BBC Earth

Q&A with Yussef Rafik

Host of Bugface Yussef Rafik, covered in bugs

Hi, I’m Yussef Rafik, zooologist, conservationist and host of Bugface.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Peterborough (a city in the east of the UK), but I’ve recently moved to Bristol, on the west coast.

What are your hobbies?

A lot of my hobbies revolve around animals and wildlife. I like to go out on nature walks with my camera, do some photography. Also walking my dog. Basically anything that gets me outside!

What species is your spirit animal?

Probably a sloth! I do like to spend a lot of time sleeping!

What is your favourite holiday destination?

When I went on safari at Kruger National Park in South Africa. I saw things like elephants, lions, leopards. It was really really amazing.

Who would you like to star on an episode of Bugface?

Probably Sir David Attenborough. I don’t think he’d freak out too much, but it would be interesting to hear what he had to say about bugs.

Do you have any pets?

Yes! I’ve got quite a few… I’ve got Barney the cocker spaniel, four royal python snakes called Blaze, Incey-Wincey, Penicil and Atlas (don’t ask about the names, I was pretty little when I named them!!), and two geckos: a gargoyle gecko and a crested gecko, which I haven’t named yet. Everyone tells me I should, but I’m not very good at names. Gary? And Gary Two? On top of that, I also have some fish and some stick insects!

Are you an outdoors or indoors person?

Definitely outdoors. I love nature, nature is all outdoors! That said, being a sloth, I do like to spend time indoors asleep. Maybe mix the two and go camping.

Would you rather breathe underwater or be a monkey in a rainforest?

Definitely breathe underwater! There are incredible places under the oceans, like the Great Barrier Reef. I’d just spend hours looking at the fish and other ocean wildlife.

Would you rather have fur or scales?

Fur. A lot warmer, a lot more comfortable for sleeping. Scales look uncomfortable.

Which animal would you least like to be trapped in a lift with?

Probably an elephant.

What was the best part of filming Bugface for BBC Earth Kids?

I really enjoyed meeting all the great guests we had. It was really fun seeing how each person reacted to bugs. And some of the bugs have been incredible! My favourite was the orchid mantis - it’s so beautiful because it mimics petals. Amazing.