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 new school is scary; the kids are nervous too

Both my kids started at their new school last week. Obviously they were nervous as neither of them has ever been to any other school than their previous one. We did our best to tell them that everybody finds going to a new place tricky, and that they will soon settle in and make new friends. I hope they believed us, as we knew this was mostly lies.

Rum thing, the reputation of Bermuda

The Bermudan Minister for Tourism looked on in astonishment as I received my award for "sorest bum on the island". He was informed that this was because of an epic six-hour moped ride around Bermuda as opposed to anything more nefarious. I have just come back from a golf tournament there and the prize-giving was the last official part of the festivities. I was playing in the Hackers' Cup for a celebrity team under the captaincy of Sir Steve Redgrave against "the finest group of journalists ever assembled at short notice", as their captain, Peter Corrigan put it.

I turned off the lights at Television Centre

For trivia fans, I was in the last programme ever to be filmed in BBC Television Centre. This is a fact, despite reading about 10 different Tweets from other performers claiming the same thing. As far as I can make out, their claims were only factually correct in that it might have been the last thing to be filmed in the studio they were in, but mine was the very last. I literally turned the lights off as I left. This should be very exciting, but as it was a non-broadcast puppet pilot for CBBC, it's not quite as glamorous as it could have been.

Yes, dressing as a rodent is a man skill

So what usually happens when a minor celebrity does the move into a country house thing? What follows is normally a terrible quad bike accident that leaves them brain damaged or a long, slow descent into heroin addiction. When I first moved away from London 10 years ago, I went a bit Ted Nugent and bought loads of guns – paintball, air rifles, pistols … the sort of stuff I thought was illegal in London but, like fox hunting, seems to be OK outside the capital as long as you don't tell anybody.

You can call me Your Excellency, and save a life

My family are finally proud of me. After years of putting up with me dressing as a squirrel and travelling round the world getting drunk, I have finally done something worthwhile. I have been made an ambassador – sadly, not the type of ambassador who swans around in a Bentley with the Union Jack flapping proudly in the wind. Not the type who insists everybody calls him "Your Excellency" (although I have insisted that my family call me this from now on, so don't hold back). No, my ambassadorship is from Save the Children and therefore does not come with diplomatic privileges such as allowing me to transport vast amounts of recreational drugs in the diplomatic bag or not having to pay any more parking tickets (the particular perk of being a Saudi diplomat, I believe).

For Syria's young refugees, childhood is over

I was in Jordan with Save the Children last week – the second anniversary of the beginning of the conflict in Syria – having a look at the work it is doing with the ever increasing numbers of refugees fleeing over the border from Syria into the Hashemite Kingdom. If the influx continues at current levels, Save the Children estimates that there will be a million Syrian refugees in Jordan by the end of the year. Access is needed within Syria to allow humanitarian aid to reach displaced civilians so that, hopefully, the need for people to leave their country can be alleviated.

Now I'm moving house for one day only

Moving house really brings you up to speed with the state of customer service in modern-day Britain. For the past two weeks I have been waging an almost constant war, via Twitter, email and phone, to get companies to do the simplest things like turn up on time (or even on the right day), deliver the correct item or offer help over the phone in something resembling human. I am fortunate in that I am a very minor celebrity with a healthy amount of Twitter followers. Time and again, the moment I tweeted my grievances the managing director or head of customer care would be in touch within 15 minutes promising to solve the problem. This is brilliant for me, but it's a sad state of affairs that problems that are easily solved can only be dealt with because I once dressed as a large squirrel.

The removal men are sizing me up for a box

I'm still moving house. I now can't remember when or why I started moving house. All I know is that everything, everywhere, must be moved. I was in the village pub last night for yet another farewell drink (on my own) and I automatically started piling chairs on tables and lugging them outside until the landlord asked me to stop. I have become a cubist. I live in a world of boxes, and often feel the need to open one of them and crawl inside, shut it and hope that everything is finished when I get out. It never is.

How to move house and bypass divorce

They say that moving house is the third most stressful experience after death and divorce. What they don't tell you is that moving house is very likely to result in death and divorce. My wife and I have a few rules that have kept us from becoming a statistic in the long list of showbiz divorces. These guidelines have been drawn up after thoroughly road-testing them.

The name's Terry, Terry of the mountains

I'm in the French Alps, skiing in a small British village called Val d'Isère. I suppose that technically it's French but you wouldn't know it. The place is packed with Ruperts and Tobys teaching their broods to ski so that they might better be able to network once they get their first job in banking. French is spoken here, but only if absolutely necessary and is definitely frowned upon.

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