An Interview With Phill Jupitus

Posted on: 03 December 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Star of TV and radio, Phill Jupitus talks to 50connect about his alternative Christmas message.

In the run up to Christmas, comedian, TV and radio star Phill Jupitus was approached by Kodak who were launching the new Zi6 pocket video camera. Having always wanted to find a medium other then cards for his Christmas messge, Phill says it seemed to fit together perfectly.

“I just went out and messed around on Oxford Street and recorded my thoughts as they popped into my head - it was so easy.

"I usually go out with a huge crew of cameramen, soundmen and various hangers on. They always need to do several takes to get the light right and such but with the Kodak it was just me and my video camera. I can understand why my kids like YouTube so much because it’s just so simple to share your videos these days. It’s so enjoyable.”

Phill says that, as a father, he enjoys Christmas more than ever.

This year my Christmas is on hold as my sister is expecting twins.

“I think you go through different phases with Christmas - as a young kid you love it, it’s magical and then you get older and start to realise that something’s up, that there’s a deception involved, so as a teenager you hate Christmas and then once you have your own kids you love it again so I guess you go full circle.

"This year my Christmas is on hold as my sister is expecting twins on the 24th so the whole family will be looking after her. It’s a great Christmas present for my mum; she can’t shut up about it!”

Phill has had a very varied career, from poet supporting Billy Bragg to appearing as a patient on Holby City but he doesn’t think he’s hit his peak just yet.

“From my point of view, when I look back, the best thing for me has been the variety. I’ve never had to settle on one particular thing. My career was more by accident than design. It constantly surprises me how very many things I have done.

"This year, for example, as well as my work on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, I’ve been able to do a play in the West End, I was able to write my own play and perform it at the Edinburgh Festival, I toured with a band for a month, I’ve done so much and it keeps me fresh and interested. I feel very lucky and blessed.”

Phill on Never Mind the Buzzcocks with host Simon Amstell and former captain Bill BaileyPhill has been a team captain on ultra-popular BBC 2 music quiz, Never Mind The Buzzcocks for over twelve years. He has outstayed one host and a number of opposing team captains but says he has no plans to leave just yet.

“I’ve been doing Buzzcocks for so long because I genuinely enjoy it - if it ever became a pain in the arse, I’d stop doing it. It’s never a tiresome experience - we have a real laugh. There’s such a strange mix of people sometimes so it’s a different experience for me each time. It’s always fresh.”

Phill credits his successful and varied career to his belief that you should try a little of everything to find what suits.

Keep an open mind; my mother wanted me to join the Merchant Navy and see the world.

“If I have any philosophy that keeps me going it’s simply; to keep an open mind about what you do. I never thought I’d be where I am, my mother wanted me to join the Merchant Navy and see the world which I think was probably standard for mums in the 50s and 60s.

"I’ve managed to see the world through what I do. I’ve travelled all over the world with my stand-up routine, I’ve been in a feature film in Brazil, I’m gigging in Ireland next week and of course I’ve been all over the UK. I don’t think you should ever limit yourself, you can be anything.”

And all that hard work looks set to continue in 2009. As well as Buzzcocks, Phill is writing a book about radio which will keep him busy until the summer and then it’s festival time which Phill finds a real highlight of the year. 

By Emily Bird

Web Links

To view Phill's alternative Christmas message, click on the link below.

What are you doing for Christmas? Do you agree with Phill's Christmas message? Are you spending less this Christmas?

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