I had a great time as a teacher, but I was just treading water, as a lot of us do.
I would say the more significant factor of my starting late is that I developed a sufficiently thick skin to be able to - just about - handle the knocks that a fledgling comedian takes.
Every time I travel, I'm in a rage until I reach my destination. I find myself shouting at suitcases, as if it's their fault that I'm an inefficient packer. I've also learnt that whenever you despair of humanity and start thinking that you hate people - as I frequently do - you only have to travel to realise that people are basically all right.
It often occurs to me that this is a strange way to make a living. But it's wonderful, too. There are many ways to read maturity, and I'm not fighting the instinct to simply enjoy that kind of nonsense. I love that someone would pay me to draw on somebody else's bottom.
When you're trying to enter something as intimidating as comedy, starting out with a support network of likeminded people is a powerful thing. It was natural we'd end up working together because we went through those first petrifying moments together. We created gigs for each other, slapped each other on the back, and protected each other.
One of my friend calls me 'lost to showbiz', but that's only because I don't go for a drink as often as he'd like, because I'm always working. I've met very few famous people who are lost to showbiz - I have met some, mind.