What do you fear the most and why?
Boredom. I mean there are things far scarier than that, things that might crop up occasionally – I was once in a car crash for example – but I don’t spend any time being fearful of them happening. But I fear getting into a rut.
Which mobile number do you call the most?
What – or where – is perfection?
There’s no way of rehearsing comedy. It needs an audience otherwise it’s just words. Getting the words right means nothing… it’s playing the mood of the audience that gives you a sense of timing so it can’t be practised abstractly without an audience. So the first time you say something on a stage and it all clicks just right and you nail a bit… that’s pretty perfect.
Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Hero is an odd word for me. I’m not sure the characters I like most are heroic. I love John Irving’s work and ‘Garp’ is probably my favourite of his novels… but is Garp a hero? If it’s a real hero you’re after I’d go for Atticus Finch in ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’… but there are unheroic characters I like more.
What’s your favourite ritual?
Loading the dishwasher.
Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
The science writer, Simon Singh. Libel is an expensive business. Defending a libel suit is time-consuming and expensive. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong and win the case you will most likely be thousands – possibly hundreds of thousands – of pounds out of pocket. Which is why the law is abused by rich people to silence their critics. It’s easier to take down a website or apologise for your article than it is to risk the livelihood of you and your family. When the British Chiropractic Association accused Simon of libel he didn’t crumble when pretty much anyone else would. He stood and fought… and then went on to challenge the law. Libel reform is coming and many people have been fighting for it for years. But Simon’s courage in the face of such adversity was deeply, deeply impressive.
What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I wish I could play an instrument. Any instrument. Maybe I can. I’ve never tried to play a trumpet. Maybe I’m an undiscovered trumpet savant. But I doubt it.
Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
I’ve loved playing there and I’ve seen some amazing shows there too. But it’s difficult to top watching two women taking a life-sized model deer with them into one of the dining establishments.
If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
Representing the deceased, I’d have Jaques Tati, Tommy Cooper, Morecambe & Wise and Ian Dury. Representing the living I’d have Tim Minchin, John Hegley, Helen Love and Mistys Big Adventure. But not necessarily in that order.
What’s your favourite website?
Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll probably have a different answer. But www.futilitycloset.com is charming me right now.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Turn up on time.
What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
The Story Of Love by Mistys Big Adventure.
Catch Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 16 June. Get tickets here!
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