Ian Wolf

Gigglebox Weekly #42 – Mark Lawson Talks To Frank Skinner

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Gigglebox Weekly With Ian Wolf

There was very little in the way of new comedy on TV this week, but there was an hour-long, in-depth interview with Frank Skinner on BBC Four.

This interview seemed to have pretty much every aspect of Skinner’s life covered, from his early childhood years (which he rarely mentions because his childhood was a pretty happy one, and thus would be of little interest to most people), to his troublesome 20s where he had problems with alcohol, up to his current career. However, judging by what was said it seems this show was recorded before Skinner began hosting Room 101.

If you have never read any of his autobiographies, it’s a good way to get to know Skinner. It’s cheaper for starters, unless you need to buy a TV…

For those who haven’t read his books then, there were some interesting stories, like how he got his stage name. (His real name is Christopher Graham Collins in case you didn’t know.) Then he talks about losing much of his million-pound fortune when AIG collapsed, which he claims helped his career because the loss motivated him. He also talks about his Catholic beliefs and his experiments in terms of swearing during his act, claiming he didn’t want to be like the anti-swearing campaigners he met during the time he made a Panorama documentary on the subject.

Like with any of these comedian profile shows, they’re only interesting if don’t know much about the comedian in question. It would’ve been great if Lawson had probed further into Skinner’s religious beliefs, finding out his concerns, and if his faith has been tested by the recent scandals surrounding the Catholic church.

Other than those points, though, it was a very formative, insightful interview.