My Secret Life: Simon Day, 50, comedian

'I'm good with a water cannon'

My parents were… part of that lower-middle class that is being folded away with deck chairs and Thermoses of soup. They were decent and honest, they didn't look for short-cuts like my generation.

The household I grew up in… was comfortable but dull to me – and I am trying to recreate it now for my kids.

When I was a child I wanted to be… a twisted genius wearing a gold suit tossing chocolate money to Romanian orphans.

If I could change one thing about myself… My glass-half-empty outlook.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… hostage negotiation and poetry. Also, I am good with a water cannon and a tandoor.

You may not know it but I'm no good at… mending, fixing, building and giving people bad news. And I have appalling handwriting.

At night I dream of… the sea crashing against the shore, a zombie gathering shells weeping, rivers winding through forests of strange masked creatures and girls laughing in the trees.

I wish I had never worn… a purple bondage suit with tartan trim and 15-hole Doc Marten boots dyed red, with a basin haircut.

What I see when I look in the mirror… An old man worn out by broken dreams, the rigours of a hard life and a bad diet.

It's not fashionable but I like… Simply Red and Love Thy Neighbour and boxing biographies.

I drive… a car big enough for my children to bicker in in comfort, with a banging sound system for highbrow audio books.

My house is… nothing fancy. It gets a lot of light and the rain drums on the glass roof which makes you glad to be English.

My favourite work of art… A portrait of a gambler by Konstantin Bessmertny, who I think was the greatest artist of his generation.

My favourite building… The Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park.

A book that changed me… The Drinker by Hans Fallada. It showed me who I was and what I could become if I wasn't careful.

Movie heaven… The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Life of Brian, Rififi, Kes, Jaws.

My greatest regret… is not working harder at my job in the Nineties.

My real-life villains… The bankers and those who kill for money.

The person who really makes me laugh… Sean Lock and Chris Rock.

The last time I cried… When Malcolm Hardee died.

My five-year plan… It's pointless to make plans these days, we are living in quicksand.

What's the point? To love your kids, and teach them the way of the ninja.

My life in six words… He had a go then died.

A life in brief

Simon Day was born in 1962 and grew up in Blackheath, London. He left school with one CSE and struggled with addiction, but discovered a talent for stand-up, winning a Time Out Best New Act award in 1991. After working with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, he starred in The Fast Show. His memoir, Comedy and Error, was published last year and he had a second series of The Simon Day Show on Radio 4 earlier this year. Day stars in the sitcom The Function Room on Channel 4 tomorrow. He lives in London with his family

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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower