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Comedian and actor Paul Kaye first became notorious as celebrity interviewer Dennis Pennis, he’s since starred in the cult comedy Pulling and you can now catch him on TV in Shameless and Being Human.
When in your life have you been most broke? How bad did it get exactly?
Probably when we had our first kid, I was 25 and me and my wife were making sandwiches and selling them up the high road. Pretty desperate times. I remember going into a pub that was being renovated with my basket and bumped into this girl I went to college with who was painting a mural in there. She looked at me, feigned sympathy and said "Oh I'm sorry, I heard you were doing really well" to which I replied, "I am, I've sold three egg mayos and a couple of tunas".
What was your favourite budget meal? Do you still enjoy it?
Five Kabanos and a bag of cherries. That kept me alive for a year in Streatham once.
Any interesting money saving/making tips you picked up back then?
Squatting, busking and shoplifting.
What was the worst thing about being skint? Were there any upsides?
Not being able to afford to get drunk. Upsides? Not having a hangover.
Did you ever do something that you regret like borrow money without intending to pay it back or drink lighter fluid Withnail style just to keep warm?
I've never borrowed money and would never buy anything I couldn't buy outright. I believe in living within your means, I've got a mate who was skint and took out a ten grand loan for a nice car. I couldn’t get my head round that at all. I'm a cheap date, I never go to restaurants, I've never gone on an expensive holiday and don’t buy new clothes. I like tatty things and have no consumer aspirations whatsoever. I was crouched on the platform waiting for a train at Camden the other day and someone flicked me a quid.
What was your lowest point?
The Dead Sea
How did you manage to keep your dreams alive?
Chaos, fate, fear and love.
What was the defining moment that turned your fortunes around?
Realising that I couldn’t continue pretending to be other peoples alter egos and had to come up with one for myself.
What one piece of advice can you give young people with ambitions of being successful?
Successful in terms of money and fame I can't really help you with. Being able to express yourself adequately keeps you heading in the right direction. That's the key to everything I think. Oh and don't wake and bake, that's game over that is.
Interview conducted by Sabotage Times
Thursday, 17th February 2011