'Brian Cant has a voice like cooling fudge' | 20 questions: Phill Jupitus

'Brian Cant has a voice like cooling fudge'

20 questions: Phill Jupitus

Phill Jupitus has three shows at this year’s festival: Waiting For Alice, a Lewis Carroll-inspired show with Andre Vincent; Phill Jupitus Reads Dickens and Trumptonshire Tales, celebrating children’s TV. Here, he answers Chortle’s 20 questions…

Why did you choose to read Dickens?

I originally wanted to read Kidnapped, but apparently there was a huge Kidnapped anniversary and subsequent events last year. Bill Burdett Coutts at the Assembly suggested Dickens, then I realised I hadn't read any so it seemed ideal...

Which is your favourite Dickens character, and why?

I don't know yet. Ask me in three weeks...

If he was around today, would Dickens be an EastEnders scriptwriter?

No. But he would have been asked.

What’s the idea behind Waiting For Alice?

It was Vinny's [co-star Andre Vincent’s]idea five years ago to do a play about Tweedledee and Tweedledum. And I came up with the idea they were in a copy of Through The Looking Glass that hasn't been read in years, and one of them wants to quit the book. Once I knew I was quitting 6 Music, I decided to write it with him.

You’re doing two literary-inspired shows, but why no stand-up?

I haven't exactly forgotten how, but I haven't done it in five years, and I wasn't that bothered about doing it again. Doing a play seemed like a different way to go. I've forgotten all the old gags. I never wrote any down. Silly in retrospect...

Will we see you back on the road soon?

If the play tours, yeah, why not...

You’ve revived Porky The Poet for a couple of recent benefits. Is it good to revisit the poetry?

Very gratifying. There's something quite nourishing about poetry. It's nice to be freed from the tyranny of the punchline. It's mostly new stuff as well... I lost all the old poems a few years back and can't remember the fuckers. Think I have a live tape from '85. But I prefer the new ones anyway...

What was your favourite character from Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green?

I was always a lover of Trumpton as a whole out of the three shows,but Mr. Dagenham the salesman was probably the coolest most modern character. Red sports car too...

Has meeting Brian Cant destroyed any childhood illusions about the show?

Not at all. He was probably the first 'hip' dude I liked as a kid. There was always a twinkle in his delivery on Playschool and Playaway... He's an utter delight. He has a voice like cooling fudge...

Why did you give up the 6 Music show?

Five years seemed long enough. It sped by. I do miss it though. I dolove my music...

Do most comics secretly envy musicians for being considered much cooler?

I think there's an element of that. I haven't seen enough new stand up to be a proper judge. But no matter how cool you try to be you can't hide the big red fucking clown shoes.

Were you worried about stepping into Ian Dury’s shoes by touring with the Blockheads?

It's not so much filling the shoes as keeping the seat warm. I'm doing the winter tour because the lads asked me but it's not a permanent thing. It's a singular joy to sing his words. he was quite the poet...

Who’s the best Buzzcocks host?

Dale Winton. Better tan than Mark. Gayer than Simon.

As the writer of probably the first dedicated Star Wars-themed stand-up show, are there any new jokes left to do about Star Wars?

I think Episode Three was the last Star Wars joke...

As a big Simpsons fan, what did you think of the movie?

Do you know. I have yet to see it.I’ve been very busy with the play. I’m seeing it when the kids come up...

When did you first come to Edinburgh, and what did you do?

Myself, John Mann, Little Dave, Murray Torkildsen and Lorraine Bowen did the Live Essex Show for a week in a gym in 1991 (I think). It lost thousands and was the best laugh I'd ever had...

What’s you favourite Edinburgh experience?

Interviewing Matt Groening live for the UK launch of Futurama, and the same year Malcolm Hardee coming onstage behind me at Late & Live wearing a bear's head.

And your worst?

Hanging some twat off a balcony at the Fringe Club, and eating Swimmy's dope cakes and getting the fear

What one bit of advice would you give to someone visiting the festival?

Leave your preconceptions at Hadrian's Wall...

Apart from your own, what other show would you recommend?

Morning Edition

Published: 3 Aug 2007

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