Yes, we Swiss are a load of boring bankers. But, oh, we have our moments

You notice there are no children about ... the Swiss don't really approve of children, they're too loud and messy
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The Independent Online

No one believes me but I am actually of Swiss origin. To be honest, it's not something that you'd really claim if it was untrue. Let's face it, the Swiss are not sexy. Cheese with holes, cuckoo clocks, punctual trains ... they're a bunch of boring bankers. Yet there is something very comforting about the place. Arriving here is a bit like listening to the shipping forecast on Radio 4 ... dull, but somehow enthusing one with a feeling everything is right with the world.

No one believes me but I am actually of Swiss origin. To be honest, it's not something that you'd really claim if it was untrue. Let's face it, the Swiss are not sexy. Cheese with holes, cuckoo clocks, punctual trains ... they're a bunch of boring bankers. Yet there is something very comforting about the place. Arriving here is a bit like listening to the shipping forecast on Radio 4 ... dull, but somehow enthusing one with a feeling everything is right with the world.

Switzerland is a country that you emigrate to at a certain age. It's no coincidence that this is where a lot of euthanasia clinics are based. The Swiss embrace death, as long as it's not in a war situation.

Having said that, get on any Swiss train and there will be some spotty youth with his sub-machine gun nestling above him in the luggage rack. All young Swiss have to join the army and travel off to manoeuvres at weekends. Everyone knows that they will never see action but they are there, like men's nipples, just in case. I'm in Zermatt, not to die but to ski. Despite my Swiss baiting, it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. A chocolate-box town nestled in a gorgeous valley right under the Matterhorn. I'm teaching my daughter, Parker, to ski, something very necessary if she continues to live in Gloucestershire.

The Swiss don't really approve of children. They're too loud and messy. In most major cities you can wander around for hours until you notice what is wrong. There are no children. Either there is a very strict curfew that only allows them out to play in the early morning, or they have all been evacuated to creepy castles far, far away. It's no wonder that the Childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is in an Alpine kingdom. I think we can be fairly sure that he is now retired and living on the shores of Lake Geneva, his life's work complete. Not that life gets better for teenagers. There is such a thing as Swiss disaffected youth - they are not all like Martina Hingis, but there is little scope for rebellion. I had to suppress a laugh when I spotted four tattooed teen "drop-outs" trying to look hard as they sipped delicate cups of tea in a tearoom, one of the only places open all day. Zermatt is profoundly old school. No cars, no lagerdromes. Alan Clark had a chalet here. You get the picture. I think that I have been one of the few people fortunate enough to sample the delights of the local jail.

I blagged two weeks' skiing off Channel 4 to come here when I was filming Trigger Happy TV. The joke was, I was dressed as a yeti scaring skiers high up in the mountains. The Swiss didn't appreciate the thought. I was placed in the town's only jail cell with the town's only burglar. I was still dressed as a yeti. I think the burglar thought that some special form of Swiss justice was about to be administered.

Now, older and no wiser, I try to stay out of trouble on holiday but sometimes I can't stop myself. There is quite a business going on where poor, exploited St Bernard dogs are dragged up the mountainside so that a photographer can take your picture with the dog and the Matterhorn in the background.

You can see these photos in a shop in the main street and you can buy your photo if you so wish. I got a bit hammered on Jagermeister at my favourite little bar called, curiously, "The Little Bar". I wandered into the photo shop feeling a bit flush and bought 30 random photos of strangers.

I've got them with me now in my bag. Like a lot of the Swiss, I enjoy having a dark secret or two.

I've made an important decision. I'm applying for Swiss nationality as, apart from tennis, they are a bit short on the showbiz front.

"The world's only Swiss comedian" - now there's a guten-tag line.

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