My Life in Ten Questions...Dave Gorman

Television comedian Dave Gorman spoke to
The Independent Online about his hidden talent for rock balancing, his passion for darts and the time he saw Tony Bennett urinating. His new show 'Genius,' will air on BBC 2 in September.

What would you normally be doing if you weren’t talking me?

Playing darts. I have a spare room with a darts board in it. What I should be doing is writing, but what I would be doing is playing darts in the spare room.

What’s the most surprising thing that’s ever happened to you?

I once walked into a room to find Tony Bennett urinating. Providing any more detail than that won’t make it better.

Is there a phrase you use all the time? I use the word ‘dandy’ quite a lot. And the word ‘why.’ Sometimes people look at me like “Are we in a sketch from the 1940s?” Although it sounds like an affectation it’s not, because I grew up hearing those sorts of words.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m a professional show-off so talents are rarely hidden. But something few people know about me is that I’m a rock balancer. I balance rocks on top of each other. There’s a page on Wikipedia that lists rock balancers. But its not very extensive, it’s got Phil, Dan, Andy Goldsworthy and me. Once I got an email from a really angry professional rock balancer, saying “How dare you!” as if I was ruining the reputation of genuine rock balancers. I had to tell him it was Wikipedia and he could go in and change it if he liked.

Describe the house you grew up in:

A detached house that was too small, because I’m a twin. An extension was built not long after me and my twin arrived. I can remember the phone number and all sorts of things about it, the woodchip wallpaper. It was on the kind of street where every house looks the same. Except ours, because of the extension. The reason we were able to have it built was that it had an extraordinary view of an old oak tree which straddled our garden and our next-door-neighbours’. So we had a strangely bigger garden than every other house on our street because, due to building regulations, the house couldn’t be built too near to it. It was a humble modern estate in Walton on the Hill, Stafford. Identikit houses all along, except ours.

What did you want to be as a child?

I wanted to be a writer. I remember at a very young age writing a story about a knife and fork and spoon. One of them was an editor and one of them was a writer. I remember taking it to my mum for her approval. And I was very young. Young enough to be writing about cutlery. But also, weirdly knowing the word “editor” and making the spoon the editor. I remember my parents looking at each other and probably thinking “What have we got here?”

What the best advice you’ve ever received?

Turn up on time and carry a pencil.

What advice do you wish you’d received when you were younger?

No because the joy of life is finding it out for itself. I get emails from kids who want to get into comedy asking for advice. And people want to tell you the shortcut into it, but there isn’t one. The truth for all of it is you go and do gigs for free until someone pays you. That’s it. But people think you’re being curmudgeonly if you say that.

If you could meet anyone from history who would it be and what would you ask them?

My first thought would be Tommy Cooper, but I’m not sure he’d count as an historical figure. All I’d like to ask him would be to put on a show, please.

Name something you are embarrassed to admit…

[Laughs] I don’t think there is. I don’t have any truck with ideas about guilty secrets and embarrassing music. There are a couple of McFly songs that I like but I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I’m relatively free of embarrassment I think!

Suggested Topics
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

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

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
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot