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Trigger Happy TV star tells all about his travels
The Adventures of Tintin have proved an inspiration to countless millions of youngsters all around the world over several decades. The escapades of the young Belgian reporter and his dog Snowy were first serialised in European comics at the end of the 1920s, and were more recently made into a successful animated movie. And, it is thanks to Tintin that audiences across the UK will soon be able to see TV star, writer and broadcaster Dom Joly, who is about to embark on a rare live stage tour that will see him perform at the recently re-opened Tamworth Assembly Rooms in Staffordshire on Sunday 15 March. Dom Joly is still probably best known as the creator of the hugely successful hidden camera / practical jokes television series, Trigger Happy TV, which ran on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2003, and was subsequently sold to some 80 countries. But it is down to fictional comic character Tintin that Dom will be undertaking his first tour since 2011, starting out on February 13 and continuing until April 12, with fans being given a rare opportunity to see him live.
Some of travel writer Dom Joly's holiday snaps from around the world
Dom will be appearing in his one-man show, Dom Joly's Holiday Snaps – Travel and Comedy in the Danger Zone, with the Lebanon-born star talking about his exploits as a serial globe-trotter and seeker of dangerous travel spots. And it is Tintin who infused a love of travel in the young Dom that has since resulted in him becoming a best-selling travel writer. WeekendNotes caught up with Dom on the eve of setting out on his tour. He said: "I love travel and have been to over a hundred countries. But my love of travel stemmed from Tintin. I had a map on my wall when I was growing up in Lebanon and when I was eight I decided that I would go to all the places that Tintin went to in his adventures. My parents also loved travel and I used to go with them, but when I got to the age of 15 or 16 I started thinking of where I could travel on my own. But then a civil war started so I was stuck in Lebanon."
Dom Joly to display his holiday photos live on stage
Dom, who became a travel writer for both television and newspapers, has visited some of the most unusual places on the planet, ranging from North Korea to Chernobyl, scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster. He has also famously been to the Australian bush as a contestant on the 10th series of hit TV show I'm A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here. Added Dom: "I got bored of travelling to normal countries, where there's a Starbucks, so I look for more interesting and weird places. I just go off on my own and things happen. Syria is my favourite country of all time, but the most extraordinary is North Korea. They have a massive bunker to stash the presents given to them by other world leaders. So they have a train from Stalin, a stuffed alligator holding drinks from the PLO, a little plate from the NUM in Derby. It's totally insane."
Dom, who amazingly went to school with Osama Bin Laden, will be treating audiences at his stage shows with a Powerpoint guide to his weird and wonderful collection of holiday snaps from around the world. "This is pretty much the only stage show I've ever done, apart from something in 2011. I am not a stand-up, but I have two sets of fans - one who are comedy fans who like me dressing up as a squirrel, but who say 'what are you doing going to North Korea?', and those fans who like my travel books. So this show is for both of them, so I hope there will be the occasional laugh." Dom, who still wants to visit Yemen on his travels, will be available to meet fans after his show to sign copies of his latest book, The Hezbollah Hiking Club. Tickets to see Dom Joly at Tamworth on March 15 cost £18 and are available from www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk, or by calling the box office on 01827 709618.