Secret Cinema folk – some good news

25 07 2014


I’m writing this in a real hurry, so sorry if it’s a bit… y’know… rubbish, but, I just found out Secret Cinema had to cancel tonight.

That sucks. I know everyone is cross with them, but let’s assume they tried their best and something just went wrong. It totally sucks. I have tickets for Sunday night and am so stoked about it, so I can imagine how annoying and frustrating it’ll be if it gets cancelled.

Anyway, I just got off the phone from the people who are running ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, the show I’m in. We’ve had an idea.


If you have a ticket for tonight’s Secret Cinema, turn up at The Savoy Theatre instead and you’ll get a complimentary ticket ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – The Musical’

Yep. You read that right. You don’t have to do anything other than turn up with your Secret Cinema ticket, and you’ll be welcomed into the world of another cult 80s movie. Go to ‘Back To The Future’ when they re-schedule you, but tonight, if you’ve got a big gang of pals all in London, all excited about going out and now you have nowt to do, well, now you do 🙂 And for anyone who doesn’t want to, I hope your night doesn’t end up too ruined.

Your Pal,

Calvin Klein

Darth Vader

Clint Eastwood

Marty McFly

Rufus Hound

David and Jeremy love your children so much they could just die, squealing in ecstasy

27 01 2014

Well, what a funny 48 hours.

Since announcing on The Jonathan Ross Show that I’d be standing as a potential MEP, everything’s gone a bit  well, I don’t know how to describe it really…foamy? Fractal? Hmmm. It’s definitely gone a bit weird, but in a way I’m completely unused to. And bearing in mind i’ve been bodyslammed at The Brits, broken eggs with my reproductive organs and had Donny Osmond sing me ‘Happy Birthday’, I thought I had a pretty good handle on weird. Turns out I was wrong.

On the off chance that you read no further than this, let me urge you to look at The truth of what’s happening to our remarkable NHS is all there.

If you want to know what the National Health Action Party proposes to do to rescue it, take a gander at The NHA’s Action Plan.

Okay – done that? Good. On with the show.

The reason my day’s been weird is that Toby Young (like what would happen Phil Mitchell impregnated a Pug and the product was haunted by William Hague’s childhood diaries), decided to try and create a shitstorm over the title of my last blog-post. He failed – or at least he succeeded, but only with the sort of people who would agree with him on everything anyway. However, Julia Hartley-Brewer decided to give him some air time on LBC… yada yada yada. In essence, there’s been a lot of people who like using words like “pinko” and “sleb” calling me a c**t all day.

This tidal wave of foam-mouthed blue spluttering was accompanied by no shortage of people being incredibly kind and tremendously supportive. As the principal aim of my MEP run is to highlight the dangers facing our Public Health System, the fact that there’s been such an increase in people spreading the word about these reprehensible changes, is already a win of sorts. Basically, I’m shouting and hoping more and more people hear me. If you RT, facebook or tell a mate about what these scumbags are up to, you’re shouting too. Eventually, we’ll get heard. I truly believe that once people really understand what’s at stake and how utterly they’ve been lied to, we will become irresistible. That it’s up to us to stand together and absolutely insist that the NHS is ours and not for sale.

However, I suppose today I realised the cost of doing this. I thought I did before, but it’s only really dawning now. I mean, my wife’s spent some of today crying, and she’s the toughest person I know (I saw her get a baby out of herself. Twice. She’s nails.).

It’s partly my fault, of course. I used deliberately provocative language in that original blog post, so the inevitable backlash to it was always going to be fairly stiff. I could have made it easier on myself, on Beth and possibly on my fellow NHA-ers. It’s hard to defend someone who’s being deliberately offensive, but that’s what good men like Dr Clive Peedell & Dr Richard Taylor have had to spend some of their time doing today.

The other downside is – obviously – that being brash, loud, offensive means that you actually put more people off your cause than you draw toward it.

The downside of being polite is that you look passionless, bland and exactly the same as the current pack of Westminster bastards whose complacency, self interest or corporate-whoredom has got us into this mess.

So, I’m going to be a *bit* more polite. It’s a compromise. Compromises are – apparently – what grown-ups do. Who knew?!

Also, I’ve been asked to do heaps of interviews and things today. I will do them, but not yet. I’m deep in rehearsals for the show, and as that’s my actual job, I have to give it my all. The campaign starts in earnest at the end of April, by which time I will have plenty more man hours to give to the NHA, and will be.

