He is a prince of puns, a lord of language, and an undisputed wizard of wordplay. He’s taken to the boards in everything from Shakespeare to his own musicals, is in demand as an after-dinner speaker and is author of royal biographies, political diaries and historical fiction.
Interviewing doesn’t get tougher than this. At least, that’s how it feels as the appointed time looms to call Jay Rayner: restaurant critic, broadcaster, Masterchef judge, journalist and general raconteur, writes Lizz Brain. And when that distinctive voice is on the other end of the phone, I tell him so: that in 20 years of conducting interviews with performers, creatives and celebs, he’s only the second to make me nervous.