FUNNY MAN… Paul loves stand-up comedy
My own childhood was rather difficult as my mum died when I was very young.
Consequently, I always knew I wanted to create a big, loud, chaotic family one day, which is exactly what Rachel and I have done.
It has always been important for me to spend as much time with my children as possible and when they were younger I tried to be there for the school drop-off and pick-up whenever I could.
As far as teenagers go, mine have been pretty easy so far.
My eldest, George, is at university and my daughter Bonnie is so focused and driven that I’m pretty sure she’ll end up being prime minister one day.
Rudi, the youngest, is so dedicated to rap music that he doesn’t have time to get into trouble.
I am dreading the time when they have all left home.
I will feel quite bereft.
Paul Tonkinson performing at the Just For Laughs festival in 2008
Even at primary school I was the class clown and for some reason I have always been able to make people laugh.
I made my first stand-up appearance at university when I was 20 and immediately knew it was what I wanted to do.
It was a life-changing moment and I feel very fortunate that I enjoy stand-up now just as much as I did then.
In fact I get a bit tetchy if I’m not out there gigging regularly.
I thrive on being able to connect with an audience and make people laugh.
For me, it’s never about bagging the best venue or the biggest crowd.
In fact, one of the best gigs I did recently was at a bar in Tokyo to an audience of just 12.
For some reason the rapport between everyone in the room was just electric.
When I was at school I was really serious about running and often competed at county level.
But when I got to university it fell by the wayside and I only rediscovered my passion in my 30s.
Now I am a member of a running club and compete in numerous marathons.
I probably run for at least an hour five times a week.
That time out in the fresh air is when I get all my best inspiration and a long run always leaves me feeling refreshed and energised.
4 MY DOGS
Rachel and I would have loved more children but we left it all a bit too late, so 10 years ago we got a wonderful pair of wire-haired dachshunds called Calypso and Dashy instead.
The two of them ruled the roost and every time I took them out, one of them would get into a fight with another dog, which was always entertaining.
Sadly, Dashy died six months ago and we were all devastated.
As we didn’t want Calypso to be lonely, we got a lovely little puppy called Billie-Jean.
She’s a cockapoo mongrel and incredibly sweet.
Although she isn’t one for scrapping with other dogs, BillieJean certainly has her own quirks.
She eats everything and it is no exaggeration to say that she is gradually chewing her way through the house.
One day, I half expect to find our home reduced to a giant pile of crumbs.
Tonkinson gets the ‘full VIP treatment’ at his local Oddbins store
I have a very healthy relationship with wine, to the extent that I get the full VIP treatment at my local Oddbins store.
And there is nothing I love more than a beautiful bottle of French red, which is a treat I always save for a Sunday night.
As I don’t work on a Monday, Rachel and I will always enjoy a couple of glasses together over a big roast.
She will sometimes opt for a rose, which isn’t for me.
However if there’s prosecco on offer, I am definitely open to persuasion.
● Dixons Carphone Race To The Stones has teamed up with Paul Tonkinson to create a podcast to help runners break the wall (racetothestones.com)