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You make millions laugh, but what makes you cry?
I cry at The Waltons! Someone saying something to someone in a film after an argument, and the music swells. . . that'll do it. I've blubbed in the cinema and it's been "You've only seconds 'til the lights come on."

Do you get pestered by women?
I couldn't be sexy if I wanted to be. Comedy and being cool and sexy don't mix. Eric Morecambe was loved because he was a bald middle-aged man with glasses who wasn't trying to be cool.

You must have been cool once - you managed Suede and were in a band. Do you miss the music biz?
When I was Entertainments Manager at the University of London Union, I booked the . ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again. The next year a couple of the singers had changed. I said to myself "That's not the real Bjorn Again" and realised I'd been in the job too long!

Any advice for people who work for a David Brentstyle boss?
Laugh at his jokes, go for a drink with him - you'll get away with murder.

What's the most blotto you've ever been?
I've had bad hangovers, but I'm not one of those drunks who wakes up on a boat to Australia.

You're on a desert island - Mackenzie Crook (Gareth in The Office) or Martin Freeman (Tim) as your Man Friday?
Martin - because if I was on a desert island he'd be the only person hating it more.

When did you last buy underpants by yourself?
A few years ago. I don't like being seen shopping. If people look at me as I walk in, I leave. I feel better if I'm with my girlfriend Jane.

Why haven't you married your partner, TV producer Jane Fallon?
I've sort of "married" her because we've been together for two decades, since university. Getting married would be good for presents, but we've got enough toasters.

Would you want eternal life?
It'd be nice to have the choice so I could say "I've had enough." It'd get boring, not to say sad, to see your loved ones come and go. That's when I'd say "I'm off!"

What music would be played at your funeral?
After The Gold Rush, by Neil Young. It has a beautiful lyric "They were flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home in the sun." My parents' funerals were jolly so it'd be nice for mine to be like that.

Your stand-up show is about politics. Not a very funny subject is it?
It's not serious. I write the jokes so they go the wrong way. Like, "Nelson Mandela: incarcerated for 25 years. Out 14 years and hasn't reoffended, which goes to show that prison works." My targets are I weak ones like Thora Hird or Gandhi, not dictatorships.

So who's our sexiest politician?
John Prescott, because he thumps farmers. You can't get sexier than that!

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