My Life In Travel: Sean Hughes, comedian

'My dream trip would involve gorillas'

First holiday memory?

We were quite poor so we'd go to see my granny; there were no brochures involved. My first proper holiday was when I was 14 and I was sent to the Isle of Man to babysit for a week. My abiding memory was of going on the go-karts. I pretended I had been on one before but I didn't even know where the brakes were. I got flagged down but I didn't know how to stop it.



Best holiday?

Trekking to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda. I did it about five years ago and I'd happily go every year. One of them touched me – which they're not supposed to – but it wasn't frightening. I think I look a bit like a gorilla so they must have thought I was part of the family.



Favourite place in the British Isles?

Edinburgh, mainly for the festival, but for other reasons too. It's the place I have been to the most in the UK and it has personal significance. I also love Devon and Dorset, but who doesn't?



What have you learnt from your travels?

I travel a lot on my own and I'm very good at it, except for mealtimes when everyone struggles. You have to go out to dinner with a magazine so you give off that "I'm not lonely" vibe.

Ideal travelling companion?

Myself. Things take forever when you're travelling in any kind of group.



Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I have Irish skin so I love the idea of the sun, but it doesn't like me. So, sadly, I look for Irish bars – not to hang out with other Irish people, but just to watch the football.



Greatest travel luxury?

Tranquilisers, because I don't like flying. However, once you've done your first trip to Australia you realise you can't be in a state of panic for 24 hours. I find airports very tedious and depressing though.



Holiday reading?

I have hundreds of books at home which I haven't read, so I take a selection of them and don't read them. I also take unread weekend newspaper supplements.



Where has seduced you?

There's something very special about New York. I'm always aware that people know who I am in London, but nobody does in New York. I have been about five or six times and it's just beautiful. I feel like I know it myself now.



Better to travel or arrive?

One thing everyone should do if they are somewhere with good weather is hire a scooter; it's a great way to see a place and you feel like Steve McQueen.



Worst travel experience?

Being in Galle, Sri Lanka, when the tsunami hit. I was staying on the ground floor at The Lighthouse hotel and when it hit us at 9.10am I was in the shower. I was booked in for a massage at 9.30 and the massage area was completely obliterated. I was literally 20 minutes away from death. But I feel lucky because the water came in at an angle and we survived, but so many villagers behind us didn't.

Worst holiday?

I did some filming on the Isle of Man and I really didn't like the place. I later did a stand-up show there and it was brilliant. We went to a bar afterwards and someone came up to me and asked: "Are you that Jewish comedian?"



Best hotel?

A very quirky hotel in Stockholm, which only had two floors but a choice of five musical genres that could be played in the lift – including jungle music.



Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive

The train journey from Edinburgh to Aberdeen is spectacular but then, unfortunately, you're in Aberdeen at the end of it; unless you're looking for oil it's not a great place to be. Biarritz is a brilliant walking town because it's so compact. They have good seawater spas there.



First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I hate the mass surge of people wanting to carry your bag at the airport, so I have to meditate to get myself out of the building in a calm state of mind.



Best meal abroad?

One of the reasons I don't like going on holiday is because I'm vegetarian so I find eating out really difficult. Even in Sri Lanka, I found that the hotels didn't cater much for vegetarians. I have wanted to go to South America for years but that's the one thing that puts me off. What fun am I going to have eating beans every day?



Dream trip?

It would involve gorillas or monkeys. In Uganda there's a chimpanzee sanctuary on an island called Ngamba. You get there by speedboat, passing the equator on the way. There are just two tents there; we stayed and got to go out with baby chimps in the jungle. There were four of them jumping on us and play biting, which hurt quite a lot. As soon as I started grooming the hair on one of them, he was completely relaxed. That was a magical moment for me.



Favourite city?

I love Melbourne. I've been about six times for the comedy festival and it's a great city.



Where next?

To Edinburgh, for the festival. I'm sure I'll be paying hotel prices for a very dodgy apartment, but I love doing it.

Sean Hughes is appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his new stand-up show 'Sean Hughes – ducks and other mistakes I've made' at the Gilded Balloon, from 4-19 August (tickets: edfringe.com ).

News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
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.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales Manager - Commercial Cable & Wire - UK

    £60,000 - £75,000: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the major Aer...

    ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Junior Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    IT Systems Analyst / Application Support Engineer (ERP / SSRS)

    £23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...

    Day In a Page

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

    Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
    The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

    Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

    Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
    Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

    What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

    Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
    A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

    Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

    Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
    Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

    'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

    A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

    Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

    The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
    Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

    Paul Scholes column

    Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
    Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

    Frank Warren column

    Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
    Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

    Adrian Heath's American dream...

    Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
    Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

    Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes