First Word - Count Arthur Strong
This article is from 2010.
Radio 4’s belligerent Yorkshire thesp, Count Arthur Strong, is on the warpath with his UK tour reaching Edinburgh this month. Here he talks trousers, Hendrix and offal
First record you ever bought
A Victor Sylvester 78. I can’t remember the title but you could do a foxtrot to it. If you could do one. Otherwise you just stood there.
Last time you were chatted up
Marks and Spencer’s yesterday. I think. She asked me if I was ‘alright doing my packing’. We all know what that means don’t we? I only had a packet of Ginger Nuts.
First film you saw that really moved you
Bridge On The River Kwai
Last lie you told
First movie you ever went on a date to
Some French muck.
Last time you cried
Any time I’m chopping onions. It just makes me emotional. I don’t know why. I guess I’m a soppy old so-and-so at heart.
First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
I’m never off work. I’m like a shark in that respect. Apart from being underwater. Which a shark likes, but would kill me.
Last great meal you cooked
An ‘Ocean Pie’ from the Captain’s Table range.
Last extravagant purchase you made
A battery for my watch. It cost more than the sodding watch did in the first place. What’s the point of that?
What a strange question. I can’t recall ever having crushed anything. Unless a caterpillar counts? And that was more of a squash.
Last book you read
I’m an avid reader. I generally nod off reading in bed. The book that’s putting me to sleep at the moment is my old pal Barry Cryer’s ‘Butterfly Brain’.
First great piece of advice you were given
Make sure your flies are done up before you go on stage. I’ve almost always remembered that.
Last time you were star struck
I don’t get star struck. I am a star. People get star struck with me. But I never ask myself that question because I’m naturally modest.
First thing you’d do if you ran the country
Have a drink. Do the sudoku. Everything else can wait. I’m good at sudoku.
Last meal on earth. What would it be
That depends who was buying it. It would be something offal based.
First song you’ll sing at karaoke
I don’t do karoke. I’m a professionally trained singer. I’d rather receive a Chinese burn.
Last time you exploited your position to get something
The BBC canteen. I didn’t really have the best opportunity to exploit myself, as they asked me to leave. I did managed to get a pocket full of individual butters though.
First time you realised you were famous
Last time someone criticised your work
Don’t be ridiculous!
First three words your friends would use to describe you
Giving. A good listener. Slightly deaf. Numerically challenged.
Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
I bought a pair of trousers that fitted someone else’s legs that were shorter than mine. I regretted that because my ankles get cold in them.
First concert you ever attended
Jimmy Hendrix at ‘The Speakeasy’ in the 60’s. It was a right racket. My ears bled.
Last time you bought someone flowers
I bought my mother a potted hyacinth in 1953. She killed it. We don’t know if it was deliberate.
First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
‘Where am I?’ The second thing is ‘Did I manage to get home?’
Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
‘I must take this library book back’