Alex James has joked that he might have killed himself if he hadn't discovered the joys of cheesemaking.

The Blur bassist, who makes his own Blue Monday cheese, admitted that he couldn't imagine life after music - until he discovered the art of making cheese at his home in Kingham.

"I thought I was going to have to kill myself when I was 40, because culture celebrates youth and it wasn't clear what you have to do when you pass 35 but it's all clear to me now - it's all about gardens and good food," he said.

"I think as you get older, you kind of know what you like - and I like cheese. One of the good things about getting older is being able to get to the bottom of things you like, it's an exquisite pleasure really. I'm never happier than when I'm cooking in the garden really, that's it. All ageing rock gentlemen become farmers. They go into the country and make cheese or have trout farms."

Alex - who turned 40 last November - added: "Food is one of life's really great pleasures. My 20th birthday party was all about booze, my 30th birthday was about drugs, and now I realise that my 40s are about food. It's something you appreciate more and more as you get older."

Alex is participating in Sainsbury's Eat Britain campaign to encourage Brits to eat locally-produced food.