Russell Howard: “My grandad is the funniest person I know”

Good News: the comedian loves Billy Connolly and Eddie Izzard. But hates Loose Women...

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Which show would you take to a desert island?
I’d probably go for Entourage because it’s long. You’ve got eight series there. If I’m going to be on a desert island, I’m going to be there for ages. Also with Entourage I can imagine myself living in Hollywood.

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What’s your TV guilty pleasure?
Grand Designs, because I’m not 50 and I don’t wear a huge amount of tweed. I don’t know what it is, but I love it so much. I Sky+ it. The flamboyance of it is just beautiful.

You see these wonderful posh people saying, “The roof is going to be thatched with dragon pubes, and the tiles we’ve brought in from Romania.” And I’m just sort of sat there eating Cheerios with my dog thinking, “One day.”

Do you have plans to build your own castle?
That’s the amazing thing. I don’t put up shelves. I have no inclination to do anything like that. I think I just live through them vicariously for an hour.

What was the last show you changed the channel to avoid?
I really struggle with Loose Women. I can’t watch that, I maybe get 30 seconds in. It’s lowest common denominator and rabble-rousing. My mum absolutely loves it; she’s a massive fan. I really like Sarah Millican, but the rest of it…

How many TVs do you own?
That’s an interesting question. We’ve got one in the front room and got one in the kitchen, which doesn’t work. My girlfriend has promised to fix it. I don’t know how to fix it. I’m hopeless. But she still hasn’t got round to it.

So you’re a bit of a Luddite?
I’m just awful. My technical ability stopped at the Commodore Amiga 500. The last time I was truly comfortable with computers was when there were disks. You knew how to fix them. My technical ability doesn’t go beyond “ctrl, alt, del”. Or taking the batteries out and rubbing them.

If you could invite any another comedian to dinner who would you choose?
I would like to take Billy Connolly. That would be great because you’re getting a lot out of Connolly. You get the impression he would talk and talk and talk. I’d take him for a Nando’s. I’d treat him right.

Have you ever met him?
No, no. I’ve met a few of my heroes, but not him. I met Eddie Izzard at the Secret Policeman’s Ball and recently in Montreal. I was doing a gig there and he kind of popped along.

Is he one of the comedians you loved as a teenager?
Yeah, so that’s why it was slightly bizarre just to say, “Don’t go anywhere, I’ve got to do a gig for an hour, but I’ll be back.” I met Frank Skinner, who’s another real hero of mine, and he’s just such a brilliant bloke, so kind, clever and calm. We’re in the same management company, so he saw me in the offices once, and he was like, “You look like s**t”.

And I was like, “I’m just tired.” And he tried to sort of sit me down and explain how to do your own show and it doesn’t have to be 100-miles-an-hour and all this kind of thing. It was really amazing.

If they were going to make a film about your life, who would you choose to play you?
I like the idea of my grandad doing it, just because I think it would be funny. He’s the funniest person I know. It would be quite cool to have a biopic where it’s simply an old man all the way through. Just my grandad as me at school trying to pull Olivia – a girl in my school everyone fancied. That would be pretty amazing.

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Russell Howard’s Good News starts tonight, 10:30pm, BBC3.