What freaks me out is when I am invited to a tuxedo type of do. I don't dress up at all and, for that very reason, when I am dressed up I always feel self-conscious. I'm sure a lot of women have that feeling all the time. I'm probably less self-conscious going around in my swimming trunks than in a fancy suit.
I wouldn't say that looks and style are unimportant - I'm not even that happy with the way I look, but I'm not going to go and change anything about it, because I think if you do one tiny thing, then you're on a really slippery slope to having a picture in your attic.
England is really classist, so people do look at the way you dress to a degree, and they make judgements - but who wants to hang out with those kind of people?
I sell myself on what I do. I have no interest in being a personality. I don't even like the word celebrity; it affects what other people see as me, but it doesn't really enter my life. I won't appear on any shows, apart from Never Mind the Buzzcocks, because I'm just not interested. My interests are writing novels and acting, and doing stand-up and getting ideas across. I'm quite a serious man.
I'm aware that before I did television people weren't going, "Wow, I'd love to shag him," but it's the power of that box. I know I'm not ugly, but I'm nothing special and television tends to make people look a bit special.
There's a bit in my novel where the character talks about buying a white suit, and that was based on my own life. I was 15 and I had this brainstorm. I thought I'd look like the bee's knees in white, when in fact I just looked like the little guy from Fantasy Island, and I never wore it ever, apart from in the shop. I might as well have said, "There's however much it cost, mate, just chuck it in the bin."
Some years ago, I bought a Paul Smith suit for about pounds 500, which I thought was astronomical. I didn't wear it very often and I didn't like it when I did. It felt uncomfortable. I was aware of it, aware of the expense. I was brought up a working-class Catholic in Ireland, and I still have that whole working-class attitude. I find there are much more important things to spend your money on than clothes.
I was working with Jo Brand once, and she turned to me and said, "Sean, you're a lovely bloke, but would you ever cut your nostril hairs?" She was right. She did me a favour and I was really grateful. I think sometimes you should tell people stuff like that.
I'm happy when I'm wearing what I'm comfortable in. I'm a great slipper wearer. I've never been a sex god, but slippers are fantastic, I heartily recommend them to anyone. I like sandals as well and I wear them quite a lot, even though my friends laugh at me because I wear socks with them. I love socks. I wear them in bed. Frank Sinatra used to wear a pair of socks one day and then just chuck them away the next. Now, I wouldn't do that, but I have slept with a horse.
In my hallway I've got a "hall of mirrors" mirror. So when you're going out, thinking you're looking pretty, the last thing you see as you leave the house is a squashed-up little oblong face. I went out of my way to get that mirror. It's fantastic. Everyone should have one. They should have them in Soho. People shouldn't be so obsessed by style and image.
`It's What He Would Have Wanted' is published on 18 September by Scribner, at pounds 9.99Reuse content