Two minutes with: Phill Jupitus

by The Listener / 10 January, 2013
The British comedian, actor and musician has been a team captain on uproarious music panel quiz show <em>Never Mind the Buzzcocks</em> – which starts on Prime this week – since it first aired in 1996.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks
Never Mind the Buzzcocks

You’ve famously missed only one episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Did you think it was going to go for 16 years?
Television’s such a fickle industry. There’s no point where I realised it would be running this long. To be honest, quite genuinely, the position I was in in ’96, if someone had come up to me and said, “I’ve got a television job for you, it’s a series, it will take about 12 weeks of the year to do and you’ll do 250 of them and it will last for 16 years”, I’d probably have said no.

Do you think it embodies a particular British take on popular music?
It’s got that British self-effacement. We’re a very self-deprecating nation. We like to not take ourselves too seriously, and Buzzcocks is in that tradition: “Oh, you’re only pop stars, get over yourself.” It’s an externalising of that.

Do the American guest panellists get that?
Sometimes people come on and it’s a bit rabbit-in-the-headlights: “What the f--- am I doing here?” We had Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 on one of the early shows of this series and he was absolutely fantastic; really funny, really sharp, really on the money. Ne-Yo, the American R&B singer, hosted an episode, and again, the kid’s in his early twenties, unbelievably self-possessed, very talented, understands television and media, incredibly confident, can deliver a joke. We had a Jackson once – Jermaine – and he didn’t really understand what was happening.

Which guest have you been most excited about?
The late Ian Dury was on the show once; Kirsty MacColl, she was a mate of mine, having friends on was always nice; Billy Bragg came on a couple of times; the brilliant Tom Robinson. The people I used to get really excited about were from my childhood. [As I was] born in ’62, people like Noddy Holder from Slade and David Essex and Suzi Quatro, they’re people I remember from when I was seven.

Juliette Lewis hosted the show once. Was she the most crazy?
Indeed. Well, define crazy. She grew up in that Hollywood atmosphere, an Oscar at 14. She’s seen it all. So, there’s that sense of them being so self-possessed, and a bit scatty and bit lovely. She was really, really good fun. Sometimes Americans come on and not a lot happens. I would adore Courtney Love to host the show. I’m not joking – and she knows Noel [Fielding]. I keep saying to Noel, “Get Courtney to host the show; she’d have a right laugh; she’d be really good at it.” Juliette Lewis was just kind of kooky and “what’s happening?”

Who gets the most fan mail between you and Noel Fielding?
I imagine Fielding; he’s got adoration off the scale. I’m a 50-year-old father of two and Noel Fielding is a minor sex god.

You were involved in that very political period in the 80s with Red Wedge and Billy Bragg. Do you look back now and think that achieved what it set out to do?
What it changed was myself. It had a massive impact on me. That kind of activism makes you think twice about the way things are happening, and certainly as a parent it makes me think about how I tell kids the world is, and I think it’s made me a better person.

What’s the music scene like in the UK now?
You know what, 50-year-old father of two, I really can’t tell you. I’m in a band with other men who are parents and grandparents; we’re in our own zone.

NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS, Prime, Monday, 8.30pm.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage


Donna Chisholm: Defending David Dougherty
Teeks: The soul singer whose voice will give you goosebumps
71775 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Music

Teeks: The soul singer whose voice will give you g…

by Lydia Jenkin

Growing up immersed in waiata (and the sounds of Bob Marley and Elvis Presley), soul singer Teeks has a voice that gives people shivers.

Read more
Book review: Human Acts by Han Kang
Port in a storm: How long will it take to rebuild Wellington's quake-hit docks?
71836 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Business

Port in a storm: How long will it take to rebuild …

by Tina Morrison

Wellington’s CentrePort’s “marathon” quake rebuild is led by a chief executive who has lived through the experience before.

Read more
Hardcore exercise could be harming your sex drive
71590 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Health

Hardcore exercise could be harming your sex drive

by Nicky Pellegrino

According to new research, pushing your exercising to the limits can have dire consequences for health, libido and fertility.

Read more
The power of an electric cargo bike in Auckland
71804 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Urbanism

The power of an electric cargo bike in Auckland

by Paperboy

"It’s a way back to the freedom of youth, when kicking around on a bike with friends was one of life’s great joys."

Read more
Politicians aren’t talking to us this election year, but to Winston Peters
71902 2017-04-28 14:08:09Z Politics

Politicians aren’t talking to us this election yea…

by Jane Clifton

We don't want any David Cunliffe cod-bogan attempts to get down with the peeps, but MPs seem to be going way too far in the other direction this year.

Read more
9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welfare' is morally bankrupt
71856 2017-04-28 09:53:00Z Politics

9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welf…

by Guyon Espiner

Dame Jenny Shipley on being the first woman Prime Minister, plus coups and coalitions, welfare reform and Winston Peters.

Read more