■ The Comedian, 36, talks about missing USB ports and headphone jacks, embarrassing on-air moments and vegan tech
What does your new TV show, Beat The Internet, actually involve?
It’s a quiz show where people have to predict auto-complete results from internet searches. I’ve learned that people put quite a lot of trust in the internet to answer some big questions about their health. You’re essentially crowdsourcing your information. So if you have a rash, check with your GP.
Do you have any favourite pieces of retro tech?
I can’t believe it’s retro tech but I was a big fan of having a USB port in my laptop and a headphone jack in my phone. It’s insane you can’t plug headphones into the place you have your music or you can’t charge your phone from some computers. I remember when companies like Apple would innovate stuff and you’d think, ‘That’s such a great way of solving a problem’. Now the things they change cause you problems. I’ll use my iPhone 6 until it breaks down.
What gadgets made an impression on you as a kid?
A game called Screwball Scramble. It was like Mousetrap but motorised. You had to get a ball bearing across an obstacle course by pressing buttons. I couldn’t believe how cool it was. I took it apart to see how it worked and it never worked again.
Do you ‘drive’ your own desk on your Radio X show?
If I went near the desk the producer would call the police. The producer does it and makes hand signals to me and my co-presenter, Elis James, when we need to stop talking so he can play a record.
What’s been your worst on-air moment?
On our producer’s first day he broadcast four minutes of silence. Our previous producer left the microphones on when he was playing a record, which could have caused us problems. And once, we had a competition to win a trip to Phuket in Thailand and Elis mispronounced it and said, ‘Here’s a chance to win a holiday to f*** it.’
Who are your favourite people to follow on social media?
The Onion on Instagram always makes me laugh and so does a comedian called Alistair Green on Twitter. He’ll tweet at 4am saying, ‘Just had the third s*** of the night and I’ve had it with my arse.’ He’s very honest about how bleak life is. It’s much more interesting to hear how someone’s life is falling apart than seeing someone say, ‘My life is great and perfect and here’s a picture of me on the beach’.
What balance do you strike?
With tweets you don’t want people to be genuinely concerned about you if you’re only joking. I once tweeted about me having a Christmas party by myself in my house. Some people were generally supportive and asked to join in. Others asked if I needed help.
What tech helps with being a vegan?
There are so many good vegan restaurants now. The HappyCow app helps you find them and the Bunny Free app helps you make ethical shopping decisions.
If you could invent any gadget what would it do?
It would heat up Guinness Extra Cold until it was drinkable. Places don’t serve normal Guinness any more. I had a pint recently and it was almost frozen. I reckon Guinness Extra Cold was originally invented so they could prepour three quarters of the pint before the pubs opened in Ireland and top them up.