My Comedy Hero - Alex Horne

Alex Horne

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MY COMEDY HERO

Before I start, I want to stress that, while I admire people like Woody Allen, Peter Cook and Bill Hicks, I actually grew up watching a lot of Hale and Pace and Russ Abbot so my genuine options here are unfortunately somewhat limited. Heavily influenced in a Derren Brown (my actual hero, incidentally) sort of way by the title of this feature, I was therefore initially tempted to nominate Ardal O’Hanlon. Having found salvation in Father Ted in the latter part of my childhood, I still count Dougal as one of my favourite comic creations.

Whilst I did then become obsessed with Ardal’s stand-up, repeatedly listening to his CDs and adopting a slight Irish twang and a lot of whimsy when I first and disastrously attempted stand-up, his subsequent mental safari and starring role in that programme, My Hero, does, however, immediately disqualify him from that very title here. I’d choose Cooperman over George Sunday any day of the week.

So instead I’m going to plump for the similarly dozy character in Linehan and Mathews’ next great sitcom, who had his own cult series in the late 90s and has remained steadfastedly brilliant ever since. I first saw Bill Bailey in a suitably rustic corn exchange ten years ago. I’ve always been acutely jealous of musical talent but it was the rest of his performance that got me that night; the technical playfulness, quickfire gags, lustrous hair, inclusive chaos. All things I strive to emulate today.

(Interview by Brian Donaldson)

The Stand, Glasgow, Thu 19-Sat 21 Apr.

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