My Secret Life: Tim Key, poet and comedian, 35


My parents are... Carol and Bill. They are both retired. Carol is flourishing, Bill is on a sharp descent towards Meldrewdom. He recently had a letter published in the local paper where he vented his spleen about the wording on signs for cyclists. They continue to be supportive and are delighted when I do any comedy without swearing.

The household I grew up in... was a lot of fun. We had to eat together around a table. My dad made elderberry wine.

When I was a child I wanted to... be a footballer. I was handy when I was eight or nine. Then I started playing for a team when I was 10 and got scared by the bigger boys. As I grew older the bigger boys got bigger and I got more scared. So I started wistfully thinking I might be a journalist.

If I could change one thing about myself...I'd be a bit prettier. Nothing too extensive, just prettier eyes or something.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... Russian. Or I used to be. I lived in Kiev once.

At night I dream of... myself, in various unlikely scenarios.

I wish I'd never worn... For a few years I strode round in a beige leather jacket with my own blood all over the collar and back. It wasn't a great look, to be fair. I looked more thuggish than my personality could back up.

What I see when I look in the mirror... A possible killer. I avoid mirrors where possible.

It's not fashionable but I like... playing scrabble in pubs. You get a lot of condescending comments from groups of girls on the lash. But if I'm laying down BISCUIT on a triple word score then I don't really care to be honest.

My house is... a flat. I've got a nice big wooden table that I write on, eat on and sometimes lean on. My kitchen looks out onto a pub garden so I sometimes stare out hoping to hear some nice chat or see a fight. I've got a bath into which I descend whenever possible.

My favourite work of art... Smeared all over the Berlin Wall. The East Side Gallery blew my mind. Hopeful, poignant and jubilant.

Movie heaven... Nuts in May.

My secret crush is... Steffi Graf. I've just finished reading Andre Agassi's autobiography. He's got the right idea.

My real-life villains... None.

The last time I cried... My cousin got married and his wife did a speech that had me welling up. I had to curve my head out of the way so my dad didn't see my tears.

My five-year plan... I think I'd like to write a film, snare a wife and learn how to cook. I've noticed that I've cornered myself slightly by half becoming a poet and I yearn to produce something more substantial; and I am unmarried and can only cook lasagne, toast, fish pie and combinations of these three things.

What's the point? Not sure. Probably something to do with contentment?

My life in six words... Lots of baths. Lots of poetry.

A life in brief

Tim Key was born in Cambridge in 1976 and studied Russian at Sheffield University. He later joined Cambridge Footlights, by pretending he was studying a PhD. His film The One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island was Bafta-nominated. In 2009, he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for a show mixing stand-up, poetry and film. Key has published three books, released a record, and appeared in Life's Too Short and One Day. His show Masterslut is currently at the Soho Theatre. He lives in London

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
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: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'