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  Dominic Holland

Can you tell us about your childhood?

I was born and raised in London in Witton in London. That’s in Kingbury in North London but I was brought up mainly in south west London, I went to a school in Witton called St Edmunds that was a primary school and then I went to comprehensive school in Shephards Bush called Cardinal Vaughn .My Dada was a teacher my mom was a nurse. I’ve got two brothers and a sister, were a pretty close family. My brothers got three kids and my sisters got three kids. My mom and Dad live in Ealing now and they are very involved in my kid’s lives .I married to Vicki and I have four sons myself. I still have some friends from schools I just had one over just who was helped build my new website I am working on. The Eclipse website has been basically put together by my oldest friend from school .Most of my friends I have pre date my career really.

Can you tell me one thing about yourself that people might not already know?

I’m a catholic and that I am 5 ft 6

Before you were famous what careers did you and what would you be doing if you were not in the public eye now?

Well I was a sales rep for about 3 years I used to sell Textile Products. I also sold food starches for another company, sold book bonds and modified food starches to soup and baked bean companies lots of glamorous jobs. I had always wanted to be a comedian ,always wanted to be humorous .I think I was more a humorous than a comedian because I do so much more than just stand-up comedy, but I always wanted to be a comic it was getting the guts and ball to do it. If I wasn’t a comedian now I would probably be a sales manager for a fairly bland company. I don’t think I would have the brains or the organisational skills to have made senior management. I don’t think I would have been as successful as anything else as I have been in comedy.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Well it’s a bit of a strange one because my career is also my hobby, so if you said to me you will never ever get published again I would still write novels because I enjoy writing them. But most of time taken up when I am not working is spent being a dad. I am keen on my boys playing sport, I play golf myself and am keen on my boy playing golf. I would say 90% of my time being away from comedy is being a dad , just running around watching them play sports and just being there.

Have you ever turned a job down you wish you had done and is there anything you would like to do if you had the chance?

Well my boys are really cross with me because when they were casting top gear they had Jeremy already cast but they wanted to have a small person to go up against Jeremy and I was to do a read through with Jeremy and me and Jeremy have done a few things in the past and I was told they were keen on Dominic Holland doing a studio read through with Jeremy and if we got on well then we would do Top Gear together. I had done a few warm ups when Jeremy had been there so he knew me enough to know who I was .They said you don’t really need to know a lot about cars, you just need to have good chemistry with Jeremy and I said nah I can’t see Top Gear being that popular so I said no I didn’t even want to go for the read through and its turned into this massive show. When I told my boys they had asked me to do the read through they have never really forgiven me for it.
And I would like to be Simon Pegg. Simon Pegg used to support me on tour Simon and I drove down to Swansea to do a gig one day, Simon did half an hour and I was doing an hour. We drove down together talking about each other’s respective careers. Simon was saying Dom you are doing well you are on the up and there weren’t many people there ,I’d say there were 60 people at this gig and now l look at Simon and all he has achieved he is making movies and I think wow good for him.

What do you think makes you funny?

I think my material makes people laugh at themselves, so I take the absurdities of my life and actually they are absurdities of all our lives. So I think most of the laughs are people laughing and their own situations via me. I suppose I would say my material is very accessible ,a lot of the guys do very serial things to get their laughs , my comedy is rigid and based on reality of everyone’s life. So if you are a teacher or a soldier or a haematologist or a brick layer I think you will get my comedy because it’s for everyone and it’s based on the last 20 years really.

What was it like winning the Perrier for best newcomer in 1993?

Well I just wish I had the wisdom I’ve got now. See I didn’t realise in 93 that it would be the highlight of my stand up career. I just thought well I am doing well , people think I am funny and would continue but I think the really clever comics are the ones that know it’s their moment and they sort of kick on and become famous .I was still picky I used to see don’t want to do this don’t want to do that and of course I let things run away from me really. I was on tour with Eddie Izard I was the pick of Edinburgh that year and I had good reviews from the critics but I just didn’t realise that it wouldn’t continue. Comics come and go and run in and out of fashion and I just thought I could do this for a job and it’s just going to continue but of course people like variety but I have no regrets though.

