Tim, 38, studied drama at Manchester University with Ben Elton before quitting to form pop group James. The band has been together for 15 years and became famous for their 1991 hit single Sit Down. Tim has a 10 year old son by a former relationship and lives with his partner of four years, Kate, in Brighton. The couple plan to marry in California next year. Paula Kerr reports
Q : When was the first time your heart was broken?
A: When I was 11, I had a crush on an Italian girl on holiday. When she flew back to Milan, I was devastated. I knew her flight left at 7am and I lay in bed listening to the take off and wept and wept. I rang her a few months later and I don’t think she even remembered who I was.
Q: Have you ever turned down a marriage proposal or made one and been turned down?
A: I’ve never been proposed to. I recently asked my girlfriend, Kate, to marry me and we will wed next year in California, where we met.
Q: If you could go back in time and change one thing about your love life, what would it be?
A: There isn’t anything I’d change – all the mistakes have been necessary.
Q: Have you ever had sex outside?
A: Yeah, of course. But the best place to make love is in your heart.
Q: Have you ever had a one-night stand?
A: I’ve had some fantastic ones and some awful ones too. I’m quite conscientious and telephoned a few of the women afterwards to check if they were OK. I’m glad I don’t do that anymore.
Q: What’s the biggest age difference there’s ever been between you and a partner?
A: When I was 32, I had a romance with a 17 year old. She completely seduced me. I was quite freaked out by the age gap, but it ended because I knew we couldn’t pursue a full relationship. I don’t think age gaps are always a problem though.
Q: Do you believe in platonic friendships?
A: Yes, very much so. I have a lot of friends who are women. Some of my ex-partners are my closest friends.
Q: Has anyone ever had a physical fight over you or have you ever had a fight over someone?
A: Noone has had a fight over me. But I once threatened someone who was trying to involve a friend with drugs.
Q: Could you forgive an infidelity?
A: Yes, I have done. I think I completely forgave the person, though my feelings ran pretty deep.
Q: Have you ever had a holiday romance?
A: Oh, yes, loads. When I was 18, I went to a nudist beach in Corfu. I was at the bottom of a steep cliff, which only young fit people could get to. About 100 of us were living there and I had two wonderful romances in three weeks. The police eventually threw us all off the island. They charged us with something ridiculous like ‘enjoying oneselves too much in a Catholic country.’
Q: What is your biggest regret over a love affair?
A: I regret people getting hurt. The nature of things is that sometimes you love someone less than they love you and at some point you have to walk away.
Q: Have you ever been in unrequited love or been the object of it?
A: I’ve been in unrequited love. I hovered around her for about 18 months. Eventually she had to leave town for a new job, so I told her how I felt. But she left anyway.
Q: What is the worst way you’ve ever dumped anyone?
A: On occassions, I’ve stopped contacting the person. It’s the chickens way out.
Q: Have you ever fallen in love with a friend’s girlfriend?
A: It happened once, but my friend had decided he was gay. She and I got together as soon as they split up.
Q: What’s the one piece of advice you would give on relationships?
A: Always be true to yourself
Q: What are the top three qualities in a partner?
A: Truthfulness, playfulness and they must be loving.
Q: What was your most romantic moment?
A: I once surprised Kate by flying to New York, where she was living. I broke into her apartment, bedecked it with flowers and love messages and hid until she came home.
Q: Have you ever fallen in love at first sight?
A: The two deepest relationships I’ve been in were love at first sight. I saw Kate dancing in California and I remember thinking “Oh no, you’re in trouble now.”
Q: Do you take baths alone or with your lover?
A: Baths with your partner using aromatherapy oils are wonderful. But my next bath will have taps in the middle.
Q: Does your partner own any clothes that make her look really unattractive? Have you told her?
A: She wears a woolly hat, left to her by a friend. It looks really silly, and, yes, I’ve told her.
Q: What is the most useful thing you could tell a child about love?
A: Take your time
James new album Millionaires is out now.