Highlights of my 2012
Happy New Year! Hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever it is you might or might not celebrate during the month of December. A few things us humans can all be thankful for, and it doesn’t matter what country, religion, colour, gender you are, there is one thing that brought us all together, and that’s the stupid Mayans (and Roland Emmerich)! They were wrong! Although they never said the World would end; they just made a calendar with an expiry date.
I began the year on a great foot, and an ambivalent foot, when T4 named me a ‘Rising Star of 2012’ along with the awesome Nick Helm, the beautiful Roisin Conaty, the wonderful Sean Walsh and the mesmerising Joe Wilkinson; who are all doing very well indeed. A little too well. (Note to self; kill them all. Kill everyone!) I thought I would d share some of my 2012 highlights.
Yippeekayay Motherfucker! I worked with Bruce Willis! I don’t mean to show off but you know, it’s Bruce Willis! Unfortunately, it was not a film in which visceral Willis & cerebral Lampaert drive through populated streets in a hotwired ice cream van whilst smashing through fruit stalls and cardboard boxes to ultimately save the day from a terrorist bastard who wants to destroy the World with a big hammer or something. That film is being written as we speak. Hollywood; watch this space! “Adventures Of The Ice Cream Lads!” (Working title)
I was fortunate enough to work with B-Dubz on a Sky Broadband advert on B-Day, 11th August 2012. The clients flew me, and the talented Jessica Ransom, to Budapest, Hungary, because that’s where Bruce was “busy” “filming” Die Hard 5. Oh we’re all busy, Bruce! But yeah, fine, I’ll cancel my dentist appointment for thee! You’re welcome. Jess & I spent most of the time thinking up of Budapuns when we weren’t filming. IE: What’s the greatest city in Hungary? Buda-best. It’s better than the Buda-rest. Etcetera.
The one question I get asked on a regular basis is “what’s he like?” Even if B-Dubz is not the topic of conversation, people interrupt with the “what’s he like?” question, as if I automatically know who they are talking about. Which I do. But I’ve met other people this year! For instance, I am Dizzee Rascal’s hype man in his next music video “Bassline Junkie”. Dizzee must have asked for the whitest person in Britain. And he got him. DJ Lamb Pear!
So, what’s he like hey? Well, he turned up without knowing his lines. But then he can. He’s Bruce Willis. I kinda liked it. I had to improvise around what he was saying! If you thought I talked bollocks, you should’ve heard him. It was ace. I would not have liked to direct him. But luckily, I didn’t have to, so it was enjoyable. Just two actors doing their thing. Although I think he got paid more than me.
My brain kept teasing me to say “I see dead people” but I’m not a prick! Who would do that? Shout a phrase at someone. A thing they once said on TV or something. Like, I don’t know, “Viva”! Imagine that. Imagine how annoying that would be if someone kept shouting “Viva” at someone that was once in a Viva advert.
HOW TO SURVIVE A DISASTER MOVIE
So I’ve had the privilege to play with Bruce Willis, the protagonist of many disaster movies. And I got to play with the enemies in a Channel 5 TV show called How To Survive A Disaster Movie, with co-host and friend Joel Dommett. Here are a few of my favourites.
ALLIGATORS! I went to America to wrestle an alligator! Translation: I got to sit petrified on top of a modern dinosaur using all my strength to not urinate on it and to keep the beast from doing the death roll and devouring me! It wasn’t wrestling. I did not wear a nylon jumpsuit and force a mask on the alligator while telling him I was gonna smash him through a table for sleeping with my girlfriend. My sole job was to get it out of the water, jump on its back and grab it’s neck so it couldn’t turn around and eat me. And the gentleman that taught me all this, Tim Williams, clearly respected and loved his animals, which was really nice to see. They’re incredibly strong, heavy and their scutes were razor sharp which made it painful to pull it out of the water. It was terrifying. And it was one of the most fun things I have ever done, as it was one of my dreams as a kid. Well, sort of. I’ve always wanted to cuddle a crocodile, so that’s close enough.
HELICOPTERS! I am HUET certified, which means I have done my Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. It’s pretty self-explanatory. The key is to not panic when your very heavy flying machine crash-lands in the sea, the water swiftly and loudly engulfing everything. Yeah. Don’t panic! Even if this certified training site needs to update their seatbelts, which get stuck while you (me) get submerged and nearly drown and die!
