My kids watching me on telly. My relationship with my children is like Eddie and Saffy in Ab Fab. There’s nothing more damning in life than a child calmly and coldly saying, “Are you aware that you’re teaching me bad habits?”
How do you get back in their good books?
The Simpsons. I don’t know how I’ve managed to reach the age of 45 as a professional comedian and not watched more Simpsons, considering everyone says it’s one of the best shows ever. My kids have got into it and I’m loving it.
Do you and your wife share similar TV tastes?
She could watch babies being born on television back-to-back for ten hours. I, on the other hand, would rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon than watch One Born Every Minute. I don’t understand why you would want to watch someone giving birth.
What brings a tear to your eye?
Programmes like Britain’s Got Talent or The X Factor, but for different reasons to everyone else in the country. “Has it really come to this?” I sob to myself.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I really don’t like reality television and the nonsense that comes with it. Having said that, I do find myself dipping into I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, because I like the idea of people who are totally cushioned in life suddenly having to eat awful food and watching them melt down.
What was the last box set that you bought?
Breaking Bad. I was a bit cynical because I remember people saying, “You’ve got to watch 24”, and I gave up on that: it was just like The A-Team movie. Breaking Bad lived up to expectations.
In your new panel show, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo, you debate the smaller questions in life. What keeps you awake at night?
My sitcom, Not Going Out. It always has. It takes over my life when I’m writing it. I look forward to the day when I worry about something else at night, like being killed in my bed by a lunatic.
Who is on your wish list of panellists?
If I could rewind the clock and be better at football, I’d be a footballer. So any ex-professional footballer would be exciting. I’m a bit blasé about showbiz. When we do Would I Lie to You?, Rob Brydon berates me about my lack of pop-culture knowledge. Everyone says, “I can’t believe you’re meeting X from such- and-such a band,” and I’ve never heard of them.
Have you ever said no to a show?
There’s a list as long as my arm; you get offered some odd things. There was one show I was asked to do where you had to jump off a diving board into a swimming pool. Can you imagine if that was a TV show? It’d never work, would it?
Who would play you in the film of your life?
I would audition both Peter Crouch and Warwick Davis and then decide which angle to go with. I met Crouch and Davis for the first time on the same night and by the end my neck was killing me. That’s not a gag; it’s genuinely true.
EastEnders or Corrie? Corrie
Radio 4 or Radio 2? Radio 4’s always on. My wife chooses which station we tune into.
Pointless or University Challenge? Pointles – it’s be the best show on television.
Call the Midwife or Sherlock? Sherlock – I can’t even bear fictional babies being born.
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