Kathy Burke: interview



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Actor, unlikely film star and capital comedy icon, Kathy Burke is one of Time Out London’s 40th birthday heroes

  • Kathy Burke: interview

    Kathy Burke: 'Everything I did got slagged off in Time Out. I should have kept my mouth shut'

  • See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

    Who are your London heroes?

    'Tony Marchant, for the way he’s been so consistent for 25 years or whatever, just writing brilliant drama – he’s one of my London heroes, even though he’s a bit of a woollyback really. He’s from Woodbridge or somewhere like that. But I’m prepared to consider him a Londoner.'

    What’s the biggest thing that’s happened in theatre in the last 40 years?

    'There’s more open doors now for the working classes. Being working class is not seen as such a big deal anymore. When I was in my twenties nobody quite got me. I had to work quite hard so that people would get me.'

    What’s you favourite place or thing in London?

    'Bartholomew’s church. I’m not a religious person by any means. But it’s beautiful. You go down this little courtyard and suddenly you’re in this magnificent place. My dad passed away in St Bartholomew’s hospital, which was where he wanted to die. When I was visiting dad, I’d pop in the church, because it was nice and quiet. And then I was ill myself last year and I was down there quite a lot.'

    What was your favourite moment in London? Where were you, and what was happening?

    'I suppose maybe St Patrick’s Day at the Town and Country Club, about 1989, seeing the Pogues. That’s a special memory – although that may just be because I haven’t been out since. It was just such a great night. I was with my mate Tilly, I think. I just loved being in the middle of the crowd and getting chucked about, and chucking other people about. You thought it was going to be really aggressive, but it wasn’t at all. Everybody was so exuberant and just having a riot.'

    What does Time Out mean to you?

    'I remember once I’d been in something, and it wasn’t very good and I wasn’t very good in it, but it still got praised by Time Out. So I phoned up the TV editor and went, "No no, I was rubbish in this." After that everything I did got slagged off in Time Out. I should have kept my mouth shut.'

    Complete the sentence: London is…

    '…too fucking noisy at the moment. Sorry to be negative, but it is. Drilling, drilling, drilling. Everywhere you go: drills. I want peace and quiet.'
    See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

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