to Norfolk Interviews
I understand that the circumstances of your birth
were rather unusual. Can you elaborate?
Oh, I've never had no problem elaborating, so I can
do that any time I like. And it weren't the birth that
was unusual but the contraception. But you already know
that, or you wouldn't have asked the next question.
It must have been a shock for you to discover that
Henry wasn't your 'real' father? Did this trauma prompt
you to go solo?
Well, now, you seem to know more than I do, but
appearances can be defective. No-one know for sure who
my father is, although mother ought to have an idea but
she's not saying. She reckon what you don't know can't
hurt you, although I didn't know that bloke who mugged
me in North Walsham, and that certainly smarted.
As for why I went solo it was due to father retiring
- well, we retired him - and then he died. So that put
paid to any come backs. Since then I've done 16 years, 7
albums, 4 books, 2 radio series and 8 stage shows, so I
don't really see why people keep going on about him.
You were lucky enough to be born into a musical
family. Have the walnut shells always been a traditional
instrument in Trunch?
Musical? You don't seem to know much about folk
singing. Folk singing is about words, not music. The
music is just there to help the medicine go down, which
is a bit peculiar when you think about it, because
medicine was always made to taste horrid so you'd know
it was doing you good.
As for walnut shells, they're nothing to do with
music either. They're to do with rhythm, and you
wouldn't ask a drummer about music, would you? Well, you
wouldn't if you wanted a sensible answer. In the past
they were played all over Norfolk. They even got
mentioned in the Domesday Book. Not favourably I'll
admit, but mentioned nonetheless. And neverthemore,
How did you first get into show business?
Well, it was the saddlefront pigs. We used to show
them at local shows. We stopped ages ago though, after
uncle George was awarded Biggest Pig At The Show in
Knapton. We thought we should sign off at the top, due
to the alternative being to sign off at the bottom, and
then you wouldn't want to use the pencil again, would
What do you say to people who suggest that St.
Just-near-Trunch isn't a real place?
I suggest they sign off at the bottom.
Prewd and Prejudice was co-written with Chris
Sugden. How does your collaboration work exactly?
I've never noticed it working exactly. It more sort
of works roughly. Basically I tell him what to write,
and he writes what he wants. That way you get the best
of both words. Of course Cod Pieces, which is
more short stories and that, has some things exactly as
they were before he got his hands on them, but Crab
Wars he did most of, except the St. Just bits.
Man of Convictions, which is my uncle George's
autobiography, was writ by my uncle George, so neither
of us done that, although we did ed it.
A while back you had a part in the TV production of
David Copperfield. How was that experience?
Well, being a star, and having my own caravan, and my
own make-up woman and all that - well, that come pretty
natural. Having to play a rough fisherman took a bit of
acting. I'm self-taught as an actor which weren't easy,
due to me not knowing nothing about what I was teaching
Have you had a chance to watch Stephen Fry's
Kingdom? If so, have you been concerned about the
atrocious Norfolk accents?
I knew Mr Fry was posh, but I didn't know he had a
kingdom! Still, when you've eaten Mrs Dace's rock cakes
nothing comes as much of a surprise. I tell you what I
did see, though - I saw that Larkrise, due to me
thinking it was a nature programme. Now that had lovely
Norfolk accents, the only backdraw being it was supposed
to have happened in Oxfordshire. I bet those Oxfordshire
people were pretty fed up about that.
Obviously you're a multi-talented megastar
embracing: singing, playing, story-telling, writing,
joke-cracking and acting. Which of these do you consider
your 'piece de resistance'?
Actually I don't play hard to get on any of them
things. But you do have to watch out for getting type-casted.
You know how it is: you do something once, and people
think that's all you can do. I've lost count of the
number of times I've been asked to accidentally trip,
flail about, and rip Molly Mornay's blouse off again.
Norfolk has obviously been behind most of what you
do. How would you define its influence?
Not all of Norfolk hasn't been behind it. A lot of
Norfolk has been in front, trying to stop me. They
reckon we ought to be telling the rest of the world how
up to the minute and progressive we are, instead of
going on about the past. But if we didn't have the past,
what would hold the present up? They never think about
that. Stick to the Norfolk motto, I say, and Do
I understand that you and Keith Skipper are planning
a new extravaganza in the autumn about Norfolk heroes?
Not this autumn - next autumn. 2009. You have to plan
ahead in this business. What happened was we both got
fed up with people mistaking us for each other, even
though it's obvious he's the bald one, so we thought
we'd give people the chance to see us together. It was
either that or a civil partnership, but he's already
happily married, and I'm happily unmarried, so we
thought Cromer pier was the better option. He knows
about Norfolk heroes, and I'm condescended from a lot of
them, so that's what we're doing.
Are you planning to retire any time soon? Maybe take
advantage of house prices at Happisburgh?
I think I owe it to my public to keep on writing and
performing as long as they pay me. And my privates, come
to that, what with gropies and so on. As for Happisburgh,
well, if I retired it'd be to spend more time at home,
not go somewhere foreign.
What do you think they'll write on your gravestone?
Well, it won't bother me much, 'cause I'll be in no
position to read it, will I? But I'd settle for the
Kipper family motto - 'Two-face and Gutless'.
|For more of Sid's shenanigans visit his
Or to book Sid, ring his agent Elaine Cooper on 01377