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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You can take the cat out of the underworld...

I am now very worried about Captain Kangaroo, the gangster cat we saved from the mean streets of Cheltenham. Some horrible person in what passes for a "hood" in these genteel parts had shot Roo – we eventually adopted him and gave him what we thought was a happy home in the hills above the town.

Abuse me if you must, but I'm not the Big I Am

I suffered another random outbreak of online abuse last week. It was my own fault. I'd already announced in this column that I was going to go offline while my current comedy series was on the telly. Too much time spent in the back of cabs broke my Luddite resolve however. Sometimes, when you're on your own, potential access to the whole world is a tantalising thing.

My boarding school was awful, and it still is

I went back to my old school on Saturday. My boy's school was playing rugby there and I'm an enthusiastic observer of him being trampled upon and kicked by other children – I think my old school called it character-building. I turned down the familiar road and the memories came flooding back.

Farewell Twitter. Hello sanity and crossbows

I think it was Ash Atalla, producer of The Office, who said that there was no quicker way to a nervous breakdown than to have a comedy show on television in the age of Twitter. The first show of the new series of Fool Britannia went out last night and the one thing I didn't do was follow the live commentary online. That way only madness lies.

Never mind the integrity, feel the pay packet...

I am, I must admit, available for Bar Mitzvahs, birthdays and weddings. There is a thriving underworld in which comedians and entertainers make a pact with the devil and perform at corporate events and shindigs to keep the ever-present wolf from their rickety door. I remember when I first did one – for Vodafone. My agents were contacted and asked whether I'd be prepared to introduce the then chief executive of the company on stage at their annual meeting by screaming into my giant mobile. Full of youthful integrity, I laughed down the line at my agents and told them that this was really not the sort of thing that I did. Then they told me how much had been offered and I asked what date the event was on.

From field of dreams to field of sporting misery

It was always going to be a difficult moment, watching my boy play his very first game of contact rugby. Stacey and I drove down to the school in a state of silent tension.

My next book: a dog in a bag, and me. Can’t fail

Slowly, and almost indiscernibly, the taboos of my youth are being shed. The other day I caught myself thinking about attaching some sort of strap to my reading glasses.

Hanging out with Scarlett Johansson on Venice Lido

No matter how many times you do it, arriving in Venice is the most fabulous travel experience in the world. Getting off the plane and hopping onto a water taxi to be whisked up the Grand Canal to your hotel is to undergo a sensory rehabilitation like no other. I was there with an old artist friend who lives in Newfoundland and is curiously representing the island at this year's Biennale.

Like Syria's President Assad, George Orwell created hell in paradise

My dog, Huxley, is an 11-year-old Labrador, and fortunately in peak physical condition as he survived a leap from a first-floor window last week with nothing more than some bruising. Far worse off was the startled farmer who was driving the pick-up truck that Huxley dive-bombed like some hairy Stuka. He won't be back soon. He'll be in the pub downing pints and muttering to anyone who'll listen: "He's only got bloody flying dogs up there. We should burn him, I tell you: chase him out of the county...."

I came, I saw, I forgot the liquorice allsorts

I've been hiking around my Cotswold valley, getting to know my new surroundings. My goal was to find a Roman villa that lies in the middle of some woods relatively undiscovered (in the sense that nobody has thrown up a fence and started charging exorbitant entry fees to look at some rubbish illustrations). I suppose that I should have bought an Ordnance Survey map immediately, as this would have greatly improved my chances of discovering the ruin. Unfortunately, I have always equated people with Ordnance Survey maps with the sort of types I wouldn't leave alone with my children.

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