Interview: Suzi Perry, TV's most glamorous gadget nut and Apple lover

Crave met up with the chicest geek on TV, Suzi Perry, to talk iPhones, ideal homes and jumping off bridges

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
3 min read

Suzi Perry puts the chic in geek -- every week -- as presenter of Five'sGadget Show. Alongside Jason Bradbury, Ortis Deley and CNET UK podcast guest Jon Bentley, TV's most glamorous Wolves fan and motosport nut flies the flag for the latest and coolest gizmos and gear.

Our chat took place at Virgin Media's Ideal Home of the Future, a stand at at the Ideal Home Show showcasing various existing and emergent technologies. Suzi told us how she helped select the gear on show:

"I'm ambassador for the home of the future, so we collaborated on some ideas for things to get in, products that are amazing and fascinating. They're probably too expensive to buy, or they're things that are perhaps a few years away, but the technology is coming to the consumer soon."

Her favourite gadget on the stand is the Hi-Can, a four-poster bed-pod kitted out with a projector and games consoles: "You could really hide away in there."

The Ideal Home Show is packed full of everything from furnishings to floating offices. We asked Suzi what would be in her ideal home: "Everything would be Wi-Fi connected. Music is my thing so I'd love to have everything streaming, and music in every room. I love the idea that Virgin is showing off here of being able to watch a film across different devices. You can start to watch, then if you have to go out, you jump in a taxi and keep watching."

That service is still a few years away, but all this integration with portable devices sounds like a potential use for the imminent Apple iPad. Suzi hasn't made up her mind yet -- "I'd like to see how easy to use it is" -- but is a Mac-lover through and through. "I'm a Mac, definitely. I've got my MacBook Pro and of course I have an iPhone."

It's not the only phone she carries, though: "The iPhone is best for surfing the Web, but I haven't quite mastered the typing, so I have the BlackBerry as well." Perhaps surprisingly, the stylish iPhone is for work while the BlackBerry is for keeping in touch: "All my family is on BlackBerry Messenger, so we communicate that way all the time."

Her enthusiasm for gadgets is infectious, and she's excited about the opportunity to share that excitement with gadge-lovers at the Gadget Show's own, er, Show, at the NEC this April: "The best thing about the show is seeing the number of kids there. When we started six years ago we were quite geeky, but over the years we've changed things with the challenges and made things open for families to watch. It's great to go on stage and meet the crowds, especially the children. The things they ask!"

The Gadget Show Live coincides with the publication of the programme's first foray into print. Suzi says the onscreen team was hands-on from the off: "It's a one-off, but if it goes well hopefully it'll be a monthly. We've been involved right from the start, making sure we get it exactly right".

All this tech means the team can be ahead of the curve: "I did a challenge where I put a projector in a camera. The technology was there -- and now there's one on the market [the Nikon Coolpix S1000pj]."

There's even been opportunities to test tech that's so clever it could only be magic: "On one show I used a sound bar that directs sound to a person way over there, but the other people around you can't hear it. I used it in a challenge where I had to perform a magic show, and it fooled [celebrity magician] Paul Zenon!"

The challenges haven't always been fun, though: "I wish I'd said no to jumping off a bridge in Barcelona, when we were testing the Nokia N95 against the iPhone. That was terrifying. But you've got to challenge yourself. Although probably my scariest challenge was when I had to make a pop single, because I can't sing."

That's alright, neither can we.