Dom Joly

Dom Joly has been a columnist for The Independent on Sunday and The Independent since 2001. Joly shot to fame in 2000 with his anarchic Channel 4 hidden-camera comedy programme Trigger Happy TV. He has since made television series for BBC, Five, and Sky One including, This Is Dom Joly and Dom Joly’s Happy Hour. His current TV show, Fool Britannia, is on ITV1 on Saturday nights. His spoof autobiography, Look At Me, Look At Me was published in 2004, in 2007 he brought out Letters to my Golf Club, featuring his correspondences with golf clubs around the world. In 2009 he wrote his first travel book, The Dark Tourist, in which he holidayed in some of the world’s most unlikely destinations such as Chernobyl and North Korea. His second travel book- Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, published in 2012, saw him cross the globe hunting monsters like the Yeti and Bigfoot. He is currently writing his new travel book.

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It's horses for courses in Kazakhstan

Until I read the news last week, I had assumed that the only time I had eaten horsemeat was on a visit to Kazakhstan a couple of years ago. Now, however, I know that every time I've chowed down on a Tesco beefburger I was going equine. That's why I'm a Waitrose man. If it were stuffing its beefburgers with anything but beef, it would be unicorn and zebra.

Dom Joly in mid-flight on Splash!

Oh no! All that training and I end up a belly flop

Dom Joly survives snow, a courtesy car, and a glamorous assistant to make a splash in 'Splash!'

I knew it would end messily with Tom Daley

I have a difficult time saying no to things. This has got me into a lot of trouble in the past. It has also, I have to admit, got me into some very interesting situations. I covered the Beijing Olympics for The Independent back in 2008 and I spent a very enjoyable day watching the high diving. That was Tom Daley's first Olympics, and I remember being astonished at how young he was. Little did I know that, five years later, I would be standing on the 10-metre board with the very same Tom Daley, both of us about to go off – one slightly more elegantly than the other. But Tom will improve, I'm sure … he's only young.

Man takes on schnitzel... and schnitzel wins

"Let's go up north for a few days…" is how my Canadian holidays invariably end up. Normally it's summer and we drive up from Toronto to Muskoka or Georgian Bay where we spend weeks mucking about on boats and lying around on sun-drenched docks. This, however, is not summer and "the north" has become a very different place. I write this ensconced in a wooden cabin five hours north of Toronto and outside it's a balmy -17C.

Woo, those crazy, heady, rock-band days

All the flags were at half-mast along the seven-hour drive from New York to the Canadian border. Occasionally, we would spot a message board outside a high school with words of support for the people of Newtown, Connecticut. It was the sole topic of conversation in the Arby's fast-food joint where we stopped for breakfast. An elderly couple next to us felt everybody should be allowed handguns, but that an AK-47 was more for Afghanistan than Main Street, USA. Our kids ignored the hot topic of the day, munched on roast-beef-and-fake-cheese buns and announced they wanted to live in America. After breakfast, we filled up at the nearby gas station, our huge family wagon costing just £38 to fill. It's a curious thing about American road trips: even the gas stations are rather exciting and glamorous, with their strange candies and never-before-seen drinks. The kids kept seeing place names that sounded similar to places on the shows they watch on loop on the Disney Channel.

There's nothing to beat a quiet night out

I have just taken my wife "up" to London for a big night out. She is a fabulous mum to our kids and puts up with me arsing around the world pretending to work while she does the real stuff. "Time to spoil her," I thought to myself.

There are rules here to stop a prank backfiring

A chill went through my bones when I heard about the sad and terrible death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha. I felt so dreadfully sorry that somebody had been made to feel so low, so distressed that they felt that the only solution might be to end their own life. Online, the lynch mobs gathered and the radio station in Australia where the two DJs worked was the target of thousands of angry e-missives demanding that the prank callers be hanged, drawn and quartered – and those were the liberal ones.

Churchill had the right idea, sartorially

I know that it's all anybody is talking about this weekend, and that I should write about something else, but I just have to have my two pennies' worth in the ongoing national debate.

The day the chickens came home to roost

I've had some unusual birthday presents over the past 45 years. There was the time a girlfriend decided to dump me on my special day and informed me in a birthday card. Basically, it was "Happy Birthday, you're chucked." Two years ago, I got a cigarette from Shaun Ryder when I was celebrating as best I could in the "Celebrity" jungle.

A half-time summary of my game of life

Last week I turned 45. That means that, best-case scenario, I'm halfway through life. That's a weird thought. My life so far has been a rather varied and extraordinary affair. I was born in Beirut and spent a charmed childhood in the hills above the Lebanese capital, making the occasional jaunt into the Syrian desert. Then came the civil war and everything changed.

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