The death of Irish comic and actor Sean Hughes, 51, was announced earlier today (Monday). It is believed that he died as a result of liver cirrhosis.
The stand up comic won the Perrier Award in 1990, aged 24, and went on to have a successful career, regularly touring comedy shows as well as acting on stage and TV. He was a team captain on BBC 2 comedy quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, alongside Phill Jupitus and Mark Lamarr.
He brought his show Mumbo Jumbo, to the Bear Pit in September 2015. Ahead of his appearance the friendly comic chatted to Herald arts on the phone from his London, an interview we have reprinted here.
RIP Sean Hughes…
What’s the show about?
Lots of things! The premise is based on the daily battle between common sense and what I call mumbo jumbo that goes on in my brain.
How did the show start?
I just came up with the basic idea and then tried out the material on a trial run a year ago. I started with 70 ideas and now there are about 20 in there.
Do you get support from your family?
They never found me funny. I think they would have been happier if I worked in a supermarket.
You last did a show when you were 30, 20 years ago, have you changed your approach since then?
I say to young people the only thing you need to learn is that life is about anticipation and then utter disappointment. That’s what I’ve learnt in the last two decades. Actual young people shouldn’t be at my show: they should be out and about hoping to have sex.
You emerged during Britpop era – did you want to be a pop star?
I do remember trying to be in a band — it was blooming hard. I released it wasn’t my thing but I’m passionate about music. I always come on stage to music. I make the audience listen to lyrics. No, I’m not telling you what music I’m coming on to.
What’s got your goat recently?
Watching the news today and it was all about One Direction splitting up. What about the real news: ebola or Syria? I hate how society is dumbed down.
What else have you been up to?
I’ve been acting quite a lot – I was in The Railway Children in the West End. I’ve just been filming the Casualty Christmas special – the character is brilliant. He’s called Barney and his wife and children were killed by a drink-driver three Christmases previously, and so he’s a Scrooge type character who hates life. I have to look like a tramp and I’ve been practising my crying a lot. I’m going for the heaving of the shoulders rather than real tears. I don’t want to look like an idiot.