INTERVIEW: Mendip Living catch up with Dom Joly!

The multi-award-winning creator of Trigger Happy TV and author of the incredibly popular travel books – The Dark Tourist, Scary Monsters And Super Creeps and The Hezbollah Hiking Club is taking to the road to continue his UK tour. Ade Hill, from Mendip Living, caught up with him to find out more!

You’re about to head off on tour with Holiday snaps – Travel & Comedy In The Danger Zone. What can we expect?

Well I think people automatically assume I’m going to be in a fluffy squirrel costume that morphs into a large mobile phone. Yes, I’m known for Trigger
Happy TV
, but in the last fifteen years I’ve been to 106 countries, written four travel books, taken coach trips to North Korea and gone skiing in Iran! So really the show is about my travels. Essentially, it’s your neighbour who knocks on your door and says ‘I’ve been to Norwich brass rubbing, would you like to see photos of my holiday?’ and you slam the door in his face. I’m the same guy with a PowerPoint but hopefully a little more interesting.

How good does it feel to be back on the road?

Oh it’s amazing. This tour started back in 2020 and I’d done 20 dates. I came home for a day and never went back out for 16 months! I did a few smaller venues last year and it was lovely to see everyone simply enjoying themselves, even if I was rubbish. It was quite odd because everyone was like am I allowed to enjoy myself?!

Getting out and having a laugh is just what the country needs right now wouldn’t you say?

Well I hope so. I mean having a right old laugh with anyone is good right now. My tour is not a stand-up show. It is funny but I’m calling it extreme PowerPoint. People have missed travel so much so I’m inviting you to travel with me to places I’ve visited that you would never go to, like getting in trouble in the Congo, skiing in Iran and having a laugh in North Korea.

Trigger Happy TV was just genius for its time and it’s definitely up there with the likes of Kenny Everett and The Young Ones. But where did the idea come from?

That’s very kind. One of the first shows I absolutely loved was The Kenny Everett Video Show. It was just bonkers and full of life. As forTrigger Happy TV, there really wasn’t an idea but I always loved hidden cameras as a kid. What we had on TV was utter rubbish like Beadle’s About and Game for a Laugh etc. I wanted to make something cool, and totally stupid. Making that show became a labour of love but at the time I never thought it would become what it became.

Do people still shout out at you in the Street?

They do. I was in the park this morning walking the dog and someone shouted “HELLO?!”

Who were your comedy heroes growing up?

Weirdly I wasn’t into comedy but if I had to name them then Shelly Birman. He was a New York Jewish stand up who I always admired. Fawlty
was just genius. Not the Nine O’Clock News and The Fast Show. Dennis Pennis was always outrageous.

You finished fourth on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. What was that experience like?

It was amazing. I mean I would have killed someone on any series before, but I was lucky the year I did it. There were some interesting people like Stacey Solomon, who we all knew would win so everyone relaxed. I was with Gillian Mckeith, Shaun Ryder, Opik Lembit, and Nigel Havers. Jenny Eclair was another and I’ve since become really good friend with her. I was lucky with the calibre of people in the jungle. I found the experience easy and adored every moment of it.

Tell us more about the travel book you’ve written?

I’ve written three and the fourth one I’ll be talking about on this tour. I wrote my first book called The Dark Tourist back in 2010 and in that I just went off on holiday to the sort of places you wouldn’t go to like a vacation around America looking at assassination sites and a road trip across Syria. My next book was called Scary Monsters and Super Creeps. I went off around the world looking for the big six monsters like Lock Ness, Big Foot, Yeti, and one in Japan. I visited the Congo and got into a lot of trouble. One of the problems being a monster Hunter and being me is that if I’d actually come face-to-face with Big Foot and came back with amazing footage then everyone would have been like, no you’re Dom Joly, a practical joker, and no one would have believed me.

The next is called The Downhill Hiking Club. I grew up in Lebanon so me and two friends walked for 27 days from the Israeli check point to the Syrian border. That was a lot of fun so it’s me trying to persuade you that your next holiday should be Lebanon.

I have a new book out now called Such Miserable Weather. It’s basically me doing a road trip around England including lots of places around Somerset and places so if I’m somewhere that is mentioned in the book then I’ll be reading that and being rude about people’s places.

You’re appearing across the UK including The Strode Theatre in Street, Somerset on Friday 13th May, but where else can I find out more about venues and tickets?

Simple! Just visit the website:

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