Harry Hill on The X Factor the Musical and more

The funniest host on TV tells RT what it would take to get him on Strictly Come Dancing



Which TV series would you take to a desert island?

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. We used to watch it in the school holidays in the 70s before the days of proper daytime TV. I’d imagine myself with a long beard, dressed in rags. It was either that or play outside.

Who was your first crush?

Magpie presenter Susan Stranks: she had a slight hippy vibe whereas Valerie Singleton on Blue Peter was very prim and proper. Susan could have picked me up from school and we could have gone out on her pony and maybe had a picnic on Beachy Head… or so I thought.

Your price to go on Strictly Come Dancing?

It looks too much like hard work. I don’t think it’s a skill I’d want to learn, so the only reason I’d do it would be to get publicity and I’m not really that sort of person. If there were a programme called Strictly Wood Carving, where celebrities were trained by experts to become excellent carvers, you could put me down. In fact, I’d do it for nothing.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Much of what I watch for TV Burp – and I watch for a good eight, perhaps ten hours some days – would be classed as a guilty pleasure. So when I’m not working on TV Burp I go cold turkey: to relax I tend to do a bit of painting.

Ceilings or on canvas?

Oil painting, purely for my own entertainment. I paint weird things.

What makes you shout?

I know I’m not the target audience so it’s perhaps me being bloody- minded, but a lot of BBC3 winds me up: Hotter Than My Daughter and Snog Marry Avoid? My teenage daughters love it. The other thing is shockumentaries with names like The Man Whose Skin Fell Off. I think they’re a little heartless.

So what’s the favourite show in the Hill household?

The X Factor but not TV Burp because they’re embarrassed. They’d rather I wasn’t on TV.

What do you make of the new X Factor judges?

I was pleasantly surprised. We all thought: “Oh God, what’s it going to be like without Simon?” But I don’t think we miss him like we missed him from Britain’s Got Talent. Gary’s not as caustic but he’s got a few nice put-downs; Tulisa is the heart and soul of the panel; and Kelly is the international flavour – it’s always very glamorous to have someone with an American accent. Unless it’s John Barrowman.

Is it true you’re working on X Factor the Musical?

We’re seeing if there’s any mileage in it and edging in that direction. Hopefully, yes. I’d pen the story and the gags: taking the p*** out of The X Factor but at the same time celebrating it.

Footballer Wayne Rooney recently had a hair transplant. Is that something you would ever consider?

Yes, I’ll definitely be having one in the next couple of days. Then I’ll get all sorts of offers of work that I wouldn’t normally get – juvenile leads, that sort of thing.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Ross Kemp because he’s such a good actor.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest?


Anna Ford because she’d be abreast of current affairs, which would be handy because you often miss the news when out for dinner. If she couldn’t make it then Anna Botting or Kay Burley from Sky News would be fine – but not Alastair Stewart; I’m not sure we’d hit it off.