My Secret Life: Richard Herring, comedian, 43


My parents were... My dad was my headmaster and my mother also taught me at school. I did a whole show about whether it psychologically scarred me, but when I look back, I think all the bad things about me were already in existence. I was in a fortunate position where I had a very solid family – my parents have been together since they were 13. It's almost hard to live up to that!

When I was a child I wanted to... I went to the career adviser when I was 16, and tried to explain that I wanted to be a comedian or a writer. That was not on the list.

If I could change one thing about myself... I'd like to be a little bit taller, and that would probably make me a little bit thinner. If I could just squash myself upwards, that would sort it out.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... I've run a marathon – I think that's the most surprising thing about me.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... I have a lack of practical skills. I can't mend anything or do anything manly; I don't understand how anything works.

At night I dream of... doing my maths A-level again, and I can't remember any of it. What I see when I look in the mirror... Grey hair and my wrinkles. But I look better than I did when I was younger, although I am a bit crumpled.

My favourite item of clothing... A blue and black striped jumper, like a blue Dennis the Menace. It was from Paul Smith and it was really expensive, but it's just ruined now.

It's not fashionable but I like... playing Yahtzee on my iPhone all the time. And I've played in minor Scrabble tournaments.

I drive... a Volkswagen gold automatic car, quite badly. I bumped it the other day.

My favourite work of art... The Angel of the North. It's a really good populist bit of art that's also quite inspiring. I like the grandeur of it, and that it's all rusty.

My favourite building... is a little amphitheatre in Pompei. Last time I was there I sat on my own and sort of communed with the spirit of people who did my trade 2,000 years ago.

My secret crush is... Amy Pond from Doctor Who. But not Karen Gillan. If she is willing to go out with me, but all the time act as Amy Pond, then that's an open invitation and I'll dump my girlfriend – she'd understand.

A book that changed me... The New Testament. Even as an eight-year-old, I discovered all these inconsistencies. So I think, weirdly, it changed me from being religious to being non-religious!

My greatest regret... The BBC cancelling the TV series I did with Stewart Lee, because one person didn't like it.

My real-life villains... People at the Channel 4 comedy department who think it's edgy to mock people with mental and physical disabilities without any wit. They are not being edgy, they're being pricks. You've got to make a point, not just mock people who don't have any power in society.

The person who really makes me laugh... Tim Minchin and Daniel Kitson are the two people that when I see them, I think I could never be that funny or that clever.

The last time I cried... Embarrassingly, it was watching Love, Actually when I was a bit depressed, about four years ago. I just started weeping uncontrollably and thought 'I can't carry on with my life'.

My life in six words... I will quote Samuel Beckett: 'Try again. Fail again. Fail better'.

A life in brief

Richard Herring was born in Yorkshire in 1967. He studied history at Oxford, where he wrote and performed for the Oxford Revue. He has collaborated with Stewart Lee for radio and TV, writing for Armando Iannucci's On the Hour and heading up shows such as Fist of Fun and Lee and Herring. After his successful stand-up shows Talking Cock, The Headmaster's Son and Hitler Moustache, he is now touring the UK with Christ on a Bike: The Second Coming. He lives in west London with his girlfriend

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

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment & HR Administrator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Business Partner

£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...

Recruitment Genius: Senior HR Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company's vision is to be t...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most