Phill Jupitus

'My cure for jet lag: go to bed steaming drunk'

My first trip to the Edinburgh Fringe was eye-opening.

It was in 1991. I only went for the week but I went again a few years later when I had an act and I did two shows. The thing I love about Edinburgh is that it's got everything that every major city has got within a square mile. There are dozens of gigs, half a dozen cinemas, libraries, really good art galleries. It's quite extraordinary. The history of the place itself just leaves you completely gobsmacked, and then there's just the beauty of it, come rain or shine that place is beautiful.

The best way to do the festival is to take it slowly.

Go up for two or three days and just walk around, don't plan to see anything, just take it all in. Then you slowly do more, so next year go for four days but try to book in a couple of things you know want to see. Don't go and think "this is going to be the greatest experience of my life", go and expect nothing and just walk around and take it all in. The wonderful thing is that in the past few years people have suddenly remembered what a festival is about and there are a lot more free events. There's an awful lot of very good, very expensive stuff you can see too, but you can also see excellent free stuff.

I didn't go abroad until I was 14.

It was when I was in boarding school and I went to Hamburg during the holidays. I had a friend whose old man worked there, I think he might have once been with the military, and I went to stay with them for a week. It was a completely weird experience for me. I just remember how hard it felt being abroad and no one speaking any English. I can remember that being quite an extraordinary sensation.

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Jupitus loves performing in Edinburgh (Sweeney Warwick)

When your family grows up the need for holidays diminishes.

The kids are past university age now so they travel a lot themselves. We used to go on some great family holidays. My favourite one was when we went to Italy and we basically did Interrailing but with money. We went around Italy with pre-booked trains, proper first class tickets, going from city to city. We were away for nearly a month, it was fantastic. One of my favourite parts of the whole trip was when we spent a night on Stromboli, the volcanic island. When you Interrail as a student it's very different. Kids now don't seem to do that sort of trip. You used to get a train pass for Europe that lasted a year and you could travel everywhere for nothing. I think seeing a country by rail helps you get a sense of it.

Travel's got cheaper, so you can go further afield.

Thailand, Australia ... now South America seems to be the place everybody wants to go to. I hear a lot of young people talking about Machu Picchu and that sort of thing. As you get older you get better at doing holidays because you know what you don't want to do.

The best cure for jet lag is to go to bed steaming drunk.

The day you travel is a write-off, particularly to the States. There's this routine I used to use when I went to New York which is that I used to get as drunk as possible, go to the pictures and then pass out in front of the film. You wake up with a hangover at 5am because your body clock is still on British time, so you take painkillers and some water and go back to bed. Then you wake up fairly normally about four or five hours later, but it's still only the morning, so you can go to breakfast and start your day. So basically smash yourself to pieces and hangover yourself into American time.

I'd like to travel with George Clooney.

You'd get in anywhere. People know him all over the world; they'd bend over backwards for him. I understand that he's quite witty too so he'd be a laugh.

Phill Jupitus is appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe until 31 August (edfringe.com).

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