Oh, and ‘to be clear’ David and Jeremy love your kids. They don’t want them to die. Ever. They just want to squish and hug them and buy them lollipops, and read them bed time stories and kiss them til they pop. And if you think otherwise, Toby Young’s going to fucking have you.

This. This is how I really feel:

David and Jeremy want your kids to die (unless you’re rich)

25 01 2014

So, last night I was on The Jonathan Ross Show with Robert Lyndsay. We’re promoting the show we’re in together so you’ll hopefully see us on lots of things together over the coming months. Well, in truth, hopefully you’ll just come and see the show 🙂

I also came out. Yes. That’s right. I know we live in enlightened times, but it was still very hard to do. In case you missed it, I’ll repeat it.

I’m… I’m… I’m going to become [bork]… a politician.

In May, I will be standing as a prospective Member of the European Parliament, and doing so for The National Health Action Party.

For anyone who follows me on Twitter, I doubt that my party of choice will come as too much of a surprise. I’ve been tweeting endlessly over the past few months about the dangers the NHS currently faces, but over Christmas, something changed. My wife – similarly passionate – suggested that we were becoming “those people”. Those people who whinge on and on, wringing hands and asking “But why isn’t somebody doing something?!” – instead of actually doing something.

So, we decided that we’d do something. We just didn’t know what. Neither of us imagined it would involve one of us becoming a… [double bork]… politician.

The NHS is the one of the single greatest achievements of any civilisation, ever, anywhere in the history of the world. Great Britain decided that being broken wasn’t your fault. If bits of you got smashed off, started going wrong or gave up entirely, it would do it’s best to stick them back on, put them right or find you a new one. It essentially made being healthy a human right.

Up until 1948, only wealthy people had access to doctors. Your likelihood of surviving disease was based on your income. In other words, if you were poor, you were fucked. Then came World War Two and with it a generation of young Britons who died in foreign fields, fought for queen and country, opposed fascism and sacrificed nearly everything. The only way through it was for everyone to pull together – prince and pauper, dustman and duke. The sense of nationhood that sprang from this tragedy, the sense that “we’re all in this together”, meant that within three years of the war finishing it was decided that the state would cover the healthcare costs of its citizens. That, regardless of your own personal wealth, you could expect medical attention as and when you needed it.

In short, compassion won.

Well, it won for a short while. The millionaires that currently run things have decided that you (assuming you’re not a member of the Bullingdon Club, or a trustafarian) can go fuck yourself. This place is for them, not you. Why should you get free healthcare? Why can’t they take that big pot of money ear-marked for medicine and just start sharing it out amongst themselves? People are desperate when they’re sick and nothing’s as easier to monetise than desperation. Big, rich, private heathcare companies have donated millions to the Conservative party and now they’re calling in the debt. Jeremy Hunt is killing the NHS so that his owners can bleed you dry.

I don’t believe the NHS is perfect or that it doesn’t need to change. I have known people have terrible times and feel completely betrayed by it. Sad, but true. However, the vast majority of those who use it are delighted. The NHS is composed of incredible human beings whose capacity to care is a combination of vocation, education and genuine kindness. Of course some of them screw up from time to time – sometimes with tragic results – but that’s because they’re human beings. Fallible human beings. And if you employ over a million of them, (as the NHS does), mistakes will be made. The NHS is imperfect, yes, but it’s still totally kick-ass.

It’s also the most cost effective health care system in the world. For every pound spent on the NHS, it returns a value of five times that to the economy. And we need to stop taking it for granted and tell the shower of outright bastards that are stealing it from us to back off. It’s ours, not theirs.

So that’s what I’m doing. There’s no way I should be an MEP. I’m not smart enough, or machiavellian enough, to survive in modern politics. My closet barely closes for the number of skeletons. I’m an ex-touring stand-up and professional show off, not a statesman. But then the NHA is wholly made up of people who don’t want to be politicians. Literally, none of them. It’s just that it turns out that the people who do want to be politicians – i.e. politicians – are a pack of duplicitous c**ts who have absolutely no interest in ensuring that free healthcare – provided according to need, not wealth – remains the cornerstone of our brilliant country. Somebody has to do something. So it looks like it’s going to have to be us. It’s a nightmare.

So, please, read the stuff on the NHA website. If you want to know how these politico douchebags are taking away your kids access to medicine, it’s all right there. The NHA folks are way smarter than I am. And nicer. I mean, most of them are doctors, ffs. You don’t get smarter or nicer than that.

