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Charlie Chuck

January 2009

HE found fame on The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer, playing Vic & Bob's barmy Uncle Peter. Despite a few TV ad campaigns for chocolate bars and beer, Charlie Chuck has pretty much been off our TV screens for more than a decade but that is beginning to change with his role as Doctor Frankenmachine on Nickelodeon's Ross Lee's Ghoulies.
"It has brought me to a new audience," he says.
"In enjoy it, it suits my character."
And what does Doctor Frankenmachine do?
"He puts body parts together."
Chuck last appeared in the city in September at the Rescue Rooms with Frank Sidebottom.
"It was pretty surreal working with Frank," he says.
Odd considering his act usually entails him arguing with his drum kit.
"But it was good. We're talking about touring again in March."
He recently appeared on Sidebottom's TV show "on MTV" – it turns out to be Manchester TV.
"With The Smiths," he says.
The Smiths?
"Yeah, the band."
Again, a little confused is our Charlie. It was their original drummer Mike Joyce and not the long-awaited reunion of Morrissey and Marr.
Which is a shame as the location was suitably silly.
"It was on his allotment in Cheshire. I was drumming in the greenhouse. I was using broom handles on plant pots. Frank Sidebottom was playing the organ."
He admits: "It was lunacy."
If you had to be stuck in a lift with someone, who would it be?
That's interesting. Would they be dead or alive?
Ideally C.S. Lewis.
Oh I thought you meant dead or alive in the lift.
No, no no. I meant like C.S. Lewis. He's obviously dead int he? I'm into him. Not so much The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. But the thing of Christianity, and all that sort of stuff. You know what I mean? And how clever he is. Quantum mechanics, physics and all this.
What is your biggest fear?
Flying. I've only ever flown once and that was to the Montreal Comedy Festival two year ago and I nearly didn't get on the plane. I'd have got sued if I hadn't got on the plane because it was worth a lot of money and it was for television. They picked me out to play on this piano and it goes 30 foot in the air and I'm strapped to it and it went upside down. It was superb. But I won't fly again I don't think. Before then they wanted me out there for eight months for 40 dates in the USA and 40 dates in Canada. It was £60,000 to me but I would have been bobbing about on airplanes so I turned it down. I'm happy in a village with my sheepdog.
So why were you afraid of flying before even getting on a plane?
I just think I'll get on that plane that goes down.
What's the most expensive item you've ever bought, not including property?
About 20 year ago I bought a brand new Volvo for £4,000. I'll never get another one because I don't look after cars. I throw too much rubbish in them. Drums and piano and organ and magic and props and people.
What's your indulgence?
Which kind?
I'd have to say Cadbury's because I did Cadbury's Double Decker advert didn't I? Put that.
And they might send you some more.
I wish they did. It was good I got £18,000 for one day's filming. I could with more of that.
Have you any more adverts lined up?
No. I did Twiglets, Lynx, Walker's crisps, Guinness. If I get them regular I'd be well off.
What item could you not live without?
A picture of my mum and dad on my keyring. My mum was crackers and me dad was clever.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My feet. I've got flat feet.
Where are you going on holiday?
What were you doing this time yesterday?
I was actually in me garden. My garden's 140 foot and I've decided to make it in to an allotment. I was putting a greenhouse up.
What will you be doing this time tomorrow?
Teaching music and drama to people with disabilities. That's what I love. I work three days a week with them. When I walk down that road to Shankton they come running towards me. I'm like the Pied Piper. They've got so much love. I wish I'd have done this 30 years ago.

Charlie Chuck, Just The Tonic, The Approach, Nottingham, Sunday January 18.

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