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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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.

I've discovered how to lose weight: fast

The problem with this amazing diet that I'm on is that it doesn't have a name. It all started during the Olympics when I was in France.

Welcome to my eight wonders of the world

I took my family to one of the Seven Wonders of the World yesterday. We drove to Chichen Itza (or chicken pizza as the locals call it), the ancient Mayan ruins that lie in the centre of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and became a "new" Wonder in 2007. We got there early to avoid the hordes of coach parties that descend upon the place after 10am. It's certainly impressive, but I couldn't help thinking that I'd been to even more amazing places that hadn't made the New Wonders list, established by a company in Switzerland which claims to have got over 100 million votes before announcing the seven winners.

The only Brit poolside without a tattoo

I'm in Mexico hoping that the edge of Hurricane Sandy will not give us a Mischief Night visit. It looks as if we are the only area of the Caribbean that it won't throw eggs at, but I'm still wary. Anyhow, I've got other problems to deal with. Every evening, somebody sneaks into my room and leaves me a peculiar object. On the first night, it was a dog made of towels. Yesterday, it was a hybrid rabbit/Ku Klux Klan member made of towels. This evening, I found two swans … made of towels. What does it mean?

My Beirut is not battered enough for the US

I wasn't surprised to hear that the Lebanese minister for tourism, Fadi Abboud, was threatening to sue the makers of my current favourite TV show, Homeland, for misrepresenting Beirut. As I watched the second episode last Sunday, the action was supposedly based in the Lebanese capital. My wife kept asking: "Do you recognise where they are?" I didn't, mainly because the programme was shot in Haifa, in Israel, which looks more "Arab" to the average American viewer than cosmopolitan Beirut. Women are in the hijab, there is a smattering of camels, and Westerners are stared at suspiciously. No wonder we are wary of the Middle East when we see stuff like this.

I'm trying to ignore Twitter #betterthingstodo

I'm getting seriously bored of Twitter. You just know that when "Dave" the Prime Minister joins something then it's pretty much time to go home. It's actually been "over" for about a year now. I can't remember the exact moment when I thought "this is rubbish", but I probably tweeted the fact and, if I could be bothered, I could look back over my tweets and give you the exact time and date. I think the problem with Twitter is that the bigger it's got, the more twats you have to deal with.

I'm not shy, but those Loose Women are scary

Loose Women is a terrifying daytime TV show in which women grumble about getting old, men, and soap operas that I don't watch.

Nepal's tragic news sent a shiver down my spine

I awoke, as usual, with the radio on. I can't get to sleep if it's not, a habit I acquired growing up in Beirut where the BBC World Service would always be on. Lebanon is a place where news really matters and you would often find out who was shooting at you from some calm voice in London before anybody local had worked it out.

Help me, please: I'm a stranger in Mummyland

I find my life is very mixed up. One minute I'm being whisked around doing exciting showbizzy things and being generally treated in a manner which I don't deserve but quickly become accustomed to; the next minute I'm dumped back home where I come about equal seventh with the rabbit on the importance register – actually, I think the rabbit edges it, but big ears can't speak so who cares?

I've got the back-to-school blues

I spent my only day off last week school-shopping, checking what else is on offer in our area, just in case our kids are missing out on intensive Mandarin or intermediate origami.

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