Once you’ve got wise to these vampiric fuckers, get angry. Start making noise. Tweet. Facebook. Tell people what’s going on. Write to your MP. Tell them to stop what they’re doing. Tell them to act in the best interest of the people who elected them (y’know, almost as if that were their fucking job).

We can’t afford not to take a stand. The lives of our children, of our grand-children, of our great grand-children may very well depend on it.

(Thanks for reading this much text. I tried to be succinct, but there’s so much to say. Should probably have got an editor instead.

Oh, and sorry for all the swearing. I’m just a bit like that.

Anyway, cheers for reading.)

I want to shoot myself in the head

5 08 2013

So, I was on That Doctor Who Live tonight and I totally dicked it up.

So, due to the #twittersilence thing, I didn’t want to come to you all and apologise, but it’s past midnight now, so here it is.

I’m sorry.

When they asked me to do it this week, I was delighted. I love Doctor Who (Dalek tattoo, picture of the TARDIS hanging up in my house, sonic screwdrivers etc. ) and the chance to be there at this turning point in its history was a real treat. I’m currently working on ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’  six nights a week, so the fact this fell on a rare day off was a miracle. I even went out and bought a new T-Shirt for the occasion.

And then, today, I sat in a room with Peter Davison and Bernard Cribbins (who recounted amazing DW & other theatrical tales) and Lisa Tarbuck (who is one of the best people to ever know) and I got all over excited.

So there, on live, international TV, I just went into melt down. I said “Knock three times”, when it was obviously a quad-sonic moment that heralded Tennant’s (and RTD’s) swansong (and made me cry).

I said Peter Eccleston. Who is Christopher Eccleston’s cousin – a smashing bloke and a friend of mine – but not a man who has ever portrayed the internal beating of two hearts.

So, I’m a bit gutted because I really wanted to try and represent the fans. And I know that for a huge portion of the fans, knowing the names and faces and places is a demonstration of the amount you care about the show, therefore someone who seems to know very little can’t really give a shit.

My problem is that I care about the show, and because I care, I went a bit weird.  Any way, if you think I dicked it up, know that I do too and I’m sorry. Genuinely.

Two other things

1 – I didn’t know it was going to be Capaldi. I swear on my life. Anyone saying I said “Peter Ecclestone” because I knew it was Peter Capaldi is bang wrong. If I’d have wanted to know, I could maybe have winkled it out of someone (once I was there), but I promise you, I had absolutely no idea. I wanted to find out the same time as everyone else.

2 – Oh my fucking God. I met The Moff tonight. I met Sue Vertue tonight. I met #12 tonight. And they were all so totally lovely.  Fate dictated that Clan Capaldi and I ended up trapped together in an Elstree dressing room, so I got to speak to him literally minutes after he’d been named. He’s properly up for it. Really, really. That letter from the Radio Times was written by a boy who had autographs and annuals. His inner child is so excited it looks like it’s regenerating.

And that thing he said on the telly about looking in the mirror and trying to find the doctor , well he said it to me again, sort of acting it out and I think I caught a glimpse. Just a fraction of a second. #12 is sharp, I reckon. If Matt Smith was all angles with rounded edges, Peter Capaldi’ll have your eye out. An inspired choice and one that elicits huge excitement for anyone who has seen the multitude of sublime performances Mr Capaldi has delivered in recent years (Torchwood: Children of Earth, The LadyKillers, The Cricklewood Greats, The Thick of It and more). I can’t wait to see what he’s got for us.

So, Alons-y! Geronimo! What’s the story Bala-fucking-mory?


3 06 2013

So, I’ve just found out that I’m mentioned on BBC’s Panorama tonight! Exciting, right? Well, not overly. It seems that something I did two years ago has intersected with an investigation the BBC has been doing and so my name comes up.

The investigation is into the work of The Burzynski Clinic, an organisation that claims to be pioneering new cancer treatment and, in a roundabout way, I (and some of my twitter followers) have raised funds for them. I say “a roundabout way” because the money that The Rufus Hound Twitter Army™ coughed up, wasn’t delivered directly to Burzynski, but to The Hope for Laura Fund – a collection that I learnt about through Twitter.

Ask anyone with over 100k followers on Twitter and they’ll tell you that every hour of every day you’re asked to RT dozens of pleas for help. As someone who is currently privileged enough to have almost a million followers, I can tell you that I never RT these. I don’t even read them. Not because I’m too grand or important, but because there’s so many of them… where would I start? What would be fair? Whose need is the greatest? And, if I RT’d them all, my twitter feed would be boring as all hell.

