Interview: Sean Lock takes Purple Van Man on 2013 UK tour
His surreal rages about the world have earned Sean Lock many admirers and regular TV slots. He lets rip to Brian Donaldson about things that are genuinely bugging him
This article is from 2013.
Sean Lock is not a fan of the internet. ‘I just can’t think of one good thing about it. There is not one benefit.’ Quite a bold statement there, Sean, but there must be something positive about it? ‘It’s quite a bold statement, but there’s not a single positive thing about it. It’s devastated our high streets. Everyone blames Tesco but I blame the internet. Look at the amount of pornography out there? And wars … well, I can’t actually back that one up, but you get my point?’
It’s certainly true to say that the comedian and telly panellist regular (he only does 8 Out of 10 Cats now because every time he turned on Dave, he would be on some show or other) has been personally effected by social media: his people were forced to alert the comedy world over a fake Sean Lock Twitter account when it became a little too pervasive (such as picking fights with Michael Winner and telling really bad jokes).
And he has the same complaints as many entertainers about the unsolicited filming of live shows appearing online or images showing up on social media which give away visual twists in his shows. ‘If I could get Tim Berners-Lee in a room now, I’d kick shit out of that dozy prat. Not only did he come up with the internet, he gave it away! He could have got this country out of recession if we had got 0.01p for every email that was sent. It would have been like oil and we’d have had pensions sorted for many generations.’
These are views, perhaps, of the ‘purple van man’, the made-up persona Lock had in mind when envisaging the areas he would discuss in his new touring show (his first for three years since Lockipedia). ‘There is the idea that there’s a section of society, these working-class tradesmen, are driving around and they all think the same. Everybody who has tools in their vehicle have all the exact same thoughts: it’s incredibly patronising isn’t it? And I just thought, well, I wonder what Purple Van Man thinks about things. It’s simply a device to see how I view certain things through my cloudy filters.’
And so, over the course of almost two hours, Lock will fulminate on Rihanna, gravity, Velcro, China, and the pros and cons of sharing a sleeping bag with certain celebrities. For classical dance fans, there is a bit of ballet he performed earlier in the tour which was dropped but may or may not be back in the act by the end of July. What he can guarantee is a slicker show than the one which audiences in Glasgow nearly saw in March, but which was postponed due to illness.
‘I had a stomach virus and had to cancel Colchester, Swindon and Glasgow. I’d had root canal treatment the week before so I don’t know if the dentist maybe hadn’t washed his hands properly and he’s put his shitty hands in my mouth. I think he’d gone from the bog and straight in to work on my teeth. It could have been his assistant, Bob: how many dentists do you know have an assistant called Bob? That worried me. But it’s to Glasgow’s benefit, because it’s a much better show now than it would have been then. It’s proper flying now. There’s no paste or woodchip in there. Now it’s now a beautifully veneered mahogany sideboard.’
Sean Lock: Purple Van Man, King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Sun 28 Jul; Edinburgh Playhouse, Sun 4 & Mon 5 Aug.