we need a laugh now more than ever- Matt Lucas
Quick Fire Questions -
Song currently stuck in your head:
That song that goes ‘Send her victorious, happy and glorious, long to reign over us’ but I can’t remember what it’s called.
What are you most likely to be caught doing?
Eating Jaffa cakes in bed.
Go-to chat up line?
‘Fancy a Jaffa cake?’
Favourite Underwear Brand?
Very, very loud people in restaurants.
A good show tune.
What is the defining moment of your career?
‘Little Britain’ will probably always be what I’m remembered for (if I’m remembered at all). While I was watching the first cut of the pilot episode I thought; ‘Hello, I think we’re onto something here’ because most sketch shows have one or two characters that catch on, but that pilot had Vicky Pollard, Dafydd, Emily Howard, Sebastian, Marjorie and the Pirate memory game sketch and Dennis Waterman, and I had a sense that we had more than one or two that could be hits.
Is it important to be open about your sexuality when you have a platform?
It’s up to the individual, but in my case, I felt once I had told my family, it was then something that I was happy to be in the public domain, because two generations ago people were arrested for being gay and one generation ago the community was decimated by HIV, so our sacrifices are small in comparison. I feel one way we can pay respect to those who went before us and also pave the way for a brighter future for those ahead of us is to be out and to keep actively fighting homophobia. But not everyone is in my position, I accept that.
In a previous interview, you’ve stated that you wouldn’t revisit a lot of the characters portrayed in ‘Little Britain’. Do you feel some of these characters may have had a negative effect on society at the time?
The show wasn’t made in a vacuum. When it came out it was really embraced by the public and by the media, tabloids and broadsheets alike – more so than any other comedy of its time. Towards the end there were some dissenting voices – largely because of the repetition and increasing vulgarity – but when Emily Howard, Vicky Pollard and Marjorie Dawes first appeared, they were celebrated. The BBC is a traditionally liberal organisation and they never voiced any concerns either. It was a different time. I don’t feel our characters had a negative effect on society. People knew it was a silly comedy show. But of course, we would make a very different show now.
In the book, you speak about how the loss of your hair has shaped your life, have you found that this also impacted your life as a young gay man?
My lack of hair and also being overweight meant that I didn’t fit into the gym bunny stereotype. It took me a while to become comfortable with that. I was a late bloomer but I’m fine now.
The book is an intimate account of your life so far, were you nervous of the response?
Yes. I’ve never produced anything as directly personal. But I’ve had some very warm reviews and lovely letters from people who’ve read it.
Do you see a return to sitcoms?
I love sitcoms. The holy grail for any comedy writer is the sitcom. We need a laugh now more than ever.
author: ALflie robinson