Simon Brodkin portrait ()Simon Brodkin portrait () © Copyright

Epic trolling with Simon Brodkin

The stand-up comic and former doctor tells us why he buzzes off doing big-scale pranks.

Treading a fine line

It was pretty touch and go with the police after the Sepp Blatter stunt [showering him in money at a press conference]. The most hair-raising thing I’ve had was at the Geneva Motor Show. I did a bit as a VW engineer, but the police just saw some guy, with a battery pack and wires, fix a box under a car. In the interrogation room, they were being very harsh on me until I convinced them to google me. They eventually found it funny. Thank god for Google! 

Simon Brodkin aka Lee Nelson with Sepp Blatter  ()


A stunt too far

I reckon I could come up with a couple of cracking stunts involving Kim Jong-Un in North Korea, but to go out there and do that might just be my final ever stunt. I’d go out with a bang, though – or maybe a cloth in my face. I’d be lying if I said I was fearless enough to ignore the danger. I want to come home at the end of the day. Is it going to be funny, can I do it, and can I come home alive are my three main concerns. 

BHS Destroyer

That was my most recent prank, renaming the wonderful Sir Philip Green’s £100m superyacht the BHS Destroyer. It was done as part of the show Britain’s Greatest Hoaxer on Channel 4. We hung a huge sign up on the side of it, from a dinghy. I like doing pranks like this, where we target rich people and those who should be able to laugh at themselves – they’re big powerful people who need to be taken down a peg or two, but they’re rich enough that they can look after themselves. 

Simon Brodkin yacht prank BHS destroyer ()


Knowing me, knowing you

The guys that got me into comedy were the top character comedians like Steve Coogan as Paul Calf and Alan Partridge, or Sacha Baron Cohen with his incredible Ali G stuff. I wonder what Steve Coogan thinks of Paul Calf now – whether he looks back at him with fondness. 

Alan Partridge standing out side Shape FM wearing a headset ()


Is there a doctor in the house?

I was a doctor before I got into comedy, but if someone in the audience at one of my shows needs medical help, I don’t know how useful I’d be. If there are people coming along who are teetering on the brink, don’t expect full resuscitation because it has been a while. I’ll give it a shot, that’s all I can promise. If anyone has a cardiac arrest during the show, I guarantee
I will give it a shot. I should put that on the ticket!  

Gold digger

I had it all planned to get on stage with Kanye West at Glastonbury, but my backstage pass fell through on the day. I was there enjoying myself anyway, and I saw a little gap in the fence behind the Pyramid Stage. I thought this is do-able, so I went back and tried to buy a few bits of clothing to make me look like a rapper. Then I went ahead and did it! 

Simon Brodkin on stage with Kanye West ()


Serious joker

Lee Nelson is my go-to man when it comes to stand-up comedy. He’s still got the bouncy banter you’d expect from him but he has softened over the years. The first part of the Serious Joker show is Lee talking about his new kid. He always does a Posh and Becks and names it after the place it was conceived – Clio (back of a car), Nina (back of a police car), and George (in Asda). 

My cover might be blown

I have to disguise myself heavily for pranks to work now, but that’s a good problem to have. It will be interesting to see if my future stunts are rumbled because of the C4 documentary [Britain’s Greatest Hoaxer]. I might have a problem if someone says, “isn’t that Britain’s greatest hoaxer there on row three, about to try and step up on stage?”

 Photos: Alamy; Getty Images; Rex Shutterstock; Lee Nelson/Twitter


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