My mum was born in Hungary, which gave me a head start: Hungarians are traditionally very good at maths.

I was born in Oxford, but by the time I had learned to count we were living in Edinburgh. Aged 12, the family moved to Southampton and five years later I was at Oxford University reading Mathematics and Philosophy.

At university I edited Cherwell, the student paper. After graduating, I joined the Brighton Evening Argus as a trainee reporter. I moved to London and the Guardian gave me a job in its newsroom. Eventually, I ended up as the paper’s South America correspondent in Rio de Janeiro.

During my five years in Brazil I wrote Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life, and also presented the BBC TV series Inside Out Brazil.

My return to London was also a return to mathematics. Alex’s Adventures in Numberland was published in 2010 and Alex Through the Looking-Glass in 2014. I now divide my time between science popularization and writing about Brazilian football.