Sara Cox: ‘I don't want to be confronted with my own mortality’

The last show you loved

Over lockdown, I watched my iPad a lot while cooking and discovered lots of things. I really love Broad City and Lena Dunham’s Girls, which I missed when it was first on years ago. I watch a lot of gentle things, too, like Detectorists and Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. I’m such a saddo – I’ve not started the new series yet, as I’m saving it. It’s like I’ve got a big cake in the back of the fridge and I’m just waiting for the perfect moment to start tucking into it.

The best performance you’ve seen on TV

Jason Watkins, who was in Des on ITV recently, was brilliant in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, which was about that awful murder of Joanna Yeates, where the press presumed it was her landlord because he was a bit of an eccentric. He was completely spellbinding in that and I loved him in W1A. Watching that feels like I’m at work, as I’ve been in quite a few BBC meetings.

Your TV turn-offs

Anything medical, whether real life or drama. I just don’t want to be confronted with my own mortality, and blood, and gore, and people’s distress, and operations – no, thank you. People love them – I mean, how long have Casualty and Holby [City] been going on? – but not me, at all.

The show you wish you could guest star on

I’d like to be a badass dealer in Narcos or something. I love all of that hardcore gangster drug-baron stuff. I’ll be an unexpected character from Bolton. Can I speak Spanish? All I can say is: ‘The bathroom doesn’t work,’ so I don’t know if that would come in handy, unless I blocked a toilet stashing my guns and drugs and money. I’m sure my A-level in theatre studies would come in handy, though, and I could slot right into a massive Netflix drama.

Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar in Narcos

Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar in Narcos. Photograph: Netflix

Your favourite TV moment

I keep coming back to those moments in the 80s when I was watching with my mum and it was all still appointment TV on a Saturday night: the chandelier dropping on Only Fools and Horses, or Del Boy leaning on the bar and falling backwards, those sort of classic TV-watching-with-your-parents, pop culture moments that everybody knows. It’s either that, or the time Scott Mills dressed as a crab and danced on Strictly.

The TV death that made you cry

I don’t get that invested with telly where I would let it affect me that much – apart from where horses and other animals are concerned. My dad is a farmer, so I used to love watching All Creatures Great and Small – that’s where I got most of my death and drama.

Your favourite show when you were 10

I loved Cagney and Lacey; they were absolutely awesome. They always seemed to be either side of the door of some ne’er-do-well in Brooklyn, silently counting to three and then spinning and kicking it down. I loved playing detectives and kicking down doors at home with my gun fingers. One of them, Mary Beth, was quite mumsy and normal and the other one, Christine, was really glamorous. It really struck a chord because it wasn’t like Charlie’s Angels, who were ridiculously glam. I’m looking at pictures now and they’re clearly both younger than me. Jesus!

The show that should never have been cancelled

I don’t know if it’s cancelled as much as he’s stopped doing it [for the moment], but my lockdown was entirely ruled by Louis Theroux: watching all his old Weird Weekends and interviews and listening to his podcast. He was so young when he started – he looks like Harry Potter hanging out with these Los Angeles gangs. I think that’s part of the magic of it, really, that he was so different from everybody and that he seems so harmless, which then creates this false sense of security where people would really open up and reveal themselves, sometimes literally. I would love him to do more telly – the world cannot get enough of Louis.

Between the Covers is on Fridays at 7.30pm on BBC Two