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.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web

Real live heroes in the golf wars

I am fast becoming a showbiz cliché: the Jimmy Tarbuck de nos jours. Since I went to Bermuda for a "celeb" golf tournament, I have been inundated with invitations for similar events all over the UK. I like golf, but very much prefer it when it's linked to an all-expenses trip to somewhere hot and lovely.

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.

Day In a Page

Migrants in Britain a decade on: The Poles who brought prosperity

Migrants in Britain a decade on

The Poles who brought prosperity
Philippe Legrain: 'The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - we need a European Spring'

Philippe Legrain: 'We need a European Spring'

The eurozone crisis has tipped many into disillusionment, despair and extremism - this radically altered landscape calls for a new kind of politics, argues the economist
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A moment of glory on the Western Front for the soldiers of the Raj
Judith Owen reveals how husband Harry Shearer - star of This Is Spinal Tap and The Simpsons - helped her music flourish

Judith Owen: 'How my husband helped my music flourish'

Her mother's suicide and father's cancer also informed the singer-songwriter's new album, says Pierre Perrone
The online lifeline: How a housing association's remarkable educational initiative gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression

Online lifeline: Housing association's educational initiative

South Yorkshire Housing Association's free training courses gave hope to tenant battling long-term illness and depression
Face-recognition software: Is this the end of anonymity for all of us?

Face-recognition software: The end of anonymity?

The software is already used for military surveillance, by police to identify suspects - and on Facebook
Train Kick Selfie Guy is set to scoop up to $250,000 thanks to his viral video - so how can you cash in on your candid moments?

Viral videos: Cashing in on candid moments

Train Kick Selfie Guy Jared Frank could receive anything between $30,000 (£17,800) to $250,000 (£149,000) for his misfortune - and that's just his cut of advertising revenue from being viewed on YouTube
The world's fastest elevators - 20 metres per second - are coming soon to China

World's fastest elevators coming soon to China

Whatever next? Simon Usborne finds out from Britain's highest authority on the subject
Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture that causes men to miss out on seeing their children

Cityfathers tackles long-hours culture

The organisation is the brainchild of Louisa Symington-Mills, a chief operating officer who set up Citymothers in 2012 - a group that now boasts more than 3,000 members
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world