So, frankly I surprised myself when, in May 2011, I actually clicked one of these charity links and found myself reading the blog of a man whose wife had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The blog of a man my age, with a son – like me – whose mother he was terrified of losing. British doctors had told her that nothing could be done. She should go home and enjoy what little time she had left. I read this. I cried. I’d never met this bloke (Ben) or his wife (Laura), but I knew how utterly broken they must have felt. I’m terrible at empathy but this hit me square in the chest. My wife was seven months pregnant with our second child and the very idea that she’d be gone from my life, from the lives of our kids, emptied me with sharp, tepid tar. I only had to imagine it to feel sick. Laura and Ben weren’t imagining it, they were living it.

Some small ray of hope was found. A pioneering American clinic that could treat Laura’s inoperable brain tumours. It was the only future they had that didn’t involve just sitting around waiting for Laura to die.

So, I did a video which urged my followers to bung them a couple of quid. The price of a pint, something like that. Not because I had done any research into where they were spending the money, but because if worrying about where they’d find £80k was one more thing for Laura to have to stress about, then it seemed like a good idea to cross it off the list. In the end, The RHTA™ came nowhere near the £80k mark, but we did cheer Laura and Ben up a bit and let them know they weren’t totally alone.

Shortly after the video went up, I was contacted by people horrified that I should be lining the pockets of “that charlatan Burzynski”. Hearing and reading more about the man and his practises made me feel awfully stupid. As an aetheist and a rationalist, here was exactly the sort of fellow I abhor and I was helping line his pockets. Surely, I was told, a second video should be made or a statement denouncing this bastard. I had made an error. I should make a correction.

But I didn’t. Nor did I share with Ben and Laura any of my reservations. But not because I worried I’d look a fool – I am a fool – but because it would have felt utterly disloyal. I had acted unintelligently, but compassionately, and retracting what small kindness had been offered felt deeply wrong. Rather I look a twat (not unusual) than start shaking the resolve of a young mum fighting terminal cancer. And, I say I ‘m a rationalist, but there’s enough quasi-scientific-mumbo-jumbo pinging around this sci-fi fanboy heart to believe that the placebo effect may be capable of miraculous things, and that decrying Laura’s treatment could be diminishing the one thing that could heal her – her own resolve.

So I shut up. And Laura got better. Totally, miraculously better. All fixed. Her son will know his Mum.

The specifics of her recovery are unknown to me. Why has Laura lived when Burzynski’s treatment has failed countless others? Is this snake-oil salesmen onto something after-all? I have my doubts, but I haven’t done the required research to have a valid opinion so I’ll shut up – see, I’m learning!

What I do know is what my Dad said to me, when the first critics of my involvement stepped forward on Twitter. “It’s called Hope for Laura. A load of people each sticking a few quid in to give a young girl hope. That’s gotta be better than not doing it, right?”

And as my quite-cross skeptic friend (who just read this blog post for me) counters “Yes. That just the sort of emotional blackmail that these charlatan bastards use all the time.” Touché.

Enjoy Panorama.


My #twittermillions deal

7 03 2013


Right, I should tell you, I’m writing this when I’m already late for work, so if it’s looks like it was scrawled by a chimp, I apologise.

I’m writing this to ask you to join #twittermillions team. What’s that? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a thing where you – YES YOU – undertake to raise £50 for Comic Relief, on behalf of a team. Each team is lead by someone bloody gorgeous (i.e. Me) and famous (i.e. Simon Pegg) with each team leader being tasked with ‘sweetening the pot’, in order to get as many people as possible to sign up. Not a bad idea.

So, here’s my deal.

If you join my #twittermillions team here – and if you raise £50 for this most excellent of causes – then, when all the money’s in, I’m going to pick one of my team members at random and give them my motorbike.

I’ll say that again: I am going to give one of my #twittermillions team my Limited Edition Triumph Steve McQueen T100. It’s a bike that the lovely men and women at Triumph (Earth’s greatest motorcycle manufacturer) lovingly crafted to look the same as the bike Steve McQueen rode in The Great Escape.

This is me and it:

Prova PRRufus HoundJack Lilley’s Triumph5th March 2013


So, what I’m offering is pretty straight forward. You raise the money and if it’s your name out of the hat, I will ride the motorcycle to your house and just hand it over. That simple. If you’ve already got a bike license then, you’re golden. If you haven’t, well, you might want to get on that. However, just so you get the idea of how awesome the bike is, I’ll bring a spare helmet and take you for a spin on it. You’ll also need a leather jacket… so I’ll bring you my Steve McQueen King Leather Jacket, that you can keep too.