What is the best job you ever done and why?

The best job I have ever had was being a chaperone to a 13 year old boy playing the lead role in a Hollywood film ,I went to New York to meet Naomi Watts and Ewan Mcgregor. So we spent three days in New York meeting them and four days in New York just kicking back. That boy was my son Tom and it was great being paid for being my sons Dad.

Can you tell us about your radio career e.g the sketches you have done and have written and how hard is it writing things you can’t see?

Well my career is really based on a radio 4 series I did called The small world of Dominic Holland which was six half hours of stand-up comedy which won a comic heritage award and is still played on Radio 7 which I still get cheques for £40 every six months and people very much enjoyed that series and it’s got me loads of work over the years. When I do stand-up comedy obviously some of the expressions will be lost but you have to rely on the audience imagine what’s happening with their minds eye. I can do something’s more simple on radio with sound effects where as if the same thing was on television you would have to build a set and get costumes, so radio sketches are cost effective ,so I love the radio things and on the website we are going to film sketches on the site for my blog which is called Eclipse on Dominicholland.co.uk and we can use that as a platform to put on our own stuff

Your son played Billy Elliot in the West End do you think your involvement in the entertainment industry influenced him?

I can honestly say categorically no .The Billy Elliot things was a complete fluke which I have said on my blog. Tom danced at a local dance troupe when he was about 3 or four years of age. I was on the Des o Connor show and I met Janet Jackson and she gave me a CD.I came home and played the CD that Janet gave me and Tom as a little tiny boy would spring out of his chair and dance to this song. My wife then noticed he had good timing I had never noticed it so when he was 5 my wife decided he might like to join a dance class. We took him there for three years and after that he auditioned for Billy Elliot and he never thought he would get it. It took two years and eight auditions and he finally got cast. He did it for 20 months he was a fantastic Billy Elliot and he was then spotted on Youtube where he got cast for this film. He is now back at school, he is 14 and next year his big movie comes out and he is the star of the film. That’s what my blog is about really it’s called eclipsed and it’s about my life and I’ve been a stand-up comedian and I’ve been published but I have never been in the West End and I have never been in a hit movie. The bottom line is its called Eclipse and I will write it weekly from now till the premiere in Los Angeles. And if people enjoy the post hopefully they will tell there mates.

Can you tell us about your books you have written?

Well I’ve written a lot of books I have written four novels. I have had a load of short stories published in books and magazines .I have also written two other novels one was called Metallic paint which I never had published and I have done a brand new one called a man’s life and its 120,000 words. I am not going to submit it to publishers what I am going to do is try and get a following to Eclipse and then maybe we will be able to publish it ourselves.

You have done several different career in the entertainment industry comedy radio books how easy is it to go from on to the other and what is your favourite?

Well ok , when people say what do you do for a living ,I like to say I am a humourist .I find it best though when I am writing I can get booed I can’t get heckled and I think it doesn’t matter about my lack of performing skills compared to some of the other guys, you watch Lee Evans and think flipping hell or Michael McIntyre so I am most happy and I think I am most successful writing my comedy.

You appear regularly on the wright stuff what is it you enjoy about it and how much of what you say on the show is scripted?

None of it is scripted. I think the show is a great show and I like the eclectic way the show goes , you can go from talking about Libya to talking about furry dice in cars. You get a small amount of time on air and I tend not to toe the media line. The Media line in all stories is the safe way to tread but I don’t thinks that’s helpful for people in our society .So I try and take a more contentious line, which is the right from centre line but you get little time on telly to substantiate yourself so as soon as you say a comment that doesn’t meet with the media consensus you re under enormous pressure to justify yourself. You always have to be very cautious and self-edit yourself for that reason. It’s a very difficult show for me to do, I used to be a trendy lefty and didn’t really enjoy that, but once I became more contentious I became more marketable because people must think at least I have a point of view. I am always very weary though about being miss interpreted. I like the idea of a family taking care of themselves a lot more rather than the government taking control, I prefer a powerful individual and a less powerful government.

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