Have you ever cried after a gig?
‘Yes. At Reading Festival, after playing to a lunchtime crowd of half a dozen or so hungover teenagers who booed at us as we tried to get them to chant “vuvuzela” while dressed as Desmond Tutu.’
Do you follow fashion? How would you describe your ‘look’?
‘My style is classic sketch gent with a hint of the Algerian Riviera.’
Who would play you in ‘Dustin: A Biopic’?
‘It would be a toss-up between Daniel Radcliffe, Dustin Diamond and Morgan Freeman. Or we may use a combination of all three.’
Would you prefer a fart smell or a fart sound to come out of your mouth every time you spoke?
‘Fart smell. In particular, a dog fart.’
If you made a solo sketch show what would you call it?
‘There’s no “if” about it. It’s called “The Burns Unit”.’
In series two I noticed that you have your top off in every sketch that I don’t appear in. Can you explain why? I don’t remember that being specified in the scripts.
‘After the first series aired I received literally thousands of letters from fans demanding that I just be more topless. I couldn’t let them down.’
What’s my most unappealing habit?
‘You once went through a phase of eating tinned tuna in our confined writing space. I didn’t mention it at the time but it made me sick. I hated you for that.’
Why is it that, when we write together, I always do the typing, while you dictate to me, lying on a chaise longue, wearing an eyemask, often eating shellfish?
‘I suppose it is odd that I’m on a chaise longue eating langoustines while you’re sitting on your beanbag eating tuna out of a tin. But really, I’ve always been impressed by your typing: 35 words per minute! This year, if you push yourself, I think there’s a chance you could make it to 40.’
What advice would you pass on to the budding sketch performers out there?
‘I wish I had received this advice when I started: choose your comedy partner wisely and make sure they can type.’
Do you think that you could have performed any of the characters I play better than me?
‘No, I think you do racial stereotyping very well.’
What will you do if or when this crazy rollercoaster ride comes to an end?
‘I’ll be reclining on my chaise longue writing my memoirs, “Cardinal Sin”.’
Why did you wear make-up to the Baftas?
‘Fuck you, Dustin.’
Cardinal Burns is on Channel 4, Wednesdays, 10.30pm.
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