Sun interview about HNTGU

THE last time Richard Herring featured in The Sun he was trying to kill the Loch Ness Monster.

For a comedy show paying homage to Hercules, of course. That was 2004.

Last year, Richard controversially attempted to reclaim Hitler's toothbrush moustache and re-attribute it to Charlie Chaplin.

"I'll always talk to people if they're offended, though," he says. "If they come up to me afterwards we'll have a discussion."

Being an idea-driven comic, what does Richard think of trading it for the lifestyle of a jobbing Saturday night club headliner?

"I've got respect for the people who do that but it isn't my thing," he says. "It's good to be able to do 20-minute club gigs but it's nice to do stuff off the cuff.

"I saw Reg D Hunter doing a set where he sat on a stool and spoke for an hour, unrehearsed. I thought, 'I want to be able to do that'."

Which he has with As It Occurs To Me, a live weekly show in which Richard generates an hour of new material and records it for a free podcast.

"I thought, 'If I do this myself nobody can tell me what to do - I'll have full creative control'. Then the thought was that if we make it available for no cost, more will listen. There are 30,000 subscribers. If they enjoy listening for free and decide to pay a tenner or so for the book, I'll live very happily!"

The book is How Not To Grow Up, which deals with turning 40.

On one page, Richard speaks of a desire to smack Hollywood hunk Matthew McConaughey around the face with a cricket bat.

He's joking but I'm keen to know what Richard would say to Matthew if he had one question.

He says: "I'd ask him 'Why?' Why would you look at a script and never just go, 'No, that's rubbish, I'm not doing that.' "

Autobiographical writing inevitably leads to the same problem. What the folks will think. "At some point I just had to get over the fact that my mum would read it," concedes Richard. "Luckily, she's only about three chapters in."

How Not To Grow Up is available now (Ebury Press, £11.99). See richard

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