So hello Mr Vine. How are you liking Melbourne? [A fire alarm goes off] Hey I think the building may be on fire, but I’m going to put the interview ahead of it.
Thanks Tim, a good decision we think. So how’s Melbourne? Well I’ve never been to Australia before so it’s very new to me. I’ve only just arrived, but it seems nice.
Amongst the massive list of acts at the festival are there any in particular you recommend? Dylan Moran, Russell Kane, Mike Wilmot, Nina Conti and Jeff Green… everyone except me really. The performance I have least confidence in is my own! I’m worried about cultural references.
Your jokes rely a lot on delivery, do you spend much time practising it? Yes it’s certainly not about the content! Not particularly, it’s just when I do my stuff I deliver it in a certain way anyway. I don’t think about it too much. Lots of silly short jokes is what I do.
The act is very family friendly, is that something that is important to you? As I do stuff which is silly, swearing would be out of place. Just shoving an f-word in there wouldn’t fit. If I think of a ruder joke I often give it away to another comic.
The Vines are quite a successful bunch (bro Jeremy is a radio broadcaster and sis Sonya an actress). Why do you think that is? Well if that’s the case the wheels are about to come off in Melbourne. I never think of myself as being successful, only in the sense that I’m doing what I enjoy.
You weren’t quite so successful on Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire with Jeremy though… Don’t talk about that. It was totally my fault. I thought that the middle name of Dwight Eisenhower had something to do with Donald Duck. Everyone said it sounded so plausible. Our phone a friend even knew the answer but we thought we’d save him for a later round. We dropped Â£19,000 of money out of the window and worst of all the fire charity we were supporting was in the audience.
Apparently you’re not only a comic but a bit of a singer too… I used to want to be a popstar for a while. I made loads of songs but haven’t done much with them. I made a CD under the name Pretend Popstar. It has got 10 songs on it and is available on the internet. Anyone can make CDs now. My mum could make a CD. I printed off 1,000, got rid of about 30 and kept the other 970 under my bed.
You were even on Celebrity Fame Academy. How did you find that? It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done in my life. Puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Think I should have stayed in longer as I wasn’t the worst singer, but it wasn’t about singing. In those competitions you can basically put your money on the most famous person.
So who won it? Um, um, um…. Elton John! No it was someone in the audience… I forget. Oh I remember, it was Tara Palmer Tomkinson.
What are your plans when you get back to the UK? Guess I should probably do a gig or two. Two weeks after I get back I do a TV show called Total Wipeout, it’s a bit like It’s a Knock Out, where you fly off things. It’s a celebrity version but I’m worried I might break my back at 42. What am I thinking? I’ve got to the age where if something scares me then I do it. Go towards the fear that’s the key.
I’ve got to ask you, what is your favourite joke? Well I can do my travel agency joke. I was working in a travel agency and a guy said “I want to book a flight at very short notice.” I said, “you just missed it.” My fave might be that one now. I quite like, one armed butlers they can take it but they can’t dish it out. And velcro what a rip-off. Give me a topic and I’ll think of a joke.
Tampons! Obviously I’m not going to have one about that. I don’t do jokes about tampons. Period. Catch Tim Vine perform his Punslinger Show at the Melbourne Town Hall till April 26. He has a rest on Mondays but is on every other night at 8.30pm, 7.30pm on Sundays. Info at www.ticketmaster.com.AU