Dom Joly: Septics just love my Cockney rhyming slang

Related Topics

I'm in New York again and have been filming all week. I haven't done any hidden camera stuff for ages and it takes a little getting used to. When people ask what it's like doing this kind of comedy, I can only equate it with a bank robbery. There's quite a lot of pre-planning involved, but there are also a swathe of unknown factors that you can never fully control. The tension before you are about to film is extreme – once done, however, you get a huge adrenalin rush followed by a subsequent crash. As we are packing a lot of filming into the week, I am totally exhausted from the experience.

I'd forgotten just how draining it all is. It doesn't help that New York at this time of year is like an evil sauna. Anyone sane has long left the city for cooler climes, leaving just the loonies and the workaholics to roam the melting streets. In a bid to avoid the rush-hour traffic, I took the subway yesterday – a big mistake. It must have been 50C and everybody just sat in a soaking heap of sweat praying for their stop to come so they could escape up into the relative relief of the 90 per cent humidity of the streets.

I've seen so many films of New York where kids are setting off fire hydrants and dancing in the spray. I never really appreciated how necessary that actually was to survive the summer. I think they should just turn them all on, a permanent sprinkler system to cool the baking Big Apple.

My crew are a real mixed bunch – Cubans, Peruvians, Cambodians... all the world in a van. Down time between shoots is spent ribbing each other and, as the only English guy, I get a serious amount of flak. It soon becomes clear that Americans still have some seriously misguided views on how we live. For instance, they genuinely believe that everybody in the UK downs tools and sits down for "high tea" every afternoon at four. However much I try to persuade them that this is bollocks, they just won't listen. The truth – that the only reason "high teas" are still served in posh London hotels is to cater for American tourists – falls on deaf ears.

There is also an obsession with the word "bobbies". No matter how many times I tell them that nobody calls our police "bobbies", I am ignored. My assistant director, a gentle giant of a Rastafarian, is obsessed with Guy Ritchie movies. "Whenever I feel down," he opines, "I flip on Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, dude, that movie just puts me in a good mood..." Each to their own, I suppose.

He now plagues me constantly for more Cockney rhyming slang. I am too embarrassed to tell him that I have absolutely zero knowledge of it and so spend the day making up ridiculous phrases for him to use. If, in the future, he ever works on a Guy Ritchie film, I fully expect him to be cast immediately – you'll easily recognise him: a huge Rastafarian with a broad Brooklyn accent firing out Cockney nonsense (or "Bolivian incense" in my version).

Yesterday, we ended up in Greenwich Village and the crew wanted to show me something. There was an authentic London cab parked outside a shop called Tea & Sympathy. I'd read about this place – it was where British expats come to buy their Marmite and Branston Pickle. On one side was a chippy and on the other a little tearoom full of New Yorkers eating delicate little teacakes and sipping tea in fine bone-china teacups. Those in the van looked at me in expectation – presumably I would be wanting to pop in? I thanked them, but explained that I hadn't come to New York for this. We trudged off down the melting streets towards Benny's Burritos, and everyone actually seemed quite relieved. I certainly was.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next

So who, really, is David Cameron, our re-elected ‘one nation’ Prime Minister?

Andrew Grice
Time travel: Thomas Cook has been trading since 1841  

A horror show from Thomas Cook that tells you all you need to know about ethical consumerism

Janet Street-Porter
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable