Dom Joly: I'm dancing for charity, even though I was a Goth

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The Independent Online

It's been the very weirdest of weeks – for starters I've been driving round a weather-battered Britain in a cream Morgan sports car. It's for this show I'm filming called Made in Britain. On Monday a whole bunch of people descended on my house and emptied it of everything not made in these isles. Then, leaving a desolate family in an empty house, I set off on a road trip in my very British Morgan. I'm supposed to find out what, if anything, we still make in this country that I can buy to refurnish my house with.

The first thing I got to do was to choose between a bunch of British-made cars. I went for the Morgan as it has good comedy potential, but this decision is starting to backfire.

It's a weird fact that we Brits buy more convertibles than any other European country. Why? On the occasional sunny day when it would be nice to take the roof down, you risk the wrath of every passer-by shouting "tosser" and "twat" at you as you drive by. There's something about an open-top car that really riles the average British pedestrian. It's as though the convertible driver is personally insulting their lowly financial status and, in these credit crunch days, this is an unwise thing to do. It's a fair bet that, should Sir Fred Goodwin own an open top, he isn't swanning about Edinburgh in it right now. It really wouldn't be a good move – take it from me.

I haven't even had the roof down on mine as I've been ploughing through rain, hail and snow desperately trying to see through my tiny, toy windscreen and keep the water from pouring in. This kind of driving is for a very particular type of hardy personality who enjoys a challenge and isn't averse to spending a bit of time under the hood. The engine makes a tremendous throaty roar that would excite your average petrolhead. Sadly, in my case it just draws more attention to me from the irate pedestrian who, having finished calling me a twat, then recognises me and starts screaming stuff about poncey second-rate comedians swanning around their town in show-off cars.

If all this wasn't enough, I'm having to squeeze in the occasional late-night dance rehearsal in local village halls. I've rashly agreed to do a dance for Comic Relief and some of you might have seen the extraordinary results on BBC1. If I had to describe my worst fear it would be dancing in public. I'm an ex-Goth and we just don't dance... period. So the idea of dressing up and gyrating about on stage live on television in front of seven million viewers is enough to send me to the Priory without passing Go.

I don't know why this country has gone so dance crazy – I thought it would all subside after a bit but it just seems to be growing and growing. As the housing market crashes, all the terrible property shows are being replaced by dance shows. It won't be long before we get Strictly Newsnight on Ice with Jeremy Paxman in a tutu. Now that I would pay to see.

So I've been squeezing out of my tiny sports car and slipping into some tight Lycra to work out my choreography with a bunch of bemused-looking professional dancers who probably have far better things to do than put up with my flounderings.

All this is constantly interrupted by telephone calls from home wondering if I've managed to find anything British that they can use... like a bed, or a TV? So far I've got some smelly bathroom stuff and a lava lamp – it's not going that well. Maybe if last night was a success I can just stay on the road earning my living as some kind of tiny travelling dancer. You've got to have dreams, haven't you?

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