IT was, for me, a burning question.

Even comedian Tim Vine realised the opening salvo was softening him up for the explosive question of, ‘What have you got against the blue tops? (whole milk)’.

This question was in reference to a homemade milk helmet which Tim made, using 10 fourpint plastic milk containers.

He had used eight red tops, for skimmed milk, and two green tops, semi-skimmed milk. I had to know what the hell had he got against whole milk?

Somerset County Gazette:

Tim certainly laughed at this point and said: “That has really rattled your cage. I only used the milk containers which were available to me.

"In my house I used what I had at hand.

"I normally get red top milk and if I cannot then, when I am out, I get green.

“I had decided to make a hat of some description.

"I cannot remember the thought process but I do recall thinking it needed to be funny.

“When I made it I took it with me when the photographer did the pictures for the tour.

"I had no idea what I was going to call the show or anything.

“It was a great picture, especially with a sunset background which the photographer had put up.

"When I saw the pictures we worked on puns and jokes for the hat. I could have called it a recycling helmet. Then it came to me, the Sunset Milk Idiot.

"It is not a pun or a play on words.

"Many comedians come up with puns for their show titles and do not have have puns in the show.

"I have a show title with no puns but the show is full of puns.

"Mine is the complete reverse.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Tim Vine is the king of puns and one liners. He was in the Guinness Book of World Records for telling 499 jokes in one hour.

He achieved this feat at Soho Theatre in London on October 7, 2004.

The previous record was 362. Tim said there was some controversy around the record, which he lost to a comic in Australia then got back again and then lost to someone in India, who told 600 jokes in one hour.

He said when his record was being set, there were three counters who each gave a different result. One said 499, one 520 and the third said 530.

They hit on 499 and then sent the Guinness World Records the tape of the show so they could verify the record, which they did, and said it was 499.

Interviewing people you never know what mood they will be in; happy, sad, talkative or indifferent.

Tim Vine was talkative and full of the joys of spring. He was thoughtful and funny with his answers, which were never dull.

First out of the trap, I asked him what amused him about his comedy. He said (with a laugh): “Straight in there.

"Assuming I find any of it funny! What does amuse me is when I write jokes, it is the first time I have heard them. I like silly, very stupid stuff, childish things.

“I quite like the non-joke, where you say something and the audience are expecting more but there is no more and you turn and say so. That is when everyone laughs.”

I followed this up with how much did he think he had learnt about himself as by being a comedian?

Tim said: “Two absolute belters. One thing I have learnt is I always try on stage.

"When I am on stage I will try no matter how I feel, no matter what is going on.

I might go on stage feeling tired but once I get out there I wake up. The act has an energy all of its own and I always come off stage energised.

“The other thing I feel I have learnt is I am brave.

"People always say you are brave being a comic.

"But I have sat in the audience watching other comics and I prefer being the other side facing the audience.”

As has been stated earlier on in this interview, Tim’s show is packed to the rafters with one liners, they shoot out like firing a comedy machine gun.

Speaking about what he thought his comedy genre was, as it is not personal, rather leaning to being impersonal as it is not about himself, Tim said: “True, it is not confessional. I never talk about my life. It is 100 per cent comedy as it would have been before the 1980s and alternative comedy.

“I do not know what it would have been like if I had gone down the observational comedic road.

"I would say doing what I do has allowed my comedy to be silly, child-like and daft with a lot of word play.

"The Tim Vine on stage is a variation on a theme of me.”

Tim Vine, the fastest joke telling comic in the Northern Hemisphere, Europe and the UK brings his Sunset Milk Idiot show to Westlands in Yeovil on May 17-18.

Tickets £25. You can buy online at or call 01935 422884.