A couple of things I should tell you.

  • It’s got about 3000 miles on the clock.
  • You can’t buy them anymore.
  • I changed the single seat for a King/Queen seat and stuck foot pegs on it – so it’s good for two. You may want to switch that back, if you want it to look really Steve McQueeny again. I might be able to get hold of the old seat if that’s what you want.
  • It was a limited edition. Only 1500 of these were made for worldwide distribution. Only 101 of them exist in the UK. For bike collectors, the lower numbered bikes are the MOST collectable. This is number 4. Yup. Number 4.
  • The ever brilliant Motorcycle News (MCN) did a double page spread – recreating scenes from The Great Escape – using this actual bike.
  • It’s f***ing awesome.
  • It’s really f***ing awesome.

Prova PR
Rufus Hound
Jack Lilley’s Triumph
5th March 2013


Prova PRRufus HoundJack Lilley’s Triumph5th March 2013


If you want more info on the bike, try here otherwise, I don’t really have very much to say. I think it’s straightforward enough. Raise £50 for Comic Relief as part of my #twittermillions team and I might pop round your house and give you an awesome Triumph motorcycle.


So, let’s do it, yeah?

F****ING YEAH!?!

Sign up HERE NOW

Bike 1




The Haps

27 06 2012

Look. There’s no easy way to say this. I’ve got shitloads of stuff cooking and I want you to know about all of them. What’s unusual for me is that I’m actually proud of these things. They’re things I spent time and love on, made sacrifices for and so on, so the fact that they’re all happening now… well…I just want you to know about them.

Scratch that. That isn’t what I want. What I want is for you to love them so much that you sell everything you own to fund the building of an enormous sign that tells people how much you love me, but until then… I’ll settle for you just knowing about them.


The series that I host on Radio 4 ‘My Teenage Diary‘ returns to Radio 4 this Wednesday at 6.30pm.

It’s basically people reading from the diary they wrote when they were teenagers (hence the title) but they turn out to be incredible shows because they’re basically the origin stories of people in the public eye (For non-comic book geeks, an origin story is like ‘How/Why Bruce Wayne became Batman’). They’re normally funny and sad and interesting and sometimes so touching that I cry. This has happened twice now. Once, when Sheila Hancock talked of finding teenage love during a post-war trip to France and secondly when I talked to Robert Webb. Well, that’s the show that we kick off the new series with. After that we’re bringing you the youthful rememberings of Caitlin Moran, poet Jackie Kay, Toby Young, Rhona Cameron and Children’s Laureate/Gruffalologist Julia Donaldson. Each of these six were fantastic to record, so I hope you give them a go.


I made a new panel show in January and ITV liked it so much that they wanted to wait for the perfect time to put it on rather than rushing it out. It’s called Mad Mad World and it starts this Saturday at 10pm on ITV1. Hosting we have Mr Saturday Night – Paddy McGuiness, Team Captains are me and Flight of The Conchords hero Rhys Darby and joining me every week is the every bubbly Mr Rob Rouse. It’s a silly, funny saturday night kind of show. If you like those, hopefully you’ll really dig it.

Funny clips from all over the world, interspersed with us dickbags making jokes about them.

Also, I’m about to host the pilot of a show provisionally titled Mash Da Mind (but I’ll be cold and dead if it’s called that if we get a series). If you’ve got a gang of four mates and fancy being on it, they’re doing a huge casting call up in Leeds. Details here. I can’t tell you too much about it, but the whole reason I wanted to do Entertainment TV was to try and re-invent it, to do something that hadn’t been seen before. Remember how exciting it was when you first watched Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush? Well, that’s what I want to do on TV. Something that isn’t just a version of something else. Well, the stuff we’re talking about doing in this show is DEFINITELY that 🙂



The movie that I made last summer has just been given a release date. It’ll go out on the 17th August. It’s called The Wedding Video and I’ll be tweeting the shit out of it nearer the time, but it’s ultra fucking exciting, mainly because people at the test screenings have really really dug it, and I’m hoping you do too. I have, of late wanted to do things that are less bitter – and The Wedding Video certainly is.


