“I enjoy being outdoors in Nature and with wildlife,” he explains. “The two emu’s were the easiest to make friends with in the Jungle,” he laughs. “And it was being in that outdoors environment that also made me determined to get in shape. I hated the gym, the only machine I liked was the vending machine,” he jokes. “So I started boxing and running outdoors. I love running around here (Kent). We have lovely countryside, great parks and lakes.”
The squeaky voiced, funny man admits he loves his own garden too but to look at, not to work in. “It’s a great garden, about half an acre,” he explains. “I’ve got a big fish pond, as I inherited my Dad’s Coi carp; there’s a lovely big oak tree and the kids have got a trampoline. That’s about it,” he tails off. “I don’t know a weed from a flower and never have. I never helped out in the garden as a kid either, I just wasn’t interested. I have got a great guy, John, who looks after the garden for me now. He does a good job.”
One of Joe’s favourites views of his garden is a bird’s eye one. “I took up flying a few years ago, got my pilot’s licence and now I fly my own 40 year old PA28 Piper Warrior,” he says proudly. “It’s fantastic looking down, flying over Kent. It’s so green and you wouldn’t believe how many people have got swimming pools.” He shrieks. “I wouldn’t want one,” he adds quickly.
Joe continues, “I do have a couple of Bonsai trees in the house which I like and my favourite plant is the Venus Fly Trap. Just because of what it can do,” he laughs.
As he is just about to fly out to Argentina to film a celebrity version of Total Wipeout, Joe admits to having a few nerves. “ I’m with Sally Gunnell, Mark Foster and Fatima Whitbread,” he explains. “I’m not an athlete like these guys and I’m the oldest too.”
I explain gardening is a good way to keep fit and flexible but he’s still not convinced. So if he’s not green fingered, how green is he environmentally?
“I do as much recycling and all of that stuff as I can,” he says. “Not that I think it makes a lot of difference. I think the human race will die out anyway. The world is ill; we are like a virus on this planet and the world will eventually heal itself by getting rid of us all. Maybe that’s a bit deep,” he shrugs. “But the dinosaurs were here for 65 million years and they died out, we’ve only been here 2 million years and we’re already on the way out. There could be a few velociraptors (dinosaurs) hiding in my garden,” he laughs, “if they were in the woods, I’d never know.”
And whilst the funny man admits he ‘can’t promise a solution to the global meltdown,’ he does offer two hours of fun and escapism when he’s out on tour.