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Tim Vine

January 2010

My weekend: Tim Vine

I'm in panto at the moment in Richmond in Surrey and it's two shows a day, six days a week, so I'll be doing that this weekend. It's not your typical weekend, is it?
It's like doing King Lear compared to what I normally do (laughs).
No, panto really suits what I do in stand-up – the stupid one-liners.
It's the third time I've done it. This time it's Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and I play Muddles, who is a kind of Buttons figure – Snow White's idiot friend.
I thought of a joke for it the other day: You know that song Whistle While You Work? What if you're a glass blower?
Jane Asher is the big name. I discovered about three weeks ago that she sneaks off for a swim between shows. So I've taken to joining her. She says it's like taking a child swimming because I'm constantly trying to invent new strokes and shouting: "Jane! Look at this!"
There are two new swimming strokes I've invented. There's one called the pedalo, where you lay on your back and swim forward. As if you are pedalling a bike. Somehow it propels you forward. I've never seen anyone doing an entire length feet first.
The other one, which I've called the sea horse, I can't quite do yet. You lay on your front and go feet first again. It's like doing the Butterfly backwards. I thrash around in the pool not moving and people think "what's up with that bloke?".
The theatre is about 40 minutes in a taxi from my house and I've been practising my stand-up show for this tour in the taxi.
I'm beginning to sound like a local character, aren't I?
I tend to get the same driver each morning going to the theatre. I say the whole thing out loud and this poor chap's got to sit through it. I'm not waiting for laughs from him, I just plough on. It'd be terrible if I had to work the audience every time. It's just an exercise in trying to remember it.
My TV isn't up to much. I've only got four channels. And actually BBC Two dropped out for about six months but it's back now.
I do buy a lot of DVDs from the supermarket and think "I'll watch that later". I've got 10 I haven't seen yet: Moon, Who Killed Nancy?, Tootsie, Blood Diamond, Street Kings, In The Loop, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada and Children Of Men.
I like watching films. I went to the cinema to see Avatar the other day. Any good? Not really. Obviously the effects are incredible and I only saw it in 2D but it always boils down to the story, doesn't it? You think "oh, here comes a big fight scene so you can write off the next 20 minutes to fast camera movement". It's just boring. Maybe it's because I'm 42 but all I want is to be slightly surprised.
I don't keep fit, apart from swimming with Jane Asher. I did Total Wipeout, which was on TV over Christmas. I should have done some training for that. It was absolutely exhausting. The first time you fall off something all your energy goes.
I went on three ten-minute runs two months beforehand thinking "that's the training sorted".
It was fun but more fun after you'd done it and realised you'd not injured yourself.

Tim Vine appears at Nottingham Playhouse on Friday, January 29. Tickets are £16. Call 0115 941 9419.

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