like The Mandalorian. I really appreciate my family when I’m home – I love being my own person for a bit and having space while on my travels, but I do miss my wife. We definitely don’t take each other for granted.
Roll into bed. I’m reading Jane Eyre. I mix up classics with autobiographies on audio, particularly if they’re read by the author.
For dates and tickets for Bill Bailey’s Thoughtifier UK tour, visit