The Stephen Fry diet

The week's comedy trivia

  • ‘I've slightly tortured myself over the years about whether comedy is a proper job.’ Dawn French.

  • Sean Lock says he rarely gets recognised in the street, but when it does, it doesn’t always go well. ‘I got threatened once on a canal by a mad Cockney,’ he said. ‘He recognised me from the television and said, “You’re that comedian aren’t you?”, and I foolishly said, “Oh thanks very much” Then he said, “Not so fucking funny now are you?” It was me, him and a canal at ten o’clock in the morning. Luckily my phone rang and I said, “Excuse me I’ve got to answer this” and walked off. I think he had other issues in life.’

  • Stephen Fry has revealed his diet secrets: ‘It's a question of eating less – and going for a brisk walk every day listening to Rufus Sewell reading the James Bond audiobooks on my headset. The Bond books are read at just the right pace to to help me walk faster.’

  • Prince Philip displayed his typical tact when meeting David Walliams after his cross-Channel swim. ‘Prince Philip didn't stop to speak to us, he just said, “Is this the nut who swam the Channel?”,’ Walliams revealed. The Duke then asked Walliams’s mother: 'Any more nuts in your family?' The Little Britain star admitted he was worried what he would say meeting royalty. ‘I was amazed at how nervous I was before I met The Queen,’ he told Jonathan Ross in his chat show to be aired tonight. ‘I had my telephone voice on. I said I raised £1 million, I wanted to say “make it £2million”. You have a terrible sense you're going to say the wrong thing.’

  • Also on the show, Walliams and co-star Matt Lucas revealed that the US remake of their show will feature some familiar characters: Vicki Pollard going to brat camp, Daffyd at university (‘the only gay on the campus’) and Sebastian, who has become Prime Minister and has a crush on the US President.

  • Mark Thomas has a cat called Cous-Cous.

  • Michael McIntyre died a death at a corporate gig at the Victoria and Albert museum, in a room so cavernous and silent that he could hear his gags echo off the walls. ‘Even as I was leaving the stage, my jokes were still dying,’ he laments

  • Renee Zellweger rented a house to Jerry Seinfeld that was, ironically enough, infested with bees. ‘The fireplace in the front room had thousands of bees,’ she said. ‘So that’s a little bit of Bee Movie trivia for you: poor Jerry moved into my bee-infested house.’ And the best thing about this snippet of useless information? The name of the website it came from: Jewtastic!

  • Stephen Merchant thinks he should be richer: ‘I read a news report saying that JK Rowling need never work again and I think I should be in that position, surely. And it irritates me because I'd quite happily never work again if I was wealthy enough.’

  • Royal Variety Show star Russell Brand said he’s always been respectful of the Queen: ‘When I lick a stamp, I always do it with my eyes closed.’ Meanwhile, Jimmy Tarbuck said Brand was so magnificent, ‘he could be a Scouser’.

  • Jack Dee: ‘I love mixing with comedians when I’m working with them but when I’m not I don’t feel the need to hang out with them. Maybe they don’t like me either.’

SOURCES: Daily Telegraph, Manchester Confidential,, BBC, BBC, Daily Telegraph, Chortle, Jewtastic!, FHM, Daily Mail/Liverpool Daily Post, The Guardian

Published: 7 Dec 2007

Today's comedy-on demand picks


The UK's longest-running improv team are putting a show online for the very first time since they started in 1985. They will be live-stream an hour of Sunday night footage from their archives from 7.30pm.

The line-up will feature Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson and Andy Smart.

Click for more suggestions

... including Andrew Maxwell Breaks The Internet and a streamed version of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe curio Panopticon, from the Consignia sketch group.

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