HIV! I’m not missing an E at the end of that word. This has nothing to do with bees! It’s about the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. And no, I don’t have it! This was an odd day. It began at the University of Miami, where I was to learn about various deadly diseases. I learned a lot but it wasn’t the most riveting of days, until, off-camera, the scientist I was interviewing takes me to a secure part of her laboratory. She’s looking for something in a fridge; not the kind of fridge to keep yoghurts, Yakults, yeast-based foods or other refrigerated products. She finally finds what she’s looking for and she passes it to me. It’s a jar with a clear liquid inside. “What’s that?” I ask. “Oh” she replies, “that’s just a jar of HIV.” My brain kept daring me to down it, but the hangover would’ve been deadly! Especially after a Yellow Fever chaser.
RATS! I’m the biggest carnivore I know, and that includes the aforementioned alligator. And I believe, if you can eat it, you should be able to kill it. And that belief was put to the test when I had to eat something that would be plentiful in a post-apocalyptic World. Twinkies! And if there’s none of those available; rats. Turns out they taste like chicken. Really.
It was indeed an experience to behead and skin a rat. Quite moving actually, because you can really see how evolution took place over the millions of years. The rat was just like a tiny human, with its tiny ribcage and its tiny heart, tiny lungs, tiny bladder; a little human who walked on all fours, but covered in hair, and with a tail, and big ears and a long snout; just imagine a rat.
The health & safety team told me I shouldn’t eat it, but I was brought up to respect my food. So I had to eat it! And told them I was going to. Most divas want their grapes peeled or only blue M&Ms; I wanted to eat me some rat. So I did. And I got worms! I should’ve listened to the health & safety team.
SELACHIMORPHA! I was near the island of Bimini in the Bahamas when a Caribbean reef shark swam towards my hair with an open mouth as it thought my luscious locks was a fish dancing in the rising bubbles of my scuba mask. But to get on the island, I had to first fly a flimsy plane through a mini-hurricane.
The plane touched the airstrip for a mere moment in the torrential rain and racing winds before taking off again and spinning ninety degrees, so that one wing was pointing skywards, giving me a great view of the water. Was I going to meet the sharks a few days early? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I was thankful for my HUET. One hand on my belt, both eyes fixed to my nearest exit and hope for the best.
The plane succeeded on the second landing and came to a halt, after it was overwhelmed by water from the flooded airstrip. That was far scarier than any of the eight sharks I met a few days later.
Again, swimming with sharks was something I have always wanted to do. And I am very thankful to the two new inspiring friends I made, Jillian & Duncan Brake, who were my underwater and overwater tour guides.
TWO TICKETS TO THE GUM SHOW
Gigs have been really fun this year. I got to perform in the main hall of the Natural History Museum in front of Dippy the Diplodocus and Charles Darwin the Darwinicus for ‘Museum of Curiosity’. I had to get naked (I had to!) for a terminally ill stag at Just The Tonic in Nottingham. That was a fun and emotional night. You can read more about that evening in my blogs. I always have a great night at Top Secret Comedy Club in Covent Garden. Had the pleasure to support Mark Watson on most of his tour dates. And the Butlins gig with Benny Boot was definitely a memorable one. For me, because a guy that looked like me, was pretending to be me the whole night and getting pictures done with other people, which I would see when they tagged me on twitter. Very weird. For Benny, well, check my YouTube videos: www.youtube.com/ericmiaow
Two Tickets To The Gum Show is the title of my upcoming 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Show. You should come and see it.
I started a podcast with my neuroscientist friend Jack De Havas. It once made it on Chortle’s podcast to listen to and was described as “enthusiastic, eccentric, if occasionally self indulgent.” Occasionally? Ha ha. It’s available for free on iTunes & Soundcloud. You should listen to it and make up your own mind as to whether you should listen to more.
I do hope you all have a great two thousand and thirteen. I’m very grateful to have great friends, family, girlfriend and agent for making my 2012 awesome. And thankful to anyone who’s happy listening to me talking bollocks for a living.