How We Met: Johnny Vaughan & Sean Lock

'We've tried doing other stuff, like going to the theatre, but we always end up getting wrecked'

Sean Lock. 45, is a comedian. He won a British Comedy Award in 2000 for best live stand-up, presents the television series TV Heaven, Telly Hell, and has made regular appearances on shows including Have I Got News for You and QI. He lives in east London with his partner and two children

We met about 15 years ago in the old West Stand at [Chelsea Football Club's ground] Stamford Bridge. I used to sit with David Baddiel and his brother, and Johnny and his mates used to sit a couple of rows in front. They're a pretty noisy bunch so you couldn't help but be aware of them. One season David moved into the director's box, Johnny invited me to join them, and I've sat with them ever since.

I'd seen Johnny on Moviewatch and he'd seen me do some stand-up at a football benefit gig. I used to wear a flared pinstripe suit and my opening line was, "I call this my just-got-out-of-jail suit," which I think resonated with him, as he'd spent some time inside himself.

I was looking for an Achilles heel all my life and I have definitely found one in Johnny and his mates – they are easily the biggest bunch of reprobates I have ever met. We've tried doing other stuff – going to the theatre or the British Waterskiing Championships – but it always ends up with us getting wrecked. Before we thought it was just because it was the football but apparently it's us, not the event.

He takes the mick relentlessly, usually out of what I wear. I once turned up at a game in a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt – pretty inoffensive – and within five minutes he had the whole row singing songs from Grease. There was a stage where I'd get ready to go to a game and then look in the mirror and think, "No, I can't wear that – Johnny will take the piss." And then I'd actually have to change. Now and again I wear something really ridiculous just to give him a laugh.

I can't imagine how Johnny gets to sleep at night – no matter how much he's drunk or what time of day it is, he is always chatting away. I remember one game, we were talking throughout as usual and I was having to tear myself away from the conversation to actually watch a bit of play. We'd been leading one-nil when the other team equalised – Johnny and I hadn't even registered our goal was under threat. I turned to him and said, "What happened?", and Johnny turned to the bloke behind us and said, "Oi mate – you watch this shit – what just happened?" That sums up how we spend most of our time – ostensibly watching football but actually just talking nonsense.

I know a lot of very funny people and Johnny is one of the most entertaining I've met. He genuinely doesn't care about celebrity or success. Showbusiness is full of ups and downs and I like the fact he thinks it's all a load of rubbish and is still managing to do alright out of it.

Johnny Vaughan, 42, is a TV and radio presenter. He rose to fame as a film critic on Moviewatch and then as presenter of The Big Breakfast on Channel 4. He is currently the presenter of Capital Radio's Breakfast Show. He lives in west London with his wife and two children

The first time I saw Sean was at an awards night held by the When Saturday Comes fanzine at Dingwalls in Camden and I thought he was the funniest comedian I'd ever seen. With most comics you recognise the kind of humour, but with Sean I thought, "There's no way I could think that stuff up." It's not pseudo-eccentric, it's just him. At the time, I didn't realise it was the same guy I'd been sitting near to at the football for years.

Back then Sean sat with David Baddiel, who didn't drink, and I think Sean saw me and my chaps and thought we were up for a good time so he joined us. For us, a day at the football is a big process, of which football is only a very small part. As I've said to Sean many times when he has wobbled on buying a season ticket because he's lost interest in the game, it's not just about kicking racism out of football, it's about kicking football out of football.

Sean is probably my only "showbiz" friend and we decided quite early on that it was going to be purely about football. I've known him 20 years now and he's never met my family – we invite each other to weddings, baptisms, everything, but neither of us ever turns up. It's like Dad's Army – I would no more want to meet his Missus, or he mine, than you'd want to meet Mrs Mainwaring.

I think it's good because it's allowed him to become a fantastic figure of blame in my life. My wife doesn't see that it is clearly me who leads him astray, so I can always say, "Oh, you know what it's like with Sean." If she met him that would blow it completely because he is one of the nicest, most moral guys I've met in my life.

I don't go to his stand-up gigs because he does too many of my gags. He used to say, "Do you mind if I use that?" but now he just says, "I used that the other night." It's so flattering that you don't mind, though.

To be honest, we watch so little football at games that we might as well be sat on a park bench, but Sean knows he can't leave me. He's a good mate and one of those rare people who make you feel both charmed and charming. He's a better man than I.

'Fighting Talk', by Johnny Vaughan, is published by Hodder & Stoughton at £12.99. 'Sean Lock Live' is available on DVD now

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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 People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable