At that time I lived for FOOTBALL. I just ran my arse off
My dad's good. I think we're quite similar. We're a bit emotionally compressed; we don't get too elated by things because we've had bad stuff happen and more shit could be just around the corner. But we don't get too depressed either. We quite like pootling around but try to be more windswept and interesting, as Billy Connolly always said.
Now we work together sometimes in the community centre in Sidley the place where he grew up. My grandmother helped start it in about 1949. She taught me and my brother when we were at the kindergarten there. It's in Bexhill, East Sussex, where Spike Milligan was stationed during the war. He was on a lookout on top of Galley Hill, waiting for the Germans to come. I sold ice-creams at a kiosk at the bottom of the hill, and I used to cycle around looking for the places where he was stationed. The De La Warr Pavilion, is where I sold sausage, egg and chips and cups of tea to old ladies: Spike played there, and I ended up playing there.
I did a stand-up gig in Sidley. I took a Hollywood searchlight, like the ones used to sweep the sky for bombers, The last time these things were in Sidley was in 1942, wartime. We got permission - but the police were phoning up, going 'What the fuck's going on?' - and everyone was driving in from ten, twelve miles each way because they could see these lights in the sky. People kept driving up and saying 'What's happening? Can we come?' It's nice working with my dad. He's treasurer at the community centre.
In 1969 we left Wales and went back to live in Bexhill. We went to school in Eastbourne - again, it was this boarding school thing. The first one was called St. Bede's, right at the foot of the South Downs. The Downs has steep banks with loads of bomb craters because the British planes coming back from missions would jettison their bombs on the Downs because they couldn't land with a bomb load, something like that, I don't know. We used to play in the craters.
I used to play a lot of football. At that time I lived for football. I just ran my arse off, playing left half and then right half. I was in the first team. I wasn't the best or the most gifted but I was good when the ball would go past our goalie and I'd be there to head it off the line. And when the guy was running ahead with the ball and he was bringing his foot back to kick it, I'd just put my foot in and knock it away from him. I'd do those things. I couldn't kick the ball in the goal to save my life. I was scared of getting up there in case I tried and missed in an open-goal situation and then everyone would kill me. So I just used to do the good pass for someone else to knock it in. They used to read out the names of the people in the first team in school assembly on match day - 'OK, get your kit and off you go' - and you'd stand up and walk out. It was great. I loved that.
But the second school in Eastbourne didn't fucking play football. What a crap decision. They played rugby, hockey and cricket and in the sixth form you were given an option of doing football. It was treated like pottery or martial arts. So I gave up on sport really. I thought it was stupid not playing football. My brother had already gone to the school, so I knew about it. You accept it.
At university, I thought, hey, I'll get back into playing football, but I was clearly five years out of practise. I was treated like shit by the people who played, because I couldn't kick a ball anymore. And it was no good with other sports. Cricket, the ball always tried to hit me. Hockey I liked but some guys could just look at the ball and fbam! - shoot it somewhere. I worked really hard to try and get good with the backs of hockey sticks and stuff but I couldn't hit it like the best guys. I was in the football first XI at thirteen, though. Played 14, won 11, drew one, lost two. I almost played for my town. I was a reserve on the team. Eastbourne v. Seaford. I could have played.
My dad tells us that the 1966 World Cup was on television, and he was saying to us, 'You've got to watch,' and me and my brother were saying, 'No'. 'You've got to watch it's the World Cup - it's 3-2 - it's 4-2...' And we were still saying, 'No' and sticking bits of lego in our ears.
Supporting Crystal Palace is a bit of a trial. What Crystal Palace do is go up to the Premier League and then go back down again. They have relegation battle. My dad goes to every home match and me and my brother go along too. We sit in the stand where my uncle used to sit. My aunt and uncle used to live across from the ground. We've sat there since 1969. I like Crystal Palace. Terry Venables is back again. Maybe our time will come. Somebody said to me, 'Is it too strong to say Crystal Palace are a joke team?' I said, 'That's too strong. You have to die for that.' With stand-up comedy I'm probably doing some things where people think, how the fuck are you doing that? It's the same with football - how the fuck do players put it in the goal like that? When they