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Angelos Epithemiou Interview

March 8, 2011

Award-winning burger van owner, discount retailer, gang show entertainer and plastic carrier bag devotee: Angelos Epithemiou’s CV is an impressive read. He’s bringing his show, Angelos Epithemiou & Friends, to the Playhouse for an evening which promises the same kind of surreal shenanigans that earned him a regular slot on BBC’s Shooting Stars. Shariff Ibrahim intercepted him on the way to his favourite cafe for opinions on Paul Daniels, the French and everything in between…

You’re in catering yourself, aren’t you?
Yeh, I used to do catering in the burger van, but I’m out of that game now because the van – I don’t know whether you know this or you don’t know this – has been blown up my mysterious forces. I say mysterious forces; it was my brother what done it, so I do know actually. Luckily no-one was injured apart from my van, which was absolutely buggered. The stock’s all gone too, it went up in flames and ended up in the river. Disgusting, innit.

What kind of business do you do now?
I’ve got the pound shop now. Everything in it’s a pound, apart from the things what are a tenner; they don’t sell so well. I just get stuff off Ebay, flog it, then charge people more money. ‘Cos there’s this recession on, I would have thought I’d be cleaning up, but I think the problem is what I sell is mostly shit. People don’t want it, really.

How was trade over Christmas?
With things like Christmas lights, Christmas trees, decorations and all of that sort of stuff I make a killing. But then people get it home and none of it works so they bring it back and I end up losing in the end. There wasn’t a big Christmas toy though, not in my shop. You’re talking about Hamleys and erm, whatshisname, Buzz Lightyoung and Argos and stuff.

Now you’re on Shooting Stars. What’s it like working with Vic and Bob?
They’re idiots, they’re chancers – members of the ‘lucky club’. They just turn up, make stuff up and then go home again. If you’re telling me that stuff wants bunging on the telly then you’re as big an idiot as what them is.

But Ulrika is a bit special?
That’s another matter all together. That reason on its own was why I did the show, and I’m getting closer to her now [voice gets very high], let me tell you that for nothing. I’m outside her bedroom window nowadays, rather than just the kitchen window, so I’m nearly there. I’ll soon be sidling in there big time, giving it to her both barrels.

No girlfriend on the go at the moment then?
I’ve got one or two. I’m after getting on with that Kate Moss, but she keeps ringing me and I keep ringing ‘er and we keep missing each other. It will happen, it’s just a matter of times. I mean, she likes an egg, I like an egg, we’ll go and have an egg.
I can see myself in all of them hotshot places and parties what she goes to but she’d have to dress up a bit cos I don’t want her embarrassing me, looking like an idiot. You know what she’s like.

Have you had any holidays recently?
Yeh, with Mortimer. He tricked me – this is what I’m talking about with him. I says “I’m going to the EEC”, perfectly simple, off to the EEC, and he says “Alright, I’ll drive you there”. Then he took me to bloody France! I had what is called these panic attacks. They’re a dirty bunch, y’know, and I don’t want to be anywhere near ‘em so I got out of there quickly.

What’s so bad about France?
Well, it’s full of the French, innit. They crawl through that tunnel like they’re blinking rats. And you can’t get a good burger over there, no way. You get a lot of other muck, but you don’t get a good burger. I’ve heard that they’re cannibals and they eat each other. I’m not a dirty bugger, I wouldn’t go near it… unless she was very nice and then I might have a munch. But only in some kind of tomato sauce or yellow sauce or any brown sauce.

I hear you’ve also been to Nottingham recently…
I went to Nottingham, I went to a place called the Glee Clubs. If you’ve never been there, don’t bother – it’s like going to a blinking youth centre. It’s all funny floors and iron bars in the way and all that sort of stuff. So I’m looking forward to going back and going to a good place like the Playhouse, where I shall be playing around!

What can we expect from your show?
I do a bit of lecturing, I tell my jokes, I do my impression and I do my dance. I’ve got three jokes – the Trilogy – because I think three’s quite enough for an hour and an ‘alf. I don’t want to work too hard. I also do some experiments, you get to meet all my friends and my dog, then we have a big old quiz and a couple of dances. It’s mainly pop dancing, break dancing, breakings, popping, poppy-poppings – that sort of stuff.

You’re something of a magician too?
I am the best ever at magic. I’m trying for the Magic Circle but they’re hard to get into, that lot. I like Paul Daniels, he’s a good fella and good at what he does but he’s not as good as me. We could have a magic-off and I’d win by a mile. I’d definitely pull something out of somewhere, never you mind.

Your fashion sense is very distinctive. Who’s your style icon?
He’s called Barry and he used to run the bookie’s. He was always turned out very nice and I thought “I’ll ‘ave some of that, I want to look like him”.

Anything else you want to say to the people of Nottingham?
Cheer up. I’ve seen the place. You walk out of your door and it’s just a mess, it’s grey and all the rest of it. So just try to cheer up and bear with it until you get out.

Originally published at LeftLion.co.uk, March 1, 2011. Angelos played the Nottingham Playhouse on March 4, 2011.

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