Yes, it's our first ever CGI Q&A: very much the Phantom Menace of email-based questionnaires. What's the backstory? Well (cue a big John Williams-style score parping up in the background), we sent our usual lovingly-crafted questions over to the comedian Tom Binns in order to plug his new tour, via his PR. But the response came directly from Binns, via Twitter:
"Hi @SiHawkins, I've phobia about Q&A interviews you have to fill in yourself. My PR people won't have forwarded you my answers but my wife found them..."
And below that was a link, to this video, which takes the online Q&A concept to a whole new level:
Now, it turns out that Tom had actually set up a whole set and greenscreen backdrop in his garage to make that video, all of which took a lot longer than writing some proper answers would have. So nuff props, as they say.
And speaking of props: if you don't recognise the name Tom Binns you may well have come across his characters, the semi-legendary and unwittingly-offensive hospital radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury ("if you're feeling at death's door, I'll pull you through!"), and the scarily accurate psychic Ian D Montfort, who was initially invented to mock dodgy psychics, but has ended up almost as feted. They've both worked their way into his BBC TV series, Hospital People.
Nowadays Binns is doing stuff under his own steam too, including a suitably unconventional ventriloquist act, and manages to get all three sets into his new show, Everyman. This very week he's taking it on his first national tour for a decade: details below.
And for First Gig, Worst Gig completists (who knows, there may be one somewhere) who really feel the need see the answers Mrs Binns found written down, here they are. But watch the video first.
For the intro: Tell us about this show, and anything else you're up to.
It's my three acts the psychic, hospital radio DJ and the vent act all doing a bit each.
It was at The Zap Club in Brighton and over 25 years ago so I'm sketchy on the details.
Favourite show, ever?
There's been too many great gigs to pin it down to a single gig.
There's been two many horrendous gigs to pin it down to one.
What's the weirdest thing that's ever cropped up in an Ian D Montfort set?
There's too much stuff to pin it down to one thing.
Who's the most disagreeable person you've come across in the business?
There's too many to pin it down to one person.
Is there a character you loved, that audiences inexplicably didn't?
No, not really.
The most memorable review, heckle or post-gig reaction to your stuff?
Nothing really sticks in my memory.
What's your method for transitioning between characters onstage?
Depends on the gig and circumstances. Comperes, videos, just changing my voice and putting a hat on or taking a coat off... whatever.
How do you feel about where your career is at, right now?
I've not really given it much thought. I don't really think in terms of my career and where it is.