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    Andy Hamilton
Laughter is the best tonic
Persevere. And don’t take things personally. You can’t please everyone.
If you hadn’t become a comedian, what would you be?
A very bad teacher or very drunk journalist.
Please tell us a bit about your show at The Apex on 17 July
It’s funny and there’s no nudity. Mostly I answer questions from the audience.
You’ve recently written a debut novel, The Star Witness? Tell us about it
It’s a novel that’s both funny and serious, about a soap star who finds himself in the dock of public opinion and it’s about to come out in paperback. It’s on and in bookshops.
It’s a quick read and it’s very dramatic and very funny in places.
Do you prefer live stand-up or TV?
Doing stand-up is a chance for me to get out of the house and tour lovely bits of Britain that I might otherwise not get around to visiting.
Writing is loads more work and is harder than performing. It’s hard and it takes longer. I love doing it, but it’s a nice break sometimes to just go and loon around on stage or in front of some cameras. But I count myself lucky that I’ve had the opportunities to do both.
How did Drop The Dead Donkey begin? That’s a very long story. But fundamentally it came about because Guy Jenkin and I wanted to write a sitcom set in a workplace, so we wrote a script and persuaded Channel 4 to give us the money to film it. That’s how most telly starts.
My favourite episode is probably the one where the characters all went off and played paintball. Why? Because that episode is particularly funny and it won a BAFTA and an Emmy, which was a pleasant bonus.
And Outnumbered must have been fun? Yes, it was huge fun and not really like work at all, but please don’t tell the BBC that because they were foolish enough to pay me to do it.
You appear on a lot of TV panel shows. Which is your favourite and why?
I don’t have a favourite. They’re all highly enjoyable in their own way. I don’t actually do that many, it’s just they get repeated so often that it feels like I’m on TV every day – although usually in a younger and hairier form.
How did you get started in comedy,
and why?
A very nice BBC producer called Geoffrey Perkins saw a student revue and suggested that I try comedy writing as a profession. And it was definitely the hours. You usually get a lie-in.
Who inspired you to start a career in comedy?
Nobody. I have no one to blame but myself.
Where do you get your ideas and inspirations from?
Ideas sort of descend on me when I’m not looking, so they could lead me anywhere.
Photo of Andy Hamilton: Steve Ullathorne
I enjoy storytelling, and that’s it really. People always enjoy telling stories. I used to bore my family senseless when I was younger with endless anecdotes. In fact, I still do.
Who makes you laugh?
The usual. Donald Trump, Chris Grayling and Alan Partridge.
Comedy influences?
Galton and Simpson. They wrote Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe and Son, and they brought the sitcom to the UK.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in comedy?

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