Mug Shot – with Samantha Van Dalen

DSCN4505MUG Shot is our light-hearted weekly look at some of the people who are familiar faces around the town.

Or in the case of Meridian FM’s Samantha Van Dalen, familiar voices.

Samantha – who began presenting at the local radio station in Caterham – has been broadcasting her East Grinstead lunchtime show every Wednesday for the past year.

She is the organiser of Meridian’s Art Souffle art festival which is at the Kingscote Estate from 24 September to 2 October.

Favourite meal? 
SLOW roast pork, roast potatoes, mushrooms in a cream sauce, Puy lentils in a garlicky dressing and steamed vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Followed by cheese – Le Petit Basque is a favourite. And for pudding, something light such as a lemon sponge with a fruit compote. Or a piece of chocolate such as Lindt.

How good a cook are you?
VERY good to excellent – I have over 50 French cookbooks. I learned to cook the old fashioned way – poring over cookbooks, watching my mum cook plus I love to eat. I cook every day and never eat processed food.

What would you do if you won the lottery?
GO and live on top of a mountain and meditate followed by long walks in the wilderness.

Favourite film and book – and why?
FILM Anything with Meryl Streep. Books: There are four which changed my life – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera, The Art of the Samurai by Mishima and Memoires d’Outre Tombe by Chateaubriand. All of these books made me become a better person.

What did you have ambitions to do as child growing up?
To become an actress.

What is the oldest item you have in your wardrobe which is still in regular use and why do you like it?
A wool Benetton jacket with leather buttons. It must be 20 years old but is still in good nick (although the buttons are falling apart).

What do you like most about your job?
FREEDOM! I am best suited to working for myself. I am more inclined to creative pursuits which tend to be solitary anyway.

One thing not many people know about you?
I do not have a television and never will. I do not like being told what to think – TV these days makes people become idiotic.

Who would play you in a film?
THAT’LL never happen because Liz Taylor died a few years ago!


Which question should we have asked, but didn’t?
WHY don’t you dye your hair, it’s so grey!

September 20th, 2014 by