My Secret Life: Henry Normal, comedian

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Henry Normal was born in Nottingham on 15 August 1956. A comedian, television producer and poet, he has accompanied Pulp on tour, co-wrote The Royle Family with Caroline Aherne and The Parole Officer with Steve Coogan, with whom he set up the production company Baby Cow in 1999. He has a daily online sitcom at and lives in Brighton with his wife and their autistic son, Jonny. Saxondale: Series 1 is on DVD from 24 Sept.

I drive/ride: a Land Rover Freelander 2. And this is not because I live just back from the Brighton coast and a sharp rise in sea level would give me a seafront residence.

If I have time to myself: It’s such a rare opportunity that I tend to stare into blank spaces in a numb shock.

You may not know it but I’m no good at: virtually everything. It always amazes me how you can get on with so little ability in so many areas. On a desert island I would starve; luckily I’m on this island and somehow it all works in my favour.

A book that changed me: was The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe. It took me a while to really understand the end but I’ve been walking to the finish line ever since.

Movie heaven: Falling Down. Midnight Run. Minority Report. I’m a sucker for anything with grief or a sense of loss.

Comfort eating: is ideally eating cakes with currants and raisins or sultanas to the point where my stomach hurts just a little.

When I was a child: I wanted to be Jack Benny. I remember seeing him on the TV in a tuxedo, laid on the floor and throwing dice. He was so stylish and yet so human.

My biggest regret: is difficult to say, I have so many. I’d have liked to have been cleverer, nicer, taller, dark-haired, handsome, with a great personality and generally have been a better human being. Then there’s all the fuck-ups. I don’t think we’ve got space.

It’s not fashionable but I like: people who try to get things right. Like, if I was a reviewer, I’d actually bother to Google somebody or look them up on, rather than get simple facts wrong.

If I wasn’t me I’d like to be: my wife, then I could still play with my son.

The shop I can’t walk past: hasn’t been invented. I really enjoy not buying things. It’s not only a blow against consumerism, it’s cheaper.

My favourite work of art: is Michelangelo’s David, although he’s said to be out of proportion in that his head is too big. Seeing the size of his genitals, this is probably an astute comment on men by the sculptor.

The soundtrack to my life: is somewhere between Nick Cave and Daffy Duck; all the humour and frivolity of Nick Cave and all the gravitas of Daffy Duck.