Random 8

Alex Lynch

Alex Lynch

One random comedian, eight random questions; it's the ultimate test of funny person and fate. This week we head under the duvet with Alex Lynch - which sounds saucier than it is: that quilt-topped quasi-booth is how he gets the right ambience to record his podcast, Out of Character. It occupies a unique nook, too.

"A lot of podcasts seemed to be focusing solely on interviewing stand-up comedians," Lynch explains. "I felt that sketch and character comics had been somewhat neglected and yet are just as integral to the comedy tapestry (I promise you I'm not as much of a wanker as that sentence makes me out to be)."

We've had way wankier sentences - do carry on.

"I didn't want it to be JUST a ramble pod about careers so I added this chain-reaction type element where I got the guest to improvise and unpack a new character based solely on a made-up name given to them by the previous guest. It's brilliant just to hear them getting into it - either describing or actually embodying the character. Everyone bought their A-game and dived right into it and I'm extremely proud of the results."

And how were Lynch's lockdowns?

"I realise I'm about to say the buzz phrase of 2020 which is 'I'm up and down'. 2020 wasn't great for obvious reasons but also for reasons I won't go into because I already pay someone by the hour to hear me tell those stories.

"2021 so far has been a vast improvement. I've been working as a writer, Great Big Owl picked up this podcast, previous toxic situations have been resolved and generally things feel, at present, much more stable and less in flux than they did by the end of last year. But I'm a catastrophiser so I can't really enjoy it because I'm almost waiting for it all to go to shit again."

We know the feeling. Alex Lynch, your Random 8 await.

Alex Lynch

What was your favourite kids TV show?

When I was very small it was Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry. I couldn't get enough of animals blowing each other up. From the age of 10 though it was The Simpsons. Everything was The Simpsons. To say I was obsessed would be putting it lightly. I really loved those themed videos (sorry, VHS tapes) that came out like The Simpsons Vs. The World and Dark Secrets of The Simpsons. I owned every single one of those.

When were you most embarrassed?

Probably when I was 16, we were doing a Peter Pan panto at college and I was playing John. During the performance the actor playing Wendy wasn't ready and so the director told me to go back out on stage and 'stall the audience'.

I had zero improv experience and did NOT know how to do audience interaction. I ended up talking absolute bollocks about cake to a church hall full of parents. No one was Yes And-ing me. It was dire. Over the years I have since improved my cake banter (bant-enburg? Kill me).

What's your favourite shop, and why?

Resident Music in Brighton. Many independent music shops (and even big chains) have come and gone over the years in Brighton but Resident has remained and must continue to remain. The staff are always lovely, they have incredibly varied taste and they know their stuff.

When I was first properly discovering my music taste back in 2007 I went into that shop with a big list of bands I had heard about and they were so keen to actually take time out to tell me which names I had were good, which ones weren't so great and suggesting others that weren't on the list.

I can't think of a lot of music shops that would have bothered to do that and because of that I would raid their shelves for years to come. You should too!

Who are you most envious of?

Simon Pegg. He's basically been my role model since I was 14, I take so much inspiration from his work but at the same time I'm so envious of him. He's trodden the boards of sketch, sitcom, film, stand-up - all successfully - and he's worked with almost every single director, actor, filmmaker who he grew up watching and loving.

That is just something I can't ever see happening to me. Partly because some of those people are now dead but mainly because the times and landscape has changed so much. I'm 30 and I've accomplished nowhere near the achievements he had made by the time he was my age. I know it's unhealthy to compare but you did ask me. So yeah - sod you Simon you talented prick.

Alex Lynch

What's the weirdest thing you ever saw?

I wish I could say that it was some pretentious avant-garde theatre show I stumbled across in Edinburgh because I'm sure there is a memory like that somewhere in the back of my mind. But at the forefront it's that I once saw a seagull eat a pigeon. That was more weird and harrowing than any Fringe show. And it was free (or pay what you want).

Which film would you love to have been in, and which part?

Oh wow. Now the pressure's on, as a character or an actor? Actor then probably Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films because then everyone could have yelled 'Ron Weasley' at me at school and it would have at least been accurate. As a character, then Star Wars but not a prominent character with loads of responsibility and depth. Maybe just one of the residents at Jabba's palace or a member of the Cantina Band who occasionally tries to play something different.

Your most interesting injury?

I fell down the concrete steps leading up to my house when I was five or six and cracked my head open. The interesting part of that is I didn't have stitches; it was a special surgical adhesive. So essentially my head is glued together.

Which place you've visited was the biggest anti-climax?

The ghost train at Brighton Pier. When I was 10, I was on some BBC South East Today segment for Children In Need (not as an example of a child in need) and I was picked to be filmed on the ghost train. I was terrified.

What's more, you can see my terrified expression on the video when I'm sitting up in the front carriage next to Sally Taylor who is trying to talk to me (well, actually you can't see because any copies of that tape have long been incinerated).

After the cameras stopped rolling, we went on the ride and... it wasn't scary. Of course it wasn't. It's a ghost train. I felt so let-down.

Listen to Out Of Character

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