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Interview: Anna Mann

- January 29, 2018

Colin-Hoult-Anna-Mann-credit-Edward-Moore

After several series of ‘Colin Hoult’s Carnival of Monsters’ on BBC Radio 4, working with Ricky Gervais, Harry Hill, and Al Murray, and becoming a familiar face on television, Colin Hoult is back as his alter ego diva actress Anna Mann. Anna had a word with Victoria Nangle

Hello Anna, and how are you today?
I am, as so often happens in this business, completely engorged with cake. I was torn between the Coffee Toffee Doo Dah, the Raspberry Frumptious and the Ugly Zebra Cake. So instead I opted for all three, one atop the other. I’ll regret it deeply in a few minutes, but what can I say? I live for the moment. You have to take hold of the moment and really give it what for, otherwise what’s the point? We’ll all be dead one day right? Eat the bloody cake. Excuse, I just need to go and be sick a bit. 

Your show is called ‘How We Stop The Fascists’. What do you think you late husband John ‘Smellsy’ Smells would think of it?
If he wasn’t already dead I imagine it would kill him all over again. It’s. That. Good. 

What prompted you to think that the Fascists have risen to the point of needing you to put them in their place once again?
Mostly it was when my yoga teacher, Lesley, barred me for snoring. That’s when I knew things were really getting out of control, the Fascist! 

You have an amazing back catalogue of famous friends and anecdotes, that you have very kindly shared. Which anecdote about you has been aired that you would have preferred kept under wraps?
Probably the photos of what I literally keep under my wraps. Real scandal when that got out. That stuff is for a very select group of people to see, namely my husbands and my best pal Sue Clinch (we often check each other out now we’re a little older). 

We’ll all be dead one day right? Eat the bloody cake

Ex-squaddie come filmmaker Andy Parker (another Hoult character) contributes to your show. With a television pilot based on his family in the works – have you seen it, and if so what do you think of it?
I got a sneak preview in his shed. It’s incredibly visceral and brave. I love the working classes and to get the chance to really hear how they talk, walk, make love etc is a godsend. Fingers crossed it gets a commission. 

Have you any advice for him as to how he might handle the spotlight of attention?
He has a very short fuse and tends to kick off at the least notice. Which I think will really keep him in the papers, so just keep doing that I reckon. I’ve been dining out on my GBH charge for years. 

Is the fight against Fascists a team effort? I ask as you have a number of other ‘contributors’ to the show…
Oh god no – and if they kick off and say they wrote it then tell them to sod off. They’re liars. I’m extremely tyrannical about my fight against the Fascists. Its my way or the highway. 

Will we be hearing any more Carnival Of Monsters on BBC Radio 4, or might you have other plans for the wireless set?
I’m currently developing a little piece called Anna Mann ‘Help Yourself’. It’s all about self help books and will change your lives, all of you. 

Whereabouts do you, Anna Mann, live in Brighton – and what are the pros and cons you experience in our fair city?
I have a very small room atop the Pepper Pot. technically (and actually) squatting but the view of the post office is to die for. I guess the thing I love most about Brighton is the cake, which is – as we’ve witnessed – sadly also a very big con. Excuse, I must have a little bit more of a clear out. I blame the Raspberry Frumptious. 

Colin Hoult/Anna Mann – How We Stop The Fascists, Komedia, Thursday 15 February 2018, 8pm, £10/8


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