So, having been up to Newcastle to run it in, the play that I’m in called ‘Utopia’ is now in residency at The Soho Theatre. Reviews have been mixed, but it seems to me that young, smart people really seem to be getting heaps from it, whereas people who like their plays a bit less experimental lose patience with it pretty quick. Anyway, here are some good reviews. What? Well, I’m obviously not going to point you at the bad ones, am I?

Now the other, staggering thing is this. I’m going to be playing the role of Francis Henshall in the touring production of One Man, Two Guv’nors. More details to follow, but suffice to say I am on the permanent verge of utter bowel emptiment with excitement. I really don’t know how this has happened, but by god, I’m going to work my tits off to make this the very best it can be. It’s a phenomenal show and deserves nothing but my best, my all. So, that’s what I’m going to give it.


I recently made friends with the good people of Triumph. For those of you unaware (been under a rock, have we?) Triumph are a real success story in the often dismal world of British engineering. They have a brilliant sense of their history and they make motorcycles that make parts of me twitch. So, when they found out that I felt like this, they asked me to host the music stage at Triumph Live. It’s happening 31st August – 2nd September, and alongside loads of cool motorbikey things, Reef and The Kaiser Chiefs are playing. Bikers – especially ones that own Triumphs – are brilliant folk, so if you fancy a beery, dancey, laughy, brilliant weekend you can grab tickets here.



I love MarioKart. I have done since I was 13. Nintendo asked me if I’d front up their inter-generational MarioKart Tournament “Britains Fastest Family“. Then they showed me the ACTUAL FRICKING LEAF CUP. I wept. So, obviously, I’m doing it. More deets here. If you’re like me, and have basically bought every Nintendo console on the strength of the fact there’ll be new MarioKart circuits to master, then find a younger/older member of your family and enter. That cup could be yours (oh, and you can also win a car, but like, seriously, THE ACTUAL LEAF CUP!).


6 03 2012

In this wondrous era, where anyone who has been on telly is celebrated, it’s hard to know what to share. I quite like sharing. I mean, I put my wedding online for anyone to see, in my stand-up I try to talk about how I really feel and my tweets are basically me sharing the minutiae of my day.

The weirdest thing for me is that none of these things are thrust upon anyone. There has never been a clockwork orange style pinning open of eyes. The internet is an idea based on ‘opting in’, not ‘subjecting to’. So, if you don’t want to know what I think, click ‘unfollow’ on Twitter. If you don’t like me on TV, turn over and if you don’t give a shit what I got for my birthday, stop reading now. I’m blogging it because, sometimes, I like to read about nice things that people do for each other. I’m a sucker for surprise marriage proposals and shit like that, they make me cry. They remind me that in amongst how shitty I think most people are, I’d do better to remember that most of us aren’t. So, If you’re the sort of person that likes that too, keep reading, otherwise, thanks for popping by, but so long.

Have they gone? Good. I hate those c***s.

So, here’s a brief story by a man who can’t get over what a wonderful woman he married.

It’s my birthday. I’ve known that I would turn 33 today for the last quarter of a century and, sure enough, it’s happened with clockwork precision. What I hadn’t known was what my wife would get me as a gift.

It had three parts. The first was an envelope, in it was this:

Now, this is lovely, right? It rhymes and everything. There’s some clues there, but if you haven’t worked them out, don’t feel bad. I’m married to her and still didn’t have a clue what was about to happen. But I opened envelope 2, whereupon I was met with this glorious image:

Yes. That’s right. That’s Guy Garvey off of Elbow. Me and the wife’s band. Not that we’re in Elbow. I mean, like y’know how couple have their song, well Elbow are our band. Grace Under Pressure has been my song by that band. I get wound up sometimes, by the industry I work in. Hucksters, schysters and liars abound but the trick to being a better man must surely be the display of grace under pressure. Like I say it’s my Elbow song. Also, I believe – more than anything – in the redemptive power of love, and this is a song ends by warding off those that don’t. I love it. I sing it to my baby daughter as a lullabye; yep – even the swearing bit.

So, a photo of the writer of this magical song, holding up a sign is… well… I mean, what is it? Is it a picture that my missus has found? Or has she asked Guy to do it? Cards on the table for a mo – I know Guy. Really not very well, but we hung out once or twice when I lived in Manchester and have always found him to be a man of extraordinary warmth. Since Elbow became the awards magnet that we now know them to be, our paths have crossed a few times. Twitter has allowed Beth and I to chum up with other members of the band, chief amongst them, Mr Craig Potter. So, what I’m saying is, he might have done it just for me. Please understand, just because I know him a bit doesn’t mean I’m not totally in awe of him. I am a fan. The possibility that this was a personalised gesture put an excited warmth through me.

