Joe Lycett: “I’m Ghost of Peppa Pig”

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Joe Lycett: “I’m Ghost of Peppa Pig”


Anger is funny emotion. This is how I accidentally got my mainstream show. In my stand-up, I read my letters of complaint. My real fury over minor injustices made people laugh. He grew up from there. Basically a parking fine in York ended up getting me a lot of money. It has paid for itself several times.

i learned to make pasta in containment. I also did all the bakery clichés – banana bread, soda bread, sourdough – but the pasta was my big win. I got really good, as my waistline attests. Except for the ravioli. My fleshy parcels were constantly opening.

If you can’t endure the heat, get out of the kitchen. That’s what my mom said when I first started on TV and got horrible tweets. It was a tough love, reminding me that I had chosen this career.

Fame calmed me down. I used to be terribly irritating at parties, trying to be funny. Now I’m just thinking, “If you wanna see me play, google it.”

I was almost sick on Lorraine Kelly. I’ve had stage fright my whole career, but I like the nerves. They are a source of potential energy. But in recent years, I have also had anxiety attacks. The last one was on the Lorraine Kelly show. My throat closed and I felt like I was going to throw up. Ten seconds before going on the air, I convinced myself: “I’m going to be sick on live TV. Lorraine is going to have a face full of Bran Flakes. But when we went live, I suddenly became totally serene.

Homophobic heckles are the worst. At one of my first concerts in Burnley, there was a guy who was vile a few times. I ended up sitting on his lap and giving him a lapdance to teach him a lesson. I wouldn’t get away with it these days because I didn’t ask for consent.

To do things. Anything. Write, paint, cook a nice dinner. This is what restores me and brings me comfort.

The worst job I’ve never been in a call center, selling soffits and gutters. You had to follow a soul destroying script. They were saying “Hello? And on that basis you had to ask, “Is this the man of the house?” Or “Is it the hostess?” Invariably, I was wrong and offended them. Gender is a construct anyway, so that’s a silly question.

I was in therapy for three years, intermittently. When I have stuff, I go see her. It’s good. I recommend it to everyone. Once my therapist asked, “What is the thing you fear the most?” Whatever it is, you have to do it. I said, “Drive on a kid. She said, “Don’t do that!” Don’t kill a child to solve your anxiety. It will only produce further anxieties.

I always preferred the company of those older than me. At school, I hung out with sixth graders and tried to befriend the teachers. Even now, a lot of my friends are older. It may be a question of power. Old people are pissed off.

I move back when people get too close. Philippa Perry wrote a beautiful and tender article [in this magazine] recently, describing the three types of attachment style. There is the stable attachment, the anxious attachment, and the avoidant attachment. I am definitely the latter. I was like, ‘Oh shit, here I am. I would love to work on this, so I don’t die alone.

i am a ghost by Peppa Pig, which is a new low. I have written to her several times about the labeling of her Heinz pasta shapes but she will not respond. This pig will not engage. She really screwed me up, actually.

Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Channel 4

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