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Inside/Out with Ian Von Memerty, Performer, A Handful of Keys, HIFA 2012, versatile captain entertainment, the superhero with bad underpants
May 03, 2012

Describe yourself in five words?
Energetic, mercurial, passionate, paradoxical, committed.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
The long-term view is this too shall pass.
Other people's opinion of me is none of my concern.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
I have no shame so I cannot answer this question . . . I did swear on National Television by mistake. I called myself a fuckwit. Later it came through on SMS - "Some woman just said fuckwit."

What is your most treasured possession?
My family.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Global: the fact that humankind can be so magical and so monstrously inhuman, at the same time.
Personal: four months a go I would have said losing a child, but actually there is nothing compared to the whirlwind of a mental illness.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
I live on a little farm. I wear gumboots. My favourite thing is driving the mower - a quad bike with a purpose. My son said, "Dad, you look like a three year old on a tricycle."

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I wish I could just get my weight down by 6kgs. When I was 23 I had it together: I was a pretty boy. I had a little butt; they would review my arse before the piano playing - it was that good.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel and books.

What have you got in your fridge?
Viv and I, we hate those fucking crowded fridges. There's always Greek yoghurt, cheese, white wine, salad stuff, and hopefully she will not have thrown away the leftovers before I've had a chance to eat them.

What is your greatest fear?
Personal: I've lived through my greatest fear - losing my child.
Greatest fear: Having to go to jail and they can't get medication to you.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
Some dollars and a room card key - I've lost the other four. Not wanting to offend but the Zimbabwean US Dollars are the dirtiest in the world. One was so dirty it was pleading to be released from this earth and flung into the flames of middle earth.

What is your favourite journey?
Seven weeks as a family in London, Paris, Tuscany, Rome and Greece.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My son. And every unsung parent who does the job really well. Because if the world was made up of that, everything would come right.

When and where were you happiest?
Holidays with my family. And . . . I am most stimulated when I am performing but it must be live.

What's your biggest vice?
Chips and porn. But never together. (See earlier, I have no shame)

What were you like at school?
Really clever and really frightened.

What are you doing next?
On Monday I fly to Cape Town to direct and MC a road show for a large car company. On Thursday my first original CD with a Big Band goes into the shops. It's called U R Fantastic. And then presenting on Strictly Come Dancing and judging on SAs Got Talent. And taking a Handful of Keys overseas.

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