However, I still have no idea what the bloody present is. On the back of the photo of Guy read the instruction ‘Now open number 3’. I was lead into the front room.

There on the floor was a peculiarly shaped box. I was told to open it carefully. I did. And there it was.

Please realise, I got married in Vegas. I used to live in Brighton. I work – regularly – on Piccadilly Circus. Me and Neon are pals. And my wife, my clever, lovely wife – with additional funding from her parents, my Mum and her husband, my brother and his missus – had asked a neon artist to render Mr Garvey’s exact scrawl in pure, purpley light.

I can’t get a photo that does it justice, but here is is:

I sat, properly gobsmacked. Whether you like it or not… frankly, I don’t give a monkeys. It’s amazing, and will look bloody lovely in my front room. But more than anything, my family gave me something so utterly thoughtful that I feel totally loved by them – especially the mental one that I married, four months after our first date. I really hope something as lovely as this is waiting just around your corner too.

Coincidentally, turns out I wasn’t the only one born on March 6th.

If you wished me a happy birthday today, I really did have one. Thank you.


Taking The Piss

16 11 2011

As a boy, I spent most of my time with other boys. I went to a boys school, so from 8-13, pretty much all of my friendships were male. During that time, I learnt one thing: get a group of good lads together, and the conversation between them will be almost exclusively insults. You will insult one another’s looks, height, masculinity, sexual desires, family history… nothing is sacred.

It shows that you’re mates. It says “Look, we understand each other. None of this is meant or mean. We’re trying to make each other laugh with the sheer inappropriacy of what we’re saying”. Infact, so commonplace is this way that British people –males especially – communicate with one another, it even has a name.


Sometimes, if I meet someone and quickly surmise that I like them, I’ll skip straight to insulting them. It shows that I like them, doesn’t it? I know that seems all backwards, but it isn’t. It’s brilliant. It means they get it. And because we both get the joke, we must be getting on as friends. Fantastic.

I think the first time I ever met my wife she said that I was the first presenter she’d ever worked with who looked homeless. It was love at first cuss.

Today, I was asked to record a message for a chap – an absolute stranger – that works at a place I was visiting.We were meant to have met, but instead, very sadly, he was at hospital. He’s previously suffered from a very serious illness and it may not have gone away as everyone had hoped. Supposedly though, he was even more gutted that he’d been called into hospital on the day that I was there, as he’d seen me on Juice and thought I was funny. So, I was asked, would I record him a message so he felt a bit less left out?

My message:  “Where were you, you lazy bastard? You were meant to be running round the woods today ! Instead, you phoned in sick and had a lie down. Get up! Get up, you lazy bastard.” The people there who knew him, who knew his sense of humour, laughed . Pretty fucking hard, as it goes.

Why would I say that to a man who is having to battle a serious illness?

It’s because, illness or no, he’s still a person – not “a patient”. He’s still the person that’s seen me take the piss out of celebrities, friends and strangers on TV and laughed at it. So, why would I treat him differently?

This year, Help for Heroes brought wounded soldiers to the studio where we make Juice. There were three of them, but with fewer arms and legs than you’d normally expect three people to own. They stood there and from the get go, started taking the piss. How gay my moustache was, how big Fearne’s nostrils were, how ginger Keith is in real life…

Later I asked them what the worst part of being so severely injured was. They told me it was that suddenly people around them worried that they had to be treated differently. As though their sense of humour was kept in their legs, and that when they were blown off, so too was their ability to make or take a joke. That, on top of the physical anguish, there was the mental anguish of being treated in a way that no man ever wants to be treated. Humourlessly.

Tomorrow, apparently, there might be a story in a newspaper about an autograph I signed for a bloke in a wheelchair. Apparently he was so offended by what I wrote, that a mere 228 hours later he rushed to the newspaper with talk of his upset. I don’t know what the article is going to say, but I think the ‘journalist’ who’s writing it up has contacted various charities who work with the physically impaired, and got them to be very cross about it.

