I believe sometime ago I read you talking about learning C when you were younger. Do still much programming for fun or is it mainly by necessity? Plus what languages?

I first got into programming on the C64. I was young, so it was pretty much confined to BASIC and making sprites on graph paper (this was, incidentally, a terrific way of getting a kid to learn binary without realising they're learning binary and then later, when they do it in maths, discover that it's dead easy for them because they've already done it).
When I got a PC, I migrated to QBASIC and later Visual Basic. Then in sixth form, my computer studies teacher introduced us to C. I remember writing a version of Arkanoid in ASCII - nothing particularly fancy and I really struggled with the language because it was so alien compared to BASIC.
When I went to University, we studied Pascal and then from there we went to C. The Pascal to C transition made C make a lot more sense so I did an awful lot better at it that time round.
When I got a job in the games industry, I played around a little with assembly language on the GameBoy Color (I did some assembly language stuff at Uni too) - wrote a little tile engine, had a little guy moving around using the d-pad. Again, nothing fancy (or even something I bothered finishing) - but a fun little learning exercise. So really, I kinda learned programming languages backwards. I started with the high level languages and worked backwards, ending on the low level languages as computing power increased which doesn't really make any sense, but there you go :D
Nowadays my programming is mostly done with C#, but I've done some C++ too - mainly just as a way to play with DirectX stuff.
Most of my programming is for fun - I write the odd tool or shader as part of my job (I very much enjoy writing tools to make my work simpler) . I've always found it important to have some technical knowledge even when working as an artist. When I was working in the commercial industry I became a Lead Artist (and subsequently Lead Technical Artist) in part because of this - I was a natural bridge between the art and programming teams because I had some knowledge of both. I doubt very much I would've been good enough to have been a programmer exclusively, but certainly the limited programming knowledge I did have was invaluable. I recommend it.

View more