The 5-minute Interview: Alistair McGowan, Impressionist, comedian and actor

'I'm mistaken for Angus Deayton. He says it never happens to him'


Alistair McGowan, 43, is best known for his comedy sketch show 'The Big Impression', and is also an ambassador for the World Wide Fund for Nature. He is currently starring in 'Cabaret' at London's Lyric Theatre

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

In bed. The beautiful thing about being in a theatre show is that you can legitimately have a long lie-in.

A phrase I use far too often...

"I might have said this to you before, but..." I have an irrational fear of repeating myself.

I wish people would take more notice of...

The weather. I hate seeing someone sitting at home in T-shirt and shorts when it's six degrees outside. Wear jumpers in winter – it cuts your heating bills.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

When the BBC cancelled Mayo, the detective series I did in 2006. We thought we had a good format that worked well, and we were booked in for five years, but they just scrapped it.

A common misperception of me is...

That I'm Angus Deayton. It happens on average twice a week. The other night, a woman who'd seen the show came backstage to get my autograph. She had a programme with my photograph in it with my name clearly printed underneath it. When I signed it for her, she said: "Thanks Angus." He says it never happens to him.

I am not a politician but...

I can't understand how politicians continue to allow the destruction of the rainforest. World leaders should be ashamed for putting the economy before the survival of the world.

I'm good at...

Being organised, Scrabble, eating fruit and veg, rushing, speaking, trains and forehands.

I'm very bad at...

Being early, being impulsive, drawing, pubs, the internet, cars, noise, being concise and backhands.

The ideal night out is...

A fish pie at Sheekeys, a show at the theatre, a few frames of snooker, Scrabble and a snog.

In moments of weakness I...

Clean.

You know me as a performer but in truer life I'd have been...

A bee. It's a lovely lifestyle. I like honey, flowers, the fur coat and all the colours. And the hours are good too. But I'm not sure how I'd cope with the hive – I'm a bit of a loner. Of course they're an endangered species. But then so are we.

The best age to be is...

I'm enjoying my forties.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

How did I get into this nutshell again and how did I get out the last time?

Cathal Sheerin

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

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform