At home with Back Benches co-host Charlotte Ryan

Charlotte Ryan with her 9-year-old daughter Annie at their Auckland home.
Patrick Reynolds

Charlotte Ryan with her 9-year-old daughter Annie at their Auckland home.

Charlotte Ryan, co-host of Back Benches, lives in Eden Terrace, Auckland, with her 9-year-old daughter Annie and their Burmese cat, Minnie.

I bought the place about four years ago. It's run down – I dream of doing it up and living here until I'm old. I've painted it, and I had new flooring put in last year. I save up and do little bits and pieces at a time.

It's this really classic, traditional villa, but out the back they did these renovations in 1987. The guy who did them used to live here. He did them in a really unusual way – I wouldn't say "ramshackle", but it's very interesting and obvious that a proper architect didn't do it. It was a dad who had a dream, and it looks awesome.

Charlotte Ryan.
PATRICK REYNOLDS/HOMED

Charlotte Ryan.

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I collect art. That's a White's Aviation print of the Kaikoura coast. I grew up in Christchurch and that's one of my favourite coasts, without a doubt.

The lithograph to the right of the print is by a Nelson artist who has passed away now, Jane Evans. She had incredibly bad arthritis in her hands but was still really, really clever at painting. I got it when I was a teenager at the Muka art exhibition – we were allowed in the room but no adults were, and you chose your prints based on what you loved rather than the artist's name, it's often quite famous artists. I was about 16, maybe even younger.

We have a record player in this room, and hundreds of records.

Annie's more into pop music so we don't see so much eye to eye. But she actually has a real appreciation for Neil Young, so that would probably be the album we agree upon most.

Back Benches' Auckland special will be recorded in front of a live studio audience at Britomart Country club on August 23 at 6pm. Entry is free. Visit the Back Benches Facebook page for further details.

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 - Sunday Magazine

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