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How Jeremy Vine's baby brother became King of the crackers. Daily Mail 12 12 2014 by Nicole Lampert
They call him The Punslinger, the fastest gag-teller in the West. Actually, make that the world. Among his many achievements, Tim Vine counts the Guinness World Record for the most jokes told in an hour: 499 to be precise. What crackers some of them are: this chap said, 'I'm going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs ant put them in the library' I thought it would be a turn--up for the books. Or how about: 'I bought a train ticket and the driver said' Eurostar?, I said, "Well, I've been on telly, but I'm no Dean Martin." Still, at least it's comfortable on the Eurostar, It's murder on the Orient Express. Another? 'What do you call a lady with big teeth who sleeps in the afternoon?' Siesta Rantzen. If those examples make Tim sound like a cross between every old comic whose zany gags have made you groan .. well, that's the root of his appeal. Hardly surprising, then, that Tim 47, has made the annual funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival practically his own (he's the only comic to win it twice -- in 2010 and 2014 -- and has been runner up three times). But in the flesh, he's been more self--effacing than wise cracking. He's so laid back, he's practically on the floor. He's a comedian's comedian, who's become an actor, too, appearing in seven series of Lee Mack's Not Going Out, and this year landing the part of butler Beach to Timothy Spall's lord Emsworth in Blanding's, BBC one's adaptation of P.G. Woodhouse's books. Now, he's he's starring as Button's along side Dallas star Linda Gray in Cinderella at London's New Wimbledon Theatre -- his sixth panto in as many years. Yet neither comedy nor acting were top of Tim's list when growing up in middle--class comfort in Cheam, Surrey, while his older brother, radio and TV presenter Jeremy Vine, and younger sister Sonya, an actress. What he really wanted to be was a rock star -- though he wasn't terribly good at music. Tim was in a succession of bands, including a punk one with Jeremy. 'I'm not sure you could even call our sound punk' he laughs. 'We had an acoustic guitar, drums and three people yelling. We called ourselves The Flared Generation and sang about wearing flares in the Eighties when everyone else was wearing drainpipes. 'I suppose I didn't take it that seriously -- although I did spend a lot of time writing and recording songs in my room.' While Jeremy -- the academic of the family -- moved from university into journalism, Tim floundered. Even by his mid-20's, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do, and found himself working in an office in Croydon. 'One day, I saw an advert in The Stage (the showbiz trade paper) for the Comedy Cafe in the East End, looking for acts to do 5 minute spots,' ha says. 'I thought it might be a bit of fun. At no stage was I thinking this could be a career. But I wanted to get better at it. Tim's breakthrough came when he was runner up to Ronni Ancona in the new Act of the Year competition at Hackney Empire in 1993, securing him an agent and the supporting slot on a tour. Today, his comedy is the opposite of most modern comics. He's not political, never swears and, if he thinks a joke is al all offensive, he'll take it out of his act. He's not that impressed by Russell Brand, either. 'Oh yes he wants to start a revolution,' he chortles. 'I don't think he fully thought that one through, did he?' But it certainly sounds good, and he looks the part, of course. But everybody has their thing, don't they?' The act Tim's most often compared to is Tommy Cooper: both big men with sharp wits, killer one liners and a love of silly props. He works hard at his gags, fine-tuning them for weeks. Occasionally, they come to him naturally. Other times, he challenges himself to write up to 15 a day. Then he tries them out in front of audiences in pubs and comedy clubs. Although observational comedy has been the fashion for the past two decades, he's happier playing the clown like his heroes Morecambe and Wise, Frankie Howard and Les Dawson. People have always liked a joke and seeing people fall over', he says. 'Look at Miranda. She's done so well. She's a very funny lady and she's got that funny thing I enjoy so much. Tim says he has never been jealous of brother Jeremy's success. We were competitive when we were younger' but now, work-wise, we're in very different world's,' he says 'When i hear him interview Politicians, It's always quite interesting, but it doesn't take long to feel out of my depth and I have no idea what they're talking about. 'I've never thought about trying to do what he does. I know my place and I'm happy with it. Although I dare say if we played a game of tennis, I'd want to beat him!. Tim is close to all of his family, and loves being uncle to Jeremy's daughters Martha and Anna aged ten and seven. Tim has never been married -- the closest he came was an engagement that three days -- and a single. Talking about his home life is the only time he gets a little flustered. 'Maybe I have trouble committing to things,' he says. 'For me, life is filled with friends, family and a bit of comedy.' For now he's mixing all three in Panto. While you can't imagine many of today's crop doing it, he loves it. 'It's not Chekhov -- but I love the fact they have a definite story with goodies and baddies,' he says. 'I love the passion in the audience, particularly the kids. They really believe that, if they shout loud enough, it will change the course of the story. 'I'm always the idiot friend of the female lead: Muddles, Silly Billy, Jangles. Everyone thinks: 'Here comes the Idiot!' Far from it, Tim, far from it.
Tim Vine at his best
Exit Signs. They're on the way out, aren't they?
Apparently one in five people in the world is Chinese. There are five people in my family, so one of them must be. It's either my mum or my dad. Or my brother Colin. Or my younger brother Ho-Chan-Chu. But I think it's Colin.
I was getting into my car and this bloke said to me: 'Can you give me a lift?' I said: 'Sure, You look great. the world is your oyster, go for it.'
I phoned the local gym and I asked if they could teach me how to do the splits. They said: 'How flexible are you? I said: 'I cad make a Monday and a Thursday.
I got home and the phone was ringing. I picked it up and said: 'Whose speaking, please?' A voce said: 'You are.'
A friend of mine always wanted to be run over by a steam train. When it happened he was chuffed to bits!.
I've decided to sell my hover. Well, it was just collecting dust.
I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, I'll tell you what, never again.
Clive Greenaway 26 gags in one minute: I Say, I say, It's a Record
Here's something to put a smile on your face ..... a British comedian has broken the world record for telling the most jokes in a minute. Tommy Cooper impersonator Clive Greenaway, rattled out 26 one-liners, after he spent a year practising until he could tell one joke every two seconds. Although Mr. Greenaway, 57, fell two jokes short of the 28, he had hoped for, he beat the old record by five gags. The previous record holder was Markus Weise, a German. (No, really) The strict Guinness World Records' rules stated the live audience at the Haverhill Arts Centre in Suffolk had to laugh at a joke for it to count in the total -- and luckily every one of Mr. Greenaway's gags drew a chuckle. His jokes included: My wife and I were very happy -- then we met; My wife dresses to kill -- and cooks the same way; My wife and I haven't spoken in years -- I don't like to interrupt her; pollen counting -- that's a tough job; I ate a ploughman's -- he wasn't a happy chappy; I went to the paper shop -- but it had blown away. Mr. Greenaway, of Poole, Dorset said: 'I really enjoyed it although it was a bit of a blur: when I heard a German held the world record I couldn't believe it and knew it had to be broken.
That’s exactly what financial firm worker Donald MacLeod did last night – ratlling his way through 580 jokes at the Park Bar in Glasgow. The 39-year-old from Lewis had to tell at least one gag every six seconds, or at least ten a minute, in order to clinch the title.