Who's Hughes?: Sean Hughes interview

He feels uncomfortable in expensive suits and pays more attention to the hair up his nose than the hair on his head. Yet novelist, actor and comedian Sean Hughes still considers himself a serious person

I'm very much of the school - and I believe there is one, in Pimlico - that you either become a slave to fashion and style, or your style is your personality. I'm the latter, which means I never wear labels, and I never comb my hair or use shampoo. Mind you, I've never ironed a shirt either, but that's not a statement, that's pure laziness.

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 9.99

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Manager

    £17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced marketeer is req...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager - Enterprise, M2M & IOT Hardware

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager - Enterprise, M2M & IOT Hardware

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting to join a s...

    Recruitment Genius: Food Production / Operations Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a large and well ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas