Alan Davies: My Life In Media

'I had to snog a bloke in 'Bob and Rose'. It wasn't so much kissing him as kissing him so badly'

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I hated school and was a pathological shoplifter so left at 16, wanting to write on the local paper. After working at a grocers I went to college to do media studies; theatre and dance modules satisfied my chronic need for attention. During university I saw Billy Connolly, Rory Bremner and Simon Bligh and decided I wanted to write comedy. TV followed.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

My dad, an accountant, got The Daily Telegraph every day and bought the Standard home to get me to look at the share prices - but I turned straight to sport.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

I spent most of 1981 at gigs, seeing U2, The Pretenders, The Stranglers and The Jam all in one year, but I enjoyed sitcoms such as Porridge and we became obsessed with The Young Ones. I listened to Peel a lot and to Tommy Boyd's late-night phone-ins on LBC - an open invitation to unusual, eccentric people if ever there was one.

What media do you turn to first thing in the morning?

A website with links to all the newspapers: wrx.zen. co.uk; the BBC Sport website, and TEAMtalk.com.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

If there's a big story, BBC News 24 switching over to the Channel 4 News at 7pm, who cover it in depth so you don't have to stay up for Paxman. The BBC Six O'Clock News is ridiculously over-earnest; it's like John Craven's Newsround.

What is the best thing about your job?

I enjoy it and can now choose when I want to work.

And the worst?

Working - particularly drama filming, because it is so tiring. But junior doctors do longer hours so I shouldn't moan. It's not coal mining - I haven't got lungs full of dust.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

The first stand-up video I did in 1994 was during a really good time in my life. Jonathan Creek was great - strong stories and strong support - but Bob and Rose is the best thing I've done on TV. It was quite a tricky part.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Also from Bob and Rose, when I snogged a bloke. We were both straight and got ourselves in a pickle about it, but it wasn't so much kissing him as kissing him so badly. He was quite forceful and kept pushing my head back out of shot.

At home, what do you tune in to?

The Sopranos, The Catherine Tate Show... If I'm filming I have to get up really early so I listen to Phill Jupitus on 6 Music.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

The Sunday Times, The Observer or The Independent on Sunday. Jeremy Clarkson in The Sunday Times makes me laugh. But you have to balance it out with A A Gill, who's a cock. I stopped buying the tabloids as life's too short. I subscribe to Private Eye and Bike.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire

To be in a Woody Allen film. And I would like to be chucked by Kate Moss so that she could save her career by ditching me: "It's all right Kate, I understand..."

If you didn't work in the media what would you do?

Probably become a gossip journalist - the kind of person I hate from my side of the fence, door stepping people and upsetting their families. Or maybe a sports reporter.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

I like good writers and columnists: for example, there's Martin Samuel on sport in The Times; Jeremy Clarkson; Matthew Parris - a great writer, very astute, who makes a point of not having an agenda. And Caroline Aherne is a very talented writer and brilliant performer.

The CV

1991: Wins the Time Out Award for Best Comic.

1994: Wins the Critics' Award and gets a Perrier nomination for his Edinburgh stand-up show.

1995: Nominated as best stand-up at the British Comedy Awards, and makes his first appearance on Have I Got News for You.

1997: Goes on British tour and makes first appearance in Jonathan Creek; the series wins a Bafta for Best Drama. Signs a lucrative contract with Abbey National to front its telly ads, allowing him to pay off his own mortgage.

1998: Radio 4 show, The Alan Davies Show, is nominated for a British Comedy Award. Appears in A Many Splintered Thing and wins Most Popular Actor in the National Television Awards.

2001: Stars in ITV drama Bob and Rose.

2003: Joins QI as a panellist and The Times as a football writer.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Account Executive / Account Manager

£18 - 20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: An Account Executive / Account Manager is ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Social Media Account Writers

£12000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This social media management pr...

Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor (Magazine Publishing) - Wimbledon - £23-26K

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Deputy Editor - Wimbledon...

Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publishing) - Wimbledon - £26-30K

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Editor (Magazines/Publish...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent