As far as characters are concerned, Alan Partridge makes me wet myself. I'm currently reading the book and have started talking like him as an unfortunate consequence.
I tend to develop my rambling anecdotes by actually getting up and performing them. That's the joy/horror of stand up - if you have the germ of an idea that you think might be funny, there is a way of finding out if it's funny very quickly.
I grew up in Shropshire, but I was born in Wales. There was a hospital seven miles away, but my dad drove 45 miles over the Welsh border so I could play rugby for Wales. But as a skinny asthmatic, I was only ever good at swimming.
My favourite place in Britain is... my home county of Shropshire. I think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Humour is learned behaviour, and I know exactly why I learned to be funny. I did it from a very early age. My dad was a hilarious man, and the way we interacted was being silly together. It was a way to hold his attention.
I was a drama teacher, so I had the opportunity to show off in front of a captive audience. I essentially did 13 years of stand-up. Whether my pupils would agree that I was remotely interesting or not is another question.
I try and make myself or consenting people I am very close to the victims of my comedy. I don't enjoy bullying masquerading as comedy.
I've politely declined a few reality-type things but generally have been asked to do things that I'd enjoy. I'll be doing less in the new year so I can get some writing done.
I once bought some enormous fireworks that were literally the size of sticks of dynamite. We would go into the field behind our house, slide them into the biggest cow pats we could find, and blow them sky high. It was exhilarating and, for the cows, incredibly confusing.
I frequently meet ex-pupils who seem to think I didn't totally ruin their educations, so that's something.
I don't know why comedians moan about touring; you get driven to a town, stay in a hotel, work for an hour and a half with nice people, and eat fatty service station food. There's nothing not to like.
I have no desire to work my adrenal glands any harder than necessary. I like lazing around; it's pretty important to my well-being. But I also get bored, so that's when my culture-vulturing kicks in.
I swam for the county when I was 12. You wouldn't think it to look at me now, but I'm as graceful as a seal.
My dad is the funniest human being I've ever met in my life - for years, I'd watch him hold court in whatever situation he was in; he was the most amazing raconteur. I often feel I've hijacked what should have been his career.
Carla Lane's 'Butterflies' seemed to be on in our house at all times when I was a kid, as did 'The Good Life.' But it was 'Fawlty Towers that made me really sit up for the first time. Basil's incandescent rage made me howl.
In standup, the feedback is instantaneous, and if it fails, you know you'll be off-stage and hiding in a short time.
I was scarred in 1977 by watching Jaws, and I've never got over it.
I would spend a lot of time setting up an accident scene where it appeared that I had seriously hurt myself - hedge-cutter, ketchup, that sort of thing. When my sister happened upon the scene of horror, I would lift my head and pathetically plead for her to 'get Mum'.
People often tell me that they have no idea how I can do standup. The idea of trying to make a large group of strangers laugh is, for many, absolutely petrifying - and it is - but there are ways of gradually developing the material that can ease the fear.
My dad, who had spent his life as a lecturer, said, 'That's all very well, but you need to earn a living, so why don't you teach?' I did, and 13 years later, I woke up.