Consumate broadcaster James Naughtie, the presenter of the Today programme on Radio 4, gives IBTimes UK a quickfire reveal of what makes him tick.

On Thursday 7 May he will present the station's election coverage, Election 2015, from 10pm.

Everyday would be what?

Two hours longer.

As ruler, what would you keep and what would you change?

I'd keep the rainforests and get rid of all plastic bags.

Which public official(s) would you sack – and who would you hire?

I'd fire all management consultants brought into Whitehall and I'd hire people who love books to read stories to all primary school pupils for half an hour a day.

What makes you tick?

The possibility of excitement.

What are you best at?

Getting excited.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Ellie, my wife, who puts up with me, and our three children.

Luigi Death Stare Moustache
Bad moustache Nintendo

What embarrasses you?

A moustache that I grew in the early seventies and allowed to fester for far too long.

What is your greatest achievement?

Making a living at something I love.

What's your greatest extravagance?

Cheese. Or maybe books.

What is your biggest fear?

Snakes. Or maybe the thought that fanaticism might win.

What makes you depressed?

Absolutism in politics (or anything else).

What's your favourite gadget or app?

The gadget on my Mac that finds my phone when I've lost it.

What tops your 20 most played iTunes tracks?

One of the Beethoven sonatas. But sometimes a Scottish fiddle tune.

With which historical figure do you most identify?

It's impossible not to sound pretentious here, so I might as well say Charles Dickens, because people of all kinds fascinated him, and sometimes drove him nuts.

What is the government getting right -- and what is it getting wrong?

Tackling unnecessary NHS bureaucracy, then re-inventing and expanding it in another form.

What's your favourite pastime or hobby?

Good reading and bad gardening.

What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue?

Consistency. Or perhaps plain speaking.

What are your favourite smells?

Grass (the real variety), woodsmoke, mountain air.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

London Underground roundel
London Underground smells Reuters

A little organisation.

What was your best holiday?

Either a trip when the children were young to an old-fashioned hotel on the Brittany cliffs, M. Hulot-style, or my first boyhood trip to London. I still remember the first smell of the Tube, and the puddings in the Lyons' corner houses.

Where do you want to travel to next?

A Highland hideaway, yet to be identified.