So, rather than respond directly to that story – which is fucking bullshit – I thought I’d write this post. I thought I’d write something that every British person understands to be true and it’s this:

There is a fundamental difference between saying something that’s intended to hurt and deliberately saying something outrageously offensive as a joke – and moreover a joke borne out of resigned camaraderie. Intelligent people understand this. Idiot’s probably struggle a bit. So, if you don’t get it, bad news I’m afraid: you’re an idiot. And because you’re an idiot, I’m not going to waste my time explaining it to you, as you will never understand. I’m sorry for you. I really am. Taking the piss is one of life’s great pleasures – possibly even, the only way to cope with the insanity of modern life.

If I read you wrong, if I thought you were someone who shared that curiously British sense of humour – preveailant from the playground to the gallows – but didn’t, just tell me. I will immediately apologise. Deciding that you’re so upset, weeks later, and trying to make a few quid out of it at the same time won’t make me apologise. It’ll make me think you’re probably a bit of an arse. I couldn’t give a shit whether you’re in a wheelchair, on crutches, on a gurney or dangling from a fucking rope – if you’re backstage at a TV show, asking for photos, having a beer and a laugh, I’m just going to skip to the bit where I treat you like any other person; just like the soldiers told me to.


11 11 2011

Tweets, eh?! Can’t live with them, can’t live in a perma-connected virtual social thinkspace without them. I’ve been getting a few recently from people who are annoyed that I’m relentlessly plugging my DVD.

When I was 16 I got a job in Guildford – shameful enough, of course – which involved ‘cold calling’. Basically, there was a dozen of us sat in a windowless room phoning people up and asking if they’d like the chance to have all of their windows and doors double glazed FOR FREE*.

When I was 19, having decided to dedicate myself, not to university, but to the almost full time drinking of alcohol, I worked in Public Relations. During that time, I promoted Russell Brand & Shappi Khorsandhi’s first Edinburgh show (badly), the international PR for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (I was sacked after three weeks) and Claire’s Accessories.

At 25 I went around universities for Merill Lynch – the massive, massive, massive investment bank – and told future bankers that they should probably work for ‘The Thundering Herd’, without ever once referencing the obvious rhyming slang opportunity.

Since then, I have promoted any number of other things – TV shows, radio programs, web things – with a combination of self-interest and contractual obligation.

Commercial TV exists solely as a way of selling advertising space, not because some beneficent magnate want to share ‘Celebrity Juice’ or ‘Argumental’ with the nation. The reason people run Comedy Clubs is to line their pockets with money from tickets and booze.

And all of these things – and I do mean all – I have done for money. When I worked at The Science Museum (something else I did for money) I earned thirteen grand a year, lived with four strangers in a 3 bedroom house that had a mouldy bathroom and carpets that smelled like sicky biscuits. It was horrible but it meant that I could afford to work on making comedy my full time job.

In June this year I recorded a DVD of my stand-up; of jokes and thoughts about the world we live in. It turns out if you’re a bit famous, there are some pretty big companies that will give you a shit load of money top make a DVD and three of them spoke with my agent earlier this year and put offers on the table. The one I signed with was offering less than 1/4 what the other two were offering. However, they were offering total artistic freedom. They said we could package it however I wanted, it could be about anything I wanted, I could say whatever I wanted, wear whatever I wanted, record it wherever I wanted etc.

So I signed with them, and then made a show, in a venue I love about how sad and angry I am. Currently it has five stars on Amazon and a brilliant review on Chortle. There are extras on the DVD. One is an alternative commentary with two of my friends, Leigh and Fearne. Another is an interview filmed, edited and created by my best mate from school, Steve.

More than any of that though, it’s the culmination of everything I’ve worked on these last 10 years. Absolutely everything I’ve done, almost everything I am (if that isn’t too melodramatic – which it is), has lead to this. Contained on that disc is the absolute crystalisation of what I’m trying to achieve. People who have seen it have tweeted me the nicest feedback I have ever had about anything I’ve ever done.

So I’m promoting it. I want you to buy it.

Not because it’s a thrown together piece of shit that will make me a millionaire.

Not because I won’t earn a penny from it but merely yearn to have my artistry validated by you, my public.

No. It’s because telling jokes is the way I pay for my house, kids and wife AND because I’m incredibly proud of it. It’s not flawless, but it’s as good as I am.

If you end up with a copy, thank you. If it’s not your thing, no worries, but please don’t ask me not to promote it. It’s my job.

Rufus Hound:Being Rude is available instore at ASDA, HMV and at  Amazon,

*The bit about it being free was kind of a lie. Well, not so much a lie as an enormous misrepresentation of the truth. The odds of anyone we were calling getting free windows was about the same as successfully masturbating to the Anne Widdecombe sex tape.