Brian Gittins interviewed by his robot, Charles Petrescu

Reclusive comedian Brian Gittins was once so lonely that he built himself a robot companion and called it Charles Petrescu. The oddball couple still live together, not always in harmony. Here, Charles interviews his master and creator

© Naomi Earl

Charles Petrescu ‘Hello, Brian.’
Brian Gittins ‘Yes, thank you. Hello Charles. Nice to be here.’

Charles ‘It’s been a lovely, hot week. Where would you like to go on holiday, Brian?’
Brian ‘I would like to go to Malta, please. Every year until I die.’

Charles ‘You think about death every day, don’t you, Brian?’
Brian ‘Yes I do. We all have – if we’re lucky – 30 or so summers left on this planet and then it’s all over. For ever. Nothingness. For ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. So, what annoys me is, why don’t audiences just embrace the moment and enjoy me?’

Charles ‘Can I have a bowl of Coco Pops please?’
Brian ‘Focus.’

Charles ‘How would you like to be buried, Brian?’
Brian ‘Star-shaped. Arms and legs outstretched. Mouth pinned open.’

Charles ‘Who did you last kiss and what did it feel like?’
Brian ‘All of my cousins at a funeral. Felt lovely.’

Charles ‘Can we move away from death please, Brian?’
Brian ‘Right you are.’

Charles ‘How many sausages have you eaten in your life?’
Brian ‘I dread to think – 75 plus.’

Charles ‘Have you ever had any pets and what were their names?’
Brian ‘Stinker. Mr Lupus. Stinker 2. CV5. And Adam Carter.’

Charles ‘Have you ever been nude in a public place?’
Brian ‘I regularly take my penis out at comedy gigs. You know that.’

Charles ‘Tell me a joke.’
Brian ‘Patient: “Doctor Doctor, I keep saying the words ‘wide anus syndrome’ after every sentence… wide anus syndrome.” Doctor: “Oh. Does this happen all the time?” Patient: “No.”’

Charles ‘If there is a heaven, who would you like to meet there?’
Brian ‘Humans shaped liked women. Women, basically. Women.’

Charles ‘What is the strangest creature you can imagine?’
Brian ‘It would have the body of a slug and the head of a slug, but it would be the size of a continent. It would rule the world.’

Charles ‘Do you remember that time you made me laugh so much that my head exploded and you had to send me to Maplin to fix me up?’
Brian ‘I do remember that, yes! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Here we go again!’

Charles ‘When we travel up and down the country can I please sit in the front seat instead of being packed away in a suitcase? I get lonely in there.’
Brian ‘No. I like packing you away. I like seeing your face as I zip the case shut.’

Charles ‘And, finally, what does it feel like to be human?’
Brian ‘Paralysingly embarrassing.’

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