My Splendid Isolation: Bridget Christie - 'Columbo has seen me through puberty, childbirth and the start of a global pandemic'

The stand-up comedian, writer and actress on the perils of sewing and how detective drama Columbo got her through puberty and childbirth

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Enduring passion: Bridget Christie adores Peter Falk’s unassuming super-sleuth
Enduring passion: Bridget Christie adores Peter Falk’s unassuming super-sleuth
What I’m watching

I’ve started watching Columbo again, in order, with the kids. It’s the third time I’ve done this now. I first watched it with my dad in the Eighties, then again when I had my first baby, and I’ve just begun again. Columbo has now seen me through puberty, childbirth and the start of a global pandemic.

I’m looking forward to watching it during the menopause, a hip replacement and the Thames Barrier failing. The writing’s great, but Peter Falk’s performance and comic timing are a real joy. He’d often ad-lib, to the confusion of the actor playing the murderer, saying things like “I love your socks. Where does a man get socks like that?”

Most TV detectives are a bit annoying. Sherlock is uppity, and Poirot was finicky, but Falk’s Columbo was genius. His low status, humble and unassuming character expertly exposed society’s power struggles.

What I’m listening to

I mainly listen to music in the car doing the school run or when I’m running. I’ve just made a new “coronavirus playlist” that’s got lots of apocalyptic classical music on it, like Holst’s The Planets, heavy metal and Björk, but it’s not very good to run to, so I’ve also put Stormzy, Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, Twenty One Pilots, Idles, PJ Harvey, Celeste, Billie Eilish, Mura Masa, Kate Bush, Neko Case, The Chameleons, Eminem and Dr Dre on there as well. As we beat the virus, I’ll do a more uplifting playlist with things like Fleet Foxes, Abba and Nick Cave on it.

What I’m reading

I’ve just finished Shelter by Sarah Franklin, which I loved. It’s set in the Forest of Dean in 1944 and follows a young woman who escaped her bombed-out city and found refuge in the Women’s Timber Corps. Beautifully written and filled with complex, real characters, it’s about hope, loss, family and dreams. Deeply profound and moving, it was also laugh-out-loud funny.

The hobby I’ve taken up

I thought now would be a good time to teach my daughter how to make her own clothes, but I can’t even work out how to thread the cotton on the new sewing machine she got for Christmas.

The thing that made me laugh this week

There’s loads of funny clips going round parents’ WhatsApp groups, but one that really made me laugh was an audio recording of some bloke saying the MoD is going to cook a massive lasagne on a football pitch, lift it up with drones, cut pieces off it and drop them into people’s homes.