Hugh Dennis: 'I try to go so fast that it's impossible for anyone to heckle'

Rowan Atkinson doing his school register sketch, live in Birmingham in the very early 90s. Or, on TV, Bob Newhart doing a phone call to Walter Raleigh, in which Walt tries to explain the benefits of tobacco. Genius.

Actually a very serious film, which I can’t remember the name of, at an open-air cinema in Rome. Made funny by the fact that just as we seemed to be building towards a crucial part of the plot, a door opened in the middle of the screen and a lady stepped out selling ice-cream.

Steve Punt and I have always tried to go so fast that it’s physically impossible to heckle.

I have only really ever had one hairstyle, so I guess this one.

Jeans my mother lengthened for me when I was having a growth spurt when I was about 12. Rather than adding a bit of material to the bottom, she decided to add a bit of blue ribbon to each leg just above the knee. Bizarre. I never wore them.

I travelled across Canada on the Canadian Pacific Railway when I was 18. I didn’t realise how long the journey was – four days – and I didn’t buy enough food. All I had was four slabs of Philadelphia cream cheese and some biscuits. Started as a funny thing, but ended as a bit of a nightmare. Very hungry by the time I got to Vancouver.

I don’t dream that much, but for a long time I had a recurring dream which wasn’t funny at all. I was in a physics exam, and was asked a question by a teacher which I constantly got wrong. Big laughs.


Hugh Dennis hosts the Alzheimer’s Society’s virtual comedy night, Thursday 11 March,

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