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The FINAL SAY-SO ; John Simmit says 'eh-oh' to cityJohnSimmit s+pent six years playing Dipsy in the hit children's TV show Teletubbies. Now he's a...

April 27, 2013


The FINAL SAY-SO ; John Simmit says 'eh-oh' to cityJohnSimmit s+pent six years playing Dipsy in the hit children's TV show Teletubbies. Now he's a stand- up comedian, producer, DJ and events organiser

WHEN I went along for the audition I had no idea what it was before. And Teletubbies was brand new anyway so no one knew anything about it.

And I was up against some very enthusiastic actors, so I didn't think I'd stand a chance of getting it.

I was a stand up comedian and I didn't have all of the sets of skills and attitudes they had - and yet I got the job.

It was fun being Dipsy for six years and it gave me a six-pack! That's what happens when you carry around three stones of fur for 12 hours a day.

It was hard work but it really did give me muscles. Sadly the six- pack has disappeared now. Other TV I've done in my career includes the Gadget Show, the sketch show The Real McCoy and I was on Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the 90s.

As well as the TV, I do stand-up comedy, organise comedy and music shows, and DJ.

Being self-employed allows me to generate new projects all the time. I tend to do a variety of things because I think just sticking to one would be a bit boring.

Breaking into comedy started off by being a comedy fan myself and attending comedy clubs. I analysed and enjoyed what people were doing on stage and thought that I could do it.

The first gig I did was in my home city of Birmingham in the mid- Nineties compering a show. This was at an arts centre called The Cave where I was working. I helped get the comedians together from those I'd seen and asked if I could introduce them. They paid me Pounds 20 and it went well so they decided to make it a regular thing.

I did my apprenticeship as the compere. No one has solely inspired me to become a comedian. It was more just watching the TV show, Saturday Night Live. Seeing people that weren't much older than me doing stuff that weren't really jokes but more observations was something I knew I was capable of.

I also organise comedy shows. I started that 20 years ago. I had a line-up sorted and proposed putting them on at a festival but the organisers said no. So I booked a theatre and sold nearly 1,000 tickets. On the back of that, people started to approach me to put shows together. I brought a show to Nottingham Playhouse earlier this month, called Funny-n-Stilettos. It was an all lady line-up. I like the Playhouse; it's intimate because it's so well designed.

I keep an eye out for upcoming comedy talent and at the moment I'd say Kane Brown and Doc Brown, who was a rapper, are the ones to watch.

The feeling I get when people laugh at my jokes is probably the same as footballers when they score a goal. There's a real rush of adrenaline and I come off the stage feeling great.

It's not easy. It's not just about having a sense of humour. Everyone's got one of them and can be funny to our friends but it takes a lot of hard work to fly in this industry.

The next time I'll be in Nottingham will be for a music night I'm putting on next month.

It's an old school party night at the Bodega called Soul Simmitry. There's also a book launch as part of that event called Masters of the Airwaves. It's about the rise of black radio and people like Trevor Nelson and Tim Westwood have contributed to it.

? Soul Simmitry is at the Bodega, Pelham Street on Sunday, May 5 from 9pm to 3am. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnSimmit IMAHN ROBERTSON- JOSEPHS

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Source: YellowBrix_Entertainment

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