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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A full-service agency based in ...

Recruitment Genius: Subscriptions and Marketing Assistant

£12500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A subscriptions and marketing a...

Recruitment Genius: Advertising / Media Sales Executive

£15000 - £22200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious candidate is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Sub-editor - Editorial - Publishing

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A sub-editor is required to joi...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high