Never Mind The Buzzcocks: Phill Jupitus, Noel Fielding and Rhod Gilbert share their smash hits

The comedy trio share their karaoke songs, the music they make love to and the bands that defined their teenage years

Phill Jupitus 

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What was the first single you bought?

My dad gave me some money to buy a present for Mother’s Day and I bought a single that I wanted: The Streak by Ray Stevens. What a scumbag. Mum was so onto me: “Oh, that’s nice Phillip.”

What’s the most precious album in your record collection?

I have a copy of London Calling signed by Joe Strummer from when I was a DJ on BBC GLR back in the mid-90s. I had Joe on as a guest and got him to sign a number of things. I’d never sell but I did agree to swap a signed copy of the first Clash album for Freddie Flintoff ’s guitar. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I ever got the guitar, in which case Flintoff is getting a call…

What is your karaoke song of choice?

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town by Kenny Rogers because it’s got the unusual lyrics “It wasn’t me that started that ol’ crazy Asian war” and “It’s hard to love a man whose legs are bent and paralysed”, and because I now look a bit like Kenny with my salt ‘n’ pepper beard. I am a sober singer. I’ve been on stage for 30 years and I don’t need a drink to grab a microphone.

What music do you make love to?

There is only one way you’d find that out and you’re really not going to want to do it.

Which song would you take to a desert island?

Enjoy Yourself by the Specials. “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think. Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink. The years go by as quickly as you wink…” I don’t want to be maudlin but I could quite happily commit suicide to Enjoy Yourself. I wouldn’t like life on a desert island but I do quite like the idea of swimming out to the sharks as the Specials play on the beach… 

Which band would you allow to sink without a trace?

Mike Love’s Beach Boys because he nicked the name off Brian Wilson, who was everything that was brilliant about the Beach Boys. I nearly said Coldplay, but Chris Martin has enough on his plate this year without me sinking his band.

What would you like played at your funeral?

Goodbye Goodbye by Billy Bragg, which he wrote in my living room in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex. I used to be a huge fan of John Peel’s show when he did it from Peel Acres, so for my last 6Music breakfast show I asked my boss “Please can I do it from home?” Billy Bragg wrote a new song for the end of the show- it’s on his latest album Tooth & Nail.

Noel Fielding

What was the first album you bought?

Prince Charming by Adam Ant. He’s totally captivating when you’re seven. I met him and told him he was my first album and he didn’t believe me. My mum was there so I shouted, “Mum, what was the first album I bought?” and she said “Adam Ant!”

Which band defined your teenage years?

I was the perfect age for Nirvana. It was like an overnight sensation. Everyone started dressing grungy and then I joined a grunge band at art college. It was these two lanky guys and they thought I had quite a good look. I don’t think we ever got round to doing gigs.

Was that when you decided that you wanted to be a frontman?

I never really wanted to be the frontperson. I sort of had to do it in The Mighty Boosh because Julian Barratt was too busy playing jazz chords and I don’t think Naboo [played by Noel’s brother Michael] was that bothered. We used to find it slightly embarrassing because we’re comedians. We ended up cross-dressing to take the edge off it. It’s quite hard to dance around in a glitterball catsuit and look like you’re taking yourself seriously.

Musical highlight to date?

I was in Kate Bush’s Deeper Understanding video with Robbie Coltrane. I dressed up as her on Comic Relief and we started swapping emails and then she asked me to be in her video. I’d do anything for Kate Bush.

What’s your karaoke song of choice?

When I was younger I used to do Hopelessly Devoted to You by Olivia Newton-John. I was probably being perverse.

And your guilty pleasure?

I’ve been listening to ABBA recently and it’s blowing my mind. I Have a Dream makes me want to cry and The Winner Takes It All is pretty big.

Which music do you make love to?

I make love to audiobooks – Charles Dickens and William Burroughs.

Your favourite lyric?

“I’ve got a bike/you can ride it if you like/ it’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good/I’d lend it to you if I could but I borrowed it.” It’s Bike by Pink Floyd and it moves in angles. It’s nonsense poetry and I guess it spoke to me because I ended up doing nonsense spoken word. 

Rhod Gilbert

What was the first single you bought?

Mahna Mahna by the Muppets. It wasn’t supposed to be – there was another, cooler version by someone else but the shop assistant gave me the wrong one. We lived just outside a small town in west Wales and I cycled to the shop without my parents knowing, my heart racing that I was going to get found out. Then I got home and it was the bloody Muppets version.

What’s your favourite album?

The Ziggy Stardust one [The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars]. It blew my mind when I first heard it. I was listening to very mainstream stuff and then suddenly I had this concept album about a bisexual alien rockstar alter ego and I’m thinking, “Christ, this isn’t Erasure anymore.”

Do you still listen to CDs?

I actually bought a Memphis Slim album yesterday because I realised that my listening had totally changed since I got an MP3 player. Albums used to be the soundtrack to my life and I could tell you what I was listening to at all the important points. I couldn’t say anything about the past ten years so I’m going back to albums.

Which song would you take to a desert island?

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody would be a contender. I’ve got some happy teenage memories to that song and I’d have enough time to figure out what it was about.

Which music do you make love to?

At 45, I’m past the days of trying to seduce someone by lowering the lights and sticking a record on. I’d just put the iPod on shuffle and hope for the best.

What was the first dance at your wedding?

I actually missed it. My wife [comedy writer Sian Harries] chose Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac but I was off trying to borrow money from the guests to pay the band. I’ve redeemed myself since. 

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Never Mind The Buzzcocks is back on BBC2