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Interview: Angelos Epithemiou


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There are a lot of people who struggle to get onto TV these days. So it was an odd moment when burger man Angelos Epithemiou got pestered by Bob Mortimer to be on Shooting Stars, the show that would make him a household name. TNS talks to the 2011 British Comedy Award Breakthrough Act about life in the limelight....

So Angelos, you used to be a burger man. When do you realise you wanted to be on television?

I didn’t realise I ever wanted to be on television thank you very much! I was told I had to go on it by Mortimer, cos I won an award did you know that? Well I did! I won an award. Not an award for comedy that come later, but I won an award for 'Caterer of the Year'...which is my much better award that is propping open the toilet door now. That was given to me by Bob Mortimer - you know him? Well he gave me the award and then he says to me “Will you come on my show cos you are the real deal of the business”... And I said no I’m not going on that show I’ve seen it’s stupid! And says “please come on it?” and I said “No I’m not going on it! OK I don’t care how much you pay me I’m not going on it!” And says “PLEASE” and then I said alright because he kept twisting my arm and he kept at me persisting so I ended up going on his blinking show!

What was it like working with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer?

You’ve seen their shows haven’t you? It’s ridiculous, you know the pair of them are like members of the lucky club and I’m the best shot of them really.

You’ve met loads of celebrities during your career- who have been your favourite?

Oh yeah I’ve met loads now, oh rather that they’ve met me. But the one I get on best with as in go down to the pub with and just muck around in the bins and stuff is (Sir) Ranulph Fiennes. We are like that! He keeps talking about wanting me to climb up a mountain with him but I’m like get stuffed, I’m not doing that! I mean I’m not gonna do that unless you’re gonna pay me and he won’t pay me so we won’t be climbing the mountain. But we are buddies, we are well close.

And since Shooting Stars, how is your relationship with Ulrika Jonsson?

We have been chatting...through lawyers mainly since the show ended. And we’re gonna come to some sort of settlement in which I leave her alone or else she has me arrested. So that’s progressing very nicely yes...

But didn’t you do Let’s Dance for Sport Relief together...?

Yeah but I had to pay her an unbelievable amount of money to do that! But she’s just desperate for the publicity so she said “OK as long as you’re paying me and I get on the telly” so yeah that’s how that happened.

So you have your own show now on Channel 4. How is that suiting you?

To be honest with you I’d rather be at home watching Crimewatch. But you know I gotta make a bit of money so this means I’ve gotta go on the telly. So I said “What have I gotta do?” And they said “Do whatever you want and then interview a couple of people” And I said OK I’ll interview a couple of people and then I’ll invite on my mate Gupta. And they said that was fine! So I mean it’s alright but like I said I’d rather be at home with my feet up watching Crimewatch. I’m up to about 1989 now I’ve got loads of them on video but that would be my ideal day of what I would like to do. If I could do that for a living I would.

You mention your mate Gupta. How did you meet him and how did he end up on the show?

Well cos we were good mates, we met at our squash club about seven or eight years ago and I the minute I walked in there I saw me in my dungarees and he sort of liked the look of me really. So we became good mates and then we hang round by the bins and stuff and down by the canal. So when they said ‘do you wanna do a television show?’ I said yeah I’ll do that but then I thought better get someone to do it with me to you know ship boxes around that sort of thing and I thought well Gupta will do that. Plus, his parents are loaded, and they bung loads of money into the show so long as he gets to do his own little bit in it and that’s happened.

Is there any celebrity that you really want to interview?

That’s a really good question. I think I really want to interview Piers Morgan and get to the blinking bottom of that. Why the earth people wanna watch him?! Yeah I think I’d like to interview him and see what he’s got up his sleeve. Everyone wants to know don’t they? Make him cry! Interview Piers Morgan and make him cry by sticking a compass in his arm.

How did it feel to win the British Comedy Award?

I thought oh well this is nice isn’t it. It felt heavy, it was a very heavy award I’ll be honest with you. That one is propping up the table in my front room because a leg on it is a bit buggered and actually it’s better than the other three legs cos it’s so stable. So that explains how it feels, very heavy in your hand.

Do you have any plans for the future?

Nah I’d rather put me feet up if I’m honest with you. I’ll maybe go back to catering, or drink or the animal trade something like that. But if I gotta do telly, I gotta do telly. 

Dave’s One Night Stand airs Wednesdays at 10pm on Dave.

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