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In Jupitus' Orbit
Never Minds The Buzzcocks captain Phill Jupitus on his foray into Broadway-style musicals, his admiration for Irish comedian David O’Doherty and his friendship with the late Ian Dury.
Roisin Dwyer, 04 May 2011
Phill Jupitus is one of the best-known comedians on UK television. As a team captain on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and regular guest on QI, Mock The Week and a host of other shows, he tickles our funnybones with impressive regularity.
But Mr. Jupitus is a man of many talents. He started his career as a performance poet supporting the likes of Billy Bragg and Paul Weller, directed music videos for the former and the late Kirsty MacColl and did a stint in music PR with The Housemartins. More recently he was a breakfast DJ on BBC 6 Music from 2002 to 2007, an experience he explores compellingly in his book Good Morning Nantwich.
And to this multi-stringed bow he has also added musical star, performing in Hairspray and now as King Arthur in the Monty Python spoof Spamalot which will entertain crowds in the Grand Canal Theatre in May. Here on the promo trail for said production Jupitus is sparkling company, open, warm and unerringly polite.
“I thought it would be fun to do another musical, especially straight after Hairspray,” he enthuses. “I love doing musicals. When I did Hairspray I found it was so outside any experience I’d had. When you’re doing stand-up there’s a real lone gunman thing, especially when you’re touring. It’s just you, your support act and the tour manager. Three of you in a car for two months. They’re the only people you really see.
“Every night you go for a curry and every night you have dhansak, spinach and a peshwari naan,” he adds. “And then you go to the next town and go for a curry and say, ‘Well I’ll have the dhansak and spinach and a peshwari naan and then you go to the next town and you have dhansak...”
He continues in a mock forlorn manner.
“And you’re in the hotel room looking at the sachets of coffee, teabags and milk in little things. It just becomes a bit... Whereas with musicals suddenly there’s a gang of you! There’s 50 of you putting this show together every night and it’s, ‘He did that and he was pissed last night and they’ve broken up and this and that.’ Suddenly you’re at school again and it’s so gregarious and social.”