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Interview: Felix Dexter

PUBLISHED: 14:59 18 February 2011 | UPDATED: 14:59 18 February 2011

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He has got multiple personalities but they are all in order - comedian Felix Dexter arrives in Norwich this weekend. ABIGAIL SALTMARSH reports.

Meet Felix Dexter – or is it Aubrey Duboisson or perhaps Julius Olufemwe?

The stand up comedian is appearing on stage at the Norwich Playhouse tomorrow and he is adamant he will be in good company.

“I take some of the characters from the TV show I did called Bellamy’s People and bring them on stage,” he explained.

“It is as if I myself am the compere. I introduce them, and they come on - really with minimal costume and props - and they talk to the audience.

“I have a hat stand on stage and might use a hat or sleeveless jacket for a particular character – otherwise, it is all down to comic jiggery pokery!”

Award-winning Felix Dexter is probably best-known for BBC2’s recent Bellamy’s People series, in which many of his characters appeared.

His other TV credits included notable shows The Real Mc Coy, The Fast Show, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge, Have I Got News For You, The Lenny Henry Show and Grumpy Old Men.

He also played Saffy’s boyfriend in the last series of Absolutely Fabulous.

Felix, a law graduate and a member of one of the Inns of Court, has also performed many straight acting roles, appearing in the likes of The Bill, Casualty, Vanity Fair and Empire.

On stage, roles have included a season with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale and at the National Theatre, alongside Helen Mirren in Mourning Becomes Electra.

In the West End, he has appeared in two runs of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest with Christian Slater.

Felix is also known for his radio work. He is a cast member and writer on the highly successful Radio 4 spoof phone in show Down the Line.

The show, which was created by Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, won Best Radio Comedy at the Sony Awards 2008.

“I love everything I do but am having fun on the tour at the moment,” he admitted. “It is quite a busy schedule with 40 dates but itis fun. I am enjoying the thrill of being on the road.”

Having performed in Norwich two years ago, he said he is eager to return to the city where he had a good reception.

“This show is particularly good fun because of the mixture there is - because I am able to bring on these different characters and appear as myself,” he said.

Between characters, Felix does some of his stand-up routine, tackling topics such as hot dates, Barack Obama and music theft – all of course with a comic edge.

“The stand up bits that I do fit in quite well with what happens with the characters,” he said.

His characters include Julius Olufemwe, a hotel management student, and Aubrey Duboisson a pompous, public school educated architect.

“Aubrey is the classical posh English black bloke - he lives in the Cotswolds,” he explained.

As well as preparing for his tour, Felix has been busy with other projects in recent months. He has been recording a variety of programmes for Radio 4, including a new series of Down the Line, to be aired later this year.

He is also working on a film script and is involved with the Trebus Project, with Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, working on compiling the reminiscences of those with Alzheimers.

“This is very interesting because you realise that although parts of the mind have gone there is still often a clarity and sense of humour there,” he explained.

He added: “I am very busy at the moment. Sometimes it does feel pretty full but it is brilliant to be on the road and I am looking forward to coming to Norwich.”

n Felix Dexter is at the Norwich Playhouse on February 19, £15, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk

www.felixdexter.com

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