Jeremy Lion answers questions from kids
- The List
- 5 August 2010
This article is from 2010.
The children's entertainer answers the questions that popped into our mailbox
Bumbling children’s entertainer Jeremy Lion has taken time out from being near-permanently soused to explore some pressing environmental issues in his new show. He’s still got time for the kids, however, and was more than happy to answer the questions that popped into our mailbox from children near and far
Dear Jeremy Lion. Why is your show called Jeremy Lion Goes Green? Do you paint yourself green?
Ha ha! Of course I don’t paint myself green, don’t be so stupid. It’s an educational play about the dangers of global warming, aerosols, leaving the tap running and ice caps. I go on a special journey to learn all about the world around us and how we’ll all die if we don’t sort things out.
How come you are so worried about the planet?
I saw Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth film and I was very impressed. If I’m honest I don’t know how it ended as I had to nip out and get to the Costcutter before they shut but I imagine it all gets pretty terrible.
Mr Lion, my daddy says he saw you drinking beer during one of your plays. Is this true?
Of course not. I perform serious educational dramas for youngsters – to drink alcohol during them would be utterly inappropriate. Your father probably saw me drinking a healthy fruit smoothie or energy drink which happened to be in a wrongly labelled bottle. Easy mistake.
Why did you become a children’s entertainer in the first place?
My father, Uncle Lion, was a children’s entertainer so I’m really following in his footsteps. He was a cracking entertainer. They sent him out to Suez to entertain the troops and they sent him back after one day. Just one day! That’s all it took for him to entertain an entire army. Very talented man. Apart from his clown routine, which was considered racist even in the 1950s.
Who is that funny man you do your plays with?
My friend Hilary plays the piano. He is a very clean man, and can play all the notes, both black and white, which is most impressive. He has also made some sound effects for the play in his computer and brings his own trousers, which is an improvement on my last pianist.
Did you have a favourite toy when you were little?
My father didn’t believe in toys, encouraging us to make our own amusement. I used to entertain myself with nothing more than a box of matches and a kitten. Imagination is a wonderful thing. To this day I am able to stare at a wall for up to four hours without noticing the time pass.
Will you come to my school and do your play?
I would be delighted. I have a very busy touring schedule but I can fit you in pretty much any day next year apart from February the 12th, and I can move that if I have to. Do tell your teachers to get in touch. I ‘d prefer cash in hand and my rider is quite reasonable. Just some scotch eggs and a nip of malibu. Maybe some matchmakers, if you’ve got them.
I have one brother and two sisters. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
I have a brother called Adrian, who became a doctor rather than a children’s entertainer. He seems to think it’s more difficult but I often assure him he is wrong. We also have an elder sister called Nicola but she has moved away and changed her name for reasons. I tried to track her down on the Facebook, but I spilt Cointreau on Adrian’s laptop and he got a little annoyed.
You have lots of funny puppets. Who is your favourite?
Of my current companions I have always been very fond of Beef Richards, the disembowelling cow from my 2005 show. He would merrily explain different cuts of meat as I took him apart, finally showing us how his innards became delicious tripe and that even his skull could be melted down to make glue. A lot of fun for the kids. I still have a place in my heart for my early childhood creations such as Robert the Chatty Sock and Mr Bumblekidneys the Dialysis Bee. Watch out for the puppets in my new show as they are pretty special. At one stage I operate two at once! I think.
Do you watch Dr Who?
If I’m up in time I will always watch it. Tremendous show. We tried to include some of it in this year’s show but the BBC found out and stopped me. I also like Midsomer Murders. It’s like Monarch of The Glen but with killing in it to keep you awake. That John Nettles is a magnet for homicide, it must be awful being him.
How many birthday parties do you do every year?
Anything from one to 101, excluding my own. It’s vital to ensure that each one is memorable and special for the birthday boy or girl, preferably through fun and games fun rather than injury. It also helps if all the children stay till the end although you can’t force them. Well you can, but that’s when the parents get shouty and you end up having to leave through the garden.
Do you have any pets?
Not any more. Not breathing ones. There is a moth that’s been hanging around in the bedroom for a few days, but I wouldn’t say we have much of a relationship.
What do you do when the children are naughty? Do you tell them off?
High spirits can be quickly thwarted with any number of my more sombre routines: the Weeping Cups, The Edible Penknife or the Pet Guillotine. Failing that, I get out my old friend Mr Shush. I’ve yet to meet a child that doesn’t clam up at the sight of him.
I am good at football. What is your best skill?
What do like best thing about being a children’s entertainer?
Seeing a child’s face wreathed in smiles. Never getting up before midday. Unlimited access to cake.
I would like to be in a circus, do you have any tips?
Don’t drink from the animal tap and avoid direct eye contact with clowns.
Jeremy Lion goes Green, Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 16), 8.20pm, £12–£14