Many a brutal battle has been fought in the Robot Wars arena, mechanical opponents tearing each other apart in front of baying crowds for the faintest chance of glory.
But today I was headed there for a very different sort of clash – a battle of wits with the sort of interviewee every journalist dreads. A star whose brutal put-downs are legendary in the industry, whose chaotic personal life is completely off-limits and who is rumoured to count it a badge of honour to make entertainment writers cry within five minutes.
Today, I was going to interview Sir Killalot.
Off to a great start
So after a little small talk and an oil change (my skin was looking a little dry so I put on some Olay), I settled down with the self-styled leader of the House Robots and his in-house binary translator to talk about his return to the A-list.
Suffice it to say, sparks flew.
Hi, Sir Killalot – can I call you Kill?
You can call me Sir. Or the King of Carnage, it’s your choice. But unless you want to meet the sharp end of my crushing claw I’d strongly suggest you keep it regal.
Fair enough – so how does it feel to be back in the Robot Wars game?
I don’t have feelings, I’m a robot.
What did the new Robot Wars producers have to say to coax you out of your retirement?
All they had to do was turn me on.
Speaking of which, was it difficult to come back to work with Matilda again after all these years, given your off-camera romantic history?
Did you not get the note from my publicist? Personal questions are off-limits. Next.
Getting to know the bot behind the mask
Noted. How have you been getting along with the new hosts? Do Dara and Angela meet with your high expectations?
I do not usually care for any homo sapiens, but Dara appears to have the acceptable intelligence levels and qualifications in order to host the show.
I’m still undecided about Angela ever since she publically revealed her favourite House Robot was Matilda. She’ll soon learn for herself that those beady pink eyes aren’t all that they seem. That little mistress of mischief has Angela wrapped around her pneumatic flipping tusk.
What would you say to your critics, who might think you’re past it?
My hydraulic claws have 2.5 tonnes of crush force. Critique that.
What about your fans, who’ve kept supporting you all these years?
My most important fans are the internal ones that stop me from overheating and exploding. Without their support I simply wouldn’t be here.
Sir Killalot with fellow House Robots Matilda and Shunt
Forgive me for mentioning it, but it looks like you’ve had a little work done…
I have a new rotating drill lance and jaws which open to 700mm wide, each of my arms can lift up to 300kg, I have super strong Armox armour and did I mention my hydraulic claws have 2.5 tonnes of crush force? I’ve also beefed up by over 200kg and now weigh an almighty and rather impressive 741kg.
So basically, I’m terrifyingly bigger and heavier than the first time round but then, aren’t we all?
Do you stay in touch with Mr Psycho and Sgt Bash?
Would you stay in touch with someone called Mr Psycho?
The media landscape has changed a lot since you were last on screen – will you be getting an Instagram?
No. Taking pictures is quite challenging when your selfie arm is a rotating drill.
Do you tweet?
Only when I haven’t been oiled.
It’s a cold Wednesday evening and there’s nothing on the telly – what do you do?
Mostly daydream about how I can destroy the pathetic bunch of amateur robots who think they are brave enough to take on me. I’m the MASTER of DISASTER or as Jonathan Pearce likes to call me, the “Daddy” of the Robots.
Strictly or X Factor?
Simon Cowell changes the judging panel more than I change my batteries so it is only a matter of time before I get the call.
What’s next for Sir Killalot after this?
I’m doing an interview and photo-shoot entitled ‘Under the Bonnet’ with a popular weekly glossy magazine. They want to learn about the real me but under no circumstances are they to take any pictures of my nuts and bolts.
And finally, I’m sure you get asked this all the time – but how much DO you kill?
This interview is over.
With thanks to the team at Robot Wars for translating Sir Killalot’s answers
Robot Wars returns to BBC2 today (Sunday 24th July